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#136771 - 07/26/10 05:26 PM Light Weight Hydration
Canyonero Offline
member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Four Corners, Colorado, USA
Over the years, I've gotton into the habit of drinking Gatorade for hydration. I know the electrolytes help - mainly salt and potassium. The flavoring and sweetness also help me get the water down, as sometimes I lose any appetite for water/food when I exert myself.

I'm getting ready for a 3 day/2 night trip. Using my new knowledge of weighing out everything I carry, I measured out enough Gatorade powder for 3 days, at 2 quarts per day. I wound up with over 18 ounces, most of which is sugar. This would have been my single heaviest food/beverage ration for the trip.

I said no way to this. While I was at my local City Market, I checked out the powdered drink aisle, and found a store brand (Kroger) hydration drink mix - the stuff in the little "stick" packages. Each package is 2.2 grams net, for 16.9 oz. water. My weight for a 3 day ration, 2 quarts per day is 1.3 oz. total, including packaging and a ziplock to carry it in! Of course, there are other brands of this stuff - Gatorade, Powerade, etc., but it all looks pretty comparable.

This stuff is mainly salt, potassium and sucralose, with some artificial flavorings and colorings mixed in. The flavor and sweetness are definitely concentrated; those little tiny envelopes pack a punch.

This is not the kind of stuff I drink daily; mostly I stick to water and tea, but it seems like a real benefit for low-weight hydration on the trail.

I read about this kind of stuff in a thread here somewhere, but I was really interested to put some numbers up on the weight savings.

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#136772 - 07/26/10 05:33 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
IIRC most of those little packets are "sugar free", and the artificial sweeteners are almost weightless. (Pick up a box of splenda next time you are in the store to see.)

I always have a handful of different flavored tube packet drink mixes when I am out, including the instant coffee ones (heresy I know).
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#136784 - 07/26/10 09:09 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: DTape]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Recipe for oral rehydration salts (from my wilderness first aid book):

To 1 liter water, add:
Potassium chloride (KCl) 2.5 g
Baking Soda 2.5 g
Salt (NaCl) 3.5 g
Glucose 20.0 g

Obviously, some kind of flavoring needs to be added to make this mixture palatable! But it gives you an idea of what you should look for in a hydrating drink mix.

Hydralite (formerly Gookinaid) is my favorite powdered drink mix because it isn't too sweet. I add half the suggested amount to my drinking water for the day.

I always used to have a problem with "in one end, out the other" with water. With Hydralite, "out the other" is less of a problem. The mix has a mild citrusy tang which I find refreshing.

I can't stand Gatorade! My grandkids drank a bottle of it on a recent trip, and I decided to save the bottle, since it has a wider mouth than soda bottles. However, no matter how many times I wash it, the bottle still smells of nauseating artificlal grape. It just went into the recycling!
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#136789 - 07/26/10 10:01 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: OregonMouse]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Mouse rinse with vinigar and water soloution. Let sit for a couple hours and rinse. worked for my nose?

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#136792 - 07/26/10 11:21 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: OregonMouse]
Canyonero Offline
member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Four Corners, Colorado, USA
OregonMouse, I initially thought about some kind of home brewed mix like what you listed, but those little packs sure are handy and light, they include the salt and potassium, and I really don't need the glucose. Of course, I'm trying to just maintain hydration, as opposed to rehydrating after getting dried out.

My first thought was the old salt pills like they gave us in the military, washed down with plain water...but I find the electrolyte water with the salt and fruit flavor easier to get down and keep down than plain water.

On a related note, I was watching a Dual Survival episode last night, about the guys surviving high in the Peruvian Desert. Cody Lundin got freaked out early on, and they had an awesome shot of him puking up all of the precious water he just drank. So, keeping it down once I drink it is always a consideration.


Edited by Canyonero (07/26/10 11:27 PM)

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#136813 - 07/27/10 12:39 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
I've made my own not-very-scientific hydration mix for several years now and used it on trails and when trail building.

1 packet lemon KoolAid
4 tablespoons sugar (or substitute)
2 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute (potassium chloride)
2 quarts water

Adjust quantities to taste. I usually make up a dry quart or two of the mix and carry it on the trail in ziploc bags. I usually just dump some of the mix into a water bottle when I feel like I need it.


Edited by Spock (07/27/10 12:41 PM)

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#136814 - 07/27/10 12:41 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
MarkNM Offline
member

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
i gots me a new rain jacket the other day from moosejaw, and it came with a sample of Crystallife purelife...tiny packet for 1 liter i think? it was grape and it was good....designed for the "active" person
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I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...

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#136836 - 07/27/10 05:38 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6370
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I wasn't suggesting using the homemade mix (probably nauseating unless you're really dehydrated), but using it as a guide to judge the effectiveness of commercial mixes.

_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#136854 - 07/27/10 08:47 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
Canyonero Offline
member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Four Corners, Colorado, USA
I drank a couple quarts of this mix today on the trail and finished the day feeling OK.

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#136872 - 07/28/10 04:50 AM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
frediver Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 114
Take whatever you like to drink but do not depend on the drink mixes as your only electrolyte replacement plan.
Gatoraid and the like just do not contain enough lites to do the job. Pack some salted nuts, jerky, or single serve chips as well.

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#136879 - 07/28/10 11:26 AM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: frediver]
Canyonero Offline
member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 28
Loc: Four Corners, Colorado, USA
Yeah, jerky and salted nuts are my two main foods while on the trail during the day, and a few cookies. I've never had any real hydration problems; the main thing I'm trying to do right now is shed weight, and getting rid of the load of sugar from the Gatorade powder is a big piece.

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#137187 - 08/03/10 10:32 PM Re: Light Weight Hydration [Re: Canyonero]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Personally, I carry plenty of foods with lots of lytes in them. I typically have snacks which include salted almonds, crushed tortilla or potato chips, sausage, parmesan cheese, clif bars, peanut butter, etc.

I've only had one time I suspect my electrolytes got pretty low, when I stuck to my (weight watchers) diet right before the trailhead, and ended up quite salt deprived and drinking too much. only chowing down on a nice (salt loaded) backpacking meal made me feel better. - in this case, yes gatorade or something else might have helped me. Stupidly, I wasn't eating enough! smile

Now, I'm just a bit more careful, and the night before staring a trail is the night I ignore the diet wink I eat a big meal the night before and a breakfast with plenty of salt and electrolytes, and hit the trail.

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