Hot weather bushcrafting

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Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
I find I stay in the shade of the woods more, move more slowly and do things around the camp less frenetically. Yes, I drink more but not gallons more and I reckon it's worth remembering that sweat is actually useful: having a damp shirt can help to cool you down! As long as you wash regularly, you won't end up a social pariah that quickly...


Full Member
Dec 23, 2006
Just got back from a weeks camping in a very sunny North Wales and for the most part it was too hot to stay in the tent during the day. Set up a tarp in nearby trees which kept us a little cooler and spent a fair bit of time going back and forth to the nearest tap to drink and pour water over the dogs and ourselves. This also meant that doing normal bushcrafty things had to take a back seat although we did then spend more time in the sea and even saw two dolphins, so that was a good compensation. It did get quite chilly once the sun went down so a least we got to enjoy an evening of bushmans tv.


Apr 19, 2018
It's fine you thinking what you like of it, Janne. :) Truth is, we are entitled to our own facts, in the end

But, I don't think it is wrong.

Just for example, as a source that might convince you, go on any of those forums that deal with sojers talking about dealing with the heat being in Afghanistan - like ARRSE, though esp. one of the US ones. There is water everywhere there, stacked in pallets feet high everywhere, and they are encouraged to do the drinking of it. 2 gallons plus, plus, plus per day. Not that they need encouraging.

When you are exercising in the heat, you can drink a gallon a day and still get brown pee, like Santa says .... you just need to drink more. Because it is the skin, which is a gigantic and demanding organ, that is dealing with the water for the priority of cooling ... the kidneys are in the second order of things :lol::lol:

This is I think quite conservative:

...but it gives a clue, especially the bit where it says: "A 150 pound person in arid hot conditions, who hikes for 20 minutes or changes a tire, needs about 90 ounces (3L) of water a day".

I guess most of us are over 150lbs and do more exercise than hiking for 20 minutes. :lol:

There's an online calculator in that article .... it is again, I think, conservative. It suggests 4.2L per day for a 90Kg/200lb person taking one hour of exercise in the warm (walking with a pack I reckon that means, not throwing straw bales onto a truck); just one hour.

But even Uncle Ray's films TV programmes explained all this (citing 20L per day for an active soldier in the heat) and you can ask any athlete or outdoorser, they'll say the same, (probably whilst rolling their eyes, in the sanctimonious way they sometimes can :lol:).
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Feb 10, 2016
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I have only a background in medicine to back up my post.

Think this way: humans and all other animals have drunk water/ water containing liquids when they are thirsty since beginning of life.

This modern need for excessive ‘hydration’ is only a couple of decades old.

I am aware of an increased need for water in hard physical work and heat. Your thirst increases too. So you drink more.
Yes, I have experience of this. But it was gained before the hydration hysteria. Weird we old guys that served are still alive, and not shrunken dry shells full of kidney stones, forgotten all around the world.....

Go and borrow a medical textbook about physiology. Good reading, will give you an understanding of how our bodies work.
Also, remember that the average daily need for water ( in various situations) include the water content in food.

But as you write, we are free to believe what we want!
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
I'd rather sip away at water/drinks all day and never get myself into a thirst/dehydrated state in the first place.
Never forget that your skin will lose salts as well. Not just a kidney function.

Don't forget that at the sub-cellular level, salt uptake (aka electrolytes far beyond sodium)
is an "Active Uptake" process. By factual definition then, the process requires energy.
That energy will come from the oxidation of sugars which you must supply.
Plain water can ruin your osmotic condition.

I've used Saltadex (salts + dextrose sugar pills) in the outback for several years.
Now, I've got multisalt powder packs which taste like crap without a teaspoon of table sugar.
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Full Member
Feb 13, 2016
Quite a few runners in the London marathon have actually died from drinking too much water, the deaths go back as far as 2007, and most of them were quite young(under 30) and quite fit, obviously doing exercise running for about 3 hours will make you thirsty, but taking water in excess is not good for you.


M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
Drinking water alone doesn't actually deplete electrolytes. It just doesn't replace them. Losing them through the skin? Yep; it's called sweating. Do you need a supplemen to replace them? Most people don't. Not even in hot weather. Health nuts that are eating a steady diet of fresh, raw veg might, but not most of us on a modern processed food diet. Especially military personnel on rations (those things already contain a near toxic level)
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Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
There's a very long history of 'liquid foods'. From teas to soups, milk to plant juices, and since the advent of farming the small beers. Barely fermented, but enough that it purifies water killing the bacteria that cause gut upsets and the like.
Fresh clean potable water with neither parasites or some pollution from biological sources, is a very modern invention.

Most of the babies born in this world, from all of our known history until very recently, died of diarrhoea of some kind or other before they were five years old.
Once they stop breast feeding, they're vulnerable.
In comes farming, and in comes the brewing, and there's safe to drink liquid. The old castle provisioning/ daily allowance provided to everyone (Stirling for instance) was one loaf of bread and 2 Scots pints of small beer...that old measurement works out at about 3.5L of liquid per day for people who were physically active. From castle servants to men at arms. The same was the provisioning for farming folk too.

The thing to note is that it's not 3.5L of plain unadulterated water.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 15, 2010
NE Scotland
I just go to the beach more, 1/2 mile of beach with clear blue water, could be the med if you didn't know - the first foot or so of water is quite warm, gets cold below that though. And it's busy when there's six other people there :). I tend to have a lot more fruit with me, apples, oranges, kiwi, banana. Water - I usually have a couple of litres in a pack and a couple more in the car [no matter what time of year] - and locally I know where to get water from.

This is the first year [in quite a while] I have really enjoyed the heat [28 deg- ish up here] I usually much prefer the cold. Longest day of the year gone and already noticing it getting dark earlier :(.

Hammock Hamster

Full Member
Feb 17, 2012
Surbiton, Surrey
Lots more water than usual both for drinking and to properly put out any fires.

I tend to use a stick stove in hot conditions (bushbox, firebox, honeystove type things) to help contain everything when there's a risk of fire spreading.
I commonly use BBQ charcoal instead of wood which tends not to spit embers or sparks.

I also have one of those buff scarf, hat, bandana things that you can use in a million different ways.
Great if you soak them in water and use like a cross between a beanie and legionaries hat with the flap over your neck.

Apart from that dress appropriately and keep and eye on your body for sunburn and dehydration.
I would add sunglasses but mine are permanently on all year round due to a slight light sensitivity

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Feb 10, 2016
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Billy, medical science will tell you to drink only when thirsty.
Thirsty does not mean dehydrated, far from it.

Note that when the recommended daily water intake is mentioned, it includes water in food.
Fruit, veg 70 - 95 % water
Meats - 50-80% water
Your urine should be light yellow. If it is colourless, you are drinking to much.


Apr 19, 2018
ach, never mind ...

my point with the post was to indicate that medical science (though, I don't know what that includes) is saying both things ... drink when you are thirsty, drink when you are not thirsty ... I like it when the scientific facts are contradictory and yet remain scientific facts.


Feb 10, 2016
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
The report you provided the link to says clearly that the author of study, Michael Farrell, recommend that we should drink only when we are thirsty.

Again: you do not achieve any benefits from drinking to much water, drinking when you are not thirsty. On the contrary, you can cause damage.
We can not store excess water, the body will start excreting the unneeded water straight away, taking valuable minerals (electrolytes) with it.

The internet is a fantastic tool spreading false ‘truths’. Be wise, check, check and check again!
Universities have good research sites.

Overheating is a far greater risk than dehydrating ( if drinking when thirsty) when doing stuff in hot weather. Wear loose clothes, and something loose on the head.

The North African and Middle East folks do not wear the clothes they wear traditionally for fashion, but to avoid overheating.
Overheating leads to increased sweating leads to quicker dehydration and loss of electrolytes (‘salts’) .
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