"When you are away from civilisation, water will become one of your biggest concerns. I normally like to have about 3.5L per day: 2 litres to drink and then 600-700ml for breakfast and dinner. This allows a hot meal and coffee or tea twice a day.
The difficulty of finding water depends on where you are. Once you have found it you then have to set about treating it where necessary – there's nothing worse than getting a stomach bug in the wild!
Here are a few top tips for collecting water:
• Where has the water come from? Does it run through towns (industrial waste), past farms (chemicals and fertilizers), from higher grazing areas (animal faeces or dead animals) or where other humans may be (going to loo near a water source)?
• Is the water moving? You want to take water from a moving source, not something that is stagnant.
• When will I next have access to water? This determines how much water you need to clean and collect.
• Do I need water for cleaning myself or cooking equipment?
How should I clean my water?
Having completed a number of multi-day solo expeditions, I soon came up with a pretty set routine. I would have two types of water – drinking water and cooking water.
For drinking water, I would just fill my bottles if I was confident it was clean, perhaps directly from a spring or high in the mountains. If I was a little suspicious, I would pop in a chlorine tablet. If the water was clearly dirty, I would run it through my Sawyer water filter and then boil it if necessary – I’ve had to take water from a muddy puddle with dead flies on top so I like to think I’m experienced!"