Filtering water for drinking  

Dehydration in the Grand Canyon!

Why aren't you sweating?
How much water do you need?

In the desert of the Grand Canyon, the relative humidity is very low. As a result your sweat will evaporate immediately. You will think that you are not even sweating! But you are. Just being in  the area you are losing water. So, drink all the time. Start even the day before the hike, and don't stop to avoid dehydration! In addition, in warmer weather, I drench myself everytime I come to water to cool down. Always rest in the shade. Please remember not to wash or bathe in ANY potholes, as someone else might want to use that water for drinking. Take the water away from the drainage to use. If you cache water for the trip up, please haul it out with you, even if you don't need it.

The best desert hikers plan their trips to begin early in the morning. They rest in the shade during the hottest parts of the day, and then return during the cooler hours of late evening and night.  Hike smart. Eat often. Drink water and stay hydrated. Rest in the shade whenever you can. Keep wet, soak your shirt, hat, and shorts! Don't make your desert hike an ordeal.  Take all your breaks in the shade!

Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire

"This would be good country," a tourist says to me, "if only you had some water."

"If we had water here," I reply, "this country would not be what it is. It would be like Ohio, wet and humid and hydrological, all covered with cabbage farms and golf courses. Instead of this lovely barren desert we would have only another blooming garden state, like New Jersey. You see what I mean?"

"If you had more water more people could live here." "Yes sir. And where then would the people go when they wanted to see something besides people?" "I see what you mean.

Still, I wouldn't want to live here. So dry and desolate. Nice for pictures but my God I'm glad I don't have to live here." "I'm glad too, sir. We're in perfect agreement. You wouldn't want to live here, I wouldn't want to live in Cleveland.

We're both satisified with the arrangement as it is. Why change it?" "Agreed." We shake hands and the tourist from Ohio goes away pleased, as I am please, each of us thinking he has taught the other something new.


Back to Canyon Trails!

Backcountry Hiking!

Water Sources!


Are you getting Dehydrated?

Learn to listen to your body! It will let you know if you need more fluid. Common early warning signs of dehydration include:

  • constant thirst
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dark urine
  • fatigue

If you experience these signs, get out of the sun, rest, and drink lots and lots of fluids.

Are Electrolyte Replacement Drinks Better Than Water?

Definately, in the heat of the Southwest when you sweat enough to lose a significant amount of electrolytes. Most of these products contain sodium and potassium, minerals essential to your body's ability to absorb fluids. These drinks can also supply carbohydrate energy for your muscles and stimulate your thirst mechanism, causing you to drink more.


Electrolyte Replacement Drinks

  10-K All Sport Gatorade HydraFuel Powerade UltraFuel
Carbohydrate Concentration 6.3% 8-9% 6% 7% 8% 21%
Electrolytes (in mg)
Na = Sodium
K = potassium
Na: 55
K: 30
Na: 55
K: 55
Na: 110
K: 30
Na: 25
K: 50
Na: 70
K: 30
Na: 55
K: 50
Calories 60 80 50 66 70 200
You can order Grand Canyon books and hiking guides from:
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This website is a photographic and descriptive resource of routes and climbs, not a hiking guide. By using this site the viewer releases the creator from any and all liability. Hiking/climbing is a potentially dangerous activity and requires proper equipment, skill, experience, preparedness and awareness at all times.

All contents of all pages   copyright 1997 - 2002  by Mike Mahanay, All Rights Reserved

Do you have any off trail stories or descriptions you would like to add?

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