How Much Water For Camping? [Per Person Per Day]

You need 2 gallons of water per day per person while on camping trip outdoors.

Water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, and putting out fire.

Running out of water will ruin your trip so be sure to bring a lot. You can get a collapsible 5 gallon plastic container.

You can use lake water and filter and boil it, but it is easier to bring some. Note that most campsites at parks have a drinking water tap.




Cool things to know:

  1. Water covers approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface.
  2. About 97.5% of the Earth’s water is saltwater, and only 2.5% is freshwater.
  3. Of the Earth’s freshwater, about 68.7% is locked in glaciers and ice caps.
  4. Water has a unique molecular structure that allows it to expand when it freezes, causing ice to be less dense than liquid water.
  5. Water has the highest surface tension of any liquid, which allows insects like water striders to walk on its surface.
  6. The water cycle is a continuous process that involves evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
  7. An average person can survive for three weeks without food but only three days without water.
  8. A person’s daily water intake comes from various sources, including drinking water, other beverages, and the water content in food.
  9. The human brain is composed of approximately 73% water.
  10. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of bodily fluids, regulate body temperature, and support other essential functions.
  11. The average American household uses about 300 gallons of water per day.
  12. Agriculture accounts for about 70% of global freshwater usage.
  13. The Great Lakes, located between the United States and Canada, contain approximately 84% of North America’s freshwater.
  14. Water scarcity affects more than 2 billion people worldwide, and this number is expected to increase due to factors like population growth and climate change.
  15. The process of desalination can turn saltwater into freshwater, but it is energy-intensive and expensive.
  16. Water can dissolve more substances than any other liquid, earning it the nickname of the “universal solvent”.
  17. Pure water has a neutral pH of 7.
  18. The water footprint is a measure of the total amount of freshwater used to produce goods and services, taking into account both direct and indirect water usage.
  19. The Guinness World Record for the longest distance a single water droplet has traveled is 11,810 feet, set by a droplet falling through the Earth’s atmosphere.
  20. The Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean is the deepest point in the world’s oceans, reaching a depth of about 36,070 feet, where the water pressure is more than 1,000 times greater than at the surface.

water stats:

US adults drink 44 oz of water per day per CDC.

60% of the human body is water.


  • Water sources: Campgrounds may have different water sources, such as wells, taps connected to municipal water systems, or natural sources like rivers, lakes, or streams. Check with the campground management or online resources to confirm water availability before your trip.
  • Drinking water: Some campgrounds provide potable (safe for drinking) water through designated taps or spigots. Make sure to use only water from sources clearly marked as safe for drinking.
  • Non-potable water: If the campground provides non-potable water, it is not safe for drinking but can be used for cleaning, washing dishes, or putting out campfires. Remember to treat this water before consuming it.
  • No water available: In more remote or primitive campgrounds, there might not be any water sources available. In these cases, you’ll need to bring your water supply or locate and treat water from nearby natural sources.
  • Water treatment: If you plan to use water from natural sources, such as rivers, lakes, or streams, make sure to treat it before drinking or cooking with it. You can use boiling, chemical treatment (water purification tablets or drops), or water filters to remove potential contaminants.
  • Water storage: Bring appropriate containers for storing water during your trip. BPA-free containers designed for outdoor use are recommended. Make sure they are clean before filling them and keep them sealed when not in use to prevent contamination.






Q: What if I’m hiking while camping? Do I need more water? A: Yes! Hiking can be thirsty work, especially when you’re carrying that mystery can of beans no one wants to eat. Factor in an additional half to one liter of water per hour of hiking. The same goes for any other strenuous activities, like bear wrestling or attempting to set up an IKEA tent without instructions.

Q: Can’t I just drink from streams or lakes? A: If you’re fond of waterborne illnesses, sure. Otherwise, you might want to treat any water you find in the wild before drinking it. There are lots of options for this, from filters and purifiers to boiling or using chemical treatments. Remember, that clear mountain stream may be photogenic, but it could also be hosting a family reunion of harmful bacteria and parasites.

Q: What about camping in winter? Do I need less water then? A: You might think so, but no, you can’t trade your water ration for an extra thermos of hot cocoa. Even in cold weather, you can still get dehydrated. You may even need more water if you’re melting snow for drinking water, because snow is surprisingly stingy with its liquid content.

Q: Should I ration my water if I’m running out? A: While this might seem like a good survival tactic, it’s actually better to drink when you’re thirsty. Rationing water can lead to dehydration. Instead of rationing, try writing a heartfelt plea to the water gods or perfecting your rain dance.

Q: If I drink a lot of beer, can I count that towards my daily water intake? A: While this might sound like an absolute dream for some campers, beer, or any alcohol, actually dehydrates you rather than hydrates. So, if your camping trip seems like a great opportunity to drink the equivalent of a small lake in beer, you might want to reconsider. Or at least match every pint with an equal amount of water. Cheers to hydration!

Q: I heard cacti store water. Can I drink that if I run out? A: Yes, cacti do store water, but no, you can’t just pop a straw in there and enjoy a refreshing drink. Many cacti have bitter water that can make you sick, not to mention those pesky spines that don’t make for a pleasant user experience. Unless you’re an experienced survivalist or a very thirsty armadillo, stick to the water you brought with you.

Q: Can I drink seawater if I’m camping by the beach? A: Unless you fancy a bout of dehydration and kidney damage, drinking seawater is a big no-no. It’s saltier than your camping buddy when you eat the last s’more. Always bring ample fresh water with you, even when camping by the sea.

Q: Can I carry my water in any container? A: Well, if you’re into the rustic pioneer lifestyle, you could try carrying it in a hollowed-out gourd. However, for practical purposes, use clean, sturdy containers that you can seal shut. If you like living on the edge, glass can be an option, but for those less daring (and more sensible), stick to BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, or specially designed hydration bladders.

Q: What’s the best way to carry water while hiking? A: There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, but a good rule of thumb is: whichever way annoys you the least. Hydration packs are a great hands-free option, while some prefer the old-fashioned simplicity of a water bottle in the side pocket of a backpack. Just remember to keep it accessible. You don’t want to have to unpack your entire bag every time you need a sip.

Q: Should I carry water for my pets while camping? A: Absolutely, unless your pet is a cactus or a camel, in which case, you do you. For dogs and other furry companions, a good guideline is to bring an extra liter of water per day. And no, Fido doesn’t count towards your beer allowance.

Remember, a well-hydrated camper is a happy camper. So, drink up, enjoy the great outdoors, and try not to confuse your water bottle with your bug spray. It doesn’t end well.


Types of water purifiers include:

  1. Boiling: Boiling water for at least one minute (or three minutes at higher altitudes) is a simple and effective method to kill most bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites. However, it does not remove chemical contaminants, heavy metals, or improve the taste or odor of water.
  2. Chemical treatment: Water purification tablets or drops, typically containing chlorine or iodine, can effectively kill many bacteria, viruses, and some protozoan parasites. But, it may not be as effective against certain parasites like Cryptosporidium, and it does not remove heavy metals or other chemical contaminants. Some people may also find the taste of chemically treated water unpalatable.
  3. Water filters: Water filters work by physically removing contaminants from water as it passes through a filter medium, such as activated carbon, ceramic, or hollow fiber membranes. Different filters have varying levels of effectiveness in removing bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and chemical contaminants, depending on their pore size and filter technology. Some high-quality filters can remove most pathogens and improve water taste and odor. However, filters require regular maintenance, including cleaning and replacement of filter cartridges.
  4. Ultraviolet (UV) purifiers: UV purifiers use ultraviolet light to inactivate or kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites by damaging their DNA. UV purifiers can be very effective against most waterborne pathogens but do not remove chemical contaminants, heavy metals, or improve taste and odor. Additionally, UV purifiers require a power source (such as batteries or solar power) and clear water for optimal performance.
  5. Reverse osmosis: Reverse osmosis systems use a semipermeable membrane to remove a wide range of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, heavy metals, and chemicals. These systems can produce very pure water, but they are typically more expensive, require a power source, and generate wastewater in the process.

Humans need water:

  1. Regulation of body temperature: Water helps to regulate body temperature through perspiration and respiration. When the body temperature rises, water in the form of sweat evaporates from the skin, cooling the body.
  2. Transportation of nutrients and oxygen: Water is a primary component of blood, which is responsible for transporting nutrients, oxygen, and waste products throughout the body.
  3. Digestion and absorption: Water is essential for breaking down food in the digestive system and dissolving nutrients, allowing them to be absorbed by the body’s cells. It also helps to prevent constipation by softening stools and aiding in their passage through the digestive tract.
  4. Joint lubrication: Water helps to keep joints lubricated and flexible, reducing the risk of joint pain and stiffness.
  5. Elimination of waste: The body relies on water to flush out waste products and toxins through urine, sweat, and feces.
  6. Cushioning of organs and tissues: Water acts as a cushion and shock absorber for vital organs and tissues, protecting them from injury.
  7. Maintenance of electrolyte balance: Water plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of electrolytes in the body, which are essential for various physiological functions, including muscle contractions, nerve signaling, and maintaining proper pH levels.


You should drink a lot of water while exercising outside, like these people.



  1. Drinking: Water is vital for human consumption to maintain hydration and support various bodily functions such as digestion, circulation, and temperature regulation.
  2. Cooking: Water is used in the preparation of food, including boiling, steaming, and washing ingredients.
  3. Personal hygiene: Water is essential for maintaining personal cleanliness, such as showering, bathing, washing hands, and brushing teeth.
  4. Cleaning: Water is widely used for cleaning purposes, including washing dishes, laundry, and general household cleaning.
  5. Agriculture: Water is crucial for irrigating crops, providing hydration for livestock, and supporting other agricultural processes.
  6. Industrial processes: Many industries rely on water for various processes, such as cooling, heating, cleaning, and as a solvent or a raw material in manufacturing processes.
  7. Power generation: Water is used in hydroelectric power plants to generate electricity and as a coolant in nuclear and thermal power plants.
  8. Recreation: Water is an essential component of many recreational activities, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and water sports.
  9. Firefighting: Water is a primary resource used to extinguish fires, helping to control and prevent the spread of flames.
  10. Aquatic habitats: Water supports various ecosystems and provides a habitat for countless plant and animal species, including fish, amphibians, and aquatic plants.
  11. Transportation: Waterways, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans, provide a means of transportation for cargo ships, passenger ferries, and other vessels.
  12. Waste disposal: Water is used in sewage systems and wastewater treatment plants to transport and treat waste before returning it to the environment.
  13. Climate regulation: Water plays a critical role in the Earth’s climate system, including the water cycle, which involves evaporation, condensation, and precipitation, and helps to regulate global temperatures.
  14. Landscaping and gardening: Water is essential for maintaining lawns, gardens, and parks, supporting the growth of plants and trees.
  15. Heating and cooling: Water is often used in heating and cooling systems, such as radiators, boilers, and air conditioning units, to regulate temperatures in buildings.

If you bring enough, then peeps will be much obliged.