Keeping well hydrated is very important on an African safari whether you are hunting or game-viewing from a vehicle. You might not realise you are getting dehydrated in the heat which causes increased sweating, so make a point of drinking plenty of water and make a mental note of how often you are urinating and the colour of the urine, compared with normal. Even if you don't feel particularly thirsty, if you are peeing less and it is a darker colour, drink more. Also if you feel light-headed or headachy, up your water intake.
So how much water should a person drink in a day? The Mayo Clinic recommends an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) of total beverages a day. For women it is about 9 cups (2.2 litres) of total beverages a day in a temperate climate. In the hot climate of Africa and doing prolonged intense exercise, such as walking in the bush, you would likely need to double the this recommendation.
When you go out for the day hunting or game-viewing, the vehicle should be well-stocked with bottled water for all on board. If you spend most of the day in the truck there will be no problem keeping a plastic bottle of water handy at all times. The main advice would be checking the seal is unbroken when you open it, so there is no chance the bottle has been used before and refilled with possibly unsterile water. Also, it almost goes without saying, do not throw empty plastic bottles out in the bush.
On a vehicle that is bouncing around the African bush there is every chance plastic water bottles get dropped, roll around the floor and may get mixed up with other people's water bottles. To avoid unintentionally drinking from someone else's bottle, you may prefer to carry your own water bottle. Before you go out just decant bottled water into your own container and keep it in or hanging on your day bag. You may want to carry a few rehydration sachets to add when necessary. Some people may fill their personal water bottles with an energy drink mix which they find helps them on a long bush walk.
However, when you get off the truck to go hunting on foot or walking, it becomes very important to make sure you carry enough water for all eventualities. You may well be out for the whole day on the trail of buffalo or elephant and normal plastic bottles of water are heavy and awkward to carry. You could be separated from the vehicle a long time especially if you are hunting in thick bush with difficult vehicle access. You could, though rarely, even get lost.
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This Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle is made of food grade stainless steel and doesn't retain or impart flavours so a drink stays fresh. Rounded corners are easy to clean with no hard angles where dirt, germs or other bacteria can stick. The loop cap is made from BPA-free polypropylene and can be clipped onto backpacks, bags or belt loops. Comes in numerous colours, sizes and caps. Buy Now
This Klean Kanteen Insulated Bottle is equipped with a leak-proof Stainless Loop Cap, you can clip it onto your bag or throw it inside. The slim design of the Kanteen Insulated has rounded corners to make the bottle easy to clean and the 100% stainless steel interior won't retain or impart flavours. It keeps contents hot or cold for up to six hours. Buy Now
This Stanley water bottle has 100% steel body with a push button lid which lets you open, drink, close with one hand. The wide mouth fits ice, and makes cleaning easy. Buy Now
This 18-ounce hydration bottle has durable stainless steel interior and exterior, flip-top lid with built-in sipping design, button activated lid and additional clasp for secure travel. The double wall vacuum insulation locks in temperature to preserve flavour and freshness. Condensation-free with cold beverages. Buy Now
Hydro Flask's insulated water bottles are made of food grade stainless steel. The bottles have no liner (like most aluminum bottles) and are BPA free. Unlike plastic water bottles or single wall stainless bottles, Hydro Flask will keep your beverage at your preferred temperature for hours. All Hydro Flask products feature a lifetime warranty and are double wall vacuum insulated. 40 oz capacity. Buy Now
The Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle is made from BPA free, impact-resistant Tritan copolyester. It has a locking leak-proof lid with one-hand push button operation. There's a flip up loop for easy carrying; ergonomic design for comfortable usage. Monitor your intake with the rotating intake meter. Ideal for water, iced tea, juices and sports drinks - 24-ounce capacity. Buy Now
This Nalgene water bottle has a wide mouth water which is easy to wash, fill, drink from and adaptable with accessories. Tritan construction is 100 percent BPA-free. Easy to use screw top lid is secure when packed and loop-top can be clipped to bag or harness. It can be adapted to have a smaller outlet with the Nalgene Easy Sipper Buy Now
The Vapur Element water bottle rolls, folds or lies flat when it's empty. When you fill it up it stands by itself. The larger Vapur Element holds more liquid than standard sports bottles and does not include BPA. It has an integrated carabiner to carry easily on your day bag. It is freezable, has a wide and is easy to open with a pop-up cap. Buy Now
This collapsible plastic water container is durable, softer and flexible. It is easy to carry with a tapered mid-section and hanging loop. It has anti-microbial and anti-slime properties so water stays fresh and tastes fresh. 1 litre (34 oz). Buy Now
Sigg's Nat SiGGnificant water bottle combines outstanding durability and leakproof protection. It has an integrated straw for easy sipping and a pressure relief valve that makes it perfect for carbonated beverages. Buy Now
The Sigg Siggnature wide-mouth water bottle has a large opening that makes adding ice easy. It's crafted of lightweight aluminum, with a BPA-free EcoCare liner that doesn't retain taste or odour. Buy Now
Safari backpack water carriers or hydration packs are ideal for long days out walking in the bush wilderness. Worn on your back, they carry a lot more water than most reusable water bottles and all the gear you might need.
The soft sided reservoir of water is contained in the backpack and a tube to sip from can be attached to the front of your clothing for easy drinking on the go. This has the major advantage that you remember to drink to more often and therefore stay well hydrated.
African hunters who opt for this water carrying system will need to consider whether it is really necessary for the type and location of their hunt. If the intention is for possibly long distance walking on elephant or buffalo tracks in a wilderness area, this system can be ideal. Every African hunter has his own way of doing things but generally hunting is best done with nothing but the minimum of kit hanging off your body. Things might get a little snarled up if you add another layer of strapping plus a drinking tube while carrying your rifle sling, binoculars and other oddments. The alternative of a tracker or gunbearer carrying your water backpack makes it difficult to drink on the move.
So for African hunters considering a backpack water carrier it is recommended to choose the lightest, sleekest design with the least extraneous loops, additional straps and webbing, which will carry the amount of water you want.
The Big Zip LP hydration system comes with an easy-to-clean wide-mouth opening and a low-profile design that fits the back panel of any backpack. Buy Now
CamelBak's Classic Hydration Pack has a 2 litre (70 oz) hydration reservoir. Breathable-mesh back panel circulates air between your back and the pack to keep you cool. Durable water-repellent coating for long-lasting performance. Lightweight mesh harness. External fill. Essentials pocket. Buy Now
CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack has breathable mesh construction which keeps you cool, easy-to-access, quick-release reservoir flap for quick refilling and a few convenient pockets for gear. 2 litre (70 oz). Buy Now
The CamelBak ThermoBak Hydration Pack has 3 litre (100 oz) 'Antidote' Reservoir with 'Quick Link' exit port and 'HydroLock' bite-valve adapter, which allows for faster refilling and auto shut-off. It's made of strong nylon fabric with quick-attach pressure strap for easy on-the-move hydration. Buy Now
Outfitted with the 'Antidote' reservoir and 'Quick Link' attachment system, this versatile, low-profile, insulated reservoir holds 3+ hours of hydration in any backpack. Durable water-repellent finish. Available in various capacity. Buy Now
Turn an existing backpack into a hydration pack or replace old reservoirs with CamelBak's Military Water Beast Omega replacement hydration reservoir. 3 litres (100 oz). It has proven durability with Hydroguard anti-microbial protection. It includes an insulated delivery tube with Quick Disconnect Hydrolink, a Hydrolink Port Plug and Hydrolink Big Bite Valve. Buy Now
The Camelbak Ambush hydration backpack is a simple pack with big compartments, a velcro strip and the hydration bladder. The main compartment is covered in webbing so you can add compatible pouches onto it if you choose. It's made of sturdy material and features a 100oz polyurethane hydration reservoir which is designed to collapse in on itself. The opening is large enough for easy cleaning and makes filling with ice or drink mixes much easier. Buy Now
CamelBak's M.U.L.E. hydration pack is built to hold your supplies, has an advanced hydration system and the comfort of a cushioned back panel that maximizes airflow. 3 litres (100 oz) 'Antidote' reservoir with 'Quick Link' system lets you easily remove the tube for quick filling. 'Big Bite Valve' self seals after each drink and 'HydroGuard' technology lets you turn off water flow. Buy Now
CamelBak's Rim Runner hydration pack is smartly built for a full day on the trail. It has a 3 litre (100 oz) reservoir, a padded back panel and multiple compartments. Buy Now
The spacious CamelBak's Asset hydration pack has an insulated water tube, 2 litre (70 oz) 'Antidote' reservoir and plenty of organizer pockets in the main compartment. Buy Now
The efficient design of Platypus' Tokul XC 5.0 hydration pack holds 2 litres (70 oz) of hydration, it can store gear. Buy Now
Obviously women can use the same personal water bottles and water-only backpacks as men. It is only the water backpacks with lots of storage space that need to be sized especially for women.
CamelBak's Spark 10HR hydration pack offers ultralight storage and easy organization for women. The 2 litre (70 oz) 'Antidote' lumbar reservoir keeps the weight where you want it. Women-specific design features a shorter torso length and S-shaped harness that prevents chafing. Buy Now
CamelBak's Aventura hydration pack features a spacious, trail-ready backpack with an integrated 3 litres (100 oz) Omega HydroTanium reservoir in an insulated pocket so your water stays cool. Buy Now
A technical backpack with a state-of-the-art reservoir-integration system, CamelBak's Vista FT hydration backpack features a well-ventilated back panel, generously padded shoulder and waist straps and load-controlling compression straps. Women-specific design with a shorter torso length, S-curved shoulder harness and a narrower harness spacing to fit a women's shoulders. Buy Now