As summer winds down, I’m giving thanks to a spectacular season; one that gave me a crash course in riding and hiking essentials here in Utah.
Sure, there’s the need for carrying a cell phone, a good knife, and for wearing sunscreen. But the biggest essential?
Water, of course.
After too many needless days of screaming headaches and swollen feet, I’ve learned to drink before I’m too thirsty. I’m a happy hydration queen. Read this excellent article on the importance of water.
In the Oquirrhs, there are virtually no water sources during the hot months. Even with a filtration device, we’re out of luck. My saddle bag or backpack was typically stuffed with at least a half gallon of fluids. The horses need water, too, but they typically fare better than humans and dogs when it comes to going without for several hours in the heat. They did seem to relish long drinks and cool showers upon return.
Liberty Bottles, recycled aluminum bottles made right in Washington State, served me well. I can jam two or three in a saddle bag and unlike other bottles I’m not worrying about leaks. If the horses kick them or step on them? No big deal as they are more durable than alternatives. The nifty top means I can tie them to the saddle, too, by simply looping it through a leather string.
Call me finicky, but the lips-to-drink connection is important. Since Liberty Bottles are metal, have no threads, and have a wider-than-pop-bottle opening, they’re wicked nice to use. It’s almost like drinking from a glass at home.
The dogs were treated to fluids in an Olly Dog Lapper, a foldable travel bowl that packs easily and takes up very little space. Much more convenient (and stylish!) than alternatives. It can hold more than a liter of water and has enough surface space (lapping room) for two thirsty dogs to drink at once. Like me, Belle can be awfully picky about her water delivery system. But she took to the Olly Dog with no reservations.
Olly Dog’s rectangular shape means you can easily pour the unfinished dogs’ water back into their bottle. Give them another mile, they’ll be craving more.
Read more about hydration scares and tips.