How much Water to take?

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by happybooker1, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. happybooker1

    happybooker1 Member

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    If you have 2.5 people, how many gallons do you allow per day for each person? I know answers willl vary. Assume 3 days, with a Navy shower per person once during that time.
     
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I don't know about when you include navy showers but 1.5 gallons per person per day is about as much as I use for drinking/cooking so long it's not super hot. I add another gallon if I take a sponge bath sometime in there.
     
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  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We don't do showers in our trailer. A couple of weeks ago, we did 8 nights dry camping, two of us, using only our water for most of the trip; my husband filtered water for the two nights he was backpacking. We started out with the fresh tank full, it's 20 gallons, but we probably used 12-15 before we added from our jugs. We had 12-1/2 gallons of water in our jugs, plus filled our hiking and vehicle bottles at home. So, with a rough calculation we had just under 30 gallons for the two of us. that amounts to a little over 1-3/4 gallon per day per person. That includes the flush toilet (we have a routine to use a minimum of water, and we did use the campground toilet a bit), cooking, washing dishes, drinking water, tea, washing up (we also use big body wipes). We take bottle iced tea and Pepsi for my husband, he drink 1 or 2 of those a day.
    If I were calculating for a trip, I'd overestimate, and still conserve as much as possible. We had actually planned on using some campground water on that trip, only to find it had not met some regulations so we chose not to use it. It turned out that we were fine without using it, with what we had taken along, but 8 nights was about the limit - our fresh tank was spitting air on the way home, when we stopped to use the facilities.
     
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  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I would fill the water tank and take 5 gallons of utillity water as a spare and maybe a case to drink. But thats just me. I like water, and if you dont use it , its not a lot of money. The 5 gallons is in case the pump breaks mid trip. The bottle water is ice for the cooler and cold drinks for a 3 day trip. If they are too frozen on day one, leave them out. A thing of baby wipes makes cleaning up easier without water.
     
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  5. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    Three people, four days in warm weather Zion National Park:

    20 gallon freshwater tank. Six in the water heater, Five in the Thetford toilet, two six-gallon jugs, one five gallon jug, a five gallon drinking water thermos, and three camelbacks.

    We took showed twice -- quick ones.

    We finished with one five gallon jug unused, and about two gallons in the main tank. The Thetford was still half full, too. But that water serves a different purpose.

    Of course you can't really use up the water heater water if the fresh tank is empty. So all told, we used about 38 gallons in four days, three people.
     
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  6. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    300+ lbs of water. At least it's a one way trip for the water
     
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  7. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    I use water very sparingly on my trips. I only boondock, so water may not be available in camp. My camper holds 17 gallons, but I don't drink from that water. It is just used for flushing my Porta Potti, which is rarely used. Mostly I just find a spot in the Forest and dig a hole. I will also use the camper supply for washing up as necessary.

    I don't have a hot water heater and I don't have dishes to wash. I use paper plates and cups. However, I will use my fork and knife set which will need to be washed. Most trash is burned in the camp fire, or hauled out when I leave.

    For drinking or other human consumption, I take along a 5 gallon container that I filled at home. I will also take a couple 36 bottle cases of store-bought water. In winter, I will only take one case. Most of the time I will end up draining the remaining water out of my camper tank when I leave for home. Many times I will not bother to fill the camper before I leave on a trip. I have a small Portable pump and will just find a nice clear stream and pump water to the tank from that. I always try to make camp near a stream. I can't see hauling 17 gallons of water up the mountain when there will be water there just for the taking. Of course I am particular about what stream I take water from. But just in case, I do have a hand operated water filter that I can use.
     
  8. mandinga

    mandinga Active Member

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    We use about 6 gallons per day per person average between dishes, toilet, drinking, and occasional shower.
     
  9. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Wow
    Wow, that's a lot of water!
     
  10. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    Dishes can use a lot of water. I also use paper plates and bowls unless it's soup or hot beverages.
    I even started using disposable chopsticks as it burns well in the fire. Heck I've used it as tent stakes. And it's biodegradable.
     
  11. CentralMtnsExploring

    CentralMtnsExploring New Member

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    With two adults and two young girls, and attempting to conserve as much water as possible for dishes, we typically use around 22 gallons for a weekend boondocking trip (Two nights, arrival evening and departure morning with a full day in the middle). No shower, no hot water heater, no toilet. Our PUP has a 10 gallon tank we use for basic washing, usually barely makes it until departure. Otherwise it's 6 gallon jugs. As most above have said, dishes use the most water even using bins for dirty water and rinsing.

    Like Grandpa Don suggested, clean stream water is also great for dishes or cooking once it's boiled.
     
  12. Tarkus

    Tarkus Member

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    Not if you let the dog lick the dishes clean.
    I just came back from a camping trip. The dog can earn it's keep that way. ;)
     
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  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Lol. No one tell him that the dog slobber dosent get cleaned off as well eaither. Unless you use the water!
     
  14. F. Jake Glotz

    F. Jake Glotz New Member

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    My wife and I load our Santa Fe with the 10 gallon tank plus 6 in the water heater. We tend to boondock in cool weather so we use water for dishes, washing hands and short showers. We’ll take an extra 5 gallons to dump into the tank and I usually put 2 gallons on drinking water (Frozen) in the fridge to keep fancy canned sparkling water cold. We are good for two days. I try to just drink whiskey to conserve drinking water.
     
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  15. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Oh my God. You found my secret. I do that too. Just put the plate on the floor for a few minutes and it's ready to go back in the cupboard. The only problem I have with that is that every time I have to go Pee in the forest, I have to lift my leg! LOL
     
  16. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    What is that flip out bar?
     
  17. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    A way I limit water intake for dishes is first wipe the dishes/pots with a paper towel until mostly clean. Kind of along the same lines of having the dog pre rinse, but more sanitary. ;) I use a scrub brush with the dish soap inside it and wash all the dishes i then use a wet clean rag with very hot water to wash the suds away. Pots/pans I may have to boil a little water inside them first before I can wipe down with the paper towel before the cleaning stage. It is camp clean until you get somewhere to do a deep clean.
     
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  18. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    That's the way I do it at home. Excess food/grease is wiped off with the napkins and paper towels from eating/hand drying. That gets composted. Then the plates go into the dishwasher.
    I see there is a new dawn product that you spray and wipe called power wash. May need to try that.
     
  19. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    The new Dawn Power Wash is great, we've been using it for 2 seasons, and at home. It does need rinsing with water, but it take less water than trying to use just a bit of regular dish soap. The original scent is a bit strong for me, the new clear version with a "pear" scent isn't as strong.
    I use it at home for the litter boxes, and we use it on lots of things in the kitchen. It's handy to immediately wash sharp knives and put those away. I just used it to rescue a brand new tee-shirt that I spilled cooking oil on as I was filling the squeeze bottles for the camper.

    We conserve water while camping by usually doing dishes once a day; we have RV dishpans which also help. We use a combination of real dishes and paper, always real eating utensils. Paper bowls are just not sufficient for hot cereal and soups/stews. We don't use large plates very often, so those are paper plates. We have to wash up pots and pans anyway, so we might as well use the real stuff when it works best. Because we conserve so much, when we need to use more water to wash dishes, we're fine with it.
     
  20. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    Yep, on one trip I calculated:

    20 gallon main tank: 167 pounds.
    6 gallon water heater: 50 pounds.
    Two 6-gallon jugs: 100 pounds.
    One 5-gallon jug: 42 pounds
    5-gallon thetford freshwater: 42 pounds
    5-gallon "orange thermos" jug: 42 pounds
    2-gallon thermos: 16 pounds
    Three camelbacks (6 liters): 13 pounds.

    In all, that's 472 pounds of water for four people on a four day trip to the desert. And we used all of it. I had to refill the six gallon jugs once. So we used about 572 pounds of water or 68 gallons for four people, four days in the hot, dry desert. Showers, dishwashing, drinking, cooking, and flushing included. Ok, we had a little left in the end; maybe five gallons combined. So we used 530 pounds of water.

    But yes, it's only a one-way thing. No point towing water home.

    It was all this water weight that motivated me to use a weight distribution hitch. It allows me to
     

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