Everyone should carry a water bottle as part of their Everyday Carry (EDC). Most of the reasons are obvious and just plain common sense. Most people don’t because it’s inconvenient and they’ve grown up in a world that generally provides for their needs with little perceivable cost to themselves. I thought it would be fun to write about this topic that differs from the tech/privacy topics I usually touch on.
You’ll be hydrated wherever you go
I like to do some casual hiking most weekends. I usually do it in a group and, frankly, it astounds me how few people carry a proper water bottle. Most people carry a single-use plastic bottle from the supermarket that they’re reusing or one that they’d just picked up. These bottles typically only have around 600 mL in capacity which isn’t nearly what I’d say is a safe amount for anything beyond a casual walk. One recent group had an individual that was reusing a milk bottle that leaked everywhere. (Props to them for reusing that though!)
It cuts down on a source of single-use plastic
The initial draft of this post was actually written while sitting on a plane while watching the huge number of people being served out of a plastic bottle into a plastic cup. (Yes. I’m very well aware of the irony of bringing up the environmental cost while being on a commercial airline!) I couldn’t imagine how much plastic we could save from airlines alone if everyone just brought their own bottle.
It saves you money
Paying a few dollars (or whatever currency you use) is obviously not as economical as paying nothing with most public places having a place to allow the public to refill their water.
I prefer a single-walled stainless steel bottle in almost all cases. They’re durable, easy to clean and, mostly importantly, safe to consume from. They also have the utility of allowing you to boil water over a fire if you’re really in the unfortunate situation where you don’t trust the water source and don’t have a portable filter like a Sawyer Mini. Most guides on water bottles will recommend brands like Hydro Flask or Kleen Kanteen; the latter which I’ve had and also recommend. However, my day-to-day bottle is the 700 mL ENKELSPÅRIG from IKEA. The reason I use it is because it’s affordable and not overly bulky.
I also have a 1 L Triton Nalgene bottle which I like to take on longer hikes or when I’m travelling. I limit the usage of this bottle because there’s a risk of contaminants from the bottle itself. It also feels overkill for everyday use in terms of space. For even longer hikes, I carry a 2.5 L hydration bladder but that’s getting beyond the scope of this post.
I think absolutely everyone should carry a water bottle for the reasons highlighted. It’s not the most convenient as it also means you’ll probably want to carry a backpack that has a dedicated slot which not all bags have (particularly those carried by women). I also think that everyone should train themselves to drop soft drinks and coffee from their diets and primarily drink water. The environment, your body and your wallet will thank you.