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How much water you carry into the backcountry is just as important as what you carry it in. Whether you decide to filter and drink mostly from water sources along the trail, or pack in everything you need, some sort of hydration container is vital, if only for emergency cooking or drinking. Here are a few options to consider.

Editors' Choice

New Product caption: This model is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Hydro Flask

New Product caption: This model is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Hydro Flask

Environmentally friendly stainless steel gets the nod for durability and clean drinking, but not all stainless steel is the same. Some types may contain traces of lead. Look for a bottle made from food-grade 18/8 stainless steel to make sure you are doing the best by your own health as well as the environment.

Great Value

This one lets you know exactly how much you’re sipping. Venture Pal

This one lets you know exactly how much you’re sipping. Venture Pal

The industrial chemical bisphenol A has been used in the manufacture of plastics for decades, including drinking bottles. Concerns over the hormone-mimicking properties of BPA have led to the advent of many BPA-free products, especially in the container industry. Polycarbonate plastic bottles are a great lightweight option, but be sure to look for the “BPA Free” designation.

Also Consider

The top is dishwasher safe, but the rest should be hand washed. Simple Modern Store

The top is dishwasher safe, but the rest should be hand washed. Simple Modern Store

If you need your hydration container to pull double duty in both hot and cold weather, check out an insulated water bottle. It’s not quite the same thermal quality of a bona fide thermos, but they are the most versatile type of water bottle you can own.