You might be curious to know the weight of a standard, 16.9oz bottle of water, especially if you’re going hiking and need to keep the weight of your pack under control or if you have a transportation weight limitation and you’re trying to squeeze every last bit. How much does a bottle of water weigh when you’re not calculating everything in fluid ounces?

A 16.9oz bottle of water weighs 1.10lbs. Of course, there are a lot of decimal numbers after that but after rounding it out, 1.10lbs. Is what you get. It’s important to recognize the difference between fluid ounces and ounces when making your conversion.

For instance, a pound is equal to 16 fluid ounces, however, it takes 1.04 lbs to make up a fluid ounce. The differences are subtle but they certainly add up when your values increase dramatically.

How are fluid ounces to pounds calculated?

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Like everything in math, there is a formula for that. Math is nothing if not specific formulas memorized and applied. There is a formula and a rule for just about everything, even when you get into the kind of numbers that mathematicians and physicists go crazy over in their experimentations and theorizing.

In this case, pounds is equal to fluid ounces x density integrity, all divided by 15.337783. To put it another way, pounds = (fluid ounces x density integrity) ÷ 15.337783. Another math rule that you have to consider is the Order of Operations or PEMDAS (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction).

You always deal with equations in that, exact order. For the converting formula that we are using here, you multiply your fluid ounces by your density integrity (Which is essentially the thickness/viscosity of the water) and then the resulting number is divided by 15.337783.

You might think that this is all pretty crazy just for getting a mathematical certainty, in terms of the pound, out of a bottle of Dasani. It may seem that way at first until you consider the fact that you may be packing all of this water into your ALICE pack, and it might be nice to know if the weight is going to break your back when you’re tearing your way up a 60° incline.

If you’re going camping, you might prefer pounds when determining how much you want to bring along, as well as how much you’re planning on drinking and how much you might want to boil.

Nothing is more aggravating than under planning when you’re going to be well away from civilization and the local 7-Eleven for a few days.

If you want to get specific

If you want to get down to the dirty business of precision calculations, you have to eliminate the tare weight of the plastic bottle to get a more exact calculation on the aforementioned, 16.9oz bottle of water.

The plastic that holds your water in and keeps it from spilling out in your pack—assuming you have the lid screwed on tight—is about 20 grams. There are 453.6 grams in a pound. If you want to calculate the exact weight of the water, you need to knock off the tare weight.

Since there are 453.6 grams in a pound, 1.10 lbs ups the ante to 499 grams. Subtract the 20 grams of tare weight and you get 476 grams. Now convert your grams back to pounds and you arrive at 1.05 pounds.

So dropping the tare weight takes you from 1.10lbs down to 1.05lbs. It’s not much of a difference in the great scheme of things, however, it’s a more precise calculation, assuming you want to break it all the way down to just the water, minus the plastic bottle and cap.

Weight of a 24-pack of water

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Going on camping trips (especially primitive camping), scenic hiking, and hitting up the disc golf course are just a few reasons for bringing along plenty of water and 24-packs are generally the most popular option for those kinds of activities.

Oftentimes, 24-packs are filled with 20oz bottles but 16.9oz bottles are prevalent as well. Since we’ve been converting 16.9oz bottles, all you need to do is multiply the weight of the bottle (in pounds) by 24 and you’ll weigh the pack, including the tare weight.

The weight of a pack of 24-pack of water will be close to 26.4lbs because we’re probably not getting down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to the weight of the sheet plastic over it, the plastic within, or the cardboard packaging. But that’s alright since you likely won’t be slinging a 24-pack over your shoulder or cramming it into an ALICE pack anytime soon.

Regardless, having a known weight is convenient when you’re pulling out bottles of water and transferring them into packs.

Why you should know the weight

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There are a lot of good reasons for knowing the weight of the supplies you carry. In the Marine Corps and Army, infantry performs what is called a “field strip” of their gear before putting everything together and heading out.

The idea is to eliminate all of the unnecessary weight, making the pack lighter and easier to carry over long distances.

  • Ensure that your weight doesn’t exceed the pack’s specifications
  • Know that you have enough water, especially for emergency reasons
  • Make room for more luxury items
  • Getting your pack to ultra-lightweight status

Every pack has its limits and the last thing that you want is to have it tear open at the seams so you can watch all of your valuables go rolling down the mountain you were on your way to conquering. If you’re packing a lot of water, it can easily become the heaviest material in your pack, so it’s good to keep a close tab on how much you need and what would be a waste.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should undo yourself before you’ve even begun. Your body needs water, especially on a hike, when you will be using every muscle in your body and putting it through a large degree of strain to achieve your goal.

Water is essential and you don’t want to pack so little that you endanger yourself on the hiking trail. This is especially true if you’re going way off the reservation and there won’t be much in the way of human interaction.

You may want to make room for your luxury items as well and we’re not talking about your Nintendo 3DS either. Your portable gaming system won’t keep you hydrated and it won’t fend off an irritable black bear either.

Hatchets, machetes, foldable chairs, an extra pillow, or your fluffiest sleeping bag are the items that go on the “luxury” list. If you can pack enough water, but not so much that you’re just being obscene about it, and still have room for some of those luxury items, you’re doing pretty good for yourself.

Ultra-lightweight packs are popular as well, especially how you pack them to keep them ultra-lightweight. Competitive hiking times for certain areas are popular outdoor activities and getting over that 5-mile trail quicker than anyone else will largely come down to how much weight you have on your back.

You’ll need water more than anything else on a rapid hike, as your body can easily overheat under extreme duress, but there’s a point where you have too much, so you want to find that happy medium.

What should be the base weight for hiking?

This is the picture to finally say hello to the best part of the year for Hiking and Mountain Sports… Spring! Amazing Hike!
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The base weight of your pack is the weight of your bag, along with all of the items and materials that you are packing, minus any consumables, including water. The base weight is a weight that many hikers, but especially ultra-lightweight hikers, pay close attention to.

It’s a number that you want to keep as low as possible, depending on what you have planned. Your base weight also includes your tent and/or sleeping bag as well.

If you’re going with an ultra-lightweight pack, then you want to keep your base weight at less than 8lbs. When everything is packed, including your bottles of water and other consumables, you want your total weight to be no more than 20% of your total body weight.

The lower that number the better, however, you shouldn’t exceed 20% if you can help it. If you weigh 190lbs, you’re looking at 47.5lbs, assuming that you max out your pack weight to the full, 20%.

A pack that weighs less than 50lbs may not seem like too much until you’re out there struggling up a muddy trail. Then it will seem as if it weighs as much as you do, and you will feel the straps biting into your shoulders, not to mention how much your fingers will swell.

Final thoughts

Water is life, and you shouldn’t be reluctant to put enough in your bag to get you through wherever you’re going. But, you shouldn’t overdo it either. The more you engage in your outside activity of choice, the more you will learn your body’s needs.

Experience will guide you in packing your water supplies in the future. Just remember, water is far more necessary than a hatchet or a machete, as there’s always enough downed limbs laying around for a fire if necessary. Pack well, pack smart and don’t forget your water.