Managing Fluid Intake on Long Hikes with an Ileostomy

Doreen 21

Guys, advice please. I have an ileostomy and love going on long hikes in the countryside. Downside is I hate having to find somewhere discrete when I need to pee out in the open. Would I be okay limiting my fluid intake for a few hours (maybe 3-4 hours) to avoid having to pee and then really topping up with the fluids again at home? Thanks.



No, not really. As well as the risk of passing out from dehydration while you're out walking, even more so in the summer months. Long term, it will damage your kidneys. But it's your life to do as you choose and feel is right.

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I am sure you will survive a few hours....

Doreen 21

Ah, thanks Axl. The voice of reason. To be honest, your answer is rather what I thought. Appreciate your reply. Best wishes.

Past Member

I'm with Axl on this one too, a few hours won't hurt. Nothing worse than getting caught short in the wilderness, it's okay for blokes, but for us it inevitably ends up on our boots!

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Be careful if it's a hot day and lots of up and downs, that all uses up your fluids and needs replacing. Have you considered wearing a pad, just in case. But please carry some water with you always. Regards, IGGIE

Doreen 21

Thanks all for your helpful comments. As you say, a few hours will be okay, but I will take fluid with me and be mindful to rehydrate intermittently, especially near the end of the hike when a restroom is in sight. Thanks again.


I got one of these for my wife. She loves it.

Don't take life sitting down – GoGirl Store (


BTW-- Dehydrating is not recommended. You can tear muscles, injure organs, fall down, and experience a plethora of other issues.


Go stand behind a tree at least you don't need to flash your bum like most others who's going to see you ...


I think you have very clear direction that makes perfect sense. Whatever you do, don't let any concerns deter you from your beloved hikes. I concur with this summary:

1) Don't dehydrate - it could even cause you to faint

2) Bring plenty of water - you can drink more of it later in the hike

3) Go Girl sounds great

4) Pee behind a bush if you have to - you won't be the only one and any passersby are people you will never see again and they won't care anyway (we've all been there)

Finally, any friends you hike with should be happy if you have to pee more than once - it means you are keeping well hydrated, obviously a good thing.

Reply to Ben38

Staying hydrated is the most important thing. Take an IV bag with you in case you become dehydrated.


Once you're dehydrated, you're done and it would affect not only you, but your companions.


My suggestion is just to get over the embarrassment of finding a place to pee. I wouldn't risk dehydration.


Small sips of water as you hike. And more towards the end.

Doreen 21

Thanks all. I think a bit of everything is the order of the day. Yesterday I limited fluid intake but increased towards the end of the hike. Also found a small copse of trees to disappear into. All good. Thanks again.

Reply to Doreen 21

On Facebook there's a group called Ostomy Lifestyle Athletes. I think there will be people on there who have practical experience. It's a group focused on a positive attitude and approach.


Do not compromise your kidneys. Every person with an ileostomy needs to see a kidney specialist to learn exactly how much liquid they must take in per day to keep their kidneys healthy. For me, a 98-pound female, my kidney specialist said 60 ounces. You need to know your own amount and drink it every day to keep your kidneys functioning adequately.


Everyone has great answers to your question. The simple answer is to always carry your backup kit with you, keep hydrated and go when you need to. I just remember that wildlife does their business in the woods, why can't I. I typically pour water over my business and keep going or use a ziplock baggie to carry my business with me until I find a trash can.


Best to talk to your family physician or gastroenterologist.

Going hiking without rehydrating is not a good idea. It may not cause immediate problems (such as fainting) but it can damage your kidney function over a number of years.


Reply to SaharaToo

Thinking it's okay for a few hours might just be your downfall. You might get away with it a few times but "Don't do it." Carry water always.


How wonderful that you enjoy hiking! Stick with it. As an outdoor leader in my younger days, dehydration was the #1 injury I had to deal with among those I led. Dehydration isn't simply "I won't have to pee!" It affects every organ in your body. And if you are hiking in a dry alpine climate, like the American Rockies, the risks are even steeper. Please bring a water bottle that is half Gatorade and half water and sip at it throughout your hike. If you get thirsty, ever, it's too late, you are dehydrated and at risk.

Having to pee in the woods really is acceptable, it's what hikers do. Keep on moving!

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