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You don't have to be riding in the desert to listen to this advice. For example, pushing a broken
motorcycle a short distance up a hill to get it to a safe parking place on a cool night can generate a thirst
that cannot be described.
Your water supply should be kept in two sources. One should be used for casual drinking (i.e., whenever
you are thirsty, you drink from that bottle) and the remainder should be packed away for true emergencies
such as breakdowns. The theory here is straightforward. Once riders start carrying water, they will use it.
Unfortunately, if you drink your emergency supply away, then you will not have it for an emergency. Do
yourself a favor and pack the emergency supply in an area that is inconvenient to get to and save it for
when you really need it. On a health note, although bottled water has a fairly long shelf life, to insure that
tap water is safe to drink, it should be changed every few days.