Water Caching in the Desert
Welcome to the desert. The scenery is breathtaking, the landscape is challenging and the weather is unpredictable. Hiking and trekking here is nothing like any hike you've ever done - and drinking water is going to be your first challenge.
Tap water in towns around the desert is almost always good for drinking, but you're not going to find that many taps in the wilderness and along the hikes.
In general you should always carry a lot of water - for a full day hike, for example, you should have about 6 liters (the amount of water can vary from person to person, depending on the route and weather). That, of course, covers single day hikes, but what do you do if you want to enjoy one of the many backpacking and camping trails we have here? Such trails (amazing, all of them) are well marked and easy to get to, but you will not arrive at a source of drinking water during the entire hike. Almost all the campgrounds along these trails are simple primitive campgrounds- a designated area where you are allowed to camp and light a fire, but they have no facilities whatsoever- including water.
The most common solutions are water caching.
INT Water Caches:
Recommended water caches- walking from North to South:
1. Amiaz Plato west
2. INT cross with 25 road
3. Mador river NC
4. Hod Akev (or Midreshet Ben Gurion)
5. Hava river NC
6. Gvanim river NC
7. Gev Holit NC
8. Barak river NC
9. Zihor junction NC
10. Zihor Faran NC
Recommended water caches- walking from South to North:
1. Shehoret NC
2. Be'er Milhan
3. Zihor junction NC
Zihor Faran NC
4. Barak river NC
5. Gev Holit NC
6. Gvanim river NC
7. Hava river NC
8. Hod Akev (or Midreshet Ben Gurion)
9. Mador river NC
10. INT cross with 25 road
11. Amiaz Plato west
The cost of water is 10 NIS per liter of water. Water can be ordered in multiples of 2 liters bottles.
Water caches should be ordered up to 3 days before arrival to the cache.
The location of the cache will be sent via WhatsApp in 2 forms: a Google Maps location and a Video of the cache.
Payment is due prior to arrival at the cache. You can pay by Bank transfer, PayPal or cash (when you arrive at Midreshet Ben Gurion)
Any water cache that you order has insurance in case the water gets stolen, swept away by floods or any other reason (I will come and bring you water).
If there is a Wood Box at the cache, you can leave the empty water bottles in the box. If not, please take the empty water bottles with you. Thanks.
You can cancel or change the amount of water up to one day before you arrive at the water cache (and you will be refunded).
There is no refund for cancellation when cancellation is done on the same day or after (if you arrived at the NC and received water from a third party you will still have to pay for the water cache).
There is no refund if you have used less water than you ordered.
In special cases (extreme weather / injury) you will receive a full refund.
The cancellation policy was created in order to give you the best service and to create a relationship of transparency and trust between the travelers and me.
A jeep driver arrives at the campground and hands you water bottles.
You can also arrange for food items to be delivered in the same way (food should never be cached because even when it is extremely well packed it still draws animals and occasionally theft).The driver will collect your garbage and can also pull a hiker out if they are unable to continue the trek for some reason. In an area with little cellphone reception the driver can also act as your emergency contact, and will notify the authorities if you fail to arrive at the meeting point- while you might be unable to call for help with no cellphone reception.
As for relying on natural sources of water for drinking:
There is a serious risk involved here - such sources are very unreliable, and you really need to know the weather patterns and keep track of rainfall to be able to estimate if a source will have enough water or not. Even if you're relying on information from other hikers who passed through your planned filling spot just a few days prior, there is always a danger of someone swimming, washing or otherwise polluting the water. Immediately after the rain there is less risk involved, but in the months that follow you are not only putting yourself at risk- you are also putting more pressure on the desert eco system where animals and plants rely on the water.