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37

Some advice given to me in an outdoor leadership course: As a leader, use water bottles rather than bladders. Make an obvious show of the pausing and drinking: stopping, taking off the pack, getting out the water bottle, and drinking plenty. This is a clear signal to the clients that it's OK, advisable even, to stop and drink and do other things like rest, ...


33

A reasonable compromise is any pop bottle -- one designed for carbonated beverages. They are several times as strong as the water bottles. I've never managed to break one. I have a polyethylene conventional water bottle that fits a pocket in my pack. I also carry a 2 liter pop bottles for times when I will be away from water for the bulk of the day. (...


23

I'm pretty picky about the taste of my water, I grew up high enough in the mountains that our tap water wasn't chemically treated, they simply filtered the spring water coming out of the mountains, and let gravity bring it the rest of the way into our homes. The first time I tried bottled water I thought it was disgusting. I've been using a camelbak for ...


22

On a trip where you are constantly using a bladder or water bottle where it's not sitting around, I would limit the cleaning to filling it up and then dumping it once before refilling. Mould takes time to grow, and on most trips, you are refilling at least once a day if not more. If you're in a part of a trip where you aren't going to use a bladder for a ...


19

I reuse "single-use" plastic bottles many, many times. Generally, they do not break. The big advantage of many outdoor-use plastic bottles, however, is that the lid remains tethered to the bottle. So, if there's some risk in losing a lid – such as when kayaking or backpacking – I'll use one of those. Now that I think of it, I should experiment ...


19

This answer may not be the answer you're looking for, nor related to the outdoors, but Do not reuse PET bottles PET is a very porous type of plastic and it may become more porous with each use. The problem with these pores is that you cannot clean them fully. Soda, saliva and whatever will get stuck in these pores and they are a haven for bacteria. Don't ...


17

The main advantage of a water bladder is that it's easy to drink from. You can take frequent small sips without interrupting your activity. If tend to forget to drink enough water while exercising, this is a huge advantage. If you don't have that problem, then you get little to no advantage from a water bladder. A side effect is if you are biking/climbing/...


15

I've found lemon juice and baking soda works quite well. I've also found that different brands of bladders have more or less plastic taste to them. If all else fails you could look into using a disposable bladder such as the Polar Cenote, they come individually or in multi packs and are reasonably priced. If your going to be using it a ton though, ...


14

This is a known downside with water bladders. In my opinion it's the largest downside of a water bladder compared to a water bottle. You don't know you're running low on water until you're completely out, and even then it's hard to tell if you're actually out of water or if you just got a kink in the hose. The main benefit of a water bladder is that the easy,...


13

You've already mentioned the cons. The advantage of a hydration pack that doesn't require sucking on the tube becomes apparent after slogging up a long, hard hill. Your diaphragm is already exhausted and putting all its energy into pumping your lungs. Putting in the extra effort to create the vacuum necessary to suck water out of a straw suddenly becomes ...


12

I clean my drinking system with lots of hot water then sterilise it using baby bottle sterilising tablets. Once it is clean, I don't dry it - I store it in the freezer. :-) Additionally, I don't use anything but water. People I know who use powdered drinks or sugar solution tell me the black mold grows really quickly inside the drinking tube and valve.


12

One advantage to bladders that hasn't been mentioned yet: the less water they contain, the less space they take up in your pack. A 1L bottle takes up 1L of space whether it's full, half full, or empty. If you have a 3L bladder but don't need to carry 3L of water, you can fill it with as much water as you need and have more space available for other things.


12

EDITED TO ADD: Please also read the other answer by cbeleites unhappy with SX about the risk of heavy metal contamination. The information in my original answer (below) is still accurate regarding microbes, but you also need to worry about heavy metals, and a water filter will not remove those. Apparently the low pH of bog water makes the risk much higher ...


11

Push the torn area up to the mouth and apply a bike tire patch to it from the inside (make sure it's dry). Then apply another patch from the outside. Where the two patches bond together will form a plug that should stand up better to water than a single patch.


11

It's all about weight. Water has a density of 1kg/L. Thus 3L is 3kg or about 6.6 pounds. That's equivalent to a brick on each shoulder when placed inside your pack. That's really not that much, but as you add more and more water it adds more and more fatigue on you during your hike. For myself, 2L has always been plenty for a day of hiking or a day in ...


9

The problem with using the cheap bottles is that if they break, you can be in serious trouble. A quick price check says that 32 oz nalgenes go for around 10 bucks and 2 liter hydration bladders for around the same, so are you really saving that much money for the extra trouble? I have seen Nalgene 32 oz bottles (which is pretty much the standard for outdoor ...


9

So far, I've always used PET bottles, and they never failed during a hike. Replaced them after each tour for hygienical reasons, but that's it. The primary reason I prefer them over my Nalgenes is the weight. For the weight of one 1L Nalgene, I could fit 7,5L into 5 single-use ice tea PET bottles (they were square-shaped, easier to stow, and thin walled). I ...


8

Two things that haven't been mentioned in addition to the spray action is that Geigerrig has a filter that snaps into the drink tube allowing water to be filtered on-the-go under the pressure from the system. This way you can refill from about anywhere---rivers, streams, etc. Also, the reservoir can be turned inside out and washed in the top shelf of the ...


8

Ok so I've not had mine too long but this is what I do - bear in mind I'm not 100% sure what kind of the many moulds that is but I'd say it's probably not pleasant. Vinegar should kill the mould. Mould stains, but it can actually simply be dead mould and has been treated. Leave it for a few hours and let it just seep into the valve. Chlorine based cleaning ...


8

Looking at the product, I don't quite comprehend why it would seem difficult to add a second reservoir, unless you aren't talking about a second hydration pack itself. I think I trek around in similar conditions (India) as you do, and I typically face this issue, and for that I do the simplest thing I can think of. Carry 3 bottles (1L each). When hydration ...


8

Ideal Conditions If you try to grow mold or fungus (think: mushrooms), you will find that it generally takes at least 7 days under near-ideal conditions for a spore to reproduce to the point where it's visible. This is why most food will be edible in a refrigerator for at least a week (not necessarily fresh or tasty, but at least visibly mold-free). It's ...


8

I'm not a big fan of bladders myself but use them at times. The main reason is that I find it hard to drink enough - although they're hands free, the flow is too low to get enough if a rare quick drink is all you have time for, unlike a bottle. I use them on the mountain bike for reasons of balance and cleanliness (bottles get covered in mud), then on ...


7

You could try something like Shoe Goo or similar. Just dab on a small amount to seal the hole and ensure it doesn't stick to the opposite side of the hydration pack internally be keeping the sides separated until the Shoe Goo has dried. I repaired a small hole in a waterproof Ortlieb bag quite a few years ago and it is still holding up as a repair.


7

There are cleaning kits designed specifically for cleaning hydration packs like Camelbaks: Camelbak also provides cleaning instructions on their website: The best way to care for your reservoir is to clean and dry it after every use, especially if you fill the reservoir with anything other than water. However, theoretically, if someone didn’t clean ...


7

I also gave this option a thought. Cleaning it up with strong potable soda water. This has to be done when the precipitation is moist, and not dry. That would flush it off at least better then water.


7

I usually store my* Platypus empty, and don't fill it until I'm about to leave, in order to minimise the length of time that the water's sitting in it before I use it; I find that waiting until as late as possible in the preparation process to fill it greatly minimises the plastic taste in the water. Thoroughly rinsing it out at the end of a hiking trip ...


7

Most hydration bags, including CamelBak, are made from polyurethane. Even if you clean them well before using, they may impart a "plasticky" aftertaste or smell. Platypus bladders are made from Nylon/Polyethylene (the same stuff that water bottles are made out of)--they're a bit more expensive, but your water will just taste like water.


6

There are obvious pros and cons. When hiking, I've never come across a situation where I want to have water as quick as possible in a quantity. For me using a hydration pack, on a never-ending ascend, is to make sure that I don't have to stop for long. I can take an optional pause every 200 steps, to sip some water, take a look around, take a picture and ...


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