Time to hit the Trails. If you are like many new hikers you may carry a canteen or even several bottles of water. In my youth, I use to lug around 2 gallons of water at a time when I would go trekking around Palo Duro
Canyon. So you always want to have plenty to drink. Without having to fight the swaying of water.
Canteens are the norm and can hold around 34 oz of water. Which if you are in a hot dry area will not last you long. Good for the kids but then you also have to carry more bottles or canteens to make sure that everybody stays hydrated.
A good solution is a hydration pack. This is a lightweight pack that has a water bladder and a self-sealing straw all connected together. You fill the bladder and when you need to get a drink you can give a quick slurp on the straw without having to stop. You can drink on the move. Which depending on what you are doing is a good thing. If you are a rock climber and you are half way up your climb you really can’t stop to unscrew a canteen to gulp down some water. But you can have your straw right next to your mouth and grab a drink at any time with a hydration pack.
There are several different hydration pack brands out there. The most well known is CamelBak. Yet there are many brands out there. Each has their own varying degrees of quality.
The one I settled on buying was the Outdoor Products Hydration pack. Found an older model called the Castaic that was replaced by the Kilometer. The biggest difference is the fasteners are better quality zippers while the Castaic has velcro. Other than that it is the same water pack.
There are some points to know about this pack. First, the bladder holds 2 liters of water. Plenty of water to you to consume. Yet, the bladder is plastic so the water will have a plastic taste for the first couple of uses. You can fix this by washing it more than once. I found out after using the pack as I mowed the lawn. I have only washed the bag once.
Also, you will know if you didn’t assemble everything correctly. It will leak. Water does find a way out. So when reconnecting your bag make sure the plastic fittings
It is a handy pack to have. If you are backpacking and you’re like most people and only have on back to use then you may look at some of the other Outdoor Products available. There is the Mist Hydration Pack not only does it have the 2-liter bladder but it also has 14.3 Liters of storage. So you can walk the Camino de Santiago or the closest national park and have all you will need.
Which either one you choose you are able to keep the weight close to your body, You don’t have to worry about it shifting around. All that water slashing around can cause your back to get tired. Which then makes it ache. A sore back ruins the fun you could have. Using a canteen or a bottle that is sloshing around can often cause all of these problems.
The Hydration pack also keeps your water from leaking out with an open and close valve on next to your bite valve. Speaking of bite valves it does take a little getting used to but the first time you get it, you get it. So you might practice while mowing the yard. That is where I normally use my water pack.
The fact that this water pack has a 2-liter water bag. This allows you to keep yourself refreshed with water. But also if something does wear out you are able to buy replacement parts through Amazon.
You can get the whole assembly if wanted. They run just as much as a new one though so keep that in mind. You can also get new Bite valves, so if yours leaks you can fix it.
The biggest drawback I have with this and any hydration pack is the cleaning. You want to make sure you get it dry. If no you could actually start growing some harmful fungi. you can clean it. According to the sites I have read on how to clean the house you just run hot water with bleach through it. If you look you can find something like a CPAP cleaning brush.
So in closing, I want to let you know that I like this purchase I made. It has been used at least once a week. Especially when the day is starting out hot. I will even add Ice to my bag. That way I get the cold on my spine and cold refreshment.