Hiking Hydration Packs
Planning for proper hydration is essential while hiking, but carrying disposable water bottles in your backpack and trying to drink from them while walking can be a real juggling act. That’s why many hikers today are strapping on hydration packs. A top-quality hydration pack or hydration backpack makes carrying up to 3 liters of water simple and easy, and you can sip from the convenient tubing system anytime without breaking your stride.What is a hydration pack used for?
A hydration pack is a portable hydration system that is typically made out of lightweight material and designed as a backpack or a waist pack. Most hydration packs have a removable reservoir made of rubber, flexible plastic, or silicone with a screw top mouth for easy filling. A drinking tube leads from the reservoir that allows the hydration pack user to sip water, typically from biting down on a bite valve that initiates the flow. Hydration packs are often used in many endurance sports including cycling and running as well as by outdoor enthusiasts and hikers, for whom hydration is vital when hiking long trails or to remote camping sites. Most hydration packs have a 1.5- to 3-liter capacity while smaller packs are worn around the waist and usually hold between 0.83 to around 1.3 liters.How do you fill up a hydration backpack?
- Step 1 – Unzip the backpack’s reservoir pocket, and remove the hydration bladder.
- Step 2 – Unscrew the top, lay the bladder on a flat surface, and fill with water or other hydrating liquid.
- Step 3 – Screw the top back on the filled hydration bladder. Reinsert into the backpack’s pocket, and zip to secure.
- Step 4 – Slip on your hydration pack and thread the tubing up and over your shoulder for quick access.
- Step 5 – To drink from the backpack's filled reservoir, gently bite down on the bite valve to start the flow of water from the hydration bladder and through the backpack's tube.
- Cleaning Step 1 – Remove the hydration reservoir from the hydration pack, and flush the bladder and drinking tube well with clean, hot water.
- Cleaning Step 2 - For a more thorough cleaning, add a tablespoon of bleach to a nearly full hydration bladder. Secure top, swish the solution around, and then drain. Be sure to rinse the hydration bladder well with hot water.
- Cleaning Step 3 – Most hydration bladders can be dried by inserting a crumpled paper towel into the reservoir.
- Cleaning Step 4 – For the final step, remove the hydration bladder’s top, turn the empty bladder upside down, prop open, and allow to air dry before reinserting into the backpack.