Bladders vs Bottles for Staying Hydrated on the Hiking Trail
With 24 hikes under my belt this year, it was only on my most recent 24th hike that I had a Camelbak instead of a backpack full of water bottles. As you’re on the trail with other experienced hikers you notice how hydrated they stay and they don’t seem to be stopping to fiddle with their backpack to grab those water bottles.
Why didn’t I get a bladder / hydration pack sooner? You know how it is. You have a new hobby. You start buying all this other equipment – (affiliate link) Hillsound microspikes or even the right clothes – insect shield for your own clothes, (affiliate link) Sun Bum Unisex Clear Zinc Spf 50, (affiliate link) Bug Guard Plus Mosquito Repellent Picaridin Towelettes by Avon Skin So Soft, and clothing with fast / dry / cooling properties. Then there goes the paycheck.
But I gotta say, having the (affiliate link) Camelbak UnBottle 3L Insulated Hydration Reservoir is a never-leave-home-without-it item if going on a 6-hour hike. I filled my Camelbak with 4.5 bottles of water and added ice cubes for the rest. The water stayed cold for the entire hike! Oh yeah – ice water on a hike!!! Otherwise, I use my (affiliate link) Osprey Packs Tempest 6 Hip Pack for shorter hikes which hold 2 water bottles.
It was my very first time using a hydration pack and I went through a quick crisis testing it out before the hike. Filled the bladder up and tried sucking water out. All I could think was, “Oh great. Help! Can’t seem to suck water out from my new Camelbak. What the world am I doing wrong?” Answer: Just try rotating the bite valve in your mouth until the water starts coming. It’s having the right angle thing.