Friday, June 12, 2009

Gear that belongs in the Garbage: Hydration systems


"Hydration systems". That's kind of like calling the floor a "horizontal walking surface".

I bought a Blackhawk Hydrastorm years ago, and the bite tube leaked so badly that I gave it away. I was recently issued a Camelback, and it seemed to be of higher quality, so I took it with me on a ten-day trip through the Grand Canyon. It was inconvenient to fill and clean, but at least it was comfortable to carry. 

On the last day, the mouthpiece snapped off and all the water poured out. If that had happened in the middle of a ten-mile backcountry hike in that hot, arid country it would have caused an extremis situation. I left it in a trash can at the airport on the way home.

Pop bottles are lighter, more durable, easier to fill, and they're free. If you absolutely have to spend money, use a Platypus bottle.

8 comments:

Awesome said...

Learn how to perform field repairs, lazy ass...

sbkittrell said...

Hell YEAH! I hate those things too. Over priced, impractical, hard to clean.

Anonymous said...

In the 8 years of using them - Camelbak, Platypus and even wally world off brand, I've not ever had a problem with them except for the new style quick loc valves.

To clean them is a breeze, toss in a couple denture cleaning tablets and let it soak. Oh yeah, don't ever use anything other then water in it - juice, gatorade etc is a no no - use only water.

Anonymous said...

To the poster who calls himself "Awesome", you're obviously a twat. The number one rule, as a person who has lived for the last two years out of a tent and on trails throughout the world, is to have kit/gear that doesn't require time spent on field repairs...such as pop bottles. They never need repairing. "Camelbacks" are not only ridiculously expensive for their purpose, they are silly looking, take up space you could use for other gear, and are for pussies who "hike" for two weeks and then go back to a "job".

Anonymous said...

And by the way, when you use a pop bottle you can put anything into it that you want. Try putting soup into camelback.

Anonymous said...

Amen!
The current run of PET juice and soft drink containers which range from a few ounces up to a gallon or so are the best free canteen / dry ingredient storage / dry food storage ever. The main reason being the silicone gaskets now in use [perfect seal; no tendency to mildew, unlike the previous Styrofoam and plastic disc ones; and impervious to frequent chlorine bleach sanitization].

And, don't get me started on rumors that the U.S. military is abandoning the canteen cup [perhaps the finest morale maintainer ever devised; cook in it; wash in it; you can even drink from it].

theotherryan said...

I agree about awesome. I have tried several of these including cheap generic brands, a few camel backs and one real high end one which was supposedly leak proof. All have failed. I don't mind them for a nice little walk and they are convenient for drinking on the move but I do not rely on them. One quart generic nalgene bottles or dawg gone GI green canteens are a lot more bang for the buck and short of fire or major trauma (bullets, shrapnel, etc) these will never fail you.

Anonymous said...

I must agree. The US Army canteen, cup and stove sleeve are practically bomb proof. Combined with two 2 - liter Platypus bags you're good to go.