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GearList: Hydration Pack

By Nathaniel Wu


Water is an essential resource, yet most people don’t drink enough of it. Especially during exercise and outdoor activities, water is a must. However, bringing a water bottle can be inconvenient at times and promotes drinking only when thirsty, which is dehydration. If you are tired of using a water bottle, the hydration pack may be the solution.

The hydration pack is simple yet effective. It consists of a bladder and hose, which contains and delivers the water through the hose. The hydration pack often comes with a backpack that has routing for the hose and holds other essentials in addition to the bladder. To drink, suck on the tip of the hose just like a straw, and that’s it! There’s no need to stop and get out a bottle, which is ideal for mountain bikers and runners.

There aren’t many differences between hydration packs, but choose one based on the backpack, water capacity, and tip type. Some packs will come with a locking mechanism, which prevents dripping. For a beginner, spend no more than $40 on a hydration pack, and read the reviews to see what other buyers think of the product. There is no need to get a high-end pack unless your activity has specific requirements.

Although drinking on the go is convenient, insufficient cleaning leads to mold growth and an unpleasant smell. Cleaning is easy, though. Soak both the bladder and the hose with soap water, and then rinse it thoroughly. Manually clean out the mouthpiece, which connects to the end of the hose. Then, hang the components to dry them out. This is especially important because moisture leads to bacteria growth, which leads to smell.

Here are some tips for maximizing the use of your hydration pack

  1. After cleaning and drying, store it in the fridge to slow bacteria growth

  2. To avoid sloshing, fill the bladder and turn it upside down. Then suck out all the air out with the hose. It should remove most of the air from the bladder and

  3. For hot days, fill the bladder ⅓ of the way and freeze it. When the bladder goes in the backpack, it cools your back.

  4. Another alternative to soap and water cleaning is denture cleaning tablets.

  5. Do not put anything other than water in the hydration pack

As the weather gets warmer, hydration will become more important. Hopefully, this article gave you an insight into another option. As always, go outside and have some fun!

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