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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Outdoors Activities => Camping => Topic started by: Josh the Aspie on May 18, 2012, 07:10:19 AM

Title: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 18, 2012, 07:10:19 AM
Hey all.  I've been hearing a lot of good things about these bladder systems, but I've been getting some conflicting information on the benefits and downsides.

I've heard that there are Camelbak, Platypus, and some military systems.

I was hoping that you folks could break down the pros and cons of each system vs the others for me.

I've heard that Camelbak has BPA leaching problems.  Is this true, or was the fellow that was telling me to go with Platypus for that reason being strange and paranoid?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: inconel710 on May 18, 2012, 12:04:31 PM
Camelbaks are BPA free.  I've got a couple of them and my only complaint is they're a pain to clean.  You might look at Source hydration equipment for another option - they're spendy but they seem to correct alot of the problems with Camelbaks.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 18, 2012, 02:31:31 PM
Alright.  I'll look into source hydration.

Any particular models or features you think I should look for?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: KellyAnn on May 18, 2012, 03:30:16 PM
The only thing I would say to definitely buy are some extra "bites" (the bit at the end that you actually get your water out of).  I suggest that because you should always have a spare or two around in case one gets lost or damaged.
I've found that an end cap is also handy, because sometimes the bits dribble a little.  Though I think mine actually came with a cap.

My camelbak has an insulated sleeve it keeps cold drinks cold in the summer and helps keep water from freezing in the winter.
It's nifty, but totally optional.
I think it also helps with puncture resistance, and keeping other things in the backpack from getting cold or moist.
It's also got a plastic buckle type hook that can be used to hang it.

I used mine mostly on long day hikes on hot & humid summer days.
It's also handy to have when going to festivals and street fairs.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on May 18, 2012, 03:42:46 PM
I got one from Costco a few years ago.  It's not Camelback brand, but it has been good.  One complaint is that with an off brand, accessories are hard/impossible to find.  I need a new bite, and instead of a couple of bucks, I will probably end up paying 15-25 for a camelback bladder.  My pack is a bit small, so if I buy a new one, I will look at the Camelback Mule NV.  My brother has one that he uses for mountain biking, and he keeps a pretty good assortment of tools and spare parts in it.  I use mine as a day pack for hiking, hunting, and fishing.  I keep a few basics in it, firestarting, emergency blanket, snacks, water purification etc.  I highly recommend getting one of some sort, especially if you enjoy outdoor activities.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 18, 2012, 03:44:44 PM
Thanks KellyAnn.  I think that any kind of outdoor activity in the summer could use some water that is easy to lug.  I'll look into those features.  Thanks!

You too 16.

I'm wondering how water purification with a camelbak would work though.  Fill it and then use tabs/a filter on the tube/bite?  Filter it before putting the water in?  If so, how?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 18, 2012, 04:02:19 PM
So, what are the problems with CamelBak that Source seems to fix?

The difficulty in drying?
I could see how the ones where one whole end opens up could be a big help with that.

The packs themselves don't seem all that expensive, but the bite valves seem to be many times the cost of the regular system.

What would you recommend doing pack-wise, if I don't want to buy one of their big winter packs.  Toss it in a backpack that has a slot for the bladder?  Get a Camelback system, and replace the bladder with the source bladder?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Herew on May 18, 2012, 04:31:08 PM
What would you recommend doing pack-wise, if I don't want to buy one of their big winter packs.  Toss it in a backpack that has a slot for the bladder?  Get a Camelback system, and replace the bladder with the source bladder?

As you probably know, CamelBak has many sizes of packs available. The sell a pack that holds the bladder and nothing else all the way up to the military style 3 day assault packs.

I used to have the Trailblazer model and I loved it! It had a large main compartment, a small "pouch" and the bladder compartment. I still regret selling that pack!

I now have the original Menace model. It is one of the winter packs so the tube is insulated and feeds through a zippered slit in the right shoulder strap. Here's a link to a video I made showing some modifications I made to the pack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqBswiiJGKs&feature=plcp
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 19, 2012, 08:32:17 AM
Thanks for all the info.  I'll watch the video later on.

I have a few existing backpacks that I think I could put the pouch in for now.  And I don't think I'd want a back-pack for one without at least a tiny bit of storage... but then when I'm doing combat-sports, I don't want any more weight than is absolutely necessary.  Hmmm.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Wingman115 on June 11, 2012, 10:25:12 AM
I've used a MSR Blader purchased at REI and haven't had any issue's with it. Side note only put water in it. If you put Gatorade or any sweet drink and don't clean it after use you will get mold in the bag.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on June 11, 2012, 11:30:10 AM
Camelbaks are good for when you want quick access to water when you are on-the-go. Cycling, backpacking, etc. It is the only water system that lets you drink as you continue your activity.

However, they are a pain to clean. You have to run water with a small amount of bleach through it once in awhile to kill any bacteria from stagnant water, and if you don't clean it often enough the water starts to taste funky.

If you put anything but water in there, like sugary drinks, and do not clean it, its a disaster. You will end up with mold in your hoses and it will be almost impossible to clean. They also make special hangers to insert into the bladders to help with drying when you wash them. I have one of these, but you could probably bend a coat hanger or two around to accomplish the same thing.

Also, some water filters, like my Katadyn have a method of attaching directly onto your bladder's water hose (with some modifications done before hand) and with quick-release fittings, allow you to pump filtered water into your backpack without taking the bladder out).

However, I have limited use for that. The only reason I could find that handy would be in a bike ride where my filter was stored in a pannier on the bike — otherwise I am taking the backpack off anyway. But with a tightly packed backpack on a backpacking trip, it still could be handy to leave the bladder in place without disturbing the contents of your bag to get a water re-fill.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 13, 2012, 01:55:56 PM
Based on all of the input on cleaning the Camelbaks, input on Sourcewater as a superior product, and this (http://www.itstactical.com/gearcom/load-bearing/source-hydration-systems-and-lbt-hydration-pouches-a-winning-combo/) article from ITS Tatical, I'm going with Source-water.

I'm still trying to figure out which 3 liter model to go with though, they've got 3 of them, which you can view at http://source-military.com/10-stand-alone.  The ILPS seems to be the lowest profile, but the WXP seems to better fit the "standard" size that was pioneered by Camelbak.

I'm also trying to figure out what to do as far as recreational / day pack carry.  My current main pack already accommodates near-the-back carry of camelbak style reservoirs.

In any case I'm definitely getting the universal fill adapter.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on June 13, 2012, 02:37:17 PM
Thanks for the link to those bladders. I am interested in looking at one of those to replace my current bladder when it fails simply for the anti-microbial and lack of cleaning necessary. Do you know how much they run? They don't look cheap.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 13, 2012, 03:58:58 PM
Sure Adam.

According to the Source company website (second link in the post above), they run $36-$50 for a 3-litre depending on which you get.  The WXP is basically a direct replacement for the camelbak, and is $50, but this comes with some upgrade accessories as well, including the universal adapter to let you load water through the hose from a faucet or water bottle, without taking the bag apart, and a higher quality bite.

I don't have a MOLLE/PALS attachment carrier for simple day use, so I may well need to get something like the Tactical 3L, or the Rider 3L, unless I find a good inexpensive MOLLE/PALS carry harness, or a better day pack with MOLLE/PALS integrated.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on June 14, 2012, 09:12:13 AM
That's not bad at all considering the cheap bladders are in the $20+ range anyway.

I'm definitely considering one of those now. I am not too sure a 3L would be good for me. A 2L bladder holds enough water for me to the point where if it goes empty then I've done enough exercise to warrant stopping and re-filling the thing.

Those quick-connect hoses seem to be the same kind my new Katadyn water filter uses, so that could be interesting to see what kind of setup I could make from it. I like the idea of being able to refill the bladder without taking it out of my backpack, but the water filter itself will be in the backpack anyway so I don't really know the benefit there! Maybe if I was adventure racing!
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 14, 2012, 12:35:15 PM
Yeah, and for me the total systems are around the same price as the total systems for Camelbak.

I think that the benefit is less fiddling around, shifting stuff in your main pack around, and hauling the bladder up and down by it's own handles.  You just pop an exterior pouch open, swap an
attachment, and re-fill.

I'm currently debating between the Rider 3L and the Diamond 3L as possibilities for the stand-alone system, or possibly getting one of the cargo packs for a day-pack, but they might be a bit big.  I basically need a way to carry the bladder around when playing combat-sports, or hiking in the woods.  I'd like a touch of storage space, but not more than is needed for emergency gear, and a lunch, really.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 14, 2012, 01:29:27 PM
There is one solution that worked for me when I was using a camelbak almost every day for riding; the freezer.  After I finished a ride, I'd drain my camelbak and toss it in the freezer.  No bacteria grows in a freezer and it's self-desicating process if I left it in there for a few weeks.  Occasionally I'd have a little water freeze in the tube, but a small blast of hot tap water resolved that issue and it was sure a lot easier than trying to clean the damn thing.

It's a cheap solution if you've already committed to any system.  The fact is that most of the problems happen when people leave water or worse yet, sports drink, in their bladders for a month.  If you don't have a very disciplined approach to demobilizing after every use, you're doomed regardless of what brand you buy.  Most folks get home from a long hike, toss their gear in a corner, and forget about it until the next time they need it. 

I've had a fold and slide bladder once and it was finicky and in general I didn't like it.  If you wanted to fill it up beyond about 80 oz. it was very tough to get the clip on without making a mess.  That said, I've had camelbaks that the screw on lids didn't seat right and would leak all over the inside of your pack (usually this is an issue with the silicone gasket being dry.  Usually resolved buy a few drops of water on it before trying to close, but some seals are just finicky, like getting the lid from one camelback mixed up with the lid from another camelback almost always has bad results), so no system is perfect. 

This weekend I'm using a bladder for my 2-3 day hike, but since my water purification system is a Steri-pen for this trip I have to carry a bottle with me to sterilize the water in before transferring it into the bladder.  Otherwise, I risk getting some contaminated water into the drinking tube, not getting sterilized and spending a week on the toilet before the Flagyl starts to work.  Pick your poisons. ::)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on June 14, 2012, 02:09:24 PM
Make sure you get one that the lid fits tight on, but that you can also remove. The camelbak bladder I currently use has a VERY BIG opening with a special handle to help you hold the bag upright as you fill it (it keeps the bag held in the shape of a bottle and helps with filling.

However, the lid is SO TIGHT that getting the bladder open when it is empty is not something an arthritic could pull off let's just say. I have let out many an angry roar trying to force the lid open on that bag. Granted, I've never been worried about it leaking, but it is a tad ridiculous, and no special adapters for water filters (like nalgene etc) work for filling it. All my friends who have bladders now have ones that are the same size as nalgene bottles and work with those adapters.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: idelphic on June 14, 2012, 02:16:16 PM
Make sure you get one that the lid fits tight on, but that you can also remove. The camelbak bladder I currently use has a VERY BIG opening with a special handle to help you hold the bag upright as you fill it (it keeps the bag held in the shape of a bottle and helps with filling.

However, the lid is SO TIGHT that getting the bladder open when it is empty is not something an arthritic could pull off let's just say. I have let out many an angry roar trying to force the lid open on that bag. Granted, I've never been worried about it leaking, but it is a tad ridiculous, and no special adapters for water filters (like nalgene etc) work for filling it. All my friends who have bladders now have ones that are the same size as nalgene bottles and work with those adapters.
Looking at the Stand Alone Hydration bag, since you can re-fill it from the tube, could you not also fill it from you water filter?  Though my Sweet water filter has an adapter,.. I've never used it with another tpe of system.  I would think that if you can fill the bladder from a water bottle, you should (in theory) fill it from a water filter directly.

Curious to know,.. I need a better water storage device.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on June 14, 2012, 02:33:15 PM
All the bladders, water filters, etc etc are somewhat different so it just makes sense to figure out what works for you.

For me, I just stick the end of the water filter hose into whatever I am trying to fill up. If the container happens to have the same size opening as a nalgene bottle, then the adapter makes it easier to fill it without the assistance of others. 90% of the time when I am actually in NEED of using the water filter, I am with other people who also need it and 2 people (one to hold the filter, the other to hold the container being filled) makes it easier anyway.

My one friend has an MSR filter that literally screws onto a nalgene sized opening directly. Mine has an adapter but can be configured several different ways.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 14, 2012, 03:49:20 PM
So what -are- these Nagaline and MSR filters I am hearing about?  Brands?  Processes?  Styles?

How do you work them and where do you get them?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: idelphic on June 15, 2012, 12:14:06 PM
So what -are- these Nagaline and MSR filters I am hearing about?  Brands?  Processes?  Styles?

How do you work them and where do you get them?

Naglene water bottles are a simple common water bottle

(http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/public/Mepr0PdXXy8TvhD4qTZNpgDzxieNn0w_hXfAAghSmbQUkYti_9_-6hnmUPr2nAD88YCoU0EbHfpfPtHDEhco7jlM7jIGBerV-N2tjEKi1hFwR3csF4GYcjE74Xl0r67Xjt-luhthgixVlc3vEiteaTDwRVfRfuM7CxvDvBUF495-NP4ZG97_Srvp7iri5psC67eL3m4w4b18fv_fG0GaTpEDJM92DsDJCGpa2Yh1gqlOsG6kNbT_7q-fKgiGJFZsshcbM5q1R5oDFHhCBiHdb3If1i6eDqDBWEGlQBANfVAog29eoEOUUswuzJsvn3s0Nfc27A0wUjePhVrev64)

Filters are simply ones that fit the neck for 'ease and convenience of use'.  My Sweetwater filter comes with a rubber stopper that will fit many sized bottle necks for filling.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 15, 2012, 01:31:50 PM
Ahhh.  Got it.  I'd seen the standard bottles, but saw no filtration installed in them, so thought I had it wrong.
And I've found some MSR filters including the Sweetwater, so I now understand that MSR is a style.

So while the cap-tops add to weight and bulk somewhat, having a Nagaline style cap would be a convenience for filtering water into the bladder.  Do I understand that correctly?

Most of the write-ups I've seen on these filters seem to indicate that they don't protect from bacteria.  And the steri-pen obviously won't work in one of the larger bladders, and would need a bottle accessory.

Do you think that maybe a Berky water-bottle would work well as a filtration option?



Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on June 15, 2012, 02:13:03 PM
I don't know where they say those filters don't protect against bacteria. Most of the ones I have seen at least claim to filter out all microbials to a size of whatever micron they specify.

Put another way — I've never gotten sick drinking out of an MSR or Katadyn water filter (those are just the brand names of the companies who make them).

They are not as good or long lasting as a Berkey but they don't weigh as much either.

I would trust an actual filter WAY BEFORE I would trust some "light pen" for making my water drinkable!
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 15, 2012, 03:54:39 PM
*Face smack* I must be more tired than I thought.  Most of them that specify say they do protect against bacteria and protozoa, but not viri.  *bonks head on desk*
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 18, 2012, 10:47:45 AM
I just got back from a three day trip along the Colorado Trail and used a Sawyer in-line filter on my camelbak.  I'm not even sure the model I used is still available, as it had been sitting unopened in my camping gear for about five years before the trip.

Nevertheless, the inline system worked great.  I was able to stop at a stream, put stream water into my camelbak and immediately start drinking.  No delays for pumping, waiting for tablets to take effect, etc.  Super convenient and it allowed me to travel with less water on board for a lighter pack along the way.  When I got to camp I simply removed the bladder, propped it up in the branches of a tree, and took off the bite valve.  In under a minute I had about a quart of pure water in my pan.

After years of pumping this was a welcome change.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: idelphic on June 18, 2012, 03:26:55 PM
I just got back from a three day trip along the Colorado Trail and used a Sawyer in-line filter on my camelbak.  I'm not even sure the model I used is still available, as it had been sitting unopened in my camping gear for about five years before the trip.

Nevertheless, the inline system worked great.  I was able to stop at a stream, put stream water into my camelbak and immediately start drinking.  No delays for pumping, waiting for tablets to take effect, etc.  Super convenient and it allowed me to travel with less water on board for a lighter pack along the way.  When I got to camp I simply removed the bladder, propped it up in the branches of a tree, and took off the bite valve.  In under a minute I had about a quart of pure water in my pan.

After years of pumping this was a welcome change.

Looks like it might still be available and is part of several 'kits' or options.  Good to know.

(http://www.sawyer.com/images/SP122.jpg) (http://www.sawyer.com/water.html#water1)
Image clickable
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 18, 2012, 03:29:26 PM
Actually, I think it's this one, the SP121 (http://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-SP121-Drink-Inline-Filter/dp/B001C4C7KE/)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 18, 2012, 03:54:22 PM
Oooh.  They've got a 0.02 Micron filter for anti-viral!  Too bad you can't buy that separately from their hydration system.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 18, 2012, 05:54:09 PM
I have a feeling that if you tried using the .02 micron filter on a camelbak you'd probably suck your cheeks inside out trying to get a drink.  Those are some mighty small holes to get water through and for a drip system, that's fine, but for a vacuum system, well, in my estimation, that would suck. :P
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: tekayfotuwan on June 18, 2012, 06:07:21 PM
I use this: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Packs/HydrationPacks/BottlesAccessories/PRD~5018-474/source-wxp-hydration-system.jsp
With this: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/HikingCamping/WaterBottles/WaterBottles/PRD~5023-421/nalgene-tritan-wide-mouthloop-top-round-1l-glow.jsp
and this: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/HikingCamping/WaterTreatment/WaterFilters/PumpFilters/PRD~5001-239/msr-miniworks-ex-water-filter.jsp

I'm very happy with all three products.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: charles on June 19, 2012, 03:51:48 PM
When I was deployed I would fill my camelback with ice and the coolness on my back was awesome. The water would stay cool for a while too. I have 4 of them and I use them often, I just rotate through them and let them dry out when not using them. The camelback brand is pretty durable im 6'4 270lbs and I can roll on it,
and I have stepped on it and It held up. The mouth pieces do like to come off though, I have lost 5 or 6 of them. I would recommend getting one.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 19, 2012, 04:07:18 PM
Endurance:  Good point, and good pun.  :P

tekayfotuwan:  Thanks for the product link.  It looks like a good product for moving clean water to the pouch.

Hmmm.  It says it has a 0.2u filter, but it also says it's not effective against viruses.  I thought that .2u was good against viri.

Do you attach the filter directly to the nagaline?  Or pour it from the nagaline into the bladder?

Charels: Thanks for the recommendation to get one of the systems.  I think I'm going to go with the source brand, though.  It seems like a strict upgrade from the camelbak.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 19, 2012, 04:46:34 PM
The camelback brand is pretty durable im 6'4 270lbs and I can roll on it,
and I have stepped on it and It held up. The mouth pieces do like to come off though, I have lost 5 or 6 of them. I would recommend getting one.
A buddy of mine had a catastrophic mountain bike wreck a few years ago.  Landed about as wrong as he could, flat on his back after launching at probably 35mph.  Knocked the wind out of him, bruised him up pretty badly, and blew up his camelbak bladder.  I shudder to think of what would have happened to him had it not been for the bladder absorbing most of that impact.  It served as a great improvised airbag.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 19, 2012, 04:49:29 PM
One of the guys at a local bike shop had a similar experience, save that he smacked his back up against a tree.  He's certain that his bladder saved his life.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: charles on June 20, 2012, 12:55:43 AM
Those look like quality units, My bladders are all 3L and that usually lasts me a good while, usually about a half of a day. I only have experience with the Camelback brand but I think the everyone should have a hydration bladder of some sort.

Take Care

Charles
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: TexasGirl on June 20, 2012, 01:35:37 AM
My one friend has an MSR filter that literally screws onto a nalgene sized opening directly. Mine has an adapter but can be configured several different ways.

I have one of these, it fits my Nalgene, half liter fanny pack bottles, and the hydration bladder cap.  I also picked up a MIOX, which complements the pump system.  In a pinch, either system will probably stand alone, but together they catch most all pathogens.

~TG
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: heliotropicmoth on June 20, 2012, 09:03:05 AM
One benefit of the Camlebak, and probably other systems, is you can take the mouthpiece off and put the tube directly onto the water out nipple of a MSR water filter. We did the 8 day Thunder Point loop canoe trip in the boundary waters of Minnesota. While my friend and I were paddling my fiance would lazily pump lake water directly into the bladders. Works like a charm!  8)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 20, 2012, 09:59:45 AM
I'm liking what I'm hearing about a lot of these options.

I may pick up a MIOX.  Though I'm a bit concerned that it takes 5 hours for viruses.  Anyone have knowledge of any water-filters that work faster?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: heliotropicmoth on June 20, 2012, 10:11:17 AM
Hey Josh,

I have the MSR miniworks:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BBF2RY/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001BNPJK6&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0M9TM7QHSVPWANK624MY

This is a great filter. As soon as you pump the water through the filter you can drink it. I have used the Miox. The Miox works well for base camp applications where you can collect a bunch of water and treat it without needing it immediately.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: TexasGirl on June 20, 2012, 10:31:09 AM
I'm liking what I'm hearing about a lot of these options.

I may pick up a MIOX.  Though I'm a bit concerned that it takes 5 hours for viruses.  Anyone have knowledge of any water-filters that work faster?

The theory is you either filter out or kill pathogens.  What doesn't get filtered needs to be killed.  Adding a little poison (chlorine) will kill the pathogens over time, or you can add a lot of poison and kill them much faster.  Which water would you rather drink?

I carry the "fast" tablets in my BOB as an emergency back-up in addition to the MIOX unit.  I struggle with carrying the MIOX at all, it's the weight of a two battery (CR123) flashlight.  I think a few Katadyn tablets surely weigh much less, and also take that same 4 hours to work.  But the MIOX is a cool toy, and I've heard the solution it makes can also be used to clean out a wound.

But I see the MSR pump filter and MIOX working together as a team, not separate.  I can't see the military going with only the MIOX, but who am I to second guess safety.

http://www.miox.com/miox-solutions/MSR-MIOX-Purifier-Pen.aspx (http://www.miox.com/miox-solutions/MSR-MIOX-Purifier-Pen.aspx)

Or military...
(http://www.miox.com/Images/PDF/MSR_MIOX_Purifier_Military.pdf)

~TG
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 20, 2012, 10:36:47 AM
I generally have very little concern about viruses.  If I was filtering downstream from a third world village, my attitude would be quite different.  That said, of all the options out there right now, the MIOX seems like it might be the best for long-term use.  For short term, I guess I'd be content with iodine tablets if I was really that concerned (which I'm not).
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 20, 2012, 10:53:37 AM
Oh, definitely.  I'm not going to use the MIOX by it's self.  I'm pretty certain that I'm going to get a mechanical filter that screws onto a Nagaline as well.

I'd love to learn the earth-skills needed to get clean, pure, healthy water, but I've still got a lot of basic skills to learn, and in the mean time I'm preeeeety sure that using some quality gear is a good idea.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 20, 2012, 01:35:14 PM
... in the mean time I'm preeeeety sure that using some quality gear is a good idea.
As someone who lived with Giardia for two years while I didn't have health insurance, I can assure you, some form of water purification is a good idea. ;)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 20, 2012, 01:40:19 PM
Thanks!

So, what are these lighter Katadyn pills I am hearing about, that work just fine without batteries in the same period of time?

http://www.katadyn.com/usen/katadyn-products/products/katadynshopconnect/katadyn-micropur/ Is this them?

If these are as effective, lighter, and cheeper, I'm thinking I'd prefer these to neat and gadgety.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 20, 2012, 02:00:16 PM
One form of tablets or another has been around for years.  The military was using iodine tablets back in Vietnam and probably before that.  I still carry iodine for a backup if my filter fails for backpacking and I carry aquamira tablets in my pocket kit when day hiking or trail running (kit pic (http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5247/5371685968_693ecfbaf1_z.jpg)).  About once or twice a year I need them. 

The reason I don't like them long term is that they're expensive and they make your water taste funny compared to a good filter.  To me, $15 for 30 quarts of clean water is a rip off compared to a Sawyer filter that costs $59 and treats 500+ gallons.  But if you want light and compact, no doubt, tablets are the way to go for the short run.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 20, 2012, 02:09:13 PM
And given your lack of concern over viri due to not being down-stream from many other humans that's understandable.

However there are enough animal to human infection vectors, and enough unknowns about what's upstream any time you take up water that I'm presently cautious.  I'm still gathering data.  While I intend to go multi-day packing later this fall, I'm still in the stage of acquiring gear and solutions a few bits at a time, and learning more as I go.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 20, 2012, 02:15:52 PM
That said, any input on the carry option from more experienced 'packers?

Should I get a hydration carrier only like the following: http://source-military.com/13-hydration-packs to put into/onto my larger pack?

Or should I get a day-pack of some kind, and stuff the smaller pack into my bigger one when I'm taking all of my gear from point to point?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 20, 2012, 03:42:45 PM
For the most part, Hepatitis A is your biggest viral risk.  Most other viruses don't do well in water for extended periods of time.  Since you can get immunized for Hep A, you can reduce your risk permanently and more effectively without any pills at all.

I have about a half-dozen camelbak variations, from fanny packs (which suck because they bounce too much) to a 34 liter pack that I use for trips up to three or four days when fastpacking.  Personally, I want enough space for the basics, like rain gear, small survival kit, and a lunch when hiking (the Mule (http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs/2012-MULE.aspx) is about the right size for me; or I want light and lean for trail running (Wingnut Assault (http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=126)); or I want the smallest, lightest pack that will allow me to carry all the essentials for 3-4 days (Osprey Exos 34 (http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/superlight/exos_34?tab=description)). 

There's definitely many ways to skin this cat.  It all depends on your needs.  I started out with traditional backpacks, went very gear heavy, and therefore, struggled to cover more than about 9 miles a day in mountainous terrain carrying a 40-50 pound pack for 4-5 days.  Last weekend on day two of a three day hike I did 25 miles with my Exos and brought home over 4000 calories of uneaten food because I overpacked.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: TexasGirl on June 20, 2012, 08:01:39 PM
I also use an Osprey as a go-to trail pack.  I found a Stratos 24 on clearance when the colors were changed years ago.  Mine is lemon yellow!  Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be a guy's bag, but it fit my torso size, and at that price...!

So the Stratos has a mesh webbing support system that is incredibly comfortable.  It also allows a hiker to either hang their water bladder inside the pack pocket, or between the pack and the mesh webbing.  I like options.

~TG
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 20, 2012, 09:38:48 PM
At present, I am working with an existing and limited gear set, and want to buy up slowly over time., while also building my cash and precious metals reserves.  I've already got a ruck-sack that goes from hips to shoulder, and a little ways up behind the head, but can't fit everything I want in it.  I'll probably pack lighter over time, but for now, 1/3-1/2 of the pack or so is taken up by a -40 sleeping bag.  This precludes my packing my cot inside, as it would need the height of the bag to fit it in, so the cot is reserved for car camping.

The bag already has a space for water reservoirs, and that's where I'll keep it when going multi-day packing.  I'm planning on getting a 3-litre reservoir.  I'd like to be able to hike from my car-camping location, or from a parked location with the water on my back, and enough space for a lunch, a water filter, and an emergency medical kit, as well as perhaps a few minor tools like binoculars, a camera, and a folding pruning saw.  It looks like the mule, or an equivalent might work out for me.  It sounds like a pack of approximately 10L volume would work for me there.

I'd also like to just run around with water on my back in the case of the combat sports I play.  Having water on my back would help me stay far more hydrated... though I might want to get a smaller, lighter system for that, and trail running, and just fill up while others are hydrating... maybe something similar to the wing-nut.

I probably can't afford to go after everything at once unless I save up, and I'd like to get the gear a bit at a time so that I can learn, and find my likes and dislikes anyway.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 21, 2012, 12:35:12 AM
Also, endurance, why do you say that Hepatitis A is the main concern water-wise?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: heliotropicmoth on June 21, 2012, 06:49:38 AM
That said, any input on the carry option from more experienced 'packers?

Should I get a hydration carrier only like the following: http://source-military.com/13-hydration-packs to put into/onto my larger pack?

Or should I get a day-pack of some kind, and stuff the smaller pack into my bigger one when I'm taking all of my gear from point to point?

Hey Josh,

I wouldn't waste the money on any of the hydro bags you linked to. Check this out:

http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs/2012-Unbottle-100-oz.aspx

I have been using this type of hydro kit attached to my pack for years. I don't think it makes sense to have a hydro pack for serious backpacking or bugging out. They are great for day hikes and biking. I would go with what I linked to with the addition of the insulated sleeve for winter backpacking. One trick in the winter is to make sure you blow air into the tube pushing the water back into the bag. If you do this you will never have a frozen tube when you want a drink. Two cents from a life long backpacker.

Patrick
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 21, 2012, 09:20:29 AM
Also, endurance, why do you say that Hepatitis A is the main concern water-wise?
The largest water-borne diseases in the world are:

Cholera- caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae
typhoid fever- caused by bacterium Salmonella typhi
dysentery- caused by Shigella species (bacillary dysentery) or Entamoeba histolytica (amoebic dysentery)
e-coli- caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli
Cryptosporidiosis- Caused by the protozoa Cryptosporidium parvum
Giardiasis- caused by the protozoa Giardia lamblia

hepatitis A- caused by the hepatitis A virus (immunization available)
Polio- caused by the Poliovirus (most people are immunized in the US)
SARS- caused by Coronavirus
BK virus*- (It is thought that up to 80% of the population contains a latent form of this virus)
JC virus*- (The virus is very common in the general population, infecting 70 to 90 percent of humans; most people acquire JCV in childhood or adolescence)

*These two are unlikely to ever effect a healthy individual and become significant if the individual has an organ transplant and must go on immuno-suppressant drugs or acquires HIV.  They are diseases of opportunity in the immuno-suppressed, but most individuals are already carriers.

There are also countless parasites, all of which are treatable by filter.  This is why a filter will do 99% of the heavy lifting in 99% of the water you'll come into contact with here in the US, assuming you have some basic immunizations and have a normally functioning immune system.

As for pack selection, it sounds like you currently have a beast of a pack if you're putting a -40 bag in it.  A modern 25F down bag from Western Mountaineering is smaller than a football and weighs under two pounds.  Three seasons of the year, it's my go-to bag.  I've used my North Face Inferno (-35F rated) only a handful of times.

You're wise to build up your gear slowly and deliberately, keeping your needs in mind as your activities change.  A 50 oz. bladder is perfect for active sports and trail running, but not the best choice for backpacking or all-day efforts.  That's where the 100oz. bladder belongs.  The Wingnut I have is the best pack I have for staying in place and not moving around no matter what I'm doing, but there's only enough room for the bare essentials.
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5003/5371078831_5006e15aaf_z.jpg)
plus an emergency poncho or 30 gallon trash bag and perhaps 1000 calories of gels, bloks, and bars.  My purpose for buying it at the time was for mountain bike racing where all I carried was the most basic tool kit, two tubes, and a couple CO2 cartridges for tire inflation. 

It should be noted that I've camped at 10k' with this kit plus a pocket knife and pocket chainsaw quite comfortably.  The more experience you acquire in the woods, the less stuff that you'll consider necessary and the more multiple use items you'll incorporate.  You start to do silly things like my hiking partner and wrap your trekking poles with duct tape, which you use on your hike to fix a blister on your heel (and could potentially use to fix your tent, too).  You might carry a 1 oz. alcohol stove because it's light and you can get more fuel for it in any town in the world.  Your utensils come down to your pocket knife and a plastic spoon.  You eliminate the cup from your kit with an insulated cozy that goes around your cook pot (which is a 600-700ml titanium unit).  No matter what, three socks and underwear are always enough, since every day is laundry day at dinner time and one pair is always drying and one pair is always ready to go.  You cut the handle off your toothbrush to save weight and space.  You phase out 550 cord in favor of 130 pound bank line or 150 pound reflective cordage you can also use for signaling and marking dangerous things around camp that you don't want to stumble into with your headlamp on low.  Your headlamp weighs less than the batteries to the headlamp you used five years ago (mine is 28 grams).  The minimalist approach takes time to perfect, but I assure you, it's every bit as addictive as crack and will make you a more resourceful person in the field.  That said, may you never adopt Chad's eating habits and mix Top Ramen, potato flakes, and soy sauce in a ziplock bag and consider that an excellent dinner... that's just wrong. ;)

Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 21, 2012, 11:05:45 AM
Thanks heliotropicmoth.  I like that tip for keeping the tube from freezing in winter, and an insulating sleeve sounds like a great idea for winter packing!

That said, I prefer to buy quality gear a bit at a time, and slowly customize it up.  From everything I've seen Source is the top of the line, not that much more expensive, and solves the problems people grumble about when it comes to camelbaks.  The easy cleaning/drying and the anti-microbial properties seem worth the cost to me.  I also like some of the available accessories.

endurance:  Thanks.  I've been meaning to find a general practitioner in the area and get a check-up.  I think that having my records reviewed to make sure I'm immunized against polio, and getting a hep A shot may well be a good step in getting myself ready for either camping, or SHTF.  That said, I'll probably get some purification pills to cover both a broken filter situation, and the situation of needing to purify water for others who aren't immunized.  I want to make sure I can take care of my family, not just myself, and due to powdered butt, it's unlikely they'll get hep A shots, even if I do a bunch of research.

And yeah.  I got the sleeping bag as a Christmas present one year.  I tend to get nerd-toys and survival gear as presents on that side of my family, because I'm known for caring about preparedness, and being a smarty.  I give folks preparedness gifts (car cits, stuff that allows a dad to take care of his family in case of an emergency like a tornado, etc), and such whenever I can't come up with a customized gift.  My dad got me the -40 bag.  It's nearly as big as my torso, and difficult to re-pack, but I wouldn't want to go packing in winter without it.  In fact, I was chilled to the bone even with some closed-cell foam under it in the summer.  Which is why I now understand the importance of getting my body off of the ground somehow for sleep.  I'm seriously considering getting a compression pack for this bag, to help reduce it's vertical height, so that I can fit more than one change of clothes into the top of the pack.

My pack goes from slightly below my hips to above my shoulders when the top of the pack is pushed into the lower pull-chord, and synched, with the compression fanny pack on top, and is wide enough to take the bag.  If I use up it's full space the top of the pack is visible over the top of my head.  :P It's also heavy when fully loaded.  I could do an 8-hour hike with it if I needed to (I think), but I'd be slow, and exhausted by the end of the hike.  That's why I've been trading out my gear a bit at a time to save on room, and weight.

I think that for my running I'll go with http://source-military.com/stand-alone/26-kangaroo-1l.html to start.  It should give me enough water for my runs, and would still be helpful on longer trips, until I get a bigger one.  It'll also let me try the product out for less.

As far as small harness systems, I think my biggest problem is that I've got big bones, big muscles (which are going up), and big fat (which is going down), so most things designed for "average" don't fit me.  I need 2x-large from shoes, to pants, to shirt, to hat to gloves... and that's American sizes.  Well, except for the shoes.  Those are typically 16, with some number of Es, or a 46/47 as far as vibrams go (toe width is the issue).

Think that wingnut would fit a big guy like me?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 21, 2012, 11:30:02 AM

Think that wingnut would fit a big guy like me?

I really don't have a clue.  It has a lot of adjustability in it, but like many products that are designed to fit you in an almost intimate way, so much comes down to the individual.  The old external frame packs were a lot easier to figure out sizing because they fit everyone equally poorly, but the closer a pack fits the contours of your body, the less adjustments on the pack matter and the more the individual matters.

You might want to try on some 50 and 70 oz. camelbaks at your local bike or sporting goods store and see how they fit you.  If they all seem about the same, you're probably safe getting the wingnut.  Wingnut custom makes each order, so it's not like you're going to find one to try on anywhere.  When you call, you usually get a hold of the owner/manufacturer.  I have two packs from him and there's no doubt, the guy wants each unit going out the door to be perfect.  That said, don't expect overnight delivery.

On the water purification, I agree, having tablets available is essential because everything in life fails eventually.  For the SHTF, remember that bleach can also be used for water purification and there has been a thread on using some pool chemical (a form of powdered chlorine) that preserves well and can treat tens of thousands of gallons for under $50.  I know a gallon of bleach can treat something like 10,000 gallons of water!

A pack that's over your head and heavy as hell is also going to put an enormous amount of added stress on your knees and ankles, so it's more than just comfort to consider as you gradually upgrade equipment.  Products from Go-lite are fantastic for the backpacker and often they close out the 2XL gear at bottom of the barrel prices because so few big fellas are into hiking.  You might want to keep your eye out for such deals.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 21, 2012, 11:46:42 AM
And given that I got heavy because of a bum knee, and I'm loosing weight for my knee, reducing pack weight seems to be a big priority before I go out with a ruck-sack, rather than a day-pack.  So far it's been car camping, hiking out for a bit at a time with a fanny pack, and I have yet to even get more than a bit winded due to pacing myself.

Well, if the guy is going to make it custom, I order over the phone, and I can get extensive measurements taken, and sent over the phone to him, I'd hope they can make one to fit.

It looks and sounds like a really high quality product.

I can do some equipment sewing/building myself, but not knowing what kinds of systems are out there and for sale, how they work, etc, I'd rather not fly in the dark on a project like this.

I think I'd prefer the yellow, or silver-reflective material on the wing-nut, for visibility in case of emergency, like falling off the trail while running.  If I'm using this while also bugging out, it's probably stuffed into my darker bag.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 21, 2012, 02:14:34 PM
And given that I got heavy because of a bum knee, and I'm loosing weight for my knee, reducing pack weight seems to be a big priority before I go out with a ruck-sack, rather than a day-pack.  So far it's been car camping, hiking out for a bit at a time with a fanny pack, and I have yet to even get more than a bit winded due to pacing myself.

At some point you might want to buy yourself a cheap heart rate monitor (some are under $50).  They're a great training tool. 

Short of that, learning to really understand your breathing can help with pacing a lot.  There's several transition points that you can use to understand how much you're demanding from your body.  Once you go above the ability to hold up your end of a conversation because you must focus on breathing, you're starting to push into a tempo pace.  Once your breathing hits the point where you avoid any talking whatsoever, you're beginning to go anaerobic and you're unsustainable.  The sweet-spot is in between for most folks.  You want to be able to comfortably get out a complete sentence, but not be able to hold a full conversation.  If you're cutting sentences down to five words each, you're at your upper limit of sustainability.

Also, whenever you hear your heartbeat in your ears, you're pinning redline and you can't sustain that pace for any meaningful distance.

As for building your own gear, that's great for modifying and improving packs, building roll up kit bags, etc., but the advancements in modern pack suspensions make sticking with a reputable designer like Osprey or Wingnut worth it.  The developments since I bought my last full-sized pack (an ArcTyr'x 70 liter) in the mid-1990s and today is unreal.  My Osprey cost me $100, which to me is the steal of the century.  I almost feel guilty buying a pack of that quality at that price.... almost... ;)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 21, 2012, 02:35:09 PM
Heh.  Yeah.  Getting good gear from good companies is a good idea, generally.  :P

I'm almost able to get all the way around the building twice for our "warm up" at martial arts.   I really want to do couch to 5K to get me up to a good jog for that warm-up period, but between already having 4 days out of the week filled with exercise (if I can make it to those), my appleseeds, etc, I'm not sure when I can start.  x.x

As for the heart monitor, what makes it such a great tool?  I've never really gotten that, especially since none seem to work on me.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 21, 2012, 03:11:21 PM
As for the heart monitor, what makes it such a great tool?  I've never really gotten that, especially since none seem to work on me.
The ability to listen very precisely to your body and set alarms for various zones of intensity can a) force you to maintain a specific effort no matter how much you want to slow down, b) keep a steady pace in a specific zone so you build true endurance, not just the ability to go hard for 20 minutes, then pack it in, c) the ability to learn how your breathing transitions from zone to zone and how those transition points are critical for understanding what is going on in your own body.

Understanding the concepts and application of lactate threshold-based training is one of the greatest tools I've ever used.  It takes the randomness out of training and makes it a science.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: idelphic on June 22, 2012, 11:28:56 AM
Endurance -
Do you have a link to your Wingnut?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 22, 2012, 11:30:16 AM
He provided it earlier, but I had to hunt back in the thread to find the link I knew was there.

http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=126 should take you there.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: idelphic on June 22, 2012, 11:33:59 AM
He provided it earlier, but I had to hunt back in the thread to find the link I knew was there.

http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=126 should take you there.
Thanks Josh - I'm pretty sure I had gone back through the thread and looked,.. but I didn't see it.  Maybe I need to have my eyes checked..
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 22, 2012, 12:15:33 PM
Sure thing idelphic.

Looks like a sweet little pack, doesn't it?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 22, 2012, 12:45:44 PM
A friend of mine is testing an MPS Alpha he's borrowing soon.  I'm looking forward to his review.  I really like the modular design, but having a pack that big without a proper suspension seems like it could be a problem with weight distribution.

Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 22, 2012, 01:23:01 PM
It's a neat looking system, but I don't think I'll be spending that much on a pack to replace the one I have any time soon.

I still totally need to get used to my gear before I know what I do and don't like.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 22, 2012, 03:26:08 PM
Over the years I've developed my own preferences.  For any pack that is bearing a load more than about 15-20 pounds I prefer a taller pack that has load lifting straps above your shoulders.  This allows you to keep the pack stable while shifting practically all the weight from your shoulders to the hip strap.

(http://www.rei.com/pix/expertAdvice/articles/ea1009_load_lifter_sternum.gif)

Without that, even relatively light loads can become uncomfortable over the course of a day.  That's my biggest concern with designs like the MPS Alpha.  Now it's possible you could load your heavier gear on the hip belt portion and your bulky items up top, but given the size of the main compartment, it just seems like it's going to be prone to get heavy and put a lot of weight on your shoulders instead of your hips.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 22, 2012, 03:48:05 PM
I am unfamiliar with these load lifter straps.

Please elaborate and elucidate, endurance.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 22, 2012, 04:38:18 PM
Short pack with no load lifting straps:

(http://www.zappos.com/sites/default/files/zappos/stm_backpacks_lp.jpg)


She's got it right, he's got it wrong:

(http://dualpineclub.org/photos/albums/album07/Alpine_Club_Backpacking_Trip_2004_001.jpg)

Wrong again:
(http://sp.life123.com/bm.pix/bigstockphoto_backpacking_in_the_montana_wil_572254.s600x600.jpg)

Perfect!:

(http://www.prickeared.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/131-jason-hiking-dog-in-his-backpack.jpg)

Strong work:

(http://www.jandd.com/Technotes/Pack_fitting/image1.jpg)

Ideally, you can set the pack up with about a 45 degree angle in the load lifting strap.  When you are moving through challenging terrain when you want the pack to feel very close to you, you loosen the load lifting straps and tighten the straps under your arms.  When you want to take the weight off your shoulders and transfer the weight to your hips, you loosen the straps under your arms and tighten the load lifting straps.  A good fitting pack should have the belt over your hip bones so you can cinch it up tight without impinging on your diaphragm and a 45 degree angle on the load lifting straps.  Too many folks don't take the time to learn this stuff and have incredibly sore shoulders and fatigue quicker because of it.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 22, 2012, 09:50:33 PM
Innnnteresting.

My ruck sack actually says to put the pack across your belly in order to avoid pinching blood vessels and nerves in the hips, but also has suggestions for hip-bearing, if you decide you want to wear it that way.

It has no instructions for adjusting straps in such a position, so I presume that it doesn't have them, but I'll take time to look it over later.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 23, 2012, 08:51:24 PM
Okay, I've looked at my ruck-sack, and it has similar straps, but they are placed barely above the main pack straps, and if I fit the straps to droop slightly over my shoulders, those straps will be, at best, horizontal.

I've also tried on some of the camelbak products at my local store.  I tried on a lobo (3L) first.  It was okay.  It was light, and more comfortable than a cantine, but that was empty.  And the strap came across my belly in a less than comfortable way, even when fully stretched out.

Then I tried on a smaller one, I forget the name, but it might have been the Aurora.  The lighter packs were more comfortable still due to the decreased weight, so I can see why folks prefer the lighter ones for trail running.

I think I'll need to ask to have extra large straps on my wingnut if I decide to buy one.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 23, 2012, 08:56:07 PM
Okay, I've looked at my ruck-sack, and it has similar straps, but they are placed barely above the main pack straps, and if I fit the straps to droop slightly over my shoulders, those straps will be, at best, horizontal.

The best thing to do is loosen all the straps as far as they go.  Put the pack on and tighten the waist strap where you want it.  Then tighten the straps under your arms.  Then tighten the load lifters and loosen the straps under your arms and give the load lifters one last tighten.  This is usually going to get a pack set up about as good at that particular pack is going to fit.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 23, 2012, 10:27:42 PM
Thanks Endurance.  I'll give that a try, see how those straps work out.  Do you think I should do this every time I put the pack on?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 25, 2012, 07:17:21 AM
Okay, I've got some new data, and 1L is definitely NOT enough for my initial bladder.

I was out in one of my favorite places to walk/hike (a local private forest preserve maintained through donations, memberships, and volunteer work) with only 1L.  I left at a few min before 10, got back a few min before 5:30, and had a 1/2 hour break in the middle.  I'm going to be going to this area fairly often, and I want more than even 2L when I do.  3L bladder to start it is.  I can put up with an extra 2L of water I don't need far better than I can not having 2L that I do need.

I started off with a couch to 5K run on the trail, and I chugged the last of my 1L down very shortly after finishing.  Had I been able to drink sips easily between heavy breathing, it would have been gone before I finished.

And I've found a deliciously flat and sandy running area that will tire me out quicker, but be gentler on my joints... but it's the river-side trail several miles in.  I'm going to be needing 3L regularly.

Even if I'm just doing couch to 5K around the apartment complex, I'll still want a bit more than 1L, and I figure I can just partially fill my 3L until I get a smaller bladder system for that run (if I ever do).

My father under-hydrates, while I am the anti-camel.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 25, 2012, 08:04:05 AM
Do you think I should do this every time I put the pack on?
No, once you get it dialed in, you might even want to use a silver sharpie and mark the spots on all the straps so you can always easily find that sweet spot.  It's so nice to toss on a pack and have it dialed in perfect every time.  Sure, changes in load, terrain, and bulk will change things from time to time, but in general, one setting is going to work for you most of the time and it's always going to be a good place to start.

1L is for a sub-1 hour activity for me.  Yesterday I did a 5:45 hike with my 50oz. bladder in my Wingnut.  Nine miles (3.5-4 hours in) in I stopped at a stream and filled back up, tossed in a couple chlorine tablets, waited about 20-30 minutes and was good the rest of the hike.  I generally don't use that small pack on longer hikes, but we were trying to do a lot as quickly as possible, so we were traveling light (hiking over a 12,900' pass).  Generally a 100oz. bladder is what you need for all-day activities and you can always under-fill it.  That's why my Mule gets a lot of mileage.  It's the smallest pack with the largest water capacity.  Considering I usually hike with as much stuff in my cargo pockets as my pack, I don't need a lot of pack space.  Basically raingear, lunch, spare cell phone battery (or charger), and the legs to my pants.  The survival kit, food, cell phone/GPS, headlamp, etc. all goes in my cargo pockets.

If you have enough streams, putting an in-line filter lets you carry less water, but without a way to refill, there's still no such thing as dehydrated water.  I also find the fitter I get the less water I need on the trail.  I'll still slam it as soon as I get to the car, but on the trail I'm not dying out there like I would have been earlier this year.  My wife did the entire hike yesterday on 1L (5:45, 4k' of climbing, 13+/- miles).  That ain't natural. :o
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 25, 2012, 08:16:30 AM
Well, I need to get a silver sharpy anyway, so that works just fine.

Well, at least a portion of this is weight.  The more you weigh, the more water you need to cover your body weight.  And then the more over-weight you are as a part of that weight, the more you'll need.  She probably weighs somewhere around 1/3 of what I do.  My weight is on the way down, but it's no where near where I want it yet.  That, and I've got a heavy body type, so even once I've lost almost all my fat, I'll still be and look heavier than one of those bean-pole fellows. 

So yeah, you might be fine doing what I did yesterday with a 1L, but I'm definitely not.

As far as filtering goes... maybe... but so far the only places that I've found where I can get close to the water are pretty close to the nature center anyway.  The spot I've picked for my run is a nice long sand trail right along a major river... but the banks are steep, and covered with a combination of rocks and fallen trees.  No safe way down to it, and it's probably filled with dumped viruses from non-filtered city waste water.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 25, 2012, 08:54:28 AM
I think that one of the following 3 systems may be for me:

http://sourceoutdoor.com/hydration-packs/70-spinner-pro-race.html
http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=124
http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=116

Of course I'm going to want to add MOLLE straps to any of them that I get, for the flexibility of attachment they offer.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 28, 2012, 10:00:14 AM
I definitely like the Hyper 3.0.  Anytime I have easy to access pockets at my waist, I'm a very happy camper.  It's so convenient.

Definitely talk to them about extra long straps.  I just noticed that my chest strap was at the very end and while it's fine for me, I only have a 44-46" chest.  They definitely assume all athletes are built like small children. ;)

As far as a little extra weight goes, until I hit my mid-30s I had a hard time staying over my high school graduation weight, often between 161-167pounds at 5'11".  Now I'm 190 hoping to get down to 180 over the summer, but reasonably content where I'm at.  Look at the real survival experts and they're no skinny-minis.  Les Stroud, Cody Lundin, Dave Canterbury; they're all carrying more than a few extra pounds, but they'll out hike and out survive just about anyone.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 28, 2012, 10:43:05 AM
Thanks.  I've got some questions out in e-mail to them, submitted through their form.  I intend to e-mail back and forth, making sure I get the right pack, and get the right customizations.  If I'm paying $85+ for a hand-made pack, I want to get it right.

A couple suggestions for customization I saw in their customer reviews involved having a handle added to the top to allow you to hang it on pegs, and having organization flaps installed inside the pockets to help keep things separate.

I don't think that the split-back would accept MOLLE straps well, so I think I'll want the Hyper 3.0.  If I can get them to sew the MOLLE straps on at design, I think I'll go that rout.

I'm debating between reflective silver, and asking them to make it in a forest or lincoln green, with velcro on it so that I can add reflective patches to the top and sides.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 28, 2012, 11:20:41 AM
They're really limited on colors because they use sail material.  It's incredibly light and I'm not really sure how it would hold up to a heavily loaded Molle system.

For organizing your kit in pockets, I've found nothing better than the pouches from Survival Metrics on e-bay.  These are my favorites Small Red (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fire-Red-Small-Survival-Kit-Pouch-/270694513359?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f06a67acf) and medium brown (http://www.ebay.com/itm/E-E-Pouch-Tactical-Small-Survival-Kit-Pouch-Military-/280857682901?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41646c23d5). 
They also work great in the pocket of your cargo pants.  While the material and zippers are waterproof, because the zippers are two-way and there's a gap and the stitching isn't sealed, they will leak, but for the most part, they'll keep your stuff very dry and well protected, while adding nearly zero weight to your pack.


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7178/6918050489_9c42d090b1_z.jpg)
You can see two of the smaller pouches in this picture, but it all fits in one of the larger pouches, which is the kit that is generally in my cargo pouch on my pants when I'm hiking or in my pack.  Actually, looking at that kit, it's an older one and what I carry now is a lot more compact and in a smaller pouch, but you get the idea. ;)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 28, 2012, 11:44:00 AM
I wasn't sure if the sale material came in those greens I was wanting.  It was something I was going to ask.

And it's less that I want a heavily loaded set of MOLLE straps, as it is that I would like a few attachment points for things like this: http://source-military.com/hydration-accessories/36-uta-with-pouch.html or other small, light objects.  Then again, I suppose that's what the side-pouches are for.  :P

I'll look into those organization pouches.

What do you think of the XY and the XY-micro that wingnut advertises?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 28, 2012, 11:59:22 AM
What do you think of the XY and the XY-micro that wingnut advertises?
for me, I found them too heavy and bulky compared to their other stuff.  The padded cell phone pouch is entirely too bulky.  Cell phones and cameras are not that fragile that they need to make a pouch 1" thick for an item thinner than a quarter inch.  I have the same cheap Canon point and shoot I bought in 2006.  4800 photos taken with it, rained on, dropped a dozen times on hard surfaces, never cared for in any way and it's still taking great pictures.  It doesn't need a cushion.  I carry it in the shoulder pocket that's supposed to be for your gels.  (I think I have the micro explorer and if you want it, it's hardly used and I'd give you a hell of a deal on it ($10 shipped)).

I'll admit my biases openly:  make it lighter, more compact, and durable enough to last a few years and I'll buy it.  make it bulky, overbuilt, and heavy and I'll buy another product.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 28, 2012, 12:41:13 PM
Nah, if it's that thick by it's self it's definitely not worth it.  I just want something to hold various items in a pre-arranged way, where I don't have to dig through multiple levels of bags.  Just the micro by it's self doesn't make any sense to me.

What are the dimensions on those pocket flaps?  If I can get a couple pockets sewn into the flap on one side to hold my camera and phone in place, there will be less jiggling and easy access.

And then I can put dirty items like cloth work gloves and a pocket chain saw in the other... while my lunch and emergency gear goes in the main cargo pocket.  Not sure which pocket to put the multi-tool in.

By the way, in your load-out, what kind of rope is that nuclear pink rope?  It looks too thick for Paracord.  Is that nylon climbing rope?  Reflective tracer?
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 28, 2012, 02:59:43 PM
Nah, if it's that thick by it's self it's definitely not worth it.  I just want something to hold various items in a pre-arranged way, where I don't have to dig through multiple levels of bags.  Just the micro by it's self doesn't make any sense to me.
Agreed.

Quote
What are the dimensions on those pocket flaps?  If I can get a couple pockets sewn into the flap on one side to hold my camera and phone in place, there will be less jiggling and easy access.
4.5x6" and 6x6"  I also have another that I think is 6x8 or 9".  You can get them in multiple colors if you hunt around the Survival Metrics e-bay page or by googling "sil-nylon zippered pouch".  There's also some interesting Cuben fiber bags, too if you want something lightweight and see-thru http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/stuff_sacks.shtml (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/stuff_sacks.shtml)

Quote
By the way, in your load-out, what kind of rope is that nuclear pink rope?  It looks too thick for Paracord.  Is that nylon climbing rope?  Reflective tracer?
It's Rothco milspec 550 cord (http://www.campingsurvival.com/allofourremi.html).  Neon pink with reflective tracer.  They may not be running it at this time, but it never hurts to contact them and ask what lengths they have in what colors if you have something specific in mind.  If you want to go super light, the Kelty 3mm (http://www.campmor.com/kelty-triptease-lightline-reflective-cord.shtml?source=CI&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=28098) reflective is perfect for pocket kits.  Still rated at over 100#, but much thinner and lighter.  Reflective tracer and bright colors makes it serve multiple purposes, as it can be used as flagging, tied to tools (like your pocket chainsaw) so you don't lose them, used as guy lines on tents so you won't trip over them, along with normal cordage needs.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 28, 2012, 03:26:18 PM
I'd be tempted to get glow in the dark for tent guywires if I was getting special cord for that, rather than just reflective.

Also, I was talking about the flaps on the side-pouches of the Hyper 3.0.  Sorry for not being more specific.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on June 28, 2012, 07:43:35 PM
Also, I was talking about the flaps on the side-pouches of the Hyper 3.0.  Sorry for not being more specific.
I don't know.  Not a pack I own, just one I admire.

The glow in the dark cord seems interesting.  I've thought about using it for a knife lanyard so I can find it in the dark.  However, since I don't get out of the tent when I'm camping without a headlamp, reflective works just fine for my purposes.  Not sure how long the glow in the dark cord would glow after it was exposed to light.  I've seen some glow material last 6-8 hours, I've seen other stuff fade after 20-30 minutes.  All of it adds a level of versatility that standard 550 cord doesn't have.  It comes at a cost, but for my wilderness kit, I spare no expense because I travel light and my life may depend on each piece of gear.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on June 28, 2012, 09:07:48 PM
My walking staff (that I still want to make a blog post about) has a combination of reflective and glow in the dark woven into a 3-pass turk's head.  The glow in the dark is very bright at first, and rated to last 8 hours after a full day's exposure.

And I agree on the head-lamp, I keep one or more with me at all times while camping.  I'm also seeing why you dislike the over-the-top strap.  I recently got a super-bright headlamp for a present, and it comes with one of those straps.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: BDinVA on July 09, 2012, 01:53:08 PM
I own a couple stand-alone Camelbak hydration systems as well as a Transformer Hydration + Cargo pack which I use as a daypack for hiking, going to the shooting range, the beach, etc.

Like an earlier poster said, you have to be disciplined for keeping up your gear because if you just throw your backpack in the closet and don't bother draining/drying, you are going to have issues.

I never put anything in the bladder except water, and rarely have to clean any of the systems.  Camelbak makes a really handy cleaning kit with a brush and a hanger with spacer to keep the bladder "opened up" while it air-dries.  That has worked very well for me.

Knock on wood, never had any parts fail, either.  Great products, IMO.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on July 20, 2012, 12:23:44 PM
Well, I think I've got my first crack at my system figured out.

Hyper 3.0 (http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=116) for the pack.
I'm having them add a second handle on the top to give me more flexibility when trying to hang it on pegs.  They're also going to add a pocket up against the waist for me, so that I can have things like my multi-tool, or emergency gear tucked exactly where I need them, and also close in to the body for stability.  I asked for charcoal/charcoal, because I thought it was a slightly lighter off-black (I don't like stark black), but now that I'm looking over the colors, I think I may call them back and ask them to change it to for black/black, or charcoal/black.

They'll also be adding some loop velcro for me, so that I can attach reflective patches when I want the reflective nature, and remove it when I don't.

As far as the Mole, he doesn't really think it'd work well on the pack, and with the size of the pack, I'm going to try going without this time around.

As far as the actual hydration system goes, I'm looking at the following
WXP 3L Upgrade Kit (http://source-military.com/stand-alone/91-wxp-3l-upgrade-kit.html)
I'd prefer to get the forest plastic to getting the coyote, but this one has a center stabilizing adhesion to prevent bulging, and going with the kit all together costs way less than buying the bladder and the UTA separately.

I'm also looking at getting a [urlhttp://source-military.com/hydration-accessories/43-magnet-clip.html]magnet clip[/url] or a docking station (http://source-military.com/hydration-accessories/42-docking-station-strom.html).

I'm also trying to figure out how to combine orders from the civilian side to get a tube insulator (http://sourceoutdoor.com/winter-hydration-systems/28-tube-insulator.html) for winter conditions.

I think that the magnetic clip might well work better with the tube insulator than the docking station would.

So, if I'm about to do something stupid here, please let me know so I can stop myself?  :P

If you think my chosen system is totally awesome, I wouldn't mind hearing that either.  ;)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: endurance on July 20, 2012, 01:47:12 PM
Are the guys at Wingnut great or what?  Gotta love folks that are so willing to help you build your perfect pack.  You've come up with some good mods that I'm slightly envious of. ;)

I'm a camelbak bladder guy, especially now with the new Antidote system that makes the tube easily removable.  Now, I can have one tube with an in-line filter and one without and easily swap them back and forth, even when the bladder is full.  That said, there's nothing wrong with the bladder you're looking at. 

No opinion on the docking station.

The tube insulators have never been my schtick.  The reason is that they can still freeze if you don't take a drink often enough, but you can keep any tube from freezing by just blowing all the water out of the tube after every sip.  If there's no water in the tube, it can't freeze.  It has never failed me yet. ;)
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on July 20, 2012, 02:03:50 PM
So, getting in a simple habit is actually more reliable than adding more gear/weight?  I think I'll need to be learning that habbit.  Thanks Endurance.

And yeah, I really liked working with them over the phone.  Communicating with them through tech is a bit awkward though, as I never got a reply to my e-mail, and their message taking system is full.

I'm glad you like the modifications.

And Source has had detachable systems that work with full bladders available for a while.  They've got multiple improvements over Camelbak, which may have forced Camelbak to absorb the improvements (sort of like IE improving because of FireFox).  That said, I'm cool with folks who want to use Camelbak, or the non-military style Source.

I recently saw that they had a page with that "Story of Stuff" woman on it, so that's more evidence that I don't want to do business with Camelbak.

But really, knocking someone doing buisness with Camelbak is like kvetching over a choice between Chrome and Firefox when there are still loads of IE6 and IE7 users out there.

I'm the sort of guy who tends to go with minimum-levels for recurring costs, and pays for top-line utility on products I'm buying for permanent or semi-permanent use.  I wind up spending less, and (over the long term) getting more.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on July 20, 2012, 02:43:31 PM
I recently tried out someone's bladder they bought at Wal Mart — probably an Ozark Trail or something...

Anyway, the bite valve looked pretty beefy compared to the basic one on my Camelbak bladder but I could NOT get the water to come out no matter how hard I sucked on the thing! It was so bad I would die of dehydration before I could ever get the water out fast enough to quench my thirst. I wanted to take a pocket knife and cut the opening a bit larger but my friend wouldn't let me (but she was complaining about the same thing too).

Just something else to be mindful of when checking these out because it usually is not kosher to put your mouth on things at the store before you buy them to test them out!
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Josh the Aspie on July 20, 2012, 02:47:34 PM
Thanks Adam.  The "bite" that comes with this system (the "Storm" valve) is closer to the pull/push valve you find on a lot of water-bottles, rather than one you actually bite down on.
Title: Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
Post by: Adam B. on July 20, 2012, 02:52:47 PM
That's cool I would like to go back when I have a minute and read through the posts in the thread I missed. I am not in the market for anything like that now but my bladder I use is getting old and will probably need replaced sometime.

I prefer the bite down ones but mine, even though it really lets the water through, it also drips on me throughout the hike or bike ride.