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272 CamelBak Accessories 2010-08-25

CamelBak Filter Adapter

I was a slow adapter to using a bladder in my pack for drinking. My first attempt at using one was on a long distance trail run. The idea sounded great, I could just sip away as I ran and would never get thirsty. The only problem was there was no sipping involved. I had to suck with all my power to get a few drops. After thirty miles, I still had a full bladder, and I was wasted. The bladder was useless to me because I had to choose between breathing and drinking. Breathing always won. I would not finish my run.

Years late after marrying Amy, she introduced me to the CamelBak. I had just started using trekking poles on most hikes and the CamelBak soon found a place in my pack. The bladder made water accessible even while using poles. The excellent bite valve even made sipping possible. There was no more turning blue trying to get a few drops from the bladder.

Now I use the CamelBak religiously. On a recent climb of Teewinot, one member of our group carried water bottles instead of a bladder. In order to take a drink he had to stop, take his pack off, and find one of his water bottles. A good bladder allows you to drink while moving, even if you are from the old school. I encouraged him to buy a bladder immediately. Too bad REI did not have a store on the East Face!

The CamelBak bladder is one of the best bladders; but it is even better with a few accessories. After buying my first CamelBak, Amy soon had me tricked out on accessories including:

  • Bite Valve Cover - to keep the bite valve clean when you take your pack off and set it in the dirt. Essential.
  • Brush Set - especially the hose cleaner. It does a great job of getting gunk out of the hose - I do not carry anything but water and the hose still gets funky. Important.
  • Camel Clip - to hold the hose in a convenient location so that the bite valve is just a head turn away. I just never could get used to the clip; but Amy uses hers all the time. Optional.
  • Reservoir Dryer - to dry out the bladder after each use. I only use the small 50 ounce bladder and don't seem to need special tools to help with the drying. On longer, bigger reservoirs the dryer would be essential. Optional (with small bladder)
  • Cleaning Tablets - used to help clean the bladder and hose. We use drops instead of the CamelBak tablets. Important.
  • Ergo Hydrolock - changes the angle of the bite valve, but also is a shut off valve. Optional; but only because I use the Filter Adapter. The angle of the bite valve is not important to me, but maybe because of my pack, an Osprey Talon 44.
  • Filter Adapter - has a shut off valve and a coupling to disconnect the bite valve and connect it to a water filter. You can fill up the bladder without taking it out of your pack! Just remember to re-open the valve before you start pumping. The Filter Adapter is a great piece of gear no matter which bladder you use. Essential.
  • Flow Meter Hydration Gauge - tells how much water has been used. One problem with using a bladder is that it is tucked away in you pack and you never know how much water is left until you run out. The gauge is a solution. We do not have the Flow Meter , but we recognized the need for a gauge before the Flow Meter Hydration Gauge was introduced. It is a little costly, so we will probably just feel the bladder to judge how much water is left in the reservoir. Very Optional, but looks fun.

The CamelBak accessories change the simple bladder into the envy of any hiker. Buy the essential "mods" and then test some of the other options.

Happy CamelBak trails.


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