Author Topic: hydration options in desert  (Read 561 times)

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Offline gail_artrip

hydration options in desert
« on: September 15, 2013, 04:33:23 pm »
I'm hoping to do some cycle touring next spring or summer in southern Utah, with long distances between available water sources. Besides carrying a few water bottles (inadequate), what options do I have to carry enough water on my bike? I really don't want to wear a Camelbak.

Offline John Nelson

Re: hydration options in desert
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 06:10:46 pm »
Platypus bottles (http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platypus/bottles-and-storage/platy-bottle/product) work very well. I strap them to the top of my panniers. Then I put quarts of Gatorade inside my panniers. I can carry several gallons or more. You need to make sure that your panniers aren't already stuffed too full.

Offline JayH

Re: hydration options in desert
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 04:57:25 am »
What kind of tour, off road, road?  You going with rack and panniers or framebag, bikepacking, etc? 

MSR makes dromedary bags which are expensive but very durable, more so than the clear platypus bags. Both should last you a bunch of trips but the MSRs will typically last longer than the hard plastic type bags.   You can try to lash the MSRs to the tops and outsides of bags if you're trying to avoid a camelback.

If it's a road tour, you can try using trek bat cages with hose clamps to the front fork legs (if you're not using a front rack) and something to tie the waterbottle down, string, bungee, etc.    This isn't failsafe but does work.  Cages fail, bumps, etc..  You can also get away with hose clamps and mounting water bottles under the downtube, better if you have fenders to keep the muck off..

Jay

Offline bogiesan

Re: hydration options in desert
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 05:56:27 am »
I'm hoping to do some cycle touring next spring or summer in southern Utah, with long distances between available water sources. Besides carrying a few water bottles (inadequate), what options do I have to carry enough water on my bike? I really don't want to wear a Camelbak.

Lots of folks do those routes every year. Some get into trouble. You don't need to be on that list.

An adequate water supply depends on many factors. You add up the miles you need to cross between confirmed water sources, attentuate by temperatures and winds, divide by your known water consumption rate. The figure you arrive at is the number of quarts of water you must carry. Multiply that by 2 and you arrive at the approximate mass, in pounds, of that water. I think you will find your back turns out to be a good location for 6 to 20 pounds of the supply you must haul. So start shopping for a backpack or lumbar pack you can tolerate or even enjoy wearing. It doesn't need to have a reservoir pocket, it just needs to be able to comfortably haul a good portion of your crucial water supply in containers.

Back when I was backpacking, I learned to carry several water bottles instead of one or two. The  extra mass of the bottles was negligible. If one developed a leak or was lost I could still make the next river or creek or lake.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Bike Hermit

Re: hydration options in desert
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 01:24:07 pm »
I have been trying to sort that conundrum myself. We are riding Highway 50 from Carson City, NV to Cedar City, UT next month and there are some long stretches without services and likely without surface water so we will need to carry enough for two or three days at a time. In Southern Utah however you should be able to find surface water so  you should take a filter and some bladders. Alternatively, or better yet in addition to the filter take a Camelbak All Clear and a solar charger to keep it topped off. I just did this blog post about those.
http://biketouringnews.com/bike-touring-equipment/charging-electronics-on-bike-tours/

Offline mmounties

Re: hydration options in desert
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 06:12:11 pm »
The  extra mass of the bottles was negligible. If one developed a leak or was lost I could still make the next river or creek or lake.

I totally agree.  I'd pack extra water bottles into and on my front panniers.  Also, if your water bottles can move around while you bike (like in the basket I used riding my friend's bike in Germany this summer), make sure you don't use bottles with a simple flip-up top but rather opt for screw-on tops, else you will almost certainly experience leaks. 

Around here (SoCal) I usually go with several quart-size bottles.  I also carry Gatorade powder so I can make some on the fly if I need it.
-- Tina