Author Topic: clean hydration pack  (Read 10117 times)

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mbooks

  • Guest
clean hydration pack
« on: May 15, 2011, 05:00:53 pm »
Hi,

Does anyone have any tips on keeping your hydration pack bacteria-free? I used to carry one religiously, but then gave up because I could never quite get all the water out of it. If I didn't use it every day, it would start to get gnarly. I'm about to go on the Sierra Cascades route and want as much water-carrying capacity as possible, so I'd like to carry it on this trip. My question is: if you carry a hydration pack, how do you clean it while on the road?

thx!
m

Offline hem

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 12:00:47 am »
I use denture cleaning tablets overnight.

Offline whittierider

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 02:39:49 am »
Quote
I'm about to go on the Sierra Cascades route and want as much water-carrying capacity as possible, so I'd like to carry it on this trip.
So that's in addition to bottles, right?  I say that because you can get more capacity with just bottles than with just the hydration pack.  Put two 32-ounce Zefal Magnum bottles on the frame in the normal places for 64 ounces, and two more behind the seat in one of the twin water bottle holders mostly used by the triathlon bunch, like the ones made by XLab, for a total of 128 ounces.  If you put another one under the down tube, you'll have 160 ounces.  Twofish makes one that mounts with velcro if you don't have the places to screw in a cage under there.  This web page might give you some ideas too.  The water storage bags mentioned there look like a good, tough, high-capacity solution.  There are several sizes up to ten litres which is over 2.5 gallons.

mbooks

  • Guest
Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 01:08:05 pm »
I will try the denture tablets - thanks!

Thanks for the bottle suggestion, but I'm happy with my water setup. I have two Nalgenes in my panniers plus two bottles on the frame plus the hydration pack. I'm going to mount the hydration pack on my front rack so it's easier to drink but I don't have to carry it on my back. The pack is nice because when it's empty it's easier to carry, which will be nice on the section of the route that's not in the desert. I did this setup when I rode through Southeastern Oregon and I had plenty of water, even though there was a 130-mile stretch with nothing but a tiny rest stop in the middle.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 01:05:27 pm »
Bladder or water bottles really have the same problem.  You can either sterilize with boiling water or bleach.    A 2 or 4 ounce bottle of bleach might go a long way.  I would have to read the ingredient list of denture cleaner to know if that works or not.
Danno

Offline hem

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 03:09:42 pm »
Geesh I thought anyone who uses a Camelbak would have heard of using denture cleaner tablets to clean the bladders. A simple google search brings up pages of references using denture tablets to clean hydration bladders.
Including this http://walking.about.com/od/hydration/tp/camelbackclean.htmwhich give seven ways to do the job.

Using denture tablets and Camelbak tablets(expensive) seems to me the easiest way when you are on the road or in the back country which I thought was the OP request.

Offline kingstumps70

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2011, 11:30:08 pm »
Like the baking soda/lemon juice mix.Thanks,I need this.

Offline DaveB

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 10:09:42 am »
A long as I use nothing but water in them, I've never had any problem with hydration packs or water bottles developing mold or other contamination.  Use Gatorade or other sugar-containing drinks and the cleaning process is a lot more difficult and must be more thorough. 

For the bladders used with water only, I just drain then (and the hose) as thoroughly as possible and invert them over a plastic pipe to air dry.

If you already have mold or bacteria problems, soaking with a strong bleach solution followed by thorough rinsing should clean and disinfect it.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 11:54:20 am »
A long as I use nothing but water in them, I've never had any problem with hydration packs or water bottles developing mold or other contamination.  Use Gatorade or other sugar-containing drinks and the cleaning process is a lot more difficult and must be more thorough. 

For the bladders used with water only, I just drain then (and the hose) as thoroughly as possible and invert them over a plastic pipe to air dry.

If you already have mold or bacteria problems, soaking with a strong bleach solution followed by thorough rinsing should clean and disinfect it.
It can be difficult to air dry a bladder unless you are super methodical.  I may not sterilize my bladder after each use, but I do periodically sterilize the bladders I have.  I find that slime grows readily on the insides of the bladder, and ugly dark stuff will find its way to the drinking tube.  Even with the Camelback cleaning kit, bladders are hard enough to keep clean.

 I am thinking of taking a Cameback on a week long trip, so I recently tried out the denture cleaning methond. 
Danno

Offline dombrosk

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 08:26:49 pm »
There's an old saying that everybody 'eats a peck of dirt' in their life.

For whatever it's worth, I've been on quite a few monthlong tours with a camelbak that I shook out and refilled every day without ever cleaning or drying it.

Your results may vary, but it's possible that advertising has made us bacteria-phobic.

Offline rjones35

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 09:46:15 am »
Yep, denture tabs are the way to go!  Probably wouldn't have to do it every day, maybe once a week I would think.  I use the generic ones from CVS or Walgreens, they were cheap for a box of 100 or something like that.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 06:21:33 pm »
I've found that my hydration bladder can be arranged with its opening on one of our plastic kitchen tumblers such that it is propped open, and it dries out nicely in a day or two.  Since I normally don't use it more than once every month (or three), that's perfectly acceptable for me and keeps the slime at bay.  If I used it more often, of course, it might get much slimier.

Offline jahwalla

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 01:09:44 pm »
I just keep mine in the freezer. and rinse it thoroughly after use.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2011, 11:50:50 am »
Once upon a time there was this other list...

Someone else commented about the merits of dark storage in a freezer for their bladder.

A drug resesearcher commented that stuff will still be growing in the bladder and that this was not a long term solution to bladder hygene.

I am going to go with she knew what she was talking about.
Danno

Offline bogiesan

Re: clean hydration pack
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 08:50:33 am »
A question: How much attention do you pay to your toothbrush or your hand washing routines and other basic field hygiene? Grungy and a bit funky okay with you? Or are you fastidious to the point of obsessive?

http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Accessories/2010-Antidote-Cleaning-Kit.aspx

Camelbak provides everything the consicientious camper needs to maintain hygiene including hangers, brushes, tablets and even instructions and recommendations.

I used to backpack with an internist in the 70s and 80s. This was when reports of water-borne diseases were increasing in Idaho's wilderness and water filters were becoming expensive but necessary accessories. This doctor pointed out maintaining a sterile water source is far more complicated than anyone believes. If you rinse your hands in the lake, walk across a creek and then touch your boots or dip your bandana into the stream and wipe your face, there's no need to filter your water except to remove debris. At the microscopic level, you've totally compromised your clean water regimen.

Airborne molds, yeasts and spores may not make you sick; it's often the byproducts of these things that makes you sick But there's no way for you to look at or to smell your bladder and know whether it is contaminated with or simply harboring a lower life form. There is always something growing or hanging out in or on a wet system, part of which spends time in your mouth.

david boise ID

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent