Whether you are a day hiker or a serious trail runner, having a hydration pack among your arsenal of camping gear can help you stay in peak condition. By having the sip tube within easy reach, it is just a matter of gentle pressure on the bite valve to keep you hydrated in even the most demanding conditions.
A very important component to the hydration pack is the bite valve. This is where your mouth makes contact, so you will want to make sure not to bite too hard and wear the material out. They are most commonly constructed of silicone and because they see the most use, they tend to wear out first. Like most hydration pack components, they can be easily replaced when this happens. Ensure you are getting adequate hydration by having a valve you are comfortable with.
The heart of the hydration pack is a secure bladder. This is where your water, or electrolyte drink of choice, is stored. To help maintain a secure bladder, you must ensure that you keep the bite valve locked until use, and make sure that the hose is properly connected. Cleaning your bladder, and other components such as the hose, can be a simple task. You will want to ensure that you clean it promptly after use, and store it properly according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Besides constant, easy hydration, one of the biggest advantages of a hydration pack is that you can choose the perfect size for your needs. Choosing the correct size depends on the most common activity you will be using it for. You can select a lighter model for day hikes, versatile enough to hold an afternoon’s supplies. There are even larger packs to hold more gear along with the bladder, perfect for everything from a long mountain bike ride, or days of climbing.
It will be easy to appreciate the advantages of a hydration pack the first time you use one. You will never want to slow down or stop moving for a drink again. The thought of toting around a water bottle all day will seem obsolete. And of course, being able to have a drink anytime can help make sure you are always hydrated and healthy.