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Bottle vs hydropack


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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#2
A 2 liter Platypus reservoir weighs about 6 ounces. 1 liter of water weighs about 2.2 pounds. So the only difference in weight would be a bottle vs the reservoir, which is not enough of a difference to affect the choice if you prefer a bladder, which I personally do. I carried a 2 liter Platypus and my total pack weight was around 9 pounds. Flexible plastic bottles will shave a few ounces, so the decision is not make or break.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#3
I literally just posted this on another thread. Not sure how to link to that post, sorry mods, so I'll just move it to here as this thread is more relevant.

There are a few things to consider IMHO.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was a confirmed bladder user on my first Camino. I loved being able to sip 'at will' and being able to carry plenty of water with me. I go through a lot. I too had a 2 L bladder, and on hot days would throw a couple of extra bottles in the side pouches.

On my next Camino (#3) I won't be carrying a water bladder.

Like the whole debate on poles and footwear, it's a very personal choice. But my reasons are:

  1. Using the bladder I tended to carry too much water! And the extra weight was noticeable.
  2. The empty bladder itself is not light.... (165 gms)
  3. Having said that, a couple of days the bladder ran dry! On really hot days. Thankfully I had a small emergency bottle with me, or came upon a drinks stand in the middle of nowhere. But because the bladder was inside my pack I couldn't easily monitor how full it was...... (one time the bite valve had leaked)
  4. I'm now training with water bottles, hanging on the front straps of my pack. I use a tube looped around to the other side to drink from. This works really well. I can see exactly how much water I have left. I can use what ever size bottles suit the day. 1.5 - 2L each side if need be! I'm training with 750 ml each side. Pat is using it too and loves the 'system'. She likes to sip as she walks too.
  5. You'll see on the pic that I use the full length drinking tube. I could cut it very short and save a few gms weight, but I like the idea of added flexibility. I could carry the bottle in a side pouch or even inside my pack if I wanted to.
  6. Lastly, in the past I have tended to carry too much water (and hence weight). This time I'll make sure to top up my bottles more frequently along the way. Cafes, fonts, etc. But always carrying an 'emergency' bottle of 500 ml or so just in case. That usually also had electrolytes in it.
  7. I expect most days to carry 2 x 750 ml. Pat carries 2 x 500 ml. But of course that is weather and distance dependant. I think the first time on that 17 km section out of Carrion (with no fonts or villages) I must have carried at least 3 L. I probably used 1.5.........
I really didn't want to give up on my water bladder, using it on #2 as well. But the logic and reasoning of other Forum members got through eventually :rolleyes:






Note. The small white clips are Clipsta. As recommended by David. Now called Hipsta I think.https://www.hipsta.com.au/
The yellow elastic cord is from Amazon. They are quick tie shoes laces.......
The bottle on the right of the picture is actually held in place by the packs 'stow on the go' pole loop.
The one on the left, just with the yellow shock cord.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPP - SDC 2013
CP Porto - SDC (Coastal & Spiritual Variant) 2016
Finisterre 2016
Norte(Sep 2018)
#4
I'm with Davebugg on using a bladder. Given the picture of the military medical service pin attached to his name I'm guessing he knows plenty about the amount of wter we really should be consuming daily during a typical 25+km trek and 2ltrs isn't much. Most well experienced back country back packers will also say that consuming two ltrs of water in a day's worth of trekking isn't much. Some days a curse the weight of my 2 ltre bladder but fact is with the tube I drink much more frequently than I would with a bottle because of easier access. That translates into a better functioning, injury resistant body that bounces back quicker. If you are going with bottles do as Robo is in his picture above, carry them out front so they are accessbile. Most that I have seen have them stuffed on the side or back of their packs and that means they are not drinking water as much as they should be because it is not easily accessible. Just my two bits worth.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#5
Never used a bladder so can't tell if it is better. I carry plastic bottles and refill them as I go (and dispose of them in the recycling bins when finished).
Depends on your backpack, mine are easily accessible from the side pockets, whilst walking. Varies from 1 to 2 x 500ml to a LOT more when in heatwave (at least 3 L , any more than that and the water heats up too much to be drinkable). If you are walking the Camino francés, there are plenty of places (fountains, bars) where to refill. And I don't think you'll be walking through a heatwave in April/May but then.... famous last words? ;)
 

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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#6
I don't care for the water bladders. Had one issued in my kit overseas and I promptly stowed it away and used bottles.
On the Camino I found (for me), and this is because of the abundance of water fountains and cafes where you can refill on the Frances, that two 1/2 liter water bottles worked well. They stowed perfectly on side, mesh pockets on my pack made for that purpose, and they were easily accessible to me. Other than a couple of days on sections with few water points, I found that carrying one liter of water worked great. During the summer months on the Camino I carried one liter, but probably drank 4-6 liters in a 24 hour period. Like I said, plenty of water points and I started each morning drinking at least 1/2 a liter before I left the albergue.
Also, I did see one peregrina in an albergue who discovered the water bladder in her pack leaked, soaking her gear. Rare of course, but possible.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#7
I'm with Davebugg on using a bladder. Given the picture of the military medical service pin attached to his name I'm guessing he knows plenty about the amount of wter we really should be consuming daily during a typical 25+km trek and 2ltrs isn't much. Most well experienced back country back packers will also say that consuming two ltrs of water in a day's worth of trekking isn't much. Some days a curse the weight of my 2 ltre bladder but fact is with the tube I drink much more frequently than I would with a bottle because of easier access. That translates into a better functioning, injury resistant body that bounces back quicker. If you are going with bottles do as Robo is in his picture above, carry them out front so they are accessbile. Most that I have seen have them stuffed on the side or back of their packs and that means they are not drinking water as much as they should be because it is not easily accessible. Just my two bits worth.
Yes. Good hydration is essential...........
So I tend to play safe and carry a bit more water than needed.
Only difference between my 'rig' and a bladder, is that I can see what's left...... (and the weight is more balanced, being on the front)
And .... I can also adjust capacity.
1 L, 1.5 L or even 2 L bottles.

A hard lesson for my wife to learn, was to keep sipping.........
She would avoid drinking till the next toilet was in sight. o_O

But that strategy only lasted one day......... ;)

Once she tried going 'bush' she never looked back......
And now she keeps hydrated.

We walk slowly, and any 'metric' is really not that helpful given body size, level of fitness, speed of walking, distance walked, weather etc etc It's all personal trial and error.

But I would guess (hard to guess even, as I refill often) that on a 25 km 8 hour day in May on the CF, I would typically go through 4 L. Sometimes more, sometimes less. mainly dependant on weather.

But hey............bladders are good too.
Just remember to check how full they are............and top them up!
 
#8
I have used both bladder and bottles.

Two things that have not been mentioned are;

1) Filling a bladdr usually calls for pulling out a bunch of stuff so filling the bladder is possible. That usually means, pull it out, fill it and squeeze it back into its sleeve and repack before continuing. Takes more time / hassle than bottles, but, as Robo says, the "sip'n'go" feature is a plus.

2) When using bottles, taking a lIfeStraw allows me to "water up," just about anywhere. When I reach a refill spot, fill the first bottle (canteen), and put away. Fill the second bottle and drink as much as my body can take, through the LifeStraw, refill it and pack all away.

I di have to pull out the LifeStraw each time to rehydrate but when incorporating it with a rest stop, no biggie.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#9
I literally just posted this on another thread. Not sure how to link to that post, sorry mods, so I'll just move it to here as this thread is more relevant.

There are a few things to consider IMHO.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was a confirmed bladder user on my first Camino. I loved being able to sip 'at will' and being able to carry plenty of water with me. I go through a lot. I too had a 2 L bladder, and on hot days would throw a couple of extra bottles in the side pouches.

On my next Camino (#3) I won't be carrying a water bladder.

Like the whole debate on poles and footwear, it's a very personal choice. But my reasons are:

  1. Using the bladder I tended to carry too much water! And the extra weight was noticeable.
  2. The empty bladder itself is not light.... (165 gms)
  3. Having said that, a couple of days the bladder ran dry! On really hot days. Thankfully I had a small emergency bottle with me, or came upon a drinks stand in the middle of nowhere. But because the bladder was inside my pack I couldn't easily monitor how full it was...... (one time the bite valve had leaked)
  4. I'm now training with water bottles, hanging on the front straps of my pack. I use a tube looped around to the other side to drink from. This works really well. I can see exactly how much water I have left. I can use what ever size bottles suit the day. 1.5 - 2L each side if need be! I'm training with 750 ml each side. Pat is using it too and loves the 'system'. She likes to sip as she walks too.
  5. You'll see on the pic that I use the full length drinking tube. I could cut it very short and save a few gms weight, but I like the idea of added flexibility. I could carry the bottle in a side pouch or even inside my pack if I wanted to.
  6. Lastly, in the past I have tended to carry too much water (and hence weight). This time I'll make sure to top up my bottles more frequently along the way. Cafes, fonts, etc. But always carrying an 'emergency' bottle of 500 ml or so just in case. That usually also had electrolytes in it.
  7. I expect most days to carry 2 x 750 ml. Pat carries 2 x 500 ml. But of course that is weather and distance dependant. I think the first time on that 17 km section out of Carrion (with no fonts or villages) I must have carried at least 3 L. I probably used 1.5.........
I really didn't want to give up on my water bladder, using it on #2 as well. But the logic and reasoning of other Forum members got through eventually :rolleyes:






Note. The small white clips are Clipsta. As recommended by David. Now called Hipsta I think.https://www.hipsta.com.au/
The yellow elastic cord is from Amazon. They are quick tie shoes laces.......
The bottle on the right of the picture is actually held in place by the packs 'stow on the go' pole loop.
The one on the left, just with the yellow shock cord.
There are a few backpack manufacturers which have integral "bottle holders" on their straps... I think ULA was the first one in the US to do so. They quickly secured the bottle the top and bottom of the bottle. For me, personally, I get bothered by stuff hanging on my straps... I even disliked an accessory pocket that I purchased to fit my phone into, so I removed it.

I really like these collapsible bottles by Evernew... a Japanese manufacturer, I think.
https://www.amazon.com/Evernew-Wate...=MFM87&refRID=80XYFHSJSM7HN6JZJ13A&th=1&psc=1

Even with my reservoir, I'll carry one, partially filled, as backup,cause I seldom fill my 2 liter bladder more than half way, unless I'm having to put a lot of miles on between water supplies. I've never run dry, but, hey, just a precaution. The bottle also serves to refill my reservoir while still in the backpack via a quick disconnect. I fill the bottle, screw on the quick disconnect cap, attach the cap to the QD on the reservoir tube, and squeeze the water in. All in all, a 45 second procedure.

It looks like you've got your water supply nicely dialed in Rob. For those who don't want to use a reservoir, yours is a great alternative. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#10
I have used both bladder and bottles.

Two things that have not been mentioned are;

1) Filling a bladdr usually calls for pulling out a bunch of stuff so filling the bladder is possible. That usually means, pull it out, fill it and squeeze it back into its sleeve and repack before continuing. Takes more time / hassle than bottles, but, as Robo says, the "sip'n'go" feature is a plus.

2) When using bottles, taking a lIfeStraw allows me to "water up," just about anywhere. When I reach a refill spot, fill the first bottle (canteen), and put away. Fill the second bottle and drink as much as my body can take, through the LifeStraw, refill it and pack all away.

I di have to pull out the LifeStraw each time to rehydrate but when incorporating it with a rest stop, no biggie.
Were you walking the more remote Caminos Michelle?
And filling up from rivers.
Just wondered why the need to filter the water.......

I had to do it once on the CF, and just dropped a couple of puritabs in.
But never actually needed to access that emergency bottle anyway.
The water source was not the best....... :oops:
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#11
..... A hard lesson for my wife to learn, was to keep sipping.........
That is key. Even if one is not really thirsty, keep up with regular intake of water while exerting oneself. Dehydration dramatically affects thinking and energy levels; a lot of times stopping and getting a good drink of water will pick one's energy levels right up. And if snacking, water helps decrease the time for the food energy to be absorbed and go to work.

As we get older, the sense of thirst as an indicator to drink water becomes ar less pronounced. Folks will develop dehydration, in some cases severe, without being thirsty one teeny bit. And as odd as it sounds, even younger, fit people can have a severely delayed thirst response when exertion and hot weather are combined. It is one reason, combat medics will make the soldiers drink at specified intervals and require them to finish off a set amount of water.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#12
I have used both bladder and bottles.

Two things that have not been mentioned are;

1) Filling a bladdr usually calls for pulling out a bunch of stuff so filling the bladder is possible. That usually means, pull it out, fill it and squeeze it back into its sleeve and repack before continuing. Takes more time / hassle than bottles, but, as Robo says, the "sip'n'go" feature is a plus.
That's an easy fix. It is easy to install a quick connect to the water tube so that the bladder can be refilled while in the pack. Fill a collapsible bottle with water and screw on the quick disconnect lid. Connect the bottle to the QD on the reservoir water tube. Squeeze the bottle and it refills the bladder. Quick and easy. And if needed, a water filter can be attached to the bottle after filling it with suspect water, and the filter can the do the quick connect to the reservoir tube. It is a quick and easy system when backpacking in the backcountry.
 
#13
Were you walking the more remote Caminos Michelle?
And filling up from rivers.
Just wondered why the need to filter the water.......

I had to do it once on the CF, and just dropped a couple of puritabs in.
But never actually needed to access that emergency bottle anyway.
The water source was not the best....... :oops:
Hi Robo,

I am in a foreign country. I am in a rural setting, regardless of the Camino or Canimho I may be walking. The minimal weight of a LifeStraw is nothing compared to the asurance of clean water with no concerns. It just makes all kinds of sense.

The last thing I want to be worried about is worms or bacteria.
 
#14
That's an easy fix. It is easy to install a quick connect to the water tube so that the bladder can be refilled while in the pack. Fill a collapsible bottle with water and screw on the quick disconnect lid. Connect the bottle to the QD on the reservoir water tube. Squeeze the bottle and it refills the bladder. Quick and easy. And if needed, a water filter can be attached to the bottle after filling it with suspect water, and the filter can the do the quick connect to the reservoir tube. It is a quick and easy system when backpacking in the backcountry.
What I found was the bladder did not want to fill properly due to getting squeezed by pack contents, ergo, pull it out yada yaday ada. Bottles save me time, maybe just me but it works.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#15
Hi Robo,

I am in a foreign country. I am in a rural setting, regardless of the Camino or Canimho I may be walking. The minimal weight of a LifeStraw is nothing compared to the asurance of clean water with no concerns. It just makes all kinds of sense.

The last thing I want to be worried about is worms or bacteria.
Ahhhhh.

If you ever visit Sydney Australia bring it with you!
Tap Water here is awful :eek::eek:
Never drink it unfiltered.

Water in Spain I find is really good though........
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#16

Telelama

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sep - Oct'14)
Frances (May - Jun'15)
Portugues (May - Jun'16)
Primitivo (2018?)
#17
1) Filling a bladdr usually calls for pulling out a bunch of stuff so filling the bladder is possible. That usually means, pull it out, fill it and squeeze it back into its sleeve and repack before continuing. Takes more time...
In most cases, this is indeed a nuisance that weighs against using a water bladder. My wife and I, like so many other pilgrims on the Camino these days, use Osprey backpacks. Not all, but many of them have place for the water bladder that is between the frame and the actual bag -not in the bag itself. It has its own pocket right behind your back. The bladder easily slides right down in there. It is easy to remove, fill and replace. With the quick disconnect on the hose, this is even easier.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
What I found was the bladder did not want to fill properly due to getting squeezed by pack contents, ergo, pull it out yada yaday ada. Bottles save me time, maybe just me but it works.
:) that's a symptom of too much stuff in too small a space ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 13
VdlP 14
LePuy 15
Invierno DosFaros CP 16
The 88, Japan 17
Sicily. Arles-Santiago Fall 18
#19
;) Just like boots vs trail runners, ponchos vs rain pants/jackets, big packs vs small packs, poles vs no poles, sleeping bag vs a liner, flipflops vs crocks, and on and on...you basically have to try things and see what works best for you.:rolleyes: If it works then go with it. If not, leave it behind at home or on your camino. There really is no correct answer because there are so many opinions. I still go through some of these self-questioning processes each year, and when I start my Camino I'm happy to just let all that 'stuff' go knowing that there will probably be places along the way to buy what I need, if necessary. In Japan last year there was loads of heavy rain and wind storms coming in off the Pacific and my Altus poncho wasn't very effective so I purchased some ultra light Mont Bell rain pants after 400 kms. I'd never needed them before in Europe, but in Japan I did. It will all work out because by the time you go you will know yourself better (eg., water needs) and will have learned through some trial and error to trust your decisions. Have fun planning!!:cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago
#20
I am walking my 1st Camino April/May and have read differing opinions on water bottles vs hydro packs. I am 120 lbs and wonder if 4 lbs (water& bladder) would use too much of my 12 lb pack recommendation. ???
So many stores selling water that in most cases it’s much easier to carry a small 500 ml bottle and only on long stretches add a second. Drink at lot at breakfast.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I hope to walk the Camino starting the middle of May 2016
#21
I used a Raidlight, this is attached to the front strap of your rucksack, enabling you to have a drink at anytime. Obtained the information from this forum. Good to drink from and easy to clean and refill, brilliant.
 

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cd667

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
It's happening next year!
#22
I have never got on with bladders. Can't get past the idea that they would be hard to clean, and partly because there is too much plastic junk in the world now.

I use an aluminium bottle for water. It's winter now, when it warms up I carry more than one (as many as I need, so if it's really hot I carry 4!). And I have recently been given a US army water bottle. It is supposed to clip to webbing, but I have clipped mine to the hip belt on my rucksack. I haven't needed to walk with the rucksack this year, yet; I don't need a multi-day pack for the walks I'm doing at this time of year. But it looks like it will be a good solution, as you could fit a couple on a belt. Watch this space!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#23
We use lightweight aluminium bottles (9 years old now). Easy to fill and access from packs side pockets. Useful by the bed at night. Easy to see how much is left after drinking.
The pocket meant for a bladder makes a great place to keep papers, credential etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#24
This is such a personal choice. But I'll weigh in in favor of a bladder. I carry a two litre bladder and love it. I use two walking sticks and find its easier to reach for the spout for a quick sip than to reach for a bottle. I really have never had trouble filling it or keeping it clean. I tend to forget to drink and get dehydrated. I think I drink more with the bladder. I also have a hard time trusting some of the water sources along the way. I like to fill up at the albergue in the morning and not worry about where I'm going to refil later....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#27
For my first Camino I used a SmarTube with a collapsible water bottle. As I was walking in August the water quickly became warm in the exterior side pocket, so I ended up carrying it inside my pack, thus creating a de facto hydration pack. But not designed as well or as easy to clean. So for last year's Camino I used a 2 liter hydration pack, but rarely ever put more than a liter if water in it. I also carried a small partially full bottle of "emergency" water. I used the bottle by my bed in the albergues.
 
#28
I'm a fan of water bottles myself - one on each side. I don't care for bladders. But like others have said, it is a personal choice and as long as your choice allows you to get enough hydration, then go for it.

Also, pre-hydrating is a good idea - first thing in the morning, drink a bunch of water - 500 ml or so - that gets the body going so you don't start out dehydrated.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#29
I have been a fan of bladders, but ditched mine in Burgos and switched to water bottles. I ditched it because of the refill issue, and I was carrying more water than I needed. There was water almost everywhere. The bottles worked out OK, BUT I slowed my water consumption. This year I am going with the SmarTube and a couple of 1 liter bottles in the side pockets of my pack. I am also going to try a Bottle Bandit attached to the water bottle in case I want to put the bottle on my shoulder strap. There is also the Zpacks Aquaclip for attachment to the shoulder strap.

Maybe a little off topic, but if you aren't peeing then you aren't drinking enough. The color of urine can be a tell tale for dehydration ... WFR ins/outs ... lemonade or apple juice? Lighter is better. I usually try to chug a bottle when I refill. I read somewhere that even mild dehydration affects our tendons pretty quickly.

There were some signs that did not say potable or not potable ... they were in Spanish for not treated (but not "sin tratar"). Anyone else see these that can provide the translation?
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#30
I find a bottle just a whole lot easier, I reused the same small bottle that I bought in Madrid, for over 2 weeks before I dropped it and it broke. I replaced it at the next town, and off I went again. I fill often, and drink all the time but I don't want to carry a lot of weight. They are so much easier to clean as well.
I have used bladders in the past, and am sure they are quite unhygienic, especially on something like the Camino where you have limited resources a lot of the time, they're more of a hassle. The water also gets quite warm against your back if you put it in that space.
If I get access to a refrigerator I part freeze my bottle of water and its lovely and cool for a while. (I've always walked in summer). In the later part of the Camino especially after Leon, the villages are really close together and you can always refill.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#31
....I have used bladders in the past, and am sure they are quite unhygienic, especially on something like the Camino where you have limited resources a lot of the time, they're more of a hassle. The water also gets quite warm against your back if you put it in that space.
If I get access to a refrigerator I part freeze my bottle of water and its lovely and cool for a while. (I've always walked in summer). In the later part of the Camino especially after Leon, the villages are really close together and you can always refill.
Bladders are no less hygienic than a reusable water bottle. If you neglect rinsing out and drying a water bottle it causes the same result as neglecting a reservoir. I refill my reservoir one liter at a time with a quick connect on the drinking tube. I fill it using a 1 liter collapsible bottle that weighs less than an ounce. The only time during the day it comes out of the pack is at the end of the day when it is drained, rinsed and set aside to dry.

Unless there is no padding or mesh support on the back of the pack, the reservoir is quite insulated and surrounded by clothing and gear in the pack, the water stays quite cool for a good amount of time. Bottles tend to sit is uninsulated side pockets getting radiant energy from the sun through the thin fabric of the pocket.

The preference of bottles vs a reservoir is a choice of individual preference. I would suggest that it is important not to conflate what are, or are not, weaknesses or problems with either choice :)
 
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Givesome

Cape Hiker
Camino(s) past & future
CF 27 March 2017
#32
In my younger days I was in the military. As infantrymen we had to carry very large and heavy backpacks and large amounts of water. It was in the days before water bladders and we used a couple of military issued 2L bottles which we carried in the hip pockets of the battle jacked and on the sides of the backpack. The water in the hip pockets were used while walking.
The secret of carrying heavy loads over long distances is balance. Your pack needs to be balanced from all sides, left to right, top to bottom and back to front. To this day I don't like to offset the balance of my backpack for example to carry water only in one side pocket of the backpack.
My solution is to carry 2x 500ml bottles in front on the hip straps. Similar to Robo above. For each bottle I us two bungee loops with cord stoppers. The bottles are easily accessible and the balance of my pack is not affected.
 

simeon

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
#33
I've done both bladder and bottle. What I like about a bottle, whilst walking on my own is that I stop to drink, and. "drink" in the surroundings, view, sounds, gentle breeze etc..... I was missing so much just walking walking walking
 
#34
What I like about a bottle, whilst walking on my own is that I stop to drink, and. "drink" in the surroundings, view, sounds, gentle breeze etc..... I was missing so much just walking walking walking
Me too :) With a water bottle, I stop for breaks. Stop, enjoy the surroundings. Take a load off.

And it is easier for me to track and moderate my consumption with water bottles. Some people have issues with not drinking enough, but if I have access to a straw, I will drink too much. I think it is the same phenomenon as eating an entire bag of chips - you aren't actually hungry, but the chips are right there. I'm not actually thirsty, but with a bladder and a straw, I will drink all the water because it is there. So then before I know it, I've consumed 2L of water and will spend the rest of the day looking for bushes - ha!

We've all just got to find what works for us personally.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#35
:D Yup, folks who use water reservoirs never, ever stop for a break, to look around at the vistas and scenery, or to have a sip of water and a snack on some rock or log under a tree. ;)
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#37
I used to hang my bladder up in the bunk bed, like an IV bag, and drink water throughout the night whenever I wake up.
I wake up in the night a lot. Usually to go for a pee.
Maybe you should consider a bag for the output and you won't have to navigate around in the dark. You may consider having different color bags "clean", "dirty".:D:cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
March - April 2018! (Flights booked, gear being acquired, excitement building!)
#39
Maybe you should consider a bag for the output and you won't have to navigate around in the dark. You may consider having different color bags "clean", "dirty".:D:cool:
There it is, the missing piece of the puzzle. Thank you kind stranger.
I hope I never wind up with a bottom bunk below you two! :eek:;)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#40
I carried a bladder on the first couple of caminos, but we never had a really good relationship. At some stage during the camino I would finish up with a wet pack, often because the mouthpiece would leak when the pack was on the ground - either it would get squashed open, or something else would happen. When walking I never knew how much was in, and it was also a pain to fill and to clean.

Now I am very happy with 2 x 600ml bottles in my Aarn front balance packs.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#43
I carried a bladder on the first couple of caminos, but we never had a really good relationship. At some stage during the camino I would finish up with a wet pack, often because the mouthpiece would leak when the pack was on the ground - either it would get squashed open, or something else would happen. When walking I never knew how much was in, and it was also a pain to fill and to clean.

Now I am very happy with 2 x 600ml bottles in my Aarn front balance packs.
That happened to me, too, although the wet never soaked through the pack bag -- pretty waterproof except at the seams. I had left the tube and mouthpiece dangling instead of running the tube through the fasteners on my shoulder straps. :rolleyes:
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#44
I carried a bladder on the first couple of caminos, but we never had a really good relationship. At some stage during the camino I would finish up with a wet pack, often because the mouthpiece would leak when the pack was on the ground - either it would get squashed open, or something else would happen. When walking I never knew how much was in, and it was also a pain to fill and to clean.

Now I am very happy with 2 x 600ml bottles in my Aarn front balance packs.
Yes I have had similar experiences, leaving me without water but all my gear and clothes wet. My wet shorts looked like I had experienced a different kind of accident
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#45
:D Yup, folks who use water reservoirs never, ever stop for a break, to look around at the vistas and scenery, or to have a sip of water and a snack on some rock or log under a tree. ;)
Come now, not all of us ;)

I used a bladder (2L), and had a mental calculation of what I thought I would need during the day. I also carried an empty 1 L water bottle in a pocket on the backpack. On the Camino del Norte, there were a number of days that had very long distances between safe potable water, so carrying enough was really important. I would suggest that if walking in hot summer days, you probably want to carry at least that much, if it will be more than 10 km between sources of water.

The bladder meant I drank more. And yes, not drinking enough will do crazy things to your mind. If ever you find yourself feeling overwrought and overwhelmed on the side of the Camino, drink some water before anything else. You'd be surprised at how much better than can make you feel.

The empty bottle was super light, but if it was a hot day, and a long ways between fountains, I'd find it easier to refill a bottle than my bladder. Also, I went through a few of them along the way. One I gave to a girl because she didn't have a bottle at all. Others got forgotten. (I have long since acknowledged that no matter how expensive a bottle/cup/mug/sunglasses/ or any other small portable object is, I forget it. The bladder is attached to me, so I don't forget it.)

I did make a point of filling the bladder the night before. I'd check the bladder before putting it into the back pack to make sure it wasn't leaking; that is the dirty secret of bladders - if they leak, they probably leak into your bag. Bad news.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#46
Come now, not all of us ;)

I used a bladder (2L), and had a mental calculation of what I thought I would need during the day. I also carried an empty 1 L water bottle in a pocket on the backpack. On the Camino del Norte, there were a number of days that had very long distances between safe potable water, so carrying enough was really important. I would suggest that if walking in hot summer days, you probably want to carry at least that much, if it will be more than 10 km between sources of water.

The bladder meant I drank more. And yes, not drinking enough will do crazy things to your mind. If ever you find yourself feeling overwrought and overwhelmed on the side of the Camino, drink some water before anything else. You'd be surprised at how much better than can make you feel.

The empty bottle was super light, but if it was a hot day, and a long ways between fountains, I'd find it easier to refill a bottle than my bladder. Also, I went through a few of them along the way. One I gave to a girl because she didn't have a bottle at all. Others got forgotten. (I have long since acknowledged that no matter how expensive a bottle/cup/mug/sunglasses/ or any other small portable object is, I forget it. The bladder is attached to me, so I don't forget it.)

I did make a point of filling the bladder the night before. I'd check the bladder before putting it into the back pack to make sure it wasn't leaking; that is the dirty secret of bladders - if they leak, they probably leak into your bag. Bad news.
Have you thought of using a quick connect for a fast refilling of the reservoir? Easy to install and cheap. Also, even though my backpack's bag material is waterproof (except at the seams) I always use a waterproof bag liner to isolate my packs contents from a soaking --- whether from a leaking bladder or from rain, the contents stay dry :). I've got to say, though, that I've never had a reservoir malfunction. I've caused a couple of malfunctions (not checking to be sure the tube is solidly connected to the bladder, for example), but that was on me and not my Platypus reservoir. :)
 

Givesome

Cape Hiker
Camino(s) past & future
CF 27 March 2017
#47
In my younger days I was in the military. As infantrymen we had to carry very large and heavy backpacks and large amounts of water. It was in the days before water bladders and we used a couple of military issued 2L bottles which we carried in the hip pockets of the battle jacked and on the sides of the backpack. The water in the hip pockets were used while walking.
The secret of carrying heavy loads over long distances is balance. Your pack needs to be balanced from all sides, left to right, top to bottom and back to front. To this day I don't like to offset the balance of my backpack for example to carry water only in one side pocket of the backpack.
My solution is to carry 2x 500ml bottles in front on the hip straps. Similar to Robo above. For each bottle I us two bungee loops with cord stoppers. The bottles are easily accessible and the balance of my pack is not affected.
pictures of how I carry my bottles.
 

Attachments

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#48
The bottles vs bladder thing is personal choice, I always wanted a bladder but when I bought one, didn't like it so returned to using bottles. Be careful not to carry too little water though, water is not always as available as on the Camino Frances. On the Via de la Plata for instance the Southern section can be very hot and fill up points are much less numerous. I found that I had to carry three litres, and often would have liked much more.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting May 18th in Burgos to Santiago
#49
I am walking my 1st Camino April/May and have read differing opinions on water bottles vs hydro packs. I am 120 lbs and wonder if 4 lbs (water& bladder) would use too much of my 12 lb pack recommendation. ???
I used a Camel pack which i stripped down using only the bladder and hose. 1,5 litres which i filled up in the morning and put it on the top under the lid of my back pack.
It's better to end up with 0,5 litres to much at the end of the day -than run out of water. Dehydration is not preferrable.

Buen camino!
 
#50
In most cases, this is indeed a nuisance that weighs against using a water bladder. My wife and I, like so many other pilgrims on the Camino these days, use Osprey backpacks. Not all, but many of them have place for the water bladder that is between the frame and the actual bag -not in the bag itself. It has its own pocket right behind your back. The bladder easily slides right down in there. It is easy to remove, fill and replace. With the quick disconnect on the hose, this is even easier.
I use an Osprey Kestrel. Their design is great but many do not have that feature, and it becomes a flaw, with consequences.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#51
Two 750ml bottles bought on day 1 used with a Smartube. Sometimes infuse one bottle with a juice concentrate - we have Robinsons Squash'd in the UK - as a change from plain water. You could try a chopped up lemon or some such.
One bottle in each side pocket, on the CF used the left one first as this is more exposed to sunshine on the east-west route and warms up.
Have used the older style Platypus bladder but it got yukky inside so bottles for me.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#52
For those with hydration water bladders, this is a video of a quick disconnect setup and use. Please not that for safe water sources, the water filter that's shown is left off of the collapsible bottle, and the quick disconnect lid is screwed directly onto the collapsible bottle for refilling the bladder.

Once you've used the quick connect to refill a few times, it takes a very short time to do the refill, and you don't even need to remove your pack to do so, much less have to remove the bladder from the pack itself.

The product itself... there are others, this is the one I have used and like.
https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produ...keywords=sawyer+quick+connect+water+reservoir
 
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KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
#53
Hiking in the US, I always use a hydropack. I gave it a lot of thought, and switched to a large bottle (maybe 24 oz?) that came in a slightly insulated sleeve with a neckstrap, so I had the convenience of water at hand + the convenience of easy refills. It was absolutely the right decision. I never had to load up with a whole day's worth of water, never had to halfway unpack my pack to get at the bladder to get a refill, and yet lifting a bottle on my strap right in front of me was every bit as easy as lifting the tube/mouthpiece of a hydropack.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#54
Hiking in the US, I always use a hydropack. I gave it a lot of thought, and switched to a large bottle (maybe 24 oz?) that came in a slightly insulated sleeve with a neckstrap, so I had the convenience of water at hand + the convenience of easy refills. It was absolutely the right decision. I never had to load up with a whole day's worth of water, never had to halfway unpack my pack to get at the bladder to get a refill, and yet lifting a bottle on my strap right in front of me was every bit as easy as lifting the tube/mouthpiece of a hydropack.
Just curious.. why would you need to load a whole days water supply in a reservoir. I never do. :)
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
#55
Just curious.. why would you need to load a whole days water supply in a reservoir. I never do. :)
1 - re the Camino, if your reservoir is pretty much inaccessible once you've packed everything else in . .
2 - re the US - nowhere to refill in the high desert mountains!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#56
1 - re the Camino, if your reservoir is pretty much inaccessible once you've packed everything else in . .
2 - re the US - nowhere to refill in the high desert mountains!
1. A quick disconnect allows refills without removing the bladder. You don't even need to take the pack off. I know how much water I'm loading via the collapsible refill bottle.

2. Correct... but I thought we were talking about the Camino, where there is generally no need to fill the reservoir. I generally carry about a liter. :) If there is a long, dry stretch, then the option to fill with more water is there, too.

During my PCT thru-hike, I would carry 3-4 liters of water, sometimes more, during the desert stretches. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#57
@davebugg you may need to refill the reservoir while on the Camino - it depends on which Camino and where along the route. Not to mention how hot it is.

The first day from Irun (Camino del Norte) is a minimum of 15 km (if you notice the little sign directing you to a fountain about 200m off the Camino), or 17km to the next village, with a climb to 500m, and no shade for long stretches. On a hot summer day, I ran through my 2L by the 14.5km mark. Other days, longer distances, cooler temperatures, different story.

I would not advise anyone to assume that 1L will be sufficient to get to the next refill point. It will depend on a variety of different circumstances, and research the day's walk ahead of time is well advised.
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#58
@davebugg you may need to refill the reservoir while on the Camino - it depends on which Camino and where along the route. Not to mention how hot it is.

The first day from Irun (Camino del Norte) is a minimum of 15 km (if you notice the little sign directing you to a fountain about 200m off the Camino), or 17km to the next village, with a climb to 500m, and no shade for long stretches. On a hot summer day, I ran through my 2L by the 14.5km mark. Other days, longer distances, cooler temperatures, different story.

I would not advise anyone to assume that 1L will be sufficient to get to the next refill point. It will depend on a variety of different circumstances, and research the day's walk ahead of time is well advised.
I refilled my reservoir all the time on Camino :), sometimes with my pack on, most often during a short break. With a quick disconnect on the drinking tube, the reservoir remains in the pack. It takes me under 40 seconds to refill the bladder.

I never said that one shouldn't carry plenty of water; I was only pointing out that just because one has a two or three liter bladder, one does not need to fill it up; no more so than one is required to fill a larger pack just because it has more space. The amount of water to carry is usually based on the conditions one may encounter.

My 1 ounce collapsible bottle that I use to refill my water reservoir always carries supplemental water.... it acts as a backup in case difficulties arise, but more often than not, it is shared with a thirsty pilgrim whose water bottle is not sufficient, has a bit to go before the next water, and is feeling dehydrated. :)

It sounds like you are well equipped for hydration requirements, Northern Laurie; I'm glad you can share your wisdom with others.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#59
For those with hydration water bladders, this is a video of a quick disconnect setup and use. Please not that for safe water sources, the water filter that's shown is left off of the collapsible bottle, and the quick disconnect lid is screwed directly onto the collapsible bottle for refilling the bladder.

Once you've used the quick connect to refill a few times, it takes a very short time to do the refill, and you don't even need to remove your pack to do so, much less have to remove the bladder from the pack itself.

The product itself... there are others, this is the one I have used and like.
https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Produ...keywords=sawyer+quick+connect+water+reservoir
I like that quick connect system. I have a Source Outdoor Ultimate Hydration system, with an attachment to fill from the tube, but it doesn't work as well as the one in your video.
https://sourceoutdoor.com/en/source-reservoirs/129-ultimate-hydration-system
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#60
@davebugg apologies - I misunderstood what was being suggested (if I'd read closer...)

I feel like I should add a disclaimer: Learn from my mistakes...

I didn't bring enough water a couple of times, and ended up in rough shape unnecessarily. I got cocky and comfortable after the first week of walking and then whoops. Me on the side of the road, having a slight melt down when all I needed was a good drink of water.

I have to admit the quick disconnect looks pretty slick. I am not sure it would work for me. Then again...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#61
I have walked the Camino Frances nearly every year since 2009.
I have never carried more than one 8 ounce bottle of water on that route.
There are fountains in every village where you can fill up.
Carrying 4 pounds of water is way too much imo.

I also have tried a bladder, and though I'd use one on the VDLP, I find a bottle easier to fill and easier to wash.
 
#62
I carried 2-500ml bottles - mostly I kept them filled about half way - except when it was particularly hot or we had a long stretch between available water (think that long stretch after Carion de los Condes) - then I put more water in my bottles. it's nice to have the extra capacity if you need it. In the begining, I would fill my bottles completely, but I rarely drank more than a quarter of the water in each bottle before filling them up again, so to save weight, I just started filling them half way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring 2013), Francés (Spring 2016), Galician Francés (Oct. 2018), planning Francés 2020
#64
The small white clips are Clipsta. As recommended by David. Now called Hipsta I think.https://www.hipsta.com.au/
The yellow elastic cord is from Amazon. They are quick tie shoes laces.......
The bottle on the right of the picture is actually held in place by the packs 'stow on the go' pole loop.
The one on the left, just with the yellow shock cord.
This is genius. I will definitely be trying some variation of this soon. Thank you for posting this!
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos 2017
St Jean to Fisterra 2018
St Jean to Fisterra 2020 or Chemin Piemont
#65
I used bladders for years and got tired of the maint on them and the couple of times when the bladders sprung a leak I was out of luck till I could find a sport shop. To eliminate a possible failure point I have switched to a hybrid screw on adapter system made by Blue Desert that screws onto any 28mm soda bottle.

You can find them here:

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Desert-SmarTube-Hydration-System/dp/B000GM6LWS

I like that instead of having to clean the bladders I can recycle the old bottles and just grab new ones as I go. 2 out of the 3 folks I was with last year used this system and loved it. Last year while hunting I cracked a partially frozen bottle of water on my pack but was able to buy a bottle of soda at a rural gas station to replace it. No down time on the hunt...

The company is great, I had a small issue with a design quirk (really only was relevant because I use these on my hunting packs as well) and they shipped me a bag of 5 bits and pieces free. Superb folks!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#69
https://www.rei.com/product/867980/gear-aid-elastic-shockcord-7-ft

Two loops on your shoulder strap; one for the neck of the bike bottle, one for around the bottle near the bottom, to keep it from bouncing around. You can measure out and tie knots on the loops or add cordlocks to loosen and tighten them.

https://www.rei.com/product/848877/gear-aid-ellipse-toggle-cord-locks

These links are to an American store, but these products are available everywhere.
(See my profile pic. for how it works)
 

Ian Afloat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF July 25th 2017 from SJPDP
#70
I have used both bladder and bottles.

Two things that have not been mentioned are;

1) Filling a bladdr usually calls for pulling out a bunch of stuff so filling the bladder is possible. That usually means, pull it out, fill it and squeeze it back into its sleeve and repack before continuing. Takes more time / hassle than bottles, but, as Robo says, the "sip'n'go" feature is a plus.

2) When using bottles, taking a lIfeStraw allows me to "water up," just about anywhere. When I reach a refill spot, fill the first bottle (canteen), and put away. Fill the second bottle and drink as much as my body can take, through the LifeStraw, refill it and pack all away.

I di have to pull out the LifeStraw each time to rehydrate but when incorporating it with a rest stop, no biggie.
Osprey packs tend to have the bladder pouch on the outside of the bag so that this is avoided. Still a bit more time consuming than filling a bottle - you might add on 2 minutes to your day - but without the added hassle of unpacking and repacking bits of your bag.
 
#71
Osprey packs tend to have the bladder pouch on the outside of the bag so that this is avoided. Still a bit more time consuming than filling a bottle - you might add on 2 minutes to your day - but without the added hassle of unpacking and repacking bits of your bag.
It would all wash out to be the same, I guess as it takes time to fill a bottle to an equal volume as a bladder. The difference would be weight carried / time, I suppose.
 

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