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I was wondering if anyone on the forum has had any experience using a Camelbak pack.

Army friends of mine have had great experiences with the Camelbak BFM, which holds 3L of water and 30L of other space. They've carried the pack for days at a time and found it to be extremely reliable for multi-day deployments.

My concerns are: 1) whether the pack is suitable for a 30+ day hike as opposed to a several day deployment, and 2) whether I would need to carry 3L of water at a time. Given the availability of water, perhaps a smaller reservoir or a partially full one would be adequate.

As I've mentioned previously, I'm looking to do the Camino Frances in May of 2007, which may affect your answer.
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I took a 1L model this year. I also carried a couple of 500ml bottles in the side pouches of my rucksack, with which I could top up the camel pack later in day. That seemed to work out okay - I was covering about 20-25km a day and the weather was warm but overcast at times.

3L is quite a lot of water - unless you are sure that you'll drink most of it before you get to the next point to top up, it is probably more weight than you'll want. Also, it might be worth considering a smaller camel pack and an extra bottle or two; the latter water isn't so easily accessible but provides a back up, including if you do run into a problem with the camelpack.

I agree with Wulf 3 litre seems like a lot. I use a 2 litre one and often do not fill it up completely.

I think it is better to get the best rucksack for you first and use a camelback resevoir in it, than to get a camelback rucksack unless that is the one that fit you best.

Buen Camino



That's what I did. I had the rucksack from my trip the previous year but one observation was that I probably didn't drink enough because it was awkward to get to the water.

Therefore, this year I invested in a water bladder (to be honest, I can't remember if it is camel-branded or just a similar idea) which fitted neatly into the front pocket (easy to get in and out and also not being squeezed against my back and burping up water!).


Dawn of a new Day

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water bladder

I swear by the water bladders. I bought mine from mountain equipment co op. About $8.00. It was 2 litres.
There was a place in my pack for the bladder, but with clothes etc. it was difficult to get out. So i FILLED mine up, wasn't necessary as there were so many water stops (i think the longest stretch without water is on the messeta (17km) This saved me from filling up. i ran out twice.
i know if i had to take my pack off to get a water bottle i wouldn't have drank half as much.
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