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Hydration bladder ?

Philla

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 2016
Hi all,
Newbie on here and just looking for advice from anyone who has walked the camino on using hydration bladder or bottles ? Do the hydration bladders need cleaning and do you need cleaning materials or is it just a case of rinsing out at end of day? Also is there plenty of places to buy bottled water? (Holiday a lot in Spain from England over the years and always informed by holiday reps not to drink the water or have ice in drinks has this may cause upset stomach)
Thanks
 
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Rob the Slob

A slob
Year of past OR future Camino
Madrid to Santiago (May 2016)
I haven't walked the Camoni yet, but I've done quite a bit of hiking in Spain, and never once have I had any problems with the tap water. I've always used a bladder, and I only rinse it at the end of the day and leave the proper cleaning for when I get home.

Remember, the better quality bladders are antibacterial.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
Lo-tech might be worth considering - the isotonic drink Aquarius, distributed by Coca Cola, is easily available - sometime even found in the chilled cabinets in supermercados - small (0.5L) and large sizes of plastic bottles (1,5L) - plenty of time to stop and drink and check your feet for blisters
 

DanielH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2015 (SJPP to Burgos)
September 2016 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
May 2017 (Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago de Compostela)
I used my bladder from my Camelbak with my day pack, refilled everyday and never once had a problem with an upset stomach or the likes in two and a half weeks on the Camino.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I used bottles, and it was a PITA owing to the fact that my arms aren't long enough to get to my Deuter pack's water compartments!

I'm getting a bladder, and as the good gentlemen all said above, refill it every day (I drank tap water and refilled with the fountains--unless I saw green algae!--and did just phone, with not one episode of discomfort!

Best of luck, buen camino, and don't do what I did--allowed myself to dehydrate, which caused me about 24 hours of discomfort.
 
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ERICAST

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2013)
Camino Frances (April 2016)
I used a bladder in 2013 with no ill effects. Will do the same this time in April. Most important is to continue to drink
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Done bottles. Done bladders. I know I'm like a broken record on this one, but I say SmarTube!

The thing about bottles is they are on my side in my pockets, and I'm like a turtle on my back trying to get at them. I ended up not drinking enough.

The thing about bladders is its kinda buried in your pack, and hard to get out. And because its buried, I didn't know my current fill levels (without taking off the pack, pulling that bad boy out, examining, etc). The great thing about bladders though is you can constantly rehydrate, without having to ask someone to help you out. But its a PITA to refill.

Now, the SmarTube allows me to use standard water bottles, and have that hose extending to my mouth, AND, best of all, I can more readily see how much I have left, and its easier to refill.

I don't comment much on backpacks, or shoes, or clothing, as there hasn't been a clear winner for me. But on this front. Go SmarTube.

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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Done bottles. Done bladders. I know I'm like a broken record on this one, but I say SmarTube!

The thing about bottles is they are on my side in my pockets, and I'm like a turtle on my back trying to get at them. I ended up not drinking enough.

The thing about bladders is its kinda buried in your pack, and hard to get out. And because its buried, I didn't know my current fill levels (without taking off the pack, pulling that bad boy out, examining, etc). The great thing about bladders though is you can constantly rehydrate, without having to ask someone to help you out. But its a PITA to refill.

Now, the SmarTube allows me to use standard water bottles, and have that hose extending to my mouth, AND, best of all, I can more readily see how much I have left, and its easier to refill.

I don't comment much on backpacks, or shoes, or clothing, as there hasn't been a clear winner for me. But on this front. Go SmarTube.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GM6LWS/?tag=casaivar02-20
I'm with Damien on this one, I tried the bladder, didn't like the taste it gave the water, always a problem getting it out of or into the bag during filling. I use the Smartube all the time now and just switch bottles when required.
 

Ulla

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
August 2016 . Pamplona to Santiago.
Good point, Damien. I was also considering the bladder, but I can clearly see the difficulties of using it. So I will use ordinary bottles.
 

Rob the Slob

A slob
Year of past OR future Camino
Madrid to Santiago (May 2016)
Has anyone tried refilling a bladder through the hose, using a funnel?

(I know that Source use a system for refilling through the hose, but I can't find any information on whether it will fit on my Osprey 2L, and I'm not ready to invest in a new system just yet.)
 

Introibo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
I use a Camelbak Hands-Free Bottle Adapter on a .75l Eddy bottle.
Replaces the bite valve on the bottle. The bottle is wide mouthed
and easy to fill. The tube lets you drink whenever you want and you're not
lugging around litres of water.

In Spain and Portugal safe, pleasant tasting and cold water was available at
drinking fountains in just about every village I passed through. If you want
to fill up at a cafe it's easy to hand over the bottle.

Its also very useful if, like me, you dream you're a motor bike each evening.
With the tube under your pillow you can have a quick slurp of water to refresh
your dried out mouth.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I use a bladder, clean it before I leave for the camino, rinse it most days and refill it regularly. On a hot day. 2li will suffice for about 3 hours. The small inconvenience in refilling it is more than repaid by having water readily available on demand.
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
I brought a bladder and also discovered the inconvenience of trying to refill it. I ended up using a half-liter bottle with it. I would refill my bottle every chance I got, and would drink from the bladder when the bottle ran empty.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I've done both.
I prefer just to carry an 8 oz bottle on the CF.
Fill up at each fountain when I need to.
It's easier - cleaning the bladder was something I didn't want to mess with, as well as more chance of bacteria.
 

BoyRoger

BoyRoger IOW England
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I would say if you have little pockets either side of your back pack which are just right for 1/2 ltr bottles of water, then bottles is the easiest way. If you can reach the bottles without taking the backpack off then fine, just pull one out and drink. If you can't reach the bottle easily while you walk then buy the SmarTube and attach that to the bottle. Of course if your backpack doesn't have the pockets for water bottles then you have no choice! Personnally I tried the pouch but I never managed to get rid of that plastic taste.

Buen Camino
 
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CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
It's a personal thing really. I used a 2L bladder. Worked fine. But I sucked it dry twice! You can't see when it's getting empty. So I always carried a backup bottle.

Bottles are easy to pick up all along the Camino.

Not sure if I would use the bladder again? It sure was good on the longer stretches though and I think encourages more frequent drinking which is a good thing.

Though I like the SmartTube idea above!
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Done bottles. Done bladders. I know I'm like a broken record on this one, but I say SmarTube!

The small inconvenience in refilling it is more than repaid by having water readily available on demand.

I brought a bladder and also discovered the inconvenience of trying to refill it. I ended up using a half-liter bottle with it. I would refill my bottle every chance I got, and would drink from the bladder when the bottle ran empty.

if your backpack doesn't have the pockets for water bottles then you have no choice!

Not sure if I would use the bladder again?

Philla, hi

Like others I tried a bottle in a side pocket. Getting it out was OK but putting it back was not.

Got a bladder: never knew the level during the day so, unwisely, limited my drinking.

Saw a post a few months ago for SmarTube. Like Damien, I say this is the way to go. Works like a bladder but overall much more convenient. Has the basic simplicity of a bottle. I can see the level when I stop for a rest. Is a lot cheaper, even when purchased online from the US.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
I have a smart tube. I hang the bottle in front and use the tube. I carry an empty small bottle for my water so I can mix my powder additives like Zip Fizz vitamins, etc. I use this only for those items for mixing. I may use it for vino when necessary.;)
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
I find it extraordinary that people seem to have trouble refilling water bladders. I use a 2litre bladder with a wide mouth, most modern rucksack's have a separate hydration pocket in the back lining but it's only a problem if your sac is really overstuffed. To me the convenience of a drinking tube prevents me from getting dehydrated. I wash mine out when I refill it, including running water through the tube and bite valve; I also carry a few Milton tablets and use one quarter tablet to really wash it out every few days. Need to rinse well though to get rid of the taste.
 
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dcorrea951

La Coruna
Year of past OR future Camino
(2013)Frances;(2015)Pilgrim Office;(2016)Portuguese Coastal;(Portuguese Central,Ingles,Sanabres
I think that the only time you will need the bladder, or additional water is on the meseta. I used bottles (except on the meseta where I used my bladder), BUT, I am going to look at the Smart Tube. Thank you all for the information.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I think that the only time you will need the bladder, or additional water is on the meseta. I used bottles (except on the meseta where I used my bladder), BUT, I am going to look at the Smart Tube. Thank you all for the information.
I think for many of us who use a bladder, it is our only water - NOT additional water. Suggesting that we wouldn't need to fill it doesn't make sense at all to me.
 
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See signature. Too many to list here.
Good point, Damien. I was also considering the bladder, but I can clearly see the difficulties of using it. So I will use ordinary bottles.

Just to set the record straight, I think bladders are superior to bottles. I am a guy that has a hard time reaching the bottles in my side pockets. I didn't drink enough with just bottles, because it was hard for me to get at them.

I drank plenty with bladders because of the convenient hose to my mouth, but they are buried, and I ran out once or twice without knowing beforehand. They are also a pain to reload.

Combine the two: convenience of purchasing new bottles when needed, seeing contents in side pocket rather than guessing at buried bladder... clean? heck no just get a new bottle... nice hose to mouth to provide constant hydration.

I am embarrassed to say it but again the SmarTube is the way to go. I think instead of the pretty girl on the package they should show a picture of me, considering I pitch it so much...
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I drank plenty with bladders because of the convenient hose to my mouth, but they are buried, and I ran out once or twice without knowing beforehand.
Not on the camino, but where I have been concerned about running out and having to treat water, I have carried an extra 750 ml or 1 li bottle. It is filled in the morning, and if I then drink all the water in my bladder, I can decant the water from the bottle into the bladder. At the next opportunity I then refill the bottle and treat the water with a water purification tablet. It is then available should I need to repeat the process. If I don't think I need to treat the water, it can go straight into the bladder, and depending on how much more walking I have to do that day, I also refill the bottle.
 

marbuck

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
Two 600 ml bottles that I fill where I can. You know how much water you have left where as a Camelback inside your pack you do not have a clue how much is left. I have never bought water on the Camino, most of the fountains are as safe as at home. We have walked 1300 km in France & Spain and have never had a problem with the water. Going back this year with our trusty 2 X 600 ml bottles. Do not depend on just one 1 lt bottle, it may get a leak or you may loose it then you have no water.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Holiday a lot in Spain from England over the years and always informed by holiday reps not to drink the water or have ice in drinks has this may cause upset stomach

I don't know why they say this - Spain is a developed country with modern water treatment. Tap water is fine. No need to buy bottled water, which for the most part is just good tap water that may have gone through an extra filtration process.

Refillable bottle or bladder is really a mater of personal choice - the important thing is that you drink enough water, so you want to use a method that is convenient and comfortable to you.

I am a water bottle person - I always walk or hike with water bottles, so that's what I do on the Camino. I make sure to drink plenty of water before setting out in the morning and at pit stops along the way, then just have a drink here and there when I stop for short rest breaks. Water bottles work great for that. Others like to sip on water while they are walking, in which case a bladder is preferable because you don't have to get your water bottle off your pack.
 

T-Camino

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
Skim reading through this, I'm um'ing and ah'ing on Camelbak sizes. We're walking in May- June and at the moment it's between the 2 and 2.5 litre sizes. As I'm trying to pack light, I'm wondering whether to get bigger so the water lasts longer or are there enough frequent places to refil that I won't need it?
 
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Deleted member 3000

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Skim reading through this, I'm um'ing and ah'ing on Camelbak sizes. We're walking in May- June and at the moment it's between the 2 and 2.5 litre sizes. As I'm trying to pack light, I'm wondering whether to get bigger so the water lasts longer or are there enough frequent places to refil that I won't need it?
You cannot put 2.5 liters in a 2.0 liter water bladder, but you can put 2.0 liters in a 2.5 liter bladder! The weight difference is minute, so consider preparing for a long stretch where you will want more water. There are regular spots to fill a bottle/bladder with good water, so many pilgrims just take one liter and show the discipline to top off at every opportunity. From experience I can tell you that there are few things more uncomfortable than walking in the heat without water. When you reach the dehydration point, you go downhill very fast. It can be dangerous (and Spain can be very hot).
 

auldies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
I am embarrassed to say it but again the SmarTube is the way to go. I think instead of the pretty girl on the package they should show a picture of me, considering I pitch it so much...

Very interested in the Smartube but can't seem to find any stockists in Australia.
Did you order yours online?
Grateful for any tips please.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
Do they fit CamelBak drink bottles?
I really din't know because I don't the Camelback bottles. But if you know how wide its mouth is you can s'figure it out. It comes with three "lids". One is a wide mouth. The other two are for small mouths: the American standard size and the European size. To use it with a European bottle you need the two peices together.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
Okay, I ordered the Smartube. I had already been considering it. I got really tired of taking off the Deuter for a drink of water last Camino, or getting my Camino friends to wrestle my bottle out of the pack pocket. That was almost more difficult, I think...

I do believe that the Smartube, along with a nice warm merino sweatshirt/hoody and a warm sleeping bag, are my only new additions to Camino de Santiago that begins 3/15. Having all the gear from last October/November has me nicely set!

All I need to do now is buckle down and substitute teach and get the money together.

Buen Camino--Buen hydrated Camino!
 

auldies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
I really din't know because I don't the Camelback bottles. But if you know how wide its mouth is you can s'figure it out. It comes with three "lids". One is a wide mouth. The other two are for small mouths: the American standard size and the European size. To use it with a European bottle you need the two peices together.

Thank you. I have just measured and I don't believe any of the 3 available sizes will fit.
Curious why you don't like the CamelBak bottles?
What do you use?
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
Thank you. I have just measured and I don't believe any of the 3 available sizes will fit.
Curious why you don't like the CamelBak bottles?
What do you use?
Sorry, meant to say I do not know the Camelback bottles, not that I din't like them. But with the Smartube all you do is buy a bottle of water when you land and keep refilling it. No need for a special bottle.
 
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auldies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Sorry, meant to say I do not know the Camelback bottles, not that I din't like them. But with the Smartube all you do is buy a bottle of water when you land and keep refilling it. No need for a special bottle.

Thank you.
That's very helpful.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
BTW - the SmarTube does have a connector that maybe comes in the package that fits a wide mouth camelbak bottle. If not, they say one is available. I think it comes with, but I ditched it as I don't use the wide mouths anymore. Too heavy.
 

Latecomer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
BTW - the SmarTube does have a connector that maybe comes in the package that fits a wide mouth camelbak bottle. If not, they say one is available. I think it comes with, but I ditched it as I don't use the wide mouths anymore. Too heavy.

I bought the same SmarTube kit (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GM6LWS/?tag=casaivar02-20) and used the 63mm cap on a 1.5 litre opaque Nalgene bottle (which I liked because it is virtually unbreakable if dropped on cement, etc.). I was extremely happy with it. I carried a 500ml water bottle from the mercado as a back-up.

I also made my own mouth-piece cover which used elastic to keep it in place, for when my pack was inevitably and frequently leaned against unclean surfaces.
 

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Anemone del Camino

Guest
You can buy magnetic hydration tube kits for 1$ or so on Amazon to help keep your tube inplace. It just clips on your backpack straps.
 

auldies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
I bought the same SmarTube kit (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GM6LWS/?tag=casaivar02-20) and used the 63mm cap on a 1.5 litre opaque Nalgene bottle (which I liked because it is virtually unbreakable if dropped on cement, etc.). I was extremely happy with it. I carried a 500ml water bottle from the mercado as a back-up.

I also made my own mouth-piece cover which used elastic to keep it in place, for when my pack was inevitably and frequently leaned against unclean surfaces.

Wow!! That's a great help.
Thank you.
 
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auldies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
You can buy magnetic hydration tube kits for 1$ or so on Amazon to help keep your tube inplace. It just clips on your backpack straps.

Thank you.
I had a look at these online and they look fantastic.
Just hoping I can get them shipped to Oz............
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I'm um'ing and ah'ing on Camelbak] I'm um'ing and ah'ing on Camelbak

The common wisdom seems to be: take 1 litre in an ordinary 1.5 fizzy drink bottle as there are many places to refill each day. Except on the meseta: so when there take 2 x 1.5 litre bottles filled up.

Very interested in the Smartube but can't seem to find any stockists in Australia.

Look online. They cost peanuts. I found the Camelbak type systems became complicated when refilling enroute as you had to take it out of the pack, leave the pack open and unwatched when filling and repack when done. The 1.5 litre bottle goes in the side pocket and the SmarTube comes over your shoulder, just like the Cambelbak type systems.
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Not difficult to get to or put back if you bring your wife with you.

So you are not carrying your wife on your back. That's not very chivalrous of you. :rolleyes:

Well, if she is walking with you I do hope you reciprocate by getting her essentials, whatever they may be, out of her side pockets. ;)
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
So you are not carrying your wife on your back. That's not very chivalrous of you. :rolleyes:

Well, if she is walking with you I do hope you reciprocate by getting her essentials, whatever they may be, out of her side pockets. ;)
No, I didn't carry her but I was chivalrous anyway; we used up her water first.
 
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skipronin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May-June 2016)
I have not walked the Camino yet. If you have not made at purchase yet you may want to look at the Source Ultimate Hydration system bladder. This is the system Rob the Slob was referring to.

The bladder comes with an accessory that allows you to refill the bladder through the hose without removing it from the backpack.

In addition I plan to carry a 750ml Camelbak bottle that I'll carry fresh fruit in, and can double as another water container if needed.
 

Stellaluna

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Coast to Coast (2015)
Frances (July 2016)
The common wisdom seems to be: take 1 litre in an ordinary 1.5 fizzy drink bottle as there are many places to refill each day. Except on the meseta: so when there take 2 x 1.5 litre bottles filled up.



Look online. They cost peanuts. I found the Camelbak type systems became complicated when refilling enroute as you had to take it out of the pack, leave the pack open and unwatched when filling and repack when done. The 1.5 litre bottle goes in the side pocket and the SmarTube comes over your shoulder, just like the Cambelbak type systems.

Regarding tghe Smartube; I wonder if because the bottle is not inverted (like the Platypus and Camelback bladders), does it not take tremendous suction on the tube to get the water all the way up to drink? I was about to order one when someone asked me this.
Thanks,
Jennifer
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007/8/9, 2011 , 2012/13/14. C.F 2015
Camino Portugues 2017,2018,2019
volunteering
I have made two little pouches into which a 250 ml plastic water container fits. By means of a loop at the back these fit snugly onto the waist straps of my rucksack. so without stopping or even altering my step I can take a drink. I keep the rest of my water within my ruchsack so that it does not get hot

If you are not handy with machine and needle ask your old granny for help.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
does it not take tremendous suction on the tube to get the water all the way up to drink?

A good question.

I have used both Camelbak Bladders and SmarTube with a bottle.

In my experience about the same amount of initial suction is required to get water to the mouth. After that the tube from either device is fully charged and water is on demand.

I hope that answers your question.
 
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kusitb

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC May-June 2016
The common wisdom seems to be: take 1 litre in an ordinary 1.5 fizzy drink bottle as there are many places to refill each day. Except on the meseta: so when there take 2 x 1.5 litre bottles filled up.

Hi @AlwynWellington - very interesting discussion here. I have a question about the meseta. I've read a little bit about it - I remember reading that it is usually very hot and water fountains are far from each other. If I remember correctly - 17 kms apart.

I'm from Toronto, Canada, and we usually hike the Bruce Trail. During hot days (which I consider to be 28+ C), I would drink about 2.5 - 3 liters for a 4-5 hour hike that is anywhere from 14-20 kms depending on the terrain. I have a feeling that the typical Bruce Trail terrain (close to the Toronto section) is more rugged than the meseta. Most of the Bruce Trail has rocks, roots, hills, etc... but it also has a lot of shade... while my understanding is that the meseta is "mostly flat" and no shade. Is this correct? Anyway, I ask questions because I'm just trying to get a sense of how much water I will need to carry in the meseta.

Questions:
1) Whereabouts in the Camino Frances does the meseta start, and how long is this stage? I have the Brieley guide but I have not yet read that far.
2) How far apart are the water fountains from each other?
3) We start in SJPdP May 1, and I'm sensing (from everything I've read so far) that the meseta is beyond the half-way point, so I'm guessing it will be towards the end of May when we reach it. How hot does the meseta get during late May - early June?

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
The stretch in question is leaving Carrion de los Condes. It's a perfect bowling alley: flat and straight until just a bit before arriving at the albergue/pension. Big sky, no trees. But vending trucks are often seen along the route, ready to sell you drinks. Leave early that morning, arrive early amd enjoy a dip in the albergue's swimming pool. Now, don't count on the vending trucks being there, because you know that if you do you will be walking on their day off. o_O This is not a stretch that will cause you to huff an puff amd over exert yourself, but one that will have the sun hitting hard and will make you wish you had an umbrella to protect you from it.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yep, an umbrella is fabulous on the meseta, provided the wind is not too strong. I have never needed more than two 600ml bottles of water, but I do fill them at every opportunity, and have a long drink before I even start. And, come to think of it, it is a while since I did that stretch out of Carrion; we missed it in September.
 

kusitb

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC May-June 2016
Approximately, what is the greatest distance between two drinking fountains on the meseta? If it is less than 10km, flat, and 30+ C with no shade, I should be able to get by with around 2 liters. That's just me, my wife can probably get by with 1.5 liters under the same conditions.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Approximately, what is the greatest distance between two drinking fountains on the meseta? If it is less than 10km, flat, and 30+ C with no shade, I should be able to get by with around 2 liters. That's just me, my wife can probably get by with 1.5 liters under the same conditions.

It's that stretch: 17km. No drinking fountains: the albergue or bar where you have breakfast and then the albergue/pesion 17km later.
 
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They don't seem to ship to Australia :(

I bought mine on Amazon... (delivered to Sydney)

Whilst I loved my bladder, I'm going to try smartube next time. The only downside of the bladder was not knowing how much water was left... ran out a couple of times. Yes I know I could probably have topped up, but not 'seeing' the water level was a couple of times at least a bit 'out of sight out of mind' and I thought I had plenty left.

For those using the smartube or similar devices (i ordered 2 different types to trial) do you carry the bottles in the side pouches or hang them on the front?

On the front makes more sense as you can monitor the water levels.

So any thoughts on commercially available bottle carriers that are easy to fit?

Also if carrying the bottles on the front, did you just cut the smartube hose shorter?
 
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kusitb

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC May-June 2016
I used the smartube.

- Carried it on the side-pocket. On most days, I started with 80% full using a 1-liter Nalgene bottle (to save on weight). Exception is when I know there are few water fountains on that day's route, then I fill it 100%.

- I kept a 500-ml bottle as spare on the other side-pocket of the backpack, that way there is some sort of balance. Having the spare solves the 'out of sight, out of mind' - if I run out on main bottle, then I know it's definitely time to refill while I still have 500-ml more. Also, as mentioned somewhere, the other advantage to this is that I can also use this 500-ml bottle to mix electrolyte drinks so I keep my main bottle and the smartube for water only.

- BTW, on that 17-km stretch of no fountain, I carried two 500-ml spares (so 2-liter total), but I didn't even need the spares because it was very cool and windy the day I walked that stretch.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Whilst I loved my bladder, I'm going to try smartube next time. The only downside of the bladder was not knowing how much water was left... ran out a couple of times. Yes I know I could probably have topped up, but not 'seeing' the water level was a couple of times at least a bit 'out of sight out of mind' and I thought I had plenty left.
I have been carrying an extra 500ml bottle in the top of my pack on my recent pilgrimages to avoid running out on hot days. If there are plenty of places to refill, I will not completely fill the bladder instead, reducing the overall amount of water I carry but still having a reserve. This avoids being caught by the 'out of sight, out of mind' trap.
 

AcrossTheWater3008

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances x 2 - 2016, 2017
C Portuguese x 2 2016, 2017
C Muxia/Finisterra x 2 2016, 17
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I use the Smartube ... fits most standard water bottles ... much better than the bladder any day! Hassle free too... ! Cap screwed on bottle and there you have it - a hydration system for any walks!
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
For those using the smartube or similar devices (i ordered 2 different types to trial) do you carry the bottles in the side pouches or hang them on the front?

I trialled a bladder inside the pack during my training.

Like you I found it fiddly to fill, to express unwanted air and to insert back into a full pack. (Why put water inside a Pack?)

I noticed references to Blue Stream (?) Smart Tube, trialled it and have used it on trips totaling about 1200 km. To my mind it overcomes all the issues we have both noted.

I keep the bottle in a side pocket.

As I have a pouch across my upper chest (for a tablet) I would not consider having a water bottle in front, but I can appreciate the advantages you note.

NOTE: changed 12 km above to 1200 km on 5 Jan 2017
 
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Misrite68

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Summer of (2017)
Hi all,
Newbie on here and just looking for advice from anyone who has walked the camino on using hydration bladder or bottles ? Do the hydration bladders need cleaning and do you need cleaning materials or is it just a case of rinsing out at end of day? Also is there plenty of places to buy bottled water? (Holiday a lot in Spain from England over the years and always informed by holiday reps not to drink the water or have ice in drinks has this may cause upset stomach)
Thanks

Another amazing thread! I am finding that so far any question I have, there are folks having great discussions about it. I am going to check out these smart tubes, hadn't heard of them before. I love my camel back but can see now the potential hassle of refilling.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
I have made two little pouches into which a 250 ml plastic water container fits. By means of a loop at the back these fit snugly onto the waist straps of my rucksack. so without stopping or even altering my step I can take a drink. I keep the rest of my water within my ruchsack so that it does not get hot

If you are not handy with machine and needle ask your old granny for help.
Like Lydia I carried a small, easily accessible, 250 ml bottle in addition to the usual larger bottles. Alas grandmother long gone so I bought a little mesh pocket from Zpacks that fitted onto the shoulder strap of my backpack. http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/shoulderpouch.shtml
A low tech solution to having drinking water available without having to remove backpack but it worked well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I used a collapsible bottle and Smart Tube. Initially I kept the bottle in the side pocket, but since it was pretty hot the first couple of weeks that I walked I ended up putting the bottle inside my pack to keep it cooler, similar to a hydration bladder. Since that system worked now I'm thinking that I should just get a dedicated hydration bladder, since they are easier to thoroughly clean than the collapsible bottle.
This system, though spendy, looks really cool, because it has an attachment that makes it possible to fill the bladder through the drinking tube. And the tube is coated to keep the water cool.
 

DanielH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2015 (SJPP to Burgos)
September 2016 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
May 2017 (Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago de Compostela)
I used a collapsible bottle and Smart Tube. Initially I kept the bottle in the side pocket, but since it was pretty hot the first couple of weeks that I walked I ended up putting the bottle inside my pack to keep it cooler, similar to a hydration bladder. Since that system worked now I'm thinking that I should just get a dedicated hydration bladder, since they are easier to thoroughly clean than the collapsible bottle.
[/U], though spendy, looks really cool, because it has an attachment that makes it possible to fill the bladder through the drinking tube. And the tube is coated to keep the water cool.
I typically use hydration bladders, but you don't really need to carry one given the short distances between towns. Most towns have public fountains to refill a water bottle as needed
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I typically use hydration bladders, but you don't really need to carry one given the short distances between towns. Most towns have public fountains to refill a water bottle as needed
First, I am curious what you think of as a short distance. Certainly a large percentage of the locations on the CF are within one hour's walk (at 5 km/hr) from the previous location, but there are enough that are not and where some care needs to be taken to carry enough water for two or three hours of walking.

Second, hydration bladders have many advantages other than mere capacity, which have been discussed earlier in this thread so I won't repeat that discussion here.
 
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Mavitut

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles (2017)
Hydroflasks? I have one and love it for bus/car travel, but that sucker is heavy! But it keeps water very cold. Is it worth it to carry the extra weight for a cold drink, July, on the Ingles?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Hydroflasks? I have one and love it for bus/car travel, but that sucker is heavy! But it keeps water very cold. Is it worth it to carry the extra weight for a cold drink, July, on the Ingles?
What you will need is water. Cold water being a nice-to-have. I would stick with the bottle your first water purchase comes in.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Hi all,
Newbie on here and just looking for advice from anyone who has walked the camino on using hydration bladder or bottles ? Do the hydration bladders need cleaning and do you need cleaning materials or is it just a case of rinsing out at end of day? Also is there plenty of places to buy bottled water? (Holiday a lot in Spain from England over the years and always informed by holiday reps not to drink the water or have ice in drinks has this may cause upset stomach)
Thanks

Spain is a first world country. Tap water in Spain is safe to drink.

The holiday reps are hoping you'll pay for the overpriced drinks. The ice is bad only if its made with contaminated water ... which tap water isn't.

Its flies landing on your food that will make you sick. Think about where flies are born ... That and cooks who don't wash their hands after going to the washroom.

The road was virtually paved with discarded plastic bottles ... so yeah you can buy bottled water virtually anywhere in Spain. Go ahead and waste your euros.
 

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