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Water Bottle or Camelback/Playtpus?

manifestdestinyLISA

Active Member
Hola Pilgrims!!

I started my USA pre camino left OH last week for wedding at oldest winery in USA 170 years old in Marlbourough NY-blessed event..then drove to the Berkshires MA to visit relatives..met 2 pilgrims that just returned from Camino Frances- coinidink?! Met them seperatly..one returned in Aug and the other in July (they do not know each other yet?!). both told me of their struggles & joy..Marissa helped me pack..and it turned out that her father and my father did business together years ago?! We met through a mutual friend in MA!

I am now in NJ overlooking the NYC skyline from Hoboken spending time with my brother & ...preparing to leave next Tuesday for Toulouse! Cant believe its here! I do feel so much more calmer then I did over the last 3 months of planning..Im ready and really look forward to all the people and places I have yet to meet!

Putting the last details on my trip...cant decide if I just want simplicity of water bottle or added weight/availablility of Camelback..

Please tell me what worked for you and why...heading to the NJ shore for some walks and to meet up with fam & friends before depart..

BUEN CAMINO!!!!!!!
Lisa
 
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Deleted member 3000

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I went exclusively to a 2L Camelbak for a while. I simply hydrate better with a suck tube next to my mouth. Now I do drag along a water bottle to mix my Nuun. It's only another 2.6 ounces...
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We prefer waterbottles, one in each side pocket of our rucksacs to balance them. We drink what we need and they are easy to refill. Terry managed his quite happily on his own; it made him stop, have a brief rest and maybe a snack. The other advantages are that you can see when they are running out and the bladder pocket is free for papers.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
My shoulders are not flexible enough to retrieve a water bottle from a side pocket, so I have used a water bladder for three years now. The 3L wide-mouth version is heavier than the 2L regular version, however, so I did downsize.

Since removing the bladder for refill mid-day is somewhat problematic, I supplement with a water bottle, which is otherwise carried dry.

The bladder pocket is still available for important papers, by the way, even with a loaded bladder. I put mine in a ziplock just for waterproofness.
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Camelbak for me. I think I'd be dead without it! Ha ha!

The weight of the water is obviously the same however you choose to transport it, so it's only really a question of distribution. If your pack doesn't have a pocket on the back for water and you have to carry the Camelpak on the side etc it may be better to use bottles for balance as Tia says.

Are you planning to walk alone? If so the Camelbak means you don't have to reach round all the time for a bottle, or ask someone to do it for you.

There are other options such as a water bottle holster round your waist, but your pack weight should be mainly on your hips anyway so I'm not sure that would make much difference to your weight distribution, just more handy.

I agree with Tia that a major drawback of a Camelbak is that you can't see how full it is. You quickly get used to how full you have to fill it depending on distances between villages etc, and checking it every time you pass a fountain. Mine was 2l, but I rarely filled it to that level, usually 1-1.5l.

As always there's an element of personal preference. Buen Camino!
 
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migolito

Member
I use a bladder. It's just too simple to use compared to a couple of water bottles. I found I didn't hydrate enough when I used to use bottles because I inevitably couldn't reach them and kept telling myself 'I'll stop up ahead and get a drink' and never did.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I carried a 2li bladder in 2010 on the Camino Frances, which generally needed topping up around lunchtime in warmer conditions, but lasted all day in more temperate conditions.

My preference for the bladder is based on my observation that it is easier to maintain proper hydration using it compared to carrying a water bottle in one's pack. When I have carried a bottle, unless it is on an readily accessible waist belt, the temptation is to resist taking off my pack until I am really thirsty, and so already dehydrated. In contrast, the bladder allows me to drink regularly before the onset of thirst.

The issue of how much water to carry is moot. I carried the 2 li bladder because is it what I had already, and was using for day walks in the Australian summer.

As a final titbit, the USDA Recommended Daily Intake of water in temperate climates for adults is 3.7li for men, and 2.7li for women. This includes all sources, including beverages, even though it is also well known that coffee and tea in particular are diuretics, and may aggravate dehydration. This is based on averages, and clearly there are other factors to consider, like your own body mass, the weather conditions at the time, and how fast one is walking, but it is a good general guide to maintaining your hydration.
 
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lbpierce

Linda Breen Pierce
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
I just checked REI's web site for Camelbak water reservoirs. a 3 liter bag weighs 6.5 ounces. A 2 liter bag weighs 6.4 ounces. No real weight savings there, it's more a question of how full you fill it, and how often you want to check it and refill it.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
My Platypus Big Zip 3L was 6 ounces, while my current Platypus Hoser 2L is 2.8 ounces. You know, 3 ounces you don't need is 3 ounces you don't need.
 
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jastrace

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Camino Portuguese in planning (Sept 2018)
I agree that the water bladder system is the most convenient way to get at your water. I prefer the Osprey bladders to the camelbaks I've used in the past, simply because they take less effort to bite and suck the water out. This matters when you're tired. :) Also I'm a fan of the magnet clip that keeps the tube from flapping around. Finally I have found that the 'plastic' taste of the new Osprey bladders goes away after just a few uses.

I acknowledge that you do have to keep tabs on the water levels but I find that when you are training you get a sense of your own rate of consumption. It always pays to check your levels on hot or strenuous days.

The only other thing I'd recommend with bladders that if you want to avoid mould (mold) in your tubes and the 'taste of beverages past' use water only! Nothing with sugar in it: no juice, no cordial, no sports drink, no electrolyte rehydration powders (mix those separately in a glass on a break or at the end of the day). But hey, it's your water container and your choice.

Having said all of that, asking strangers to get your water bottle from your pack might be a good way to break the ice. :D
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
About two-weeks into a warm weather walk, bladders develop that wonderful mildew flavor so beloved by their users. A plain water bottle is my choice not for hydration but as mentined above for social interaction. Walking slowly and in the springtime or fall the immediate hydration factor is not that important plenty of bars for coffee, juice, beer, or wine and yes more conversation along almost every stage. Summer is certainly a different situation but I won't be there.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
PS The mailman just broughtthe newest Miam Miam Dodo!!! and I was unable to finish that last post. I only wanted to add that while it is often mentioned that the Way to Santiago is paved with Fellowship and Prayer, I would add to that equation Fellowship and Spanish coffee. Sometimes a small cup of cafe solo...well, you fill in the blank.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
scruffy1 said:
About two-weeks into a warm weather walk, bladders develop that wonderful mildew flavor so beloved by their users.
As would any food/drink container that isn't cleaned regularly (and frequently). I generally give my bladder a bit of a scrub and rinse every couple of days.

ps. I wonder who shared their bladder with you for you to find out about this :wink:
 
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tedcliu

New Member
I walked the Camino in early July 2012, and used a 2L bladder and carried a cheap half liter disposable water bottle. I like the convenience of not having to reach for the water, and used the bottle to fill up my water bladder when needed.

During my walk day time temperature averaged 25-35 celsius, and I usually topped up my bladder once by noon.
 

rewrew

New Member
Another vote for camelbak/platypus!

I decided on using bottles on my camino initially, because I didn't like the slight aftertaste of plastic when I roadtested a friend's new camelbak.

However... during my camino I got frustrated getting them out of my sidepockets all the time, when others weren't around to kindly grab them for me, and regularly ran out of water with my two small bottles (all I could comfortably carry)...I occasionally ended up walking up behind (close!) friends and stealing a sip from their camelbaks. For my friend's sake, and mine, I'll definitely be taking my own camelbak on my next spring camino!
 

manifestdestinyLISA

Active Member
Wow, thank you everyone for your detailed responses...I think Im going to go for the water bottle attached to front of my pack based on all the response ..I have an osprey and the pockets are way back..it does have a camel back pocket--but I like the idea of stopping, chatting and filling up.. :D

BUEN CAMINO!
 
I use a Camelbak for bicycling, long motorcycle rides, and kayaking. The bladder is drained and dried at the end of the day so it never has a chance to develop a foul taste. However, for the Camino I prefer easy to clean and refill water bottles. Unlike water bladders, bottles don't require special cleaning equipment and are convenient to take to the table in a cafe. They can even serve as a wine glass. Last year I purchased a pair of lightweight 3M Filtrete bottles. Each BPA-free bottle holds 500 ml of water and only weighs 3.5 oz.

FWIW, one of the features I looked for when selecting my Osprey Atoms backpack was easy access to water bottles.
 

pete75

New Member
I actually enjojed having to stop, removing backpack to reach the water bottle. Gives you a chance to stop and smell the roses.
 
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rglongpre

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Figeac (2012); Camino Frances (August 28, 2015)
I will be using a 2L camelback with a bottle held in reserve for those long walk days.
 

BoldenMD

Member
I have a 3-liter Osprey, which I've been using on my training walks. I get to find out tomorrow how well it works on the Camino. But there have been times at the trail end of training days where having that tubed pressed beween my lips kept me going. Of course, I can vary how much I fill it, too, to help keep the weight down.
 

manifestdestinyLISA

Active Member
I decided on a naglene 32 0z bottle with carrier that velcros to pack nicely and I can have next to me (which is way closer then the pockets on my osprey which are set pretty awkwardly out of reach. ALso bringing a 34 oz platypus foldable bottle/bag with clip on holder for back up weighs nothing and can fill if need extra..
 

PadreQ

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept Oct 2011, de Astorga 2015
Primitivo Oct 2013
Lebaniego & Ingles Sept (2017)
The first and most severe problem I experienced when I walked at this time last year was from carrying a large water bottle on the side of my pack up and over from St. Jean. By day two I was in agony with leg pain - Spanish ibuprofen is wonderful for that, btw the way.

From then on I used my camelback in the center of my pack as my principal water source. I did use two smaller bottles. But I was always very careful about keeping the load balanced. I had no trouble refilling the camelback at the start of the day or even midday. I have an Osprey Exos pack. And having the tube readily accessible made all the difference.

I hope that helps.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
PadreQ said:
The first and most severe problem I experienced when I walked at this time last year was from carrying a large water bottle on the side of my pack up and over from St. Jean. By day two I was in agony with leg pain - Spanish ibuprofen is wonderful for that, btw the way.

From then on I used my camelback in the center of my pack as my principal water source. I did use two smaller bottles. But I was always very careful about keeping the load balanced. I had no trouble refilling the camelback at the start of the day or even midday. I have an Osprey Exos pack. And having the tube readily accessible made all the difference.

I hope that helps.
I agree totally PadreQ. We carry two bottles each just so that we do keep our loads balanced. Loke the bladder we can part or completely fill them. We drink from one pair, but if alone I would alternate to maintain the balance. I did the same with my shampoo - 2 small bottles one in each side and used alternately. Works fine for me as a system. Spare papers and my homemade flexi plates go in the bladder pocket and my whistle is hung out through the tube hole.
 
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manifestdestinyLISA

Active Member
Naglene bottle with carrier worked out great and back up inflatable bottle came in super handy when Ieft my filled naglene in a cafe while delighting in my cafe con leche...somewhere on the meseta... I filled often and drank lots of water laced with "pina" pineapple juice I would get at the bars along the way..I def. preferred not to have the camelback..but stopped and filled as needed and was hydrated..adding juice to water was a nice lift
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
I really like my Osprey Reservoir. It had a ridged plastic insert which helps to keep its form. It's a little heavier that other bladders, so ultralight fetishists probably won't dig it.
 

AmmieM

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept Oct 2013
Caminho Portugues 2016
I am using an Osprey hydration pack, 2 litre. It slides in and out of my pack very easily, holds its form well, has a wide mouth for filling and keeps balanced. Don't have to stop to drink and can take small sips as required. Can still stop to refill as needed and socialize, on my training walks, as I am yet to walk my Camino.
Good luck.
Ammie
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
I have difficulty reaching around to the side pockets on my pack so I too use an Osprey hydration system (3 litre). I found that the tube has an irritating habit of leaving the magnet on my strap. I have an Osprey Talon 44 which has a loop on the left shoulder strap for quick pole storage. As I don't use poles this works perfectly for holding the tube. I assume a rubber band would also work well. One lesson I have learnt though is to carry a small bottle of water in a side pocket as a reserve after having once sucked the system dry. (I then had an unshaded 6K walk in 30 degrees plus).
Buen Camino
allan
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
UK pilgrims who like the Camelbak type of water bladder can possibly get the much cheaper Karrimor version from Sports Direct. Around £10 rather than £30 for a 2 litre bag. I've used them twice and they're fine. Buen Camino!
 
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dfitzg773

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), Camino Frances (2014), Camino Norte (Oct 2018)
Here is the entry on this topic in my blog thoughts and recommendations from my recent camino on the Frances route.

Water Bottles vs Camelbak. I wrestled with this decision for a long time and finally decided to walk with two 500 ml bottles with push-up tops (rather than screw off lids) that were actually Gatarade bottles I brought from home because they were a little thicker plastic than a lot of the smaller water bottles. The push-up tops were easier to use while walking than having to screw off a top when holding two poles. I found the water fountains (fuentes) to be pretty plentiful and the few times I probably felt like my water was getting low was when I had passed by a fountain and didn't fill up my empty bottle--I was probably trying to keep up with someone and didn't want to fall behind by stopping--a pretty stupid decision. Brierley guide was pretty accurate about where fountains are located. Fill up your water whenever you pass a fountain with potable water. I had kept my two water bottles in the mesh pockets on the sides of my pack and for the first couple of days had to ask people along the way (I was walking alone) to hand me a bottle. I finally figured out that a bottle fit into my front pants/shorts pocket and was easily accessible and I didn't need to ask someone to get it out of my pack pocket and ultimately I think I drank more water. I ran across someone who had to go to the hospital for dehydration--it was cooler and he didn't think he needed to drink as much. Remember to hydrate regularly. I also brought a Camelbak bladder for the Meseta because I was worried about the lack of water along the way after reading the Brierly guide. I never used the Camelbak bladder the entire camino. I bought a third bottle of water for the Meseta, but it was cool and windy and I never needed the third one. But I was prepared.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
I used 2 half litre waterbottles (off the shelf) on each side of the pack. Good balance, easy to get out but hard to get back in. Since I came home I found a cap and tube kit to fit any standard water bottle on eBay and find it great. I have just used it walking in the Pyranees, worked a treat. You can also unscrew the tube and replace the cap when going to a cafe etc. Also easy to refill or replace bottle so no worry about nasty tastes etc. This is the link and item number:

http://www.ebay.ie/itm/110693544763?ssP ... 1497.l2649

110693544763

PS I forgot to opt for the 90 degree mouthpiece when I ordered but it still works great.
Open in chrome for a translation.
 

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