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Water bottles or water bladders??

Joodle

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF May 10th- June 21st 2016
VDLP March-April 2017
CF coming up April-May
Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
 
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Mark Lee

Guest
I did all three of my Caminos carrying two 1/2 liter bottles of water in the side, net like pouches on my pack. I bought the bottled water in SJPdP and refilled the same two bottles several times everyday all the way to Santiago whereupon they found a new home in a trash bin.
A couple of days (first day out of SJPdP and the day out of Carrion de los Condes) I carried a third bottle of water.
I just don't like those water bladders and I saw one leak into someone's backpack. Besides, for me the bladder was never doable because I carried on my backpack on the flights and wanted as little as possible in it. The water bladder would just have been something else to carry.
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
I took my trusty bottle, easy to fill, easy to wash. If you're having trouble reaching your bottle, instead of taking your pack off, try momentarily loosening your waist and shoulder straps, this may lower the pack enough for you to access it.
 

angus55morrison

Uist beach
Year of past OR future Camino
walked Camino Frances 2012, future June 26 2016 / Burgos to Santiago July 2017 future Camino Fran
I took my trusty bottle, easy to fill, easy to wash. If you're having trouble reaching your bottle, instead of taking your pack off, try momentarily loosening your waist and shoulder straps, this may lower the pack enough for you to access it.
I took my trusty bottle, easy to fill, easy to wash. If you're having trouble reaching your bottle, instead of taking your pack off, try momentarily loosening your waist and shoulder straps, this may lower the pack enough for you to access it.
Used platypus in 2012 tube got very dirty and without cleaning brush hard to clean,this year I'm using Bcb water bottles one fitted to backpack waist belt sitting in water bottle pouch,a lot easier to access ,cleaning with denture tablets or a spoon of bicarbonate of soda.
 

auldies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
Hi Joodle
I have just ordered a SmarTube.
Try this link to a recent post
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/hydration-bladder.37851/#post-379094
Buen Camino
 
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Joodle

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF May 10th- June 21st 2016
VDLP March-April 2017
CF coming up April-May
I took my trusty bottle, easy to fill, easy to wash. If you're having trouble reaching your bottle, instead of taking your pack off, try momentarily loosening your waist and shoulder straps, this may lower the pack enough for you to access it.
Ahhh, I never thought of that. This is why we newbies depend on the wise words of those who have gone before. Thanks. I'll try it.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I carry 2 of the commonly availabe 600ml water bottles. One in each of the side cargo pockets of my shorts. Takes a little getting used to but, imo, a much more acceptable option than carring a kilo+ on my back.
Regards
Gerard.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
Bottles on side pocket are nightmare if walking alone. Look into Smartubes. This being said, be mindful of carrying more weight on one sie of your body than the other, it can play tricks on you.
 
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joe g texas aggies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santinago April/May 2015
Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
I did both - carry a Camelback and water bottle. The Camelback was easy to fill each morning and easier to sip some water from along the CF. The bottle is easier to fill from the spigots along the way.
On the second day out from Roncevalles, we hit some rather warm weather in mid April. I ran out of water for a few km. Stay hydrated! That was the hardest day for me on the CF last year.
A word of caution. A liter of water weighs one kg, which is 2.2 lbs. So, carrying a lot of water adds greatly to the weight you are carrying.
Hope this helps.
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
There is a yoga pose/stretch that allows one to loosen up the shoulders, it's the one that is a reverse namaste behind your back. btw the is no way that I can do this, but I can get my bottle ;)
 

Joodle

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF May 10th- June 21st 2016
VDLP March-April 2017
CF coming up April-May
I purchased a bladder but based on a tip from someone on the forum I am scrapping that idea and I bought one of these!
Thanks. I saw those on this foum and just ordered one today. I am going to take the Platypus Big Zip back. In trying to put it into and taking it out of my pack, It's a pain. You think you have things all figured out and then you see a good idea. Oh well, i'm learning a lot just getting ready. I think I have everything that I need and my pack with water is 15.5 lbs. It feels good on my back. I haven't taken it out on the trail yet, but I will. My back is getting into pretty good shape with my rowing machine.
 
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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 carry a bladder (2 li) and if necessary augment it with an additional water bottle. I have yet to see a compelling argument for bottles compared to a bladder. In most cases it seems to come down to whether you are prepared to give the bladder a clean before you leave, a rinse each day and the occasional treatment with a denture tablet or something similar. For me, the advantages in terms of accessibility are compelling enough before adding factors like better pack weight distribution.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I used this shoulder strap bottle with angled tube and bite valve. I didn't need to do anything but turn my head when I needed a drink. As a result I drank a lot more water and stayed well hydrated at all times. The bottle is 750 cl and I carried an additional 750 cl water bottle from my waist pack or in the side pocket of my backpack, depending on the weather and if I needed to wear a rain jacket (my waist pack would be zipped inside my rain jacket and there was insufficient room for the bottle). It was extremely easy to refill the pack strap bottle from the waist pack supply, even whilst still walking.

On very long days with no possibility of a refill, I would buy a further bottle of water to see me through.

I liked this system so much that I have purchased an additional shoulder strap bottle for my refill supply. Another advantage of this system is that the bite valve almost never ends up touching the ground when removing my pack, unlike when I used a bladder and I found that the valve always seemed to hit the dirt when I took off my pack.

The bottle is sold by a French company called Raidlight and they are a bit pricey and the shipping is expensive, but the product is excellent quality. See link here.
I guess it might be possible to source the product from elsewhere.

image.jpeg image.jpeg
 
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skipronin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May-June 2016)
Take a look at the Source Ultimate Hydration system. It looks similar to a Platypus Big Zip, and operates in a similar manner, but it has an accessory that the Platypus does not. I'm speaking of the UTA attachment. It allows you to refill the bag from a faucet, small hose, or even a water bottle without taking the bladder out of the bag. I am testing the bladder now in my day bag, and I have personally filled the bladder with the UTA attachment using water bottles. Search on Google for Ultimate Hydration System. I am unsure if it is on Amazon yet, but I have ordered 2 bladders directly from their website, and they shipped from Israel.
 

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 whenever I can. I know how much is left, if I lose one I still have water. Plus even if I cant reach the bottle it forces me to either ask another pilgrim to get it out for me or I have a break from walking. Both are good.
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
I have two expandable "holsters" on my belt to carry water bottles. Easy to reach and the weight is on my hips. My small backpack has side pockets for more water if it's a long stretch without anywhere to top up. It doesn't have a waist strap but as I only carry 4k at most it doesn't need one. My water bottles do not impede using poles. Hope this encourages others to think outside the box.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
You will get as many answers here as the forum gets questions because it's one of those personal choices. I bought a regular bottled water starting out and used a waist holder. Easy peasy. To me the bladder was way too much work and I was never convinced of the cleanliness factor. I only once carried two bottles of water and that was on the Meseta. There are many Fuentes along the way, as well as at most cafes. It's about your pack weight.
 
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Mark Lee

Guest
One thing I will definitely get on my soapbox about in terms of water and what to carry it in on the Camino, is to not buy plastic water bottles everyday. It just adds to the billions of them out there, piling up and poisoning our environment.
Do what I did. I only used 3-4 plastic bottles the entire 30+ days. Or bring your own, preferably the type that are BPA free. I never had any problem filling up my bottles several times everyday with potable water and I never had any gastric problems on any of my Caminos. That's over 100 days.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
One thing I will definitely get on my soapbox about in terms of water and what to carry it in on the Camino, is to not buy plastic water bottles everyday. It just adds to the billions of them out there, piling up and poisoning our environment.
Do what I did. I only used 3-4 plastic bottles the entire 30+ days. Or bring your own, preferably the type that are BPA free. I never had any problem filling up my bottles several times everyday with potable water and I never had any gastric problems on any of my Caminos. That's over 100 days.
And to avoid buying Aquarius, the local "Gatorade", also sold in 1.5 l. bottles in the grocery stores, bring your own electrolyte capsules, like Zymm, Nuun, or what have you. Even helps cover the very few times the tap water's taste is not optimal.
 

Joodle

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF May 10th- June 21st 2016
VDLP March-April 2017
CF coming up April-May
I carry 2 of the commonly availabe 600ml water bottles. One in each of the side cargo pockets of my shorts. Takes a little getting used to but, imo, a much more acceptable option than carring a kilo+ on my back.
Regards
Gerard.
A woman just wouldn't do that. It would make our thighs look big:p
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
One thing I will definitely get on my soapbox about in terms of water and what to carry it in on the Camino, is to not buy plastic water bottles everyday. It just adds to the billions of them out there, piling up and poisoning our environment.
Do what I did. I only used 3-4 plastic bottles the entire 30+ days. Or bring your own, preferably the type that are BPA free. I never had any problem filling up my bottles several times everyday with potable water and I never had any gastric problems on any of my Caminos. That's over 100 days.
I used and re-used 1 and bought one extra for the Meseta. You're preaching to the choir Mark.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Via de la Plata, 2016
Camino del Norte, 2019
Portuguese, 2021
I use two 28 oz. bottles used for running or cycling and an attached hose system with a bite valve attached to the pack’s shoulder strap. The bottles go into net pouches on the sides of my pack; thus, convenient to refill unlike a bladder but with easy access of your water. Check out Convertube and BlueDesert SmarTube on the web. They come with adapters that work with all kinds of commercial water and soda bottles, too.
View attachment 22556
From a previous post, and saying the same thing as others have. However, the SmarTube or BlueDesert option works great and they work with most any bottle. I used the BlueDesert tube, but changed their bite valve out for a CamelPak bite valve. It worked much better.
 
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rometimed

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
I had 2 water bottles, 1 metal and 1 plastic, but found I didn't need them often with so many little towns along the way. Only maybe 3 or 4 days where they were needed.
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Buy water as needed whatever is available, its safer no worries about loosing, sanitizing etc, buy at any supermarket I buy the large size refill the small ones and drink what is left its really cheap just make sure to recycle :)

Zzotte
 

traveler

Walking is the answer
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
We had problems with bad water last summer resulting in food poisoning. It's very hard to clean a bladder on the trail. I'm sticking with bottles.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
I used this shoulder strap bottle with angled tube and bite valve. I didn't need to do anything but turn my head when I needed a drink. As a result I drank a lot more water and stayed well hydrated at all times. The bottle is 750 cl and I carried an additional 750 cl water bottle from my waist pack or in the side pocket of my backpack, depending on the weather and if I needed to wear a rain jacket (my waist pack would be zipped inside my rain jacket and there was insufficient room for the bottle). It was extremely easy to refill the pack strap bottle from the waist pack supply, even whilst still walking.

On very long days with no possibility of a refill, I would buy a further bottle of water to see me through.

I liked this system so much that I have purchased an additional shoulder strap bottle for my refill supply. Another advantage of this system is that the bite valve almost never ends up touching the ground when removing my pack, unlike when I used a bladder and I found that the valve always seemed to hit the dirt when I took off my pack.

The bottle is sold by a French company called Raidlight and they are a bit pricey and the shipping is expensive, but the product is excellent quality. See link here.
I guess it might be possible to source the product from elsewhere.

View attachment 24254 View attachment 24253
I used this shoulder strap bottle with angled tube and bite valve. I didn't need to do anything but turn my head when I needed a drink. As a result I drank a lot more water and stayed well hydrated at all times. The bottle is 750 cl and I carried an additional 750 cl water bottle from my waist pack or in the side pocket of my backpack, depending on the weather and if I needed to wear a rain jacket (my waist pack would be zipped inside my rain jacket and there was insufficient room for the bottle). It was extremely easy to refill the pack strap bottle from the waist pack supply, even whilst still walking.

On very long days with no possibility of a refill, I would buy a further bottle of water to see me through.

I liked this system so much that I have purchased an additional shoulder strap bottle for my refill supply. Another advantage of this system is that the bite valve almost never ends up touching the ground when removing my pack, unlike when I used a bladder and I found that the valve always seemed to hit the dirt when I took off my pack.

The bottle is sold by a French company called Raidlight and they are a bit pricey and the shipping is expensive, but the product is excellent quality. See link here.
I guess it might be possible to source the product from elsewhere.

View attachment 24254 View attachment 24253
I purchased the Raidlight system Magwood described. Be sure that your backpack shoulder straps can be removed at the bottom or you won't be able to use the Raidlight. My current Camelbak straps will not fit through the buckles. However, I do plan to buy an Osprey which has straps that are removable and should work fine with the Raidlight. I recently purchased a Camelbak Eddy hands free water bottle adapter which can be attached to any Camelbak Eddy, Groove, Better Bottle or Performance bottle. I suppose it is similar to the SmarTube but limited to Camelbak bottles. You basically remove the bottle's mouthpiece and attach the tube. See below. It sells for $9.99 or so and can be purchased from Camelbak's website or other sources online.

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yorkshirepilgrim

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances september-october 2015
I managed ok just by using the bottles from shop bought bottles of water and refilling them from taps,
i kept one bottle in my pack and for easy access i had one attached to my pack strap with a cable tie,if you dont fasten the tie to tight you can easily twist the bottle in and out
 

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simeon

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
After suffering a burst water bladder and 2l of water in a sleeping bag I'll never use one again.... 2 \ 3 250ml plastic bottles in the pockets of my shorts and 1 or 2 500 ml on the sides of the pack depending on the day is the way to go for me. Refilling the smaller ones from the pack ones from time to time gives you a welcome few minutes break.
 

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 bladder and have a tendency to over fill it and it is not easy to clean. Recommended fill it weighs about 4 lbs. I have started using a 20oz bottle with a Smart Tube and like it much better. It is to clean and easy to fill. it adds about 2lbs to the load and some times I hook it to the front of pack with a carabineer which lightens the pack.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
I have never before heard of a water bladder bursting. Can you tell us what happened and whether the maker or retailer was prepared to replace it?
I've seen them leak quite a few times when I was working overseas and when I was walking the Camino in 2014 there was a woman at an albergue who's hydration bladder leaked all over the inside of her backpack, soaking her sleeping bag.
I imagine most cases are a matter of leaking, not bursting.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
On the bladder if the lid is off center a tiny bit it will leak.
 
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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've seen them leak quite a few times when I was working overseas and when I was walking the Camino in 2014 there was a woman at an albergue who's hydration bladder leaked all over the inside of her backpack, soaking her sleeping bag.
I imagine most cases are a matter of leaking, not bursting.
My own experience is that I have had the seam on a bladder fail, and a slow leak develop. And I have failed to seal screw caps up properly, but I haven't seen or heard of a bladder bursting before.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
My own experience is that I have had the seam on a bladder fail, and a slow leak develop. And I have failed to seal screw caps up properly, but I haven't seen or heard of a bladder bursting before.
Yeah, I suspect the word "bursting" was not used literally in that post and not meant to denote an actual burst, as a balloon does when over inflated with air or filled with too much water.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
On Camino I also was fine with 1.5l plastic water bottle from a supermarket, refilling when needed. Consumed about 3 of them during CF. Indeed, pretty hard to get it out from side pocket and even harder to put it back on move, but I rather see this as an opportunity to take off the backpack and have a moment of relief for shoulders and spine.
Another scenario if you carry a top-loader, is to keep the water bottle in the top flap pocket, where I find it easy reachable.
Use of bladder or any kind of tubing brings in additional hassle, which in my opinion doesn't pay off on a such light track as Camino.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
This is a "belly button" issue. Everyone has one, as they will have an opinion. In the end, the decision is a personal one, for you to make. Many folks have stated worthwhile positions above. All are valid. There is no "correct" answer.

My "two cents worth" is as follows:

In 2013, I started out using a 2-liter Osprey brand water bladder system designed to work with my Osprey Kestrel 46-liter rucksack. At the time, it seemed such a logical solution. However, I learned from experience that I am simply not going to invest the daily maintenance effort required to keep the bladder clean, maintained, and full of potable water.

PLUS, even when the system was completely empty of water, it still weighed some 11 ounces or 312 grams. By comparison, each disposable, recyclable half-liter bottles weighed about 1 ounce. Every ounce and gram counts. They do add up!

By the time I walked from St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona, the bladder went in the mail to Ivar. I later sold it.

For the remainder of that Camino Frances, the next year (same route), my 2015 Camino from Porto, and this year's planned stroll from Madrid, I used and will plan to use 4 - .5 liter water bottles that I clip to the FRONT of my rucksack harness. In 2013, I went from the bladder system to bottles in rucksack side pockets. THAT, as others have correctly pointed out, is a huge logistical hassle.

Moreover, in 2013, I observed pilgrims from New Zealand with Aarn rucksacks, having two large, soft, "Pamela's" attached to the front of their unique harnesses. The pockets are actually called "balance bags" and only mount to Aarn rucksack harnesses. The nickname is in honor of a well-endowed actress in the US "Baywatch" TV series from the 1990s.

What these folks discovered in their Aarn rucksacks with the front balance pockets, was the benefit of shifting weight from the rear to the front of the rucksack harness. Shifting even one kilo from rear to front affected the balance and perceived weight of everything you were carrying. I note in passing that one-liter of water weighs one-kilo. Thus four half-liter bottles would weight two-kilos. Thus, I argue that moving this much weight from the rear or side pockets to the front of your harness is a good thing.

So, starting in 2014, I began to use stainless (inox) clips that grip the bottle neck and provide a clip for hanging on the sternum strap or other hanging points afforded on the front harness, or on my waist belt. My clips come from Nite-Ize, but I have seen others on Amazon.com. To secure them to the bottles better, I use #18 plumbing silicone "O"rings from my local DIY store.

Also, another pilgrim, last year, posted a brilliant method for making hanging mounts from very thin nylon cording. He tied the cord around the plastic bottle neck rim, and fabricated a method for connecting the homemade rig to the front of his rucksack harness. I recall that, at the time, I thought the idea was brilliant. However, I cannot find the posting. If anyone does know of it, please copy the link here.

The advantage of my clips is that one can get a drink using one hand. I do not know of any other method that is as convenient. The only down-side I found is that sometimes, if you bend over, the hanging bottles can slide free, especially if they are heavy with water. I have since started using rubber bands to create a "link" to hold the bottles close-in to prevent this from happening...it does work.

My bottles are readily available, they come FREE with spring or mineral water in almost any tienda or cafe. When the bottles get grungy, discard them, recycling is best, and replace accordingly. Four Vittel brand water bottle usually last me all the way to Santiago. I prefer Vittel bottles, so far, as they are stiff, well balanced, and have a good grip. They are good for a month with daily rinsing under a potable tap.

The single BEST reason why I submit that several small water bottles are superior to one large bladder, IMHO is that you can carry different "mixes" in different bottles at the same time. For example, I must use powdered protein as I have a bariatric lap band on my stomach. So, I start my day with two bottles containing protein powder in water, one with powdered coffee added for "punch." One bottle has an electrolyte tablet dissolved in the water to make an energy drink, and the fourth bottle contains plain water. As the bottles are emptied, they are rinsed and refilled with plain water from a potable source. I will buy a liter or larger bottle of water on occasion to refill my bottles and share the excess with others. As time permits, I can add electrolyte tablets and / or protein powder as needed to replenish those needs during the day.

Trying to do this with a large water bladder would be inconvenient. It would have to be cleaned every time, every day. Too much work for me...

I hope this helps.
 

t2andreo

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C/M: 2016
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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
I'm one of those lucky people with an Aarn pack with front balance packs - and indeed, having the water bottles in the front is fabulous. As it also is to have other stuff that I access constantly.
 

simeon

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
I have never before heard of a water bladder bursting. Can you tell us what happened and whether the maker or retailer was prepared to replace it?

Ok bursting is probably a bit dramatic. The connector where the hose connects to the bottom of the bag cracked, probably due to the bag being taken off and dropped a bit too hard. When I discovered it bringing it back to the retailer was the last thing on my mind... how was I going to dry the sleeping bag was more the priority.....it just went in the nearest bin (not the best thing to do looking back.....) anyway constantly reusing the plastic bottles works out far cheaper (free) and is more environmentally friendly if you reuse the same ones. I think one can get to caught up in the correct\best equipment sometimes like I did in getting the bladder in the first place and just let it happen as it did for me. Bit of a camino thing that just letting it happen
 

t2andreo

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I opine that the more complicated a system for carrying water is, the more likely you are to have "down the Camino" issues with it. Murphy's Law being what it is, thees problems invariably occur when and where it is least convenient.

You can replace the ubiquitous half-liter water bottles anywhere, and at almost any time. This is NOT true with a water bladder system. You could find yourself carrying deadweight. This is never a desirable situation.

This is all one experienced pilgrim's opinion. Take it for what it is worth.
 

Magwood

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The advantage of my clips is that one can get a drink using one hand. I do not know of any other method that is as convenient.

Aha @t2andreo, did you not read my post above? I need precisely no hands to drink from my system. Beat that!;)
 

koknesis

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Aha @t2andreo, did you not read my post above? I need precisely no hands to drink from my system. Beat that!;)

There are some infusion systems for parenteral nutrition which can be carried in a backpack. I better stick with old good Kuksa -

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dougfitz

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You can replace the ubiquitous half-liter water bottles anywhere, and at almost any time. This is NOT true with a water bladder system. You could find yourself carrying deadweight. This is never a desirable situation.
This really is clutching at straws in trying to find some point of difference. Lets have a reality check here about what is fact and what is merely imaginative speculation.

I have walked for years with a bladder, and will admit that those early bladders had issues. But in much that same way as you can no longer buy a new model T Ford, much, much more reliable, taste free and bacteria resistant bladders are available. I clean my bladder before I leave for the Camino, and give it a rinse before I refill it each day. I also carry some denture tablets should I find it needs an overnight clean. It has not been a problem in thousands of kilometres of walking. If you are so dexterously challenged that you cannot do that, you will be having difficulty no matter what hydration option you choose.

My view is that provided you are carrying sufficient, accessible water to prevent yourself becoming dehydrated, that is the principal objective met. How you do that in a practical way without the inevitable environmental degradation associated with merely buying another plastic bottle is really up to the individual, and there are plenty of options. Arguing for the least environmentally sensitive option and then fixing up all the problems with it so that it is practical is just un-appealling to me. Do it, by all means. It is a perfectly legitimate choice, but lets not pretend that it is anything but a personal choice.
 

dougfitz

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With all the respect, it is hardly a point ... Sure, one can walk Camino with hydration system. Why not? But is there a need for this?
Hydration systems are really helpful when riding a bike, on tactical mission or when climbing in mountains. Carrying water in a bladder also improves overall balance for the gear. Actually they are the right choice when the conditions do not encourage to use more conventional mode for water intake. I would not consider this is the case on Camino. So why bother?
And there is also a social issue with those hydration systems. How one can share the water with another thirsty pilgrim?
I spoke of hydration options. Please do not confuse that to mean only bladders.

As for sharing, if another pilgrim is prepared to share your spit from a bottle, I am happy they can share my spit from a mouthpiece. If I want to remove their spit, I only have the mouthpiece and a small length of the tube to rinse through - you have lost the whole bottle:rolleyes:.
 

dougfitz

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For God's sake! What kind of spits are you talking about? I simply pour some water from my full bottle in the thirsty pilgrims empty one...
I see, you are prepared to share your spit, but don't want to share their's o_O.
 

David

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Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@t2andreo - just to let you know - Aarn packs also sell front packs for other packs, not their own, with a slightly different clip-on system.

So - going to be assertive here - as far as I am concerned only the isolationist would use a bladder unless on a serious climbing expedition where being hands free is important (or when being chased by a tiger).
To me they have a sort of Star Wars/Star Trek super-sci-fi-fantasy-futurisity to them that is at odds with being a simple human walking around this planet.

If you use a bladder you don't stop, you become insular - and here is the thing - apart from walking, stopping and resting and looking back to where you were is the most important thing to do! When you stop, shuck off the pack, stretch and look around you as you drink from your bottle - well, how wonderful is that?
And then - with a bottle you are more in a relationship with what is around you .. you can share with another pilgrim, give water to a dog or cat or wild animal, water plants, plant seeds, empty the bottle over your head when you are over-heated, rinse off mud or dirt, clean a wound .... the list goes on - and NONE of these can be done with a bladder .... so, if none of that means anything to you, by all means, a bladder will suit you well, go ahead, please do, but if you are more willing to be open and sharing and casual and joyful - go for plastic bottles.
 
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t2andreo

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As I stated at the outset of my post, this is a "belly-button" issue...everyone will have one...as well as an opinion. I do. Others do.

As is the case with some many aspects of the Camino, the gear you use, how you accomplish your actual pilgrimage, and everything else tangental or directly related...individual preference rules! Only you can ultimately choose what works best. This will be based on research and experience.

No one can tell you what the correct solution is for almost any issue. However, the "best" solution for you is the one that works for you. It is the one you prefer. Go for it!

We experienced "veterans" only share our personal preferences, and opinions. This is offered in an attempt to help others. Any difference of opinion amongst us should never be read as strife or stress. Disagreement is normal and debate is good.

I respect and celebrate the differences of opinion here in the forum.

I hope this helps.
 
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Kanga

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@dougfitz I have switched to Milton tablets instead of denture tablets as a means of cleaning plastic water bottles, straws etc. I figure that as they are made for sterilising baby bottles they must be safe. Not sure if there is a cost difference, or any specific advantage of either Milton or denture tables. I assume both are readily available in Spain in farmacias.
 

zzotte

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Well said David, now let us know how you really feel about water bladders :) hahaha

zzotte
 
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wayfarer

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@t2andreo - just to let you know - Aarn packs also sell front packs for other packs, not their own, with a slightly different clip-on system.

So - going to be assertive here (and some may see this as rude) - as far as I am concerned only the anal retentive would use a bladder unless on a serious climbing expedition where being hands free is important (or when being chased by a tiger).
They have a sort of Star Wars/Star Trek super-sci-fi-fantasy-futurisity to them that is at odds with being a simple human walking around this planet.

If you use a bladder you don't stop - and here is the thing - apart from walking, stopping and resting and looking back to where you were is the most important thing to do! When you stop, shuck off the pack, stretch and look around you as you drink from your bottle - well, how wonderful is that?
And then - with a bottle you can share with another pilgrim, give water to a dog or cat or wild animal, water plants, plant seeds, empty the bottle over your head when you are over-heated, rinse off mud or dirt, clean a wound .... the list goes on - and NONE of these can be done with a bladder .... so, if you are isolationist and anal retentive, by all means, a bladder will suit you well, go ahead, please do, but if you are open and sharing and casual and joyful - go for plastic bottles.

Now, I know that it isn't anything to do with being anal retentive, that it is merely a different choice, but too me that is what it looks like ;) so is only my point of view, from which I shall never be moved! - Buen Camino! ;)

(Anal retentive: noun - a person who is excessively orderly and fussy).
I would be only partialy anal retentive as I use a Smartube system :). On my first Camino I got dehydrated several times because I got into a sort of hypnotic rythm when I walked and didn't stop to drink, with the Smartube I can drink on the hoof. I would still have the second unopned half litre bottle to share if required.
There is no black or white just different shades of water. :)
 

dougfitz

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@t2andreo - just to let you know - Aarn packs also sell front packs for other packs, not their own, with a slightly different clip-on system.

So - going to be assertive here (and some may see this as rude) - as far as I am concerned only the anal retentive would use a bladder unless on a serious climbing expedition where being hands free is important (or when being chased by a tiger).
They have a sort of Star Wars/Star Trek super-sci-fi-fantasy-futurisity to them that is at odds with being a simple human walking around this planet.

If you use a bladder you don't stop - and here is the thing - apart from walking, stopping and resting and looking back to where you were is the most important thing to do! When you stop, shuck off the pack, stretch and look around you as you drink from your bottle - well, how wonderful is that?
And then - with a bottle you can share with another pilgrim, give water to a dog or cat or wild animal, water plants, plant seeds, empty the bottle over your head when you are over-heated, rinse off mud or dirt, clean a wound .... the list goes on - and NONE of these can be done with a bladder .... so, if you are isolationist and anal retentive, by all means, a bladder will suit you well, go ahead, please do, but if you are open and sharing and casual and joyful - go for plastic bottles.

Now, I know that it isn't anything to do with being anal retentive, that it is merely a different choice, but too me that is what it looks like ;) so is only my point of view, from which I shall never be moved! - Buen Camino! ;)

(Anal retentive: noun - a person who is excessively orderly and fussy).
@David, what an ugly rant this is, and such an unpleasant and unnecessary characterization of a class of individuals based on their personal choice of a particular way of carrying their water. It really is unworthy of you.
 

David

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Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@David, what an ugly rant this is, and such an unpleasant and unnecessary characterization of a class of individuals based on their personal choice of a particular way of carrying their water. It really is unworthy of you.

Thank you Doug, you could be right. However, it isn't a truth, nor claimed to be - it is only my opinion; how I see it. To me that is what it looks like - I don't claim to be 'right', it is just how I feel about the whole thing of bladders versus bottles. I have now altered the wording in response to your comment..
 
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zzotte

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I'm glad a read the original :)

zzotte
 

David

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Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I think this photograph states my case - try doing this with a bladder ...

koala drinking.jpg

"A thirsty koala has been photographed sitting on a bicycle wheel as it drinks from a cyclist's water bottle in the Adelaide Hills region.

Passing cyclist Nick Lothian stopped to take a happy snap of the unusual scene yesterday afternoon.

The koala was still drinking on his return journey 30 minutes later, he said.

Fauna Rescue volunteers later arrived to collect the one-year-old female marsupial.

She spent the night recovering at the Adelaide Animal Hospital.

Vets told 9NEWS she is doing well and is due to be released tonight."

I rest my case ;)
 
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Nanumea

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There is a yoga pose/stretch that allows one to loosen up the shoulders, it's the one that is a reverse namaste behind your back. btw the is no way that I can do this, but I can get my bottle ;)

Well, I can do the reverse namaste pose, but I have hard time trying to reach my water bottles in the side pockets of my pack. I have to take my backpack off completely when I need to drink. :D
 
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Joodle

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I did all three of my Caminos carrying two 1/2 liter bottles of water in the side, net like pouches on my pack. I bought the bottled water in SJPdP and refilled the same two bottles several times everyday all the way to Santiago whereupon they found a new home in a trash bin.
A couple of days (first day out of SJPdP and the day out of Carrion de los Condes) I carried a third bottle of water.
I just don't like those water bladders and I saw one leak into someone's backpack. Besides, for me the bladder was never doable because I carried on my backpack on the flights and wanted as little as possible in it. The water bladder would just have been something else to carry.
I took my Platypus back to REI. I will use two water bottle in my side mesh pockets with the smartube set up. Thanks
 

Nanc

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I think this photograph states my case - try doing this with a bladder ...

View attachment 24314

"A thirsty koala has been photographed sitting on a bicycle wheel as it drinks from a cyclist's water bottle in the Adelaide Hills region.

Passing cyclist Nick Lothian stopped to take a happy snap of the unusual scene yesterday afternoon.

The koala was still drinking on his return journey 30 minutes later, he said.

Fauna Rescue volunteers later arrived to collect the one-year-old female marsupial.

She spent the night recovering at the Adelaide Animal Hospital.

Vets told 9NEWS she is doing well and is due to be released tonight."

I rest my case ;)
Actually I have shared water with my pooch, quite sterilely, from my hydration bladder by squeezing the bite valve and letting gravity take it to his mouth.
And a water bladder does not stop me from stopping to smell, sense, meditate. In fact, because I am not fussing with grabbing a bottle, dribbling water down my chin and keeping an eye on the lid, I am ever so much present for a longer period for what ever unfolds in front of me.
Surely the goal is for us to care that we each find a way to stay hydrated. And whatever way you find, use it
 

Craig Towers

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Camino de Santiago
Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
 
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Craig Towers

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Just a couple of points. I walked the full Camino last year starting in late May. It depends how water dependant you are. I can walk for a good 3 or 4 hours drinking nothing and feeling good. I've walked with friends who say they must drink but then spend the day constantly stopping for a piss. Go figure.

I think look at the time of year you are going. If it's boiling hot then water could be a big issue but reality is you can buy water in most places or drink from the many taps and fountains in villages. I'd see lots of people pass a great fountain of cold water then 300 meters down the road stop for a big swig out of a tepid camelback straw. Seemed crazy to me. Most fountains or taps are marked with potability. Take a cup and an extra orange much lighter than 2 liters of warm water.

Better advice may be to get on road when it's cool. Beat the heat.
 

Jeff Crawley

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2018
I think this photograph states my case - try doing this with a bladder ...

View attachment 24314

"A thirsty koala has been photographed sitting on a bicycle wheel as it drinks from a cyclist's water bottle in the Adelaide Hills region.

Passing cyclist Nick Lothian stopped to take a happy snap of the unusual scene yesterday afternoon.

The koala was still drinking on his return journey 30 minutes later, he said.

Fauna Rescue volunteers later arrived to collect the one-year-old female marsupial.

She spent the night recovering at the Adelaide Animal Hospital.

Vets told 9NEWS she is doing well and is due to be released tonight."

I rest my case ;)

Can you imagine the conversation back home a few months later . . . "Honestly honey, I caught chlamydia sharing a water bottle with a koala!"

(upto 90% of koalas in Australia have it)
 

t2andreo

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Whatever floats your boat...is the "correct" solution "for you."

I recommend experimenting with whatever choice you think is best, BEFORE you travel to do Camino.

I hope this helps.
 
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Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
I brought both a water bottle and my pack had a bladder the bladder was impossible to Fill and I didn't want to pollute it with electrolytes I bought a water bottle with a wide mouth easy to add of water at fountains . ...Ultreya... Willy/Utah/USA
 

Travelchick

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I used this shoulder strap bottle with angled tube and bite valve. I didn't need to do anything but turn my head when I needed a drink. As a result I drank a lot more water and stayed well hydrated at all times. The bottle is 750 cl and I carried an additional 750 cl water bottle from my waist pack or in the side pocket of my backpack, depending on the weather and if I needed to wear a rain jacket (my waist pack would be zipped inside my rain jacket and there was insufficient room for the bottle). It was extremely easy to refill the pack strap bottle from the waist pack supply, even whilst still walking.

On very long days with no possibility of a refill, I would buy a further bottle of water to see me through.

I liked this system so much that I have purchased an additional shoulder strap bottle for my refill supply. Another advantage of this system is that the bite valve almost never ends up touching the ground when removing my pack, unlike when I used a bladder and I found that the valve always seemed to hit the dirt when I took off my pack.

The bottle is sold by a French company called Raidlight and they are a bit pricey and the shipping is expensive, but the product is excellent quality. See link here.
I guess it might be possible to source the product from elsewhere.

View attachment 24254 View attachment 24253
 
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Travelchick

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I'm going through the same thing do I use bottle or bladder. My day pack will accommodate a bladder but they seem like a lot of fussing.
Then I read magwood's response. I'm going to check into the system she recommended. It sounds like just the right solution. The other thing I liked about this is counter balance.
 

Kev

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Joodle

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I just got my SmarTube and it seems to solve all my problems. I took my Big Zip Platypus back. That's too much money to just have it annoy me. It was way too hard to get it in and out of my pack while it's pack tightly. A bottle in each mesh pocket with the Smar Tube connected to one and then switch. Perfect. I used a little clip to hold the drink tube in place on my pack strap. I find it works better to take the tube up and over the pack to the other side, so there isn't so much tube stickng out
 

shubertj

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Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
My wife uses a a tube which attaches to her water bottle as attached . All the convenience of the availability of water using the bottle. I usually have her pull my bottle out!
 

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tpmchugh

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Hi Joodle
I have just ordered a SmarTube.
Try this link to a recent post
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/hydration-bladder.37851/#post-379094
Buen Camino
For reasons of my own, I cannot in conscience buy the SmarTube. However, I did use the idea to make my own. I used the pump top from a liquid soap bottle, removed the pump action and inserted a tube from a burst water bladder. It works fine on a regular bottle of water. I recently got a collapsible plastic bottle with caribiner and it fits nicely on that. Hardest part was thoroughly rinsing it to get all the soap residue out
 
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Magwood

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See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I'm going through the same thing do I use bottle or bladder. My day pack will accommodate a bladder but they seem like a lot of fussing.
Then I read magwood's response. I'm going to check into the system she recommended. It sounds like just the right solution. The other thing I liked about this is counter balance.

As someone posted above, just be sure your pack straps can be detached in order to fit the bottle holder - alternatively you could fix it with a couple of cable ties, or sew it in place.
 

Walker 123

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Can I get a few opinions on carrying plain old water bottles or using a water bladder. I tried putting a water bottle in each side mesh pocket, but I can't quite reach to put the bottle back. I would have to take off pack to get a drink and put bottle back. I guess that can be a good thing to do every hour or so anyway. It seems like a pain to refill the water bladder. I have a Platypus Big Zip. At least it opens from the top with a zip lock type closing.
Hi Joodle,
I have been wanting to connect with you. I also have the same problem with my Osprey pack. Biggest question for you is where do you live? I live in Bow-Edison Washington and would love to hike during the week if you are close. I leave April 27,2016 for my Camino with 7 women I have met on a forum. I wanted to tell you that you could go with us but you had booked by the time I read your frustration:) email me at
Shopgirl6184@hotmail.com
Would enjoy talking!
Patty
 

Joodle

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Hi Joodle,
I have been wanting to connect with you. I also have the same problem with my Osprey pack. Biggest question for you is where do you live? I live in Bow-Edison Washington and would love to hike during the week if you are close. I leave April 27,2016 for my Camino with 7 women I have met on a forum. I wanted to tell you that you could go with us but you had booked by the time I read your frustration:) email me at
Shopgirl6184@hotmail.com
Would enjoy talking!
Patty
Hi Pattty, Where is Bow, WA?? I live in Olympia. I will be starting out from SJPP on May 12th. I wish I'd seen your message before I bought my ticket. I would have loved to have gone with you. I wanted to celebrate my 60th Birthday on the trail, but I had a foot issue that I need to get healed up before I dare go. I took my Big Zip Platypus back to REI and ordered the Smartube. You can use it from the water bottles in your side mesh pack pockets. It's perfect for me. Just refill your water bottle and put the tube and cap back on.
 

Walker 123

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Hi Pattty, Where is Bow, WA?? I live in Olympia. I will be starting out from SJPP on May 12th. I wish I'd seen your message before I bought my ticket. I would have loved to have gone with you. I wanted to celebrate my 60th Birthday on the trail, but I had a foot issue that I need to get healed up before I dare go. I took my Big Zip Platypus back to REI and ordered the Smartube. You can use it from the water bottles in your side mesh pack pockets. It's perfect for me. Just refill your water bottle and put the tube and cap back on.
I am just south of Bellingham. Too funny on
All the water bottle, bladder comments. I am
Going to look into the Smartube. We will be in Burgos when you start. Keep my info you never
Know what will happen in the Camino!
Buen Camino. Patty
 
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Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I have had a leaky Osprey Hydration System.
For some reason my bladder inside was leaking just as I arrived with the train to Pamplona this year. I have the older version with an oversize screw on cap.
I thought I might have been sloppy tightening it but after some days I had to drain it dry as my backside was getting wet as did my sleeping bag in the bottom compartment of the sack.
After coming home I examined for leaks and discovered thet the expandable rack you get in your cleaning gear actually does punch some holes as you try to fit it into the inside of the bladder. Bad plastic finish ! cuts like a knife !
I am very close to my money, so I have merely repaired it with self adhesive bicycle tube patches
( Park Tool Super patch) from the inside. Not easy, but I am married to a midwife ( joke, but I am! )

http://www.parktool.com/product/super-patch-kit-gp-2

5 patches later and it is tight again !
Use same product on the inside of my raingear when it´s been ripped slightly
 
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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
I can see the advantage of a bladder if it is otherwise difficult to reach your water bottles by yourself. With front packs (like I use) my water bottles are within instant reach.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
I use a CamelBak Eddy water bottle with Hands-free adapter. My second bottle is a CamelBak All-Clear UV purifier, for extra protection from drinking from fountains.


-Paul
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
I use a CamelBak Eddy water bottle with Hands-free adapter. My second bottle is a CamelBak All-Clear UV purifier, for extra protection from drinking from fountains.


-Paul
I likewise used CamelBak Eddy water bottle (1L.) with Hands-free adapter. I loved it and will not use anything else in the future (assuming the availability of frequent refill sites as exists on the Camino).
 
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
It's a matter of choice.
I've used an 8 oz water bottle on nearly every Camino except the VDLP, where I FOUND a bladder and used it.
I just don't like messing with having to clean it out, etc. and 8 oz gets me to the next fountain.
 
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Houlet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
I always wanted a water bladder. I got ne and used it all the way to Roncesvalles. I did not like it, difficult to refill, and no idea how much water was left in it. My son is a competitive mountain biker and he loves his so make your own choice.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
I've used water bladders for well over 20 years bushwalking in Australia. I wouldn't be without one there.
Would I use one one a Camino ? A resounding no !
Difficult to fill quickly, extra trouble to clean , no ready indication of reserve . A tendency to think there's more in them then there really is .
I am fortunate , the Osprey pack I have has stretchy side pockets that you can reach yourself that carry water bottles safely . I used two of the dark blue plastic sort that carry slightly more expensive water sold in Spain . They are made of very durable plastic , have white caps and wide necks that are great for putting left over icecubes from your orange juice down , excellent on a hot day .
A big but though, if you can't reach the bottle yourself you are in for a world of annoyance.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I only use my 3 liter Osprey bladder. He quick disconnect and wide mouth make refilling very easy. I never cleaned anything except he mouthpiece during my 2 week Camino. Just wasn't necessary. I knew I was running low and could pretty accurately estimate how much I had left by 2 methods. 1) experience. I know how much I drink per hour depending on type of exertion, and 2) weight. I can feel the difference when I've drank 4 lbs of water :)
 

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