American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, July 23, 2007

Water Bottle & Hydration Bladder Maintenance

I'm reading lots on the various forums lately about maintaining Camelbak-type bladders and Nalgene bottles so I thought I'd go over the steps I take to insure that my water remains goo-free, odorless, and tasteless.

First, storing non-water beverages in a bladder or bottle is a no-no. The creepy crawlies seem to like the sugars in things like Gatorade and Kool-aid and tend to funk up water storage faster than water can. That's not to say you shouldn't put those beverages in the container but simply that you shouldn't leave them in there.

When I get home from a multi-day trip the first thing I do is empty out the hydration bladder by unscrewing the top and squeezing the mouthpiece. This flushes the water out of the bladder and the drinking tube all at the same time. Then I mix up a 16.9oz. water bottle with a capful of bleach and pour it into the bladder. Give the bladder a good shake and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Next, drain the bladder using the drinking tube which pulls the bleach water through the mouthpiece and should kill any nasties that started growing in the tube.

Fill the bladder with clean water and rinse it through the tube.

If you're refilling the bladder, do that now. If not, fold up the bladder and stuff it into the freezer. It's too darned cold in there for any nasties to grow and it'll leave the bladder ready to go the next time you need it.

Now, if you're trying to get rid of a bad taste, you can mix up some baking soda and water, add it to the bladder, give it a shake and a rest (30 minutes should work,) and then add some lemon juice. The resulting chemical reaction should remove any bad tastes and the mixture can simply be rinsed and either refilled with plain water or stored as suggested above.

One more option, drop two Efferdent tablets into the bladder after filling it about half way with water. Give it a good shake and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse and refill or store. This is the method I have chosen today as it's as simple and easy a solution as I've seen. It worked great and I now have two 50oz. Camelbak bladders, one 100oz. bladder, one HDPE Nalgene, and one lexan Nalgene bottle looking and smelling like new--better than new actually.

Thanks for reading,



At 12:44 AM, Blogger Juho said...

Nice blog you got here.

At 2:16 AM, Blogger The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Storing water bottles and bladders in the freezer, geat tip.


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