View Full Version : Bladders, Bottles, or Both

08-22-2013, 20:08
So what's you method of carrying water? The newer bladders? The old fashioned bottles? Or some variation of both?

Hill Ape
08-22-2013, 20:16
I carry a platypus, but only fill it for camp use. On the move I use a Gatorade bottle. I treat the water I drink with aqua Mira. I don't treat the water I boil for food or cleaning.

08-22-2013, 20:19
2 disposeable 1L water bottles.

And a 2L platypus in places I need extra water, which isnt on the AT

Sarcasm the elf
08-22-2013, 20:24
I am a huge fan of my hydration bladder. Simply put, having a drinking tube on your shoulder strap encourages you to drink when you're thirsty and does a much better job of keeping you hydrated then hiking for an hour in between water breaks.

What I am NOT a fan of is the internal hydration sleeves that manufactures build into packs, it just isn't practical to have to remove all of your gear in order to access your bladder each time it needs to be refilled. My 3Liter bladder rides on top of my other gear inside my pack, usually with 1-1.5 liters of water in it. This way it is the very first thing I see when I open my pack, I can see how much water is in it and I can easily refill it without having to dig it out of my pack.

I will often use a 1 liter Gatorade bottle as well, keeping a liter in my bladder and a liter in the bottle. When the bladder gets empty I pour the water from the Bottle into it, then when I pass a water source I just fill up the bottle, add aquamira and put it back in the side pocket.

Wise Old Owl
08-22-2013, 20:32
Both - water in the bladder and a micro weight bottle that I can mix flavored drink in at lunch... or caffeine in the morning.

08-22-2013, 20:36
I use a system similar to Sarcasm the Elf. I carry a 1 liter platypus in my side pocket with a tube over the shoulder. I also carry a 1L Gatorade bottle in the other side pouch. I drink from the bladder as I walk and use the Gatorade bottle to refill it.

08-22-2013, 20:38
2L platypus bladder that I drink from and a Gatorade botttle for mix drinks and cooking water

No Directions
08-22-2013, 20:42
I use a 2 liter Platypus while I am hiking. I used to carry 2 empty 1 liter Nalgenes for water in camp but recently switched to bladders for camp water to save space in my pack.

08-22-2013, 20:46
Add me to the list of Gatorade bottle carriers - one in each side pocket. I also have a 96 oz Nalgene thin plastic, collapsible canteen for when there is a long distance between water sources, and a plastic flask for my back pocket (one of the few items I had when I started hiking as a youth) that is easy to reach.

08-22-2013, 20:47
Bladders leak, can't easily be cleaned and make it difficult to use my steripen with. I carry 4 soda bottles, 16 oz. I carry 2 all day with water and 2 empty. By filling 4 of them at the end of the day I have enough for the evening meal and breakfast. In low water conditions I carry all 4 full. The 2 full bottles I carry on most days are in little clip on holders on my chest hooked to the cross strap.

Wise Old Owl
08-22-2013, 20:52
Moldy the only time the bladder leaked was when I lost the seal inside the lid... never had a puncture.

After use I just dump and dry.. Cleaning was bear minimum.

08-22-2013, 21:16
I use a bladder and Gatorade bottles. Add me to the list of people that don't like having my bladder on the inside back of the pack. I usually only take it out at camp and use the bottles for filling during the day.

Another Kevin
08-22-2013, 21:41
I'm a clueless weekender, so what I use is too heavy, almost by definition: 2 litre Camelbak and 1 litre Nalgene.

I carry the Nalgene rather than a Gatorade bottle because if fits the flanges of my water filter. (I use Aqua Mira only sometimes.) Even if I'm bringing Aqua Mira rather than my filter, I carry the Nalgene because it won't melt if I put hot coffee in it. I'm never too sure about things like Gatorade bottles in that regard. In cold weather I might even bring a Reflectix bottle cozy to keep that second cup nice and warm.

If I'm weekending on a high ridge, I might even bring a Gatorade bottle in addition to the above, so that I can make a dry camp. For much of the year the Catskill escarpment is bone dry, and you have to descend 700-1000 feet of elevation to get to a water source. I'd rather carry a couple of pounds more water along the ridge than have to hump water back up it.

If I'm using Aqua Mira, the bladder stays fresh almost indefinitely, particularly if I pull off the mouthpiece and soak it in the water being treated. Since I do only short sections, I sanitize the bladder at home with denture cleaner.

In shoulder season I use the bladder, wrapped in some piece of clothing, as a part of my pillow. Lying with my head on it keeps it unfrozen. (Purge the hose before going to bed.)

In real winter the bladder stays home because there's simply no way to keep the hose from freezing up, and one bottle goes under my outermost layer of clothing, while the other one is in my pack top down and as near my back as I can put it comfortably. With the top down, even when it freezes over, the mouth of the bottle is still ice-free. I can also get away with carrying a little less water in real winter, because there's always snow to melt. (I live in a part of the world where "winter" means that you need snowshoes.) I use Aqua Mira in the winter, because if the water filter element freezes, it's ruined.

On longer sections I carry a Sea to Summit bucket for wash water. If I camp anywhere near water, I like to have a sponge bath (and wash my socks and skivvies, it the weather looks as if I have a prayer of getting them dry again). I feel a lot better for it.

No, I'm not an ultralighter.

08-23-2013, 07:27
I carry a platypus, but only fill it for camp use. On the move I use a Gatorade bottle. I treat the water I drink with aqua Mira. I don't treat the water I boil for food or cleaning. Exactly the same here. A platy big zip for camp. :)

Rocket Jones
08-23-2013, 09:00
I usually carry a gatorade and a nalgene, plus a 2 liter platypus for camp or dry stretches. The reason for the nalgene is because it fits my partner's filter and I use it to mix flavorings into my water. When I'm hiking alone, I'll take two gatorade bottles to shave a few ounces.

08-23-2013, 09:21
I carry 2, 32 oz Gatorade bottles and most of the time i only have to use one, except at camp then i fill both.

08-23-2013, 09:31
I carry a 2 liter hydration bladder which I can fill without removing it from my pack and a Smartwater bottle for mixing Gatorade or juice! I also carry a 2 liter Evernew which I use to collect "dirty" water to be filtered in my Sawyer squeeze!

08-23-2013, 09:32
I currently drink from a 1L Smart Water bottle, & leave a 2L water bladder in my pack, cameling up as needed. I like the idea of keeping the bladder on top as opposed to tucked into that confounded sleeve!

Has anyone used the Platypus brand soft water bottles? Or are they classified as water bags? The Smart Water is skinny enough to fit in the bottle pockets, but I'm always looking for alternatives!

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 4

Just Bill
08-23-2013, 10:08
I have all the basic set ups (including your's AK)- but lately I've been experimenting with this hybrid system. Two 1L smartwater bottles, one chopped down Gatorade for dipping and steri-swishing, Steripen Opti Adventurer, spare batteries, Micro bottles of Aquamira for back-up and night time treatment and a 3L Platy with no hose for storage/night time treating. I can carry up to 5L of water if needed.

This system allows me to go Clelland style (short carry), or try out Ryan Jordan's swish and camel up (no-carry) strategy when water is plentiful. Still playing with it. But I don't like waiting for water and I like to mix drinks up and add Chia seeds to them- making it annoying to wait for Aquamira. My sawyer system works well, and weighs about the same- but this system is a bit faster during the day and may prove to be the better solo set up. When I travel locally I add a few coffee filters to prefilter the scummier pond and creek water of the flatlands.

Not sure if you can read the scale in the photo but the whole system comes out to 11.75 ounces (with wet bottles). At night, to save time, bulb, and batteries; I will fill the 3L up and treat with Aquamira (use the cap for mixing). The bottles and bladder all use the same cap(I pack one spare for the set). The bladder does not leak.

Bonus- Regardless of the system I use- the 3L bladder turns into my pillow at night via a bandana pillow case. Tie it though the hang hole as shown and your pillow case won't scoot away on you during the night.

Tom Murphy
08-23-2013, 11:23
2 disposeable 1L water bottles.

And a 2L platypus in places I need extra water, which isnt on the AT

+1, it took me a long time to figure dial my kit down to thse 3 items as well.

The nalgenes are used around the office, house, and car. Gave the hydration bladders away.

08-23-2013, 11:38
I am also a fan of the hydration bladder and have never had an issue with my Source 3L bladder. However I have started experimenting with a gatorade bottle on the shoulder strap and it worked fine for me on a day hike down and up the Grand Canyon. I do also have a Source 1L bladder that I am contemplating bringing along and throwing in the top of my pack just to have it as a backup bladder. But with the hydraton tube it probably is just unnecessary weight. I am out West in AZ though so I have run out of water before and it is absolutely the worst feeling, so I don't mind carrying a little extra weight. Plus I guzzle water like a thirsty camel..

08-23-2013, 13:02
I've used a couple of gatorade bottles for years -- yes, that handsome guy to the left is me. I've become interested in using the newish disposable "eco-shape" bottles for additional capacity. I took a one liter bottle with me on my last trip and was happy to have the extra capacity with so little weight penalty. I don't know how much the 1 liter bottle weighs -- but the half liter bottles comes in at 9.2 gram(weenie)s.

08-23-2013, 14:22
I use a system similar to Sarcasm the Elf. I carry a 1 liter platypus in my side pocket with a tube over the shoulder. I also carry a 1L Gatorade bottle in the other side pouch. I drink from the bladder as I walk and use the Gatorade bottle to refill it.What she said. Actually, I have a 1.5L Nalgene Canteen with a tube and bite valve, but they discontinued it so I bought the Platy tube kit for my daughter. As I tend to hike during Fall when springs are low, I also bring a small, 6-fl oz screw top bottle that I use as a dip "cup". Treat with Aqua Mira as I've never felt like I needed to drink up right away.

The Ace
08-23-2013, 14:44
2 disposeable 1L water bottles.

And a 2L platypus in places I need extra water, which isnt on the AT

This is what I do, plus the 1L Sawyer bag wrapped around the filter. The platy that I carry has the threads that match the Sawyer filter.

08-23-2013, 14:48
I have a 3 liter platy in my pack (also hate the hydration sleeve, not to mention when the top decides to unscrew itself and drain down my backside...on the way up Mt. Washington....) that I usually only fill to 2 liters, maybe 2.5 for a really big day. Stopping for water for all 6 of us is time consuming with pulling platys and repacking packs (annoying). So, gasp, we usually carry it all. Oh, add to my rig a 1 litre Gatorade bottle usually for the dog (one of two 1 litre bottles for her) but also considered "spare" water for anyone who runs out. It's a safety valve so we know if we're down to it that we'd better make camp soon or stop and filter. This is usually only a problem a. in the heat of summer and b. really long days. If we're hitting potable water at any point, we'll plan for that and adjust our water accordingly. I too drink like it's going out of style. Love hydration! And we don't let the dog run out of water before we do. We'll fill her bowl from our platys if it's getting that low.

We use the gatorade bottle to mix up, well, gatorade ;). I've also got a Platypus GravityWorks water filter that holds 8 liters. My wife and I usually split that if we have to dry camp and camel up. So, all told, I can carry 8 liters of water in a pinch.

08-26-2013, 13:55
I use two of the newer 1.25L coke bottles. They have a nice long neck that sticks out and makes it easy to pull out of my pack pocket without taking my pack off.

da fungo
08-26-2013, 14:27
Nothing useful to add about what's on my back/in my pack, but about bladders:

I've noticed that they don't dry easily or quickly, and if you let them sit for long wet, they get really funky and unhealthy looking. To get them dry more quickly and thoroughly, I went to the local Wally World and got a cheap ($8) aquarium air pump, and a short length of plastic tubing. Stick the tube in the end of the bladder, plug in the air pump, and overnight they'll be dry and gunk-free.

08-26-2013, 15:28
I use mostly water bottles. I do carry a 4L bladder for three purposes: 1) To bring unfiltered water back to camp. (Find that easier than filtering straight from the stream etc.) 2) Filled with air at night as a pillow. And 3) Sometimes as a shower (3.5L of cold water plus .5 L of almost boiling water = a warm (but not hot) shower)

08-26-2013, 16:38
I have two systems and I vary between what I carry. I have a 1L plastic bottle (camelbak i think) that I use with a steripen. That's for when I'm going places I KNOW there will be water everywhere. Of course, I always carry my steripen, because I could use it with my mug if I have to...

My other system has been referred to as my "sewer treatment plant in a pack". I have a 3L camelback "unbottle" (a plastic bladder in a tough cloth cover) in my pack, with the tube coming out. In my pack's side pocket I have an empty 2L bladder and my sawyer inline filter. I fill the 2L bag at the water source, and hang the bag from a convenient limb. I plug the sawyer inline into the dirty water bag, and pull the bite valve off my camelbak. The sawyer's output plugs right into the drinking tube. I never have to remove my bladder from the pack to refill it, and I have an extra bag if the camelbak breaks or leaks.

For either system I have a little half-liter plastic spare bottle that is in another side pocket. It's empty almost all the time. I use it mainly when we set up camp and then go on a quick "day hike" within a mile or two. It's small enough it fits in my pants pocket, and light enough that it's no bother to carry when it's empty.

08-26-2013, 21:14
I carry both. A 2L platypus bottle with a hose for drinking water as I hike and for carrying extra if the section is dry. And 1 or 2 (if dry section) Gatoraid/Poweraid bottles for dipping in water and to add drink mixes. I don't like adding drink mixes to the Platy since its a pain to clean; especially on the trail. The Gatoraid/Poweraid bottles get tossed in the next town when I replace them.

08-26-2013, 22:04
Most of the time I use a 1L Platypus (in the side pocket of my Circuit) along with two bottles on the front straps: a 1L Powerade bottle for water and a smaller plastic bottle for Tang or other flavored drink in the morning. The Platypus is nice to sip from while hiking, but the Powerade bottle is convenient for supper and breakfast. Occasionally I take an additional Platy as well, just in case.