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  1. #1
    Section Hiker HangNhike's Avatar
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    Default To bladder or not to bladder... that is the question!

    I am headed out to the AT on Tuesday for 4 days - 40 miles (Springer to Neel's Gap). I just purchased my first internal framed back, I was using a VERY old Kelty external for years, so I am excited. Well my new pack has pockets on each side for bottles (typical) as well as a seperate compartment for a hydration bladder. The bottles I have are 48oz Nalgene's equaling 96 or almost 3 liters. I don't currently have a hydration bladder. Should I make the investment into a hydration bladder of rthis trip or is it overkill?

    We are using a Katadyn gravity filter so we can fill up accordingly. I've read some articles stating that you shouldn't carry more than 2-3 liters at a time, other say carry as much as you can. I just wanted some input from those who actually hike this area

  2. #2
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    I haven't hiked that area, but I cut the hydration bladder pocket out of my pack to save a couple of ounces. I just use bottles in the side pockets, and have a 2 liter platypus softside bottle that rolls up and stores small. I use the 2 liter if I need the extra carrying capacity or for my overnight camp.

  3. #3
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    There is a current thread going on
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...es-vs-Bladders
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  4. #4
    Section Hiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Jones View Post
    I haven't hiked that area, but I cut the hydration bladder pocket out of my pack to save a couple of ounces. I just use bottles in the side pockets, and have a 2 liter platypus softside bottle that rolls up and stores small. I use the 2 liter if I need the extra carrying capacity or for my overnight camp.
    +1, only I haven't cut up my pack yet.


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
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  5. #5
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    I find I love bladders for hiking, but I hate them for camping.

    They are a pain to pull out of the pack and refill, they are terrible to get water out of for cooking, and in cold weather the hose freezes.

    But I love the ease of grabbing the hose and drinking on the go.

    If I know I will be hiking long days in hot weather, I take a bladder. If I know it might freeze, or I am planning on cooking more than one meal a day, or spending more time in camp, I take bottles.

    Both have their place.

  6. #6

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    I live in N Ga and we have had our fair share of rain so far this year (and last). There should be no water shortage issues. With that being said I have found that I love the bladder when I am hiking, but like bfrayer said it is a pain at camp. I recently started taking a nalgene with me that I fill for cooking and camp stuff and found it works out well. I hope this helps - enjoy!

  7. #7
    Section Hiker HangNhike's Avatar
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    Well I guess I will have a lok at the map and see where the water spots are. Last year when we did a section in TN the only was source was a dribble and very muddy. The other two guys are "over packers" and have 2 32ox z nalgenes plus 70oz camelbacks each so we had enough to get through the second day. Part of me just doesn't want the extra weight... the other half doesn't want to run out of water lol

  8. #8
    Registered User Nutbrown's Avatar
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    I actually like the bladder for camp. Mine holds 4 liters, so I fill it up 1x, and have it hanging from a tree branch with the hose clamped. Easy water for cooking, washing, and plenty to last through the evening and on till morning for coffee and breakfast. With the bottles you are always going for a refill.

    But to answer your question, I wouldn't bother with the investment on this trip. I tend to make one big purchase each section hike, and a bladder system will cost about $100. I would wait till the next trip. ...it always stings a little when you finally have all the gear you need and you don't get to make the one purchase each time, so spread the joy

  9. #9
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    You do not need a bladder. If you found a system that works for you that is all that matters. For me, I like a bladder as I can grab a quick drink while walking. I typically carry an empty bottle such that I can mix up a breakfast shake or something when I do not want to "pollute" my water bladder.

  10. #10
    Section Hiker HangNhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutbrown View Post
    But to answer your question, I wouldn't bother with the investment on this trip. I tend to make one big purchase each section hike, and a bladder system will cost about $100.
    $100? I was looking at the 3L Camelbak Antidote and it was $35... the Osprey and Lezyne are similar. Which bladder system are you refering to?
    In The End, It's All About The Story

  11. #11
    Registered User Nutbrown's Avatar
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    I got the whole system...the 2 bags and the filter in between. It's the platypus.

  12. #12
    Registered User Nutbrown's Avatar
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    Sorry, I thought you were considering changing the system, not just the carrier...

  13. #13
    Section Hiker HangNhike's Avatar
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    Ya just the carrier. I am considering ADDING the camelbak to my exsisting 2 Nalgene's... It just seems liek it may be a bit much
    In The End, It's All About The Story

  14. #14
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    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 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 nalgene 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 Nalgene into it, then when I pass a water source I just fill up the nalgene, add aquamira and put it back in the side pocket.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  15. #15
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    I have bottles as well and bladders, I prefer bottles as I feel bladders get grimy after a couple of days. Also even with a large 3 liter platypus zip big, the water tastes funny when theres only a little left.

  16. #16
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Won't use one. They seem unclean.

  17. #17
    Registered User Slosteppin's Avatar
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    Default

    We all develop our own preferences - and biases. I like using a hydration bladder and hose for hiking. I've used a two liter bladder inside my pack for several years. There are two big negatives with this system. First, the bladder inside takes up pack room and second it is much harder to refill the bladder. I've started using two one-liter bladders, one in each side pocket. When I empty one I switch the hose to the other. It is easy to stop at the next water source and refill the bladders.

  18. #18

    Default HYdration Pack review

    I bought a Osprey 100L day pack and found a spare Osprey 100L bladder on sale for 50% off retail to use as a spare. I checked the volume in both bladders and each one was 12 ounces less than listed. 1 or 2 ounces to me would be an accepetable tolerance but 12%? Use your own judgement when chosing your hydration baldder.
    As far as using a bladder I really like to use one. I also add a two liter bottle on four miles or greater hikes since I live in AZ and hiking in the summer time makes me real thirsty.

  19. #19

    Default

    I only use mine for day hikes. It just takes up too much room once it's in the pack. Although I have seen some that apparently go on the outside of the pack, that's very ingenious and I would possibly reconsider using one for my weekend hikes if my pack had that capability.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Half Note View Post
    I only use mine for day hikes. It just takes up too much room once it's in the pack. Although I have seen some that apparently go on the outside of the pack, that's very ingenious and I would possibly reconsider using one for my weekend hikes if my pack had that capability.
    They generally hang off the back of your pack... Putting what is likely the heaviest thing you carry far from your center of gravity is a bad idea.

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