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Thread: Hydration Backpacks

  1. #1

    Default Hydration Backpacks

    I'm looking to upgrade my present hiking system to something better suited to longer hikes and occasionally carring additional items than I do with my present setup (small tripod, small video camera, boyscout stuff, etc.).

    Currently I hike with a hippack (the politically correct term for "fanny"pack) that carries two water bottles (total of 1 1/2 quarts), a first aid kit, hat, tp (laugh if you must but if you ever need it . . . ), Wet Ones hand wipes (individual packs), a compass, extra ziploc bags and a log book, cache data sheets in a ziploc bag, a plastice grocery bag for CITO, my favorite trail snacks and some small trading items. I usually carry my GPSr in a pouch that slips onto the belt. The pouch also carries a pen, cell phone, extra batteries, and latex gloves for grabbing yucky stuff. I also carry a similar pouch with a small camera and extra batteries.

    While 1 1/2 quarts of water have been sufficient for me on hikes of 4 miles or less, and stretched for hikes up to 6 miles, I'd like a system that carries more water for projected hikes up to 15 miles (I'm sure some of you which local hike I'm thinking about) or for those hikes on very hot days.

    Any suggestions, recomendation, testimonials?

    I'm favoring an integrated system (backpack and hydration system), but welcome any constructive ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    middle of da ocean
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    Thumbs up Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I've hiked with a few people that have had "Camelbacks" or the like. They actually have a tube for drinking through, so you don't have to stop, get out the water bottle(s), drink, and replace. Pretty cool,I tell ya! Up till now I've been carrying various sized bottles, even a gallon jug for my last time out to Kaena Point. But shadowAce just informed me through email that he purchased a backpack with a liquid refreshment bladder for me and has sent it out through the mail. What a guy! I'll give you a testimonial after I use it.

    If you'd like to see what shadowAce has been up to lately, check out my Travel bug Menehune Man was Hea!
    Last edited by Menehune Man; July 24th, 2006 at 10:08 PM.
    Life is either an adventure... or you're not doing it right!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Manoa
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I have the CamelBak Alpine Explorer. It is a water holder (3 Liters) and also a backpack (a pretty big one at that).
    backwoodlessons2

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by kanakajeep
    I'm looking to upgrade my present hiking system to something better suited to longer hikes and occasionally carring additional items than I do with my present setup (small tripod, small video camera, boyscout stuff, etc.).

    Currently I hike with a hippack (the politically correct term for "fanny"pack) that carries two water bottles (total of 1 1/2 quarts), a first aid kit, hat, tp (laugh if you must but if you ever need it . . . ), Wet Ones hand wipes (individual packs), a compass, extra ziploc bags and a log book, cache data sheets in a ziploc bag, a plastice grocery bag for CITO, my favorite trail snacks and some small trading items. I usually carry my GPSr in a pouch that slips onto the belt. The pouch also carries a pen, cell phone, extra batteries, and latex gloves for grabbing yucky stuff. I also carry a similar pouch with a small camera and extra batteries.

    While 1 1/2 quarts of water have been sufficient for me on hikes of 4 miles or less, and stretched for hikes up to 6 miles, I'd like a system that carries more water for projected hikes up to 15 miles (I'm sure some of you which local hike I'm thinking about) or for those hikes on very hot days.

    Any suggestions, recomendation, testimonials?

    I'm favoring an integrated system (backpack and hydration system), but welcome any constructive ideas.

    If you can get to COSTCO check them out. They WERE selling a nice back pack w/70 oz (2 liter) hydration blatter for jus $25. I bought one for my shorter hike where I don't need to carry much. Lunch, water and first aid kit.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    My last trip to COSTCO I couldn't find the hydration backpack. Initially I looked at The North Face Hammerhead and Megamouth, but after reading two reviews where the reviewers had leak problems I ruled them out. Too bad. I really like The North Face products and have purchased several that continue to give great service. I have also been considering Camelbak's Alpine Explorer ($100.00 from REI) and Rim Runner ($64.99 from Campmor). I'm not sure if the extra 400 c.i. is worth $35.00. I don't want to get anything too small, but don't want something that's too big either. I also am looking at Mountainsmith's Approach 3.0, but that seems a bit much unless I'm going to use it for overnight camping. Budget manager will allow only 1 pack so I'm researching for a while more. I hope to have something by August. I'd like to take a small video camera and tripod and do the Olomana caches, also I have a scout hike in September to Mt. Ka'ala that I could use a 100 oz. reservoir.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by kanakajeep
    in September to Mt. Ka'ala that I could use a 100 oz. reservoir.
    Has anyone ever done it before??? If not I'd be glad to guide from the Wai`anae Side which I guess it you planned route. Check out these links for more info on the hike:

    Ka`ala 2000

    Ka`ala 2003

    Ka`ala 2005

    Don't forget to have the boys Geocache there way up to the summit also.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai`anaeCrider
    Has anyone ever done it before??? If not I'd be glad to guide from the Wai`anae Side which I guess it you planned route. Check out these links for more info on the hike:

    Ka`ala 2000

    Ka`ala 2003

    Ka`ala 2005

    Don't forget to have the boys Geocache there way up to the summit also.
    Some of the scouts attempted to hike Mt. Ka'ala with other leaders and after impropto exploring (they got lost) arrived at the first cable section. Since they were very tired and being late in the day the decided to head back down.

    The more intrepid scouts have informed me they know the way now (we'll see ) so I promised them a shot at a leadership experience (I'll be referncing your logs and The Hikers Guide to O'ahu just incase they need some help). But if they have difficulties retracing the correct path, we'll definitely request expert guidance for the next attmept. Thanks for the great links. I don't think I'll show the adult leaders who are also considering coming. I think the stories from the last adult leaders might have got them worried enough .

    Geocaching - You can count on it. I may aslo try the others down at the lower altitues.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by backwoodlessons2
    I have the CamelBak Alpine Explorer. It is a water holder (3 Liters) and also a backpack (a pretty big one at that).

    The Alpine Explorer by Camelbak and the Cascade HF by REI are in the run for the money. Would you mind sharing your thoughts about the pluses and minuses that you have experienced with your Alpine Explorer?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Manoa
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    So far I have had nothing bad happen with the Alpine Explorer.

    A plus is that it holds all of the water I need (I have never run out), and it holds all of the supplies that I need. One time when I was biking to a friends house, and then to a baseball game I was able to fill up the water bladder completely and fit all of my gear (cleats, socks, pants, sliding pants, shirt, hat, glove, batting gloves).
    backwoodlessons2

  10. #10

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by kanakajeep
    Some of the scouts attempted to hike Mt. Ka'ala with other leaders and after impropto exploring (they got lost) arrived at the first cable section. Since they were very tired and being late in the day the decided to head back down.

    The more intrepid scouts have informed me they know the way now (we'll see ) so I promised them a shot at a leadership experience (I'll be referncing your logs and The Hikers Guide to O'ahu just incase they need some help). But if they have difficulties retracing the correct path, we'll definitely request expert guidance for the next attmept. Thanks for the great links. I don't think I'll show the adult leaders who are also considering coming. I think the stories from the last adult leaders might have got them worried enough .

    Geocaching - You can count on it. I may aslo try the others down at the lower altitues.

    In Sept it will be very hot in Wai`anae. Start as early in the morning as you can. The hike up the paved road is a killer w/the sun shinning on you.

    From the gate figure at least 4 hours up. Drink all the water you want on the road as you can refill w/GOOD water at each of the two wells. If the guys have bottles you can leave some at "3 Poles", hide them of course. Carrying water to the top that you won't need untill the return trip is crazy.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai`anaeCrider
    In Sept it will be very hot in Wai`anae. Start as early in the morning as you can. The hike up the paved road is a killer w/the sun shinning on you.

    From the gate figure at least 4 hours up. Drink all the water you want on the road as you can refill w/GOOD water at each of the two wells. If the guys have bottles you can leave some at "3 Poles", hide them of course. Carrying water to the top that you won't need untill the return trip is crazy.


    Thanks for the hint about leaving extra bottles at "3 Poles". It kind of reminds me of when I was a youth (well a younger youth ) and hid some water on the way into Pele Kunu valley on Moloka'i. 4 days later we tried to find the water at night. Sure could have used a GPSr then. Instead we feasted on first generation dehydrated food and Kool-Aid made with water from mud puddles, strained through t-shirts (used), then boiled, and finally spiced with iodine tablets . . . . . yum!

    After reviewing my requirements for the ideal pack I find that what I really want is a "socket set" approach, a pack sized for every type of hike. One for light short hikes (I'm covered here with my waist pack), a technical backpack for longer/challenging day hikes, a backpack for extended day hikes and minimally equipped overnighters (I've got some fun hiking camps in the works for my scouts in 2007). What I can afford is a "crescent wrench" approach, one pack that I can force to do what I need it to without toooooo many compromises.

    I found this review that looks tempting, but possibly a tad big for bush whacking or rock climbing. Then again . . . .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Tibet
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I didn't read all of the posts but thought I would add some input - forgive me if I'm repeating someone else's comments. I feel that it's better to have too much water than to run out. For me, the 70 oz isn't enough for a 15 mile hike. 100 oz might be, unless it's really hot.

    Be careful with recommendations for specific models of CamelBak packs in terms of capacity. They might have one particular model from year to year, but they may make significant changes in size & dimensions. For example, I bought a weekender last year that was a 2005 close out model. The 2006 version of the same pack had a lot less storage capacity, even though it looked exactly the same.

    Aloha

    Unimogger

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    217

    Talking Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Picked up a Coleman brand 72 oz integrated pack with drinking tube. I will break it in tomorrow on Magnum PI with Menehune man. I use to have a 100 oz Camelback that I got from work. I lost it though. It was a very good piece of equipment. I recommend the Camelback brand because you can get replacement valves, accessories etc. for it. The one I got today will get a workout. One feature is that it has ample pockets and compartments for me to stash all my gear. Also, it has a chest strap so you do not get the bag banging against your back while hiking...
    If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living. --Gail Sheehy

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverSurfer73
    Picked up a Coleman brand 72 oz integrated pack with drinking tube. I will break it in tomorrow on Magnum PI with Menehune man. I use to have a 100 oz Camelback that I got from work. I lost it though. It was a very good piece of equipment. I recommend the Camelback brand because you can get replacement valves, accessories etc. for it. The one I got today will get a workout. One feature is that it has ample pockets and compartments for me to stash all my gear. Also, it has a chest strap so you do not get the bag banging against your back while hiking...
    I now have 3 hydration packs each came w/a 70 oz. blatter.
    They are small just enough room for lunch and water and first aide kit

    Second is Medium a Camelback w/room for a few additional goodies like a rain coat and perhaps a small cache.

    Third is the big one where if necessary I can add two of the 70 oz blatters and carry multiple caches, ropes change of clothes, note pad and trail clearing tools..

  15. #15

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I ordered the Mountainsmith Approach 3 with a Camelbak 100 oz. Omega bladder. One of the deciding factors was the ample waistbelt. I have back problems so the ability to carry most of the weight on my hips versus my back is a definite plus. I can hardly wait to try it out. It should be in sometime this week.

    Unimogger's remarks are worth noting as I also discovered the Approach 3 is apparently smaller than the Approach 2, but still should be large enough for my needs. And if push comes to shove I still have my pack that I used on a 50 mile hike many, many, moons ago .

  16. #16

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I still carry a Camelbak H.A.W.G. 100oz that I bought from McCully Bicycle about 2 years ago for about $80. Its a great pack, lots off space, straps, cinches down tight and holds plenty of water. Its very durable and goes with me just about everywhere . When I bought mine, McCully bike shop had a few models of Camelbak in stock, worth checking out, G/L.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Manoa
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    359

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverSurfer73
    Also, it has a chest strap so you do not get the bag banging against your back while hiking...
    The alpine explorer also comes with waist and chest straps.
    backwoodlessons2

  18. #18

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I forgot about McCully Bike. I purchased a backpack from them a long time a go and used it for a hike from the top of Haleakala to Kaupo and then to Hana as well as many other hikes. Their camping supply then dwindled and I started stopping by for just bike stuff. I saw the Alpine Explorer there today. It's a good looking pack that my son might find under the Christmas tree if he's really good. I might have purchased it if I had seen it before ordering from Campmor. I also ordered a light weight nylon ground cloth I intend to use on overnighter hike/camps with my scouts as a groundcloth/shelter. Hmmmm . . . . . . overnight caching ?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Posted by Kanakajeep: Hmmmm . . . . . . overnight caching ?
    Sounds interesting, what were you thinking Kanaka?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by LocoBoy
    Sounds interesting, what were you thinking Kanaka?
    Perhaps a hike along the southern Ko`olau Crest picking up summit caches as he wanders north for days and nights on end!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Posted by crider: Perhaps a hike along the southern Ko`olau Crest picking up summit caches as he wanders north for days and nights on end!

    LocoBoy: *having flashes of NH Gauntlet*

  22. #22

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Well, I'm a slow hiker. Arthritis, extra ballast , back issues, and being easily distracted to stop and enjoy the panoramas tend to extend my hikes probalbly considerably longer than most cachers would require. So, I was/am toying with ideas like strolling along the Manana trail and collecting caches along the way. I won't camp overnight, but if caught along the trail by darkness I'll just rest till there's enough light to hike safely again . I imagine there are other trail systems that might be conducive to such rest stops. I'm planning on taking my troop along the Kuaokala Trail then down the Kealia and around Ka'ena. Since most of our outings take place on Friday, our transportation usually is available till after they've finished work. So, the late starts may necessitate an evening rest stop when longer hikes are atmpted.

    Ridge hike for days on end . . . . . sounds like I might have to save up for an internal frame pack next year.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by kanakajeep
    Well, I'm a slow hiker. Arthritis, extra ballast , back issues, and being easily distracted to stop and enjoy the panoramas tend to extend my hikes probalbly considerably longer than most cachers would require. So, I was/am toying with ideas like strolling along the Manana trail and collecting caches along the way. I won't camp overnight, but if caught along the trail by darkness I'll just rest till there's enough light to hike safely again . I imagine there are other trail systems that might be conducive to such rest stops. I'm planning on taking my troop along the Kuaokala Trail then down the Kealia and around Ka'ena. Since most of our outings take place on Friday, our transportation usually is available till after they've finished work. So, the late starts may necessitate an evening rest stop when longer hikes are atmpted.

    Ridge hike for days on end . . . . . sounds like I might have to save up for an internal frame pack next year.
    I did just that hike some years ago when I was still at Wai`anae High School, teaching not student, w/some students. It's longer and harder than you think, the section around the point begins to get to you as the afternoon sun beats down on your head. Might make a good camp out hike. Camp at the point, taking relaxing dips in tide pools to cool off from the hike down off the mountain. YOu can then hike out the next morning. If you do caches w/the kids it will take some time working your way along the whole trail. If you do it in the fall/winter you the surf might be big enough to set off the "blow hole" on the leeward side.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Hydration Backpacks

    I was thinking of doing it on Good Friday weekend starting early in the morning at the parking lot by the Kuaokala trailhead and resting at either the Kealia trail head or optimally at the big tide pool near the entrance to the bird sanctuary. Saturday we might stop at North West Entrance to the Underworld. Some of us have been there before so we know where the easy trail up is. A lot of them have been caching with me, but few of them have seen a travel bug so we'll look for your bug jar on the way out for a drop off and pickup. We are hoping to have the parents meet us a Keawa'ula on the way out with boogie boards, surfboards and LUNCH!

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