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#183529 - 03/04/14 11:50 PM Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame?
Silock Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/03/14
Posts: 2
I have an older Camp Trails external frame pack. It's in perfect condition (mostly due to being used once about 20 years ago and then put in storage until last week). I compared it to the weight of newer internal frame packs, and it's just as light, and just as comfortable for me. The only advantage to a newer pack is that I can put a hydration bladder in the new ones.

How can I get a hydration bladder in an old pack that doesn't have any place for one? I really like being able to just sip out of the tube on the trails as opposed to pulling out a water bottle all the time.

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#183531 - 03/05/14 12:02 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: Silock]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I'd lay it across the top of the load and run the tube down to clip it on the strap.
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#183539 - 03/05/14 11:59 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: Silock]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
You can put a hydration bladder into any pack, new or old. Just because it wasn't a design feature for when the pack was made, doesn't mean you can use one. Just open the top and put it in. On those old externals, just run the tube out the top flap. However, Lori's advice is really the best place for one. If I used one, I would put it on the outside of the pack, on the very top. That way, when it leaks, it doesn't soak the internals of my pack, I can refill it easily, and it is in a good spot for weight.
Another good spot to put it is behind your shoulder straps between your back and the pack bag, outside of the pack.
I don't like hydration bladders. I carry water bottles on my hip belt. Sure, I have to pull it out, but it doesn't take much effort, and I don't have to put the pack down and dig it out. Also the weight is directly on the hip belt. And, if it leaks, no big deal. But, I have never had a single cheap water bottle leak on me....which I can't say for the three camelbacks I bought.
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#183568 - 03/06/14 12:10 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: finallyME]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I've carried hydration bags for many years in a pack. I don't think I have a pack yet that has anything special for it. I put it in, usually close to my back in the load, and run the hose out the top of the pack and clip it to a strap.
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#183572 - 03/06/14 02:45 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: Silock]
Silock Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/03/14
Posts: 2
I'm just concerned about it shifting and maybe rubbing up against something in the pack and springing a leak. Just laying it on top of the rest of my stuff doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Maybe I'm being paranoid.

If I *were* to make a pouch for it inside, could I just sew a canvas flap to the pack itself?

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#183576 - 03/06/14 08:33 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: Silock]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
You're being paranoid. I have a Platypus that's approaching five years old - I've stuffed it inside the pocket behind the bear can and the rest of the gear each month, 3 - 15 days per month, and it's still going. I've also put it across the top of the load inside the pack. It's losing the letters and slightly yellowed, but it still works fine.
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#183584 - 03/06/14 09:38 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I'd not say completely paranoid - I *have* had platys start to have a slow leak in my pack, although it's been due to wearing out not being poked by something in my pack. - and a canvas pocket would not have helped.

My solution to that paranoia is I take two platys - the empty one weighs less than a canvas pocket, and if one *does* get a leak, I have another - and normally I have two to fill in camp so I only have to deal with filling water up once when I stop, so it's weight that has multiple uses and gets used.
_________________________
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#183586 - 03/06/14 09:54 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: Silock]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Silock
I'm just concerned about it shifting and maybe rubbing up against something in the pack and springing a leak. Just laying it on top of the rest of my stuff doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Maybe I'm being paranoid.

If I *were* to make a pouch for it inside, could I just sew a canvas flap to the pack itself?


Yes, you can sew a pouch for it if you want. It won't hurt, and if it gives you piece of mind......
You can also make a foam pouch for it...with a couple pieces of foam and some tape. That should protect it. But what is in your pack that would puncture it?

One thing you need to do....fill it up and put it in your pack. Then fill the rest of your pack with your stuff. Then drink all the water. Take it out, refill it, and put it back in the same spot in your full pack. Now, imagine doing that every time you want to fill it up.
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#183589 - 03/06/14 11:52 AM Re: Adding Hydration bladder to old external frame? [Re: finallyME]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Well not always - if I take the pump filter I have a hookup to pump the clean water through the tubing and into the bladder. I've switched to the Sawyer though for the most part and need to hook something up using that too.

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