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#101457 - 08/19/08 03:54 PM Questions about all water containers
BorealHiker Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 75
Loc: The Third Maine
I just posted this rather large question in the recent Platy thread. I learned a lot in that helpful thread, and yesterday bought my first two Platys. Solves several problems. But I still wonder about the other solutions.

So, what do most of you use as your water carrier(s) when on your treks? The Nalgene or other bottles? The platys in this thread? A Camelback 2L? Dromedary bladder with attachments?

I assume taking enough water for a couple of nights, but I'd also enjoy hearing about those longer treks some of you lucky folk get to take. Also assuming there is a need to carry water. Even here in soaking wet Northern New England there are hikes where supplemental water is not reliable. Of course many of you go into very arid regions, and your stories would interest me too.

Also, even in my cool climate, the sun can practically render external containers very warm, still drinkable, I think, but no longer cool and refreshing. Do your desert hikers gain anything by burying the water in the interior of your pack---or does it all end up hot anyway?

Sorry for the long question. I'm just getting back into this, (as in the Over the Hill subform.)


#101458 - 08/19/08 04:50 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
Hector Offline

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
One-liter "big slam" type bottles, four of 'em, one in each side pocket, a couple in the pack. Usually only the two on the sides are full, depending on what I know about the next water. If I need to keep one cool because of sun/heat, I'll wrap it in an extra shirt that was soaked with water.

I also carry one flexible-sided Nalgene with one of those in-bottle filters in case I run into a really bad water supply. Rarely used.

#101459 - 08/19/08 05:27 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I use two containers. For my usual Ohio Valley hiking trails, water sources are about 3 miles apart. Since I can drink filtered water immediately, I drink my fill of nice, cool water at each source. Between sources, I carry a full quart of water in a collapsible Nalgene Cantene. (I've used poly or lexan Nalgene bottles in the past.) I like the Cantene because it's light, but I missed the measuring marks the poly or lexan bottles had, so I marked the Cantene at 12 oz. (the amount I need to cook my evening meal.)

I also carry a two-quart MSR Dromlite bladder for those times when the water sources are farther apart, or when I want to carry extra water to a "dry" camp. (I cook very simply, eat uncooked breakfast, and don't make cocoa or coffee, so three quarts will get me from the last source in the afternoon to the first source next morning.) The Dromlite also makes a dandy pillow, filled with water or inflated with air.

Both containers were chosen because they mate with the MSR filters (Miniworks and Hyperflow) to provide a very stable unit when filtering. Before I used filters, I also had good luck with Platypus containers.

#101460 - 08/19/08 06:48 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
while hiking, I use a 2L Camelbak or Platypus w/ hose. I have a 32 oz Nalgene to use for random purposes, like making tea or mixing gatorade type stuff, or to drink from around camp; doubles as a measuring cup or rehydrating container. I have a 2L platy that stands on its own - I get to camp, filter up a couple liters for dinner/breakfast/washing/drinking into the platy and the nalgene, and by the time I'm ready to head out the next morning they're empty and the drinking bladder gets filled. The standing platy is easier to use around camp than the hoser that hangs in the pack and is the backup for the hoser if it ever starts to leak.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#101461 - 08/20/08 05:57 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
mmendell Offline

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Western Iowa
Unless you're really sold on the hydration bladder/hose set-up, I'd consider plastic soda or bottled water bottles. They're cheap, light (<1oz), and available everywhere. Depending on where I'm hiking, I'll carry one or two 1-liter bottles, as well as a 2-liter platy for camp. I'll carry the bottles in my pack side pockets so I can get to them, and my platy rolled up on my pack. I use a ULA gravity filter, which screws on the plastic bottles as well as the platy.

Edited by mmendell (08/20/08 06:45 AM)

#101462 - 08/20/08 06:30 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
BarryP Offline

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
So, what do most of you use as your water carrier(s) when on your treks?

I usually always have two 1/2L bottled water bottles; one in each pant pocket. I can take a fast swig that way and know exactly how much I have left. For longer treks between water holes I also have two 1L platys in the backpack side pockets. If not in use, these platys easily roll up and stash out of the way. In hot desert sun, I keep these filled platys inside my backpack so they wont get hot. When Im ready for them, they also fit in my pant pockets.


#101463 - 08/20/08 07:24 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
ringtail Offline

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
My primary water is a 20 oz. Gatorade bottle with shockcord and cordlock carrier on my shoulder strap. See the ULA pack site for pictures.

It depends on the pack, but the refill water is carried outside the pack in soft drink PET bottles or Gatorade bottles. Extra water for a dry camp is carried in Playtpus bladders inside the pack.

In Colorado I consider 2 quarts to be a full load of water and add only a quart for a dry camp.

In the desert I consider a gallon to be a full load and add 2 quarts for a dry camp. I have carried as much as 8 quarts when I cached water for the trip out.

The 20 oz. Gatorade bottles make great hot cocoa containers and for side trips they fit in either cargo pockets or pants pockets.
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

#101464 - 08/20/08 07:27 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BarryP]
bulrush Offline

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
For a day hike, I have a fanny pack with 2 compartments, between the compartments is a pocket for a bicycle water bottle. The night before I fill the bottle 1/2 full and freeze it. This type of water bottle is thick enough that it will not bow out when frozen. In the morning I fill the rest with water and I have ice cold water for at least 4 hours.

This bottle is translucent, not the clear polycarbonate bottles that leach BPA.

#101465 - 08/20/08 07:28 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BarryP]
johndavid Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
For longer trips MSR Dromedaries. (find wide mouth & hydration mouthpiece preferrable to Playty design.) For day and overnight trips, normally 1 liter soda bottles or a Nalgene 1 quart bottle.

I don't typically carry more than a quart of water for a day trip. Sometimes I run out and become thirsty. Where brook dipping is feasible, I keep cup handy.

People vary in their concern about having a ready supply of water.

For salt-water kayak trips of 18-24 hours, 3-4 quarts. Majority of trips are in Northeast.

#101466 - 08/20/08 07:29 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BarryP]
CWF Offline

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 266
I tend to not drink enough water on my treks so I now employ a Platypus Big Zip 2, which forces me to drink more often. It is light @ 4.5oz all in, and has two new advances. The hose has a quick disconnect so that I can refill the bladder without re-routing the hose through the pack, which can be a pain. In addition, the quick connect fits directly onto my Katadyn Hiker Pro (with attachement), so filling is easy. Of course, filling is really easy through the big zip opening. The second advance is how the zip opening now closes - by a plastic slider that pretty much guarantees no leaks.

I also carry a Platypus 0.5 or 1.0L bottle as a just in case or if I need to carry water over longer distances between re-fills.

Don't use Nalgenes anymore, mostly because of weight and size.

#101467 - 08/21/08 08:59 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
Fets Offline

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I use Nalgene bottles, I like the fact they are so tough and I can count on them not leaking. Also Nice to be able to hang them off the pack if needed (unlike Gatorade bottles). For camp I have an old collapsible water jug, it collapses vertically like an accordion. So while hiking it is compacted down to a small size and then heading into camp it gets filled for cooking/cleaning.

I just really like Nalgene bottles so the weight doesn't bother me.

#101468 - 08/21/08 09:25 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
Trailrunner Offline

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Depends on the situation. I have Platys, bladders/tubes, Nalgenes, and Gatorade bottles. Each has its own advantages. If refills are required I carry at least one rigid bottle because bladders are not so good for dipping, even the wide mouth Platys. Bladders take up less room when empty but rigid containers are more bombproof. When I'm trying to cover a lot of miles I prefer the convenience of a sip tube. I like containers that refill quickly because water sources where I hike are frequently mosquito sources as well. On waterless trips I use a 1gal. MSR Dromedary. A bombproof container is critical in the desert.

So like most other things, it depends. But after all the experimenting I've done my container of choice is the lowly Gatorade bottle........and the price is right.
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

#101469 - 08/21/08 01:43 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: Trailrunner]
Spock Offline

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
I use recycled pop, water, Gatoraid bottles - especially on longer hikes. When you are out for a long time, all water containers grow water mold. While it isn't dangerous itself, it can harbor other micro organisms. It also smells bad. It's easy to get rid of water mold home, but not when thruhiking. Ad hoc water bottles are readily available and can be replaced as needed. They also sit up by themselves with no particular care, unlike Platypus's. When you are beat to your socks, it is too easy to let a Platy get away - fall over. They are also easier to fill if the water source is shallow. You *can* fill a platy with a cup, but that's just another aggravation.

#101470 - 08/21/08 04:57 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: Glenn]
bobthebuilder Offline

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 9
I use a bladder for my main water container, carried inside a hydration sleeve. when hiking in dry areas, I sometimes carry the mylar bag from a 5L box of wine--they carry 6L when not constrained by the box. I have put it in a "bag" that can be strapped to the front of my shoulder straps and carry it on my chest. Lots of weight but well distributed by placing in on my chest and the carrier weights next to nothing.

#101471 - 08/21/08 06:40 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
DJ2 Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1348
Loc: Seattle, WA
I use:

1 gallon plastic, recycled, with handle, purified water bottle from Safeway. It is clearly labeled as "Dirty Water".

1/2 gallon plastic, recycled juice bottle. This is used for clean (post filtered) water.

This system allows me to:
(1) Do all my filtering in the comfort of camp....not at streamside.
(2) Carry up to 1.5 gallons of water to a dry campsite and therefore avoid crowds of people.
(3) Easily keep track of how much I drink. I feel best if I drink at about 1 gallon a day.

When I get home I clean and/or replace bottles. I use the smell test to determine which strategy is called for.

Larger bottles, by the way, provide a better "volume per weight" than smaller bottles. Same principle applies to tents, packs, stuff sacks, etc.

#101472 - 08/22/08 06:40 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
deliriousNomad Offline

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 64
Loc: Matthews, NC
I carry:

2 Platy Hosers - 1L size with only one actual hose now.
1 Platy Tank - 4L size
1 Nalgene 32+ ounce canister made similarly to the Platypus bags. I put kool aid or gatorade mixes in this one and save the others for plain water.

I put one Hoser in an external side pouch of the pack, and put the water pump in the pouch on the other side of the pack.

I used to carry a Camelback 2L inside the pack - but found it easier having the 1L and water filter situated on the outside so I can get to them easily for refilling on the trail...

#101473 - 08/24/08 04:15 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
schweinhundert Offline

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 36
Loc: Amerikkka
I use some msr titanium flasks, no plastic liner like siggs, no plastic at all, except the cap. Yuck, why would anyone voluntarily drink the toxic brew from a hot plastic bottle?

#101474 - 08/24/08 05:31 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: schweinhundert]
BorealHiker Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 75
Loc: The Third Maine
Well, that's one of the things I'm sorting out by reading all the excellent replies to my original question. It seems some plastics have this messy brew, while others don't. Some of questionable health effect, some not.

I have noticed my Camelback 2L, which I just broke down and tried for the first time this summer, for day hikes, imparts a plastic flavor, more than I expected.

As for titanium, this adds yet another dimension. I have the MSR titanium cook set, very expensive, took me a few years to build up, but now that I have it, I love it. I rather hoped my titanium buying days were over. I've seen one of the titanium bottles of which you speak. I need to think about this. Looks like a sweet conveyor of bourbon, but not water.

Edited by BorealHiker (08/24/08 05:34 PM)

#101475 - 09/07/08 05:21 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
BorealHiker Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 75
Loc: The Third Maine
Thanks to all who very helpfully replied to my question. I'm going over the replies, still. I see by everyone's replies that there are many variations on how the carrying of water can be done.

Thanks again! I'll keep watching this and other threads for more . This is a very helpful board.


#101476 - 09/08/08 06:22 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
JAK Offline

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I am yet to decide on an ideal water container for use with a Kelly Kettle. It really needs to handle boiling hot water. I drink alot of tea, plus one of the advantages of a Kelly Kettle is you can makes lots of boiling hot water and use it for other things, like hot water bottles, cleanup, hygene, etc. So plastic is not a good option, at least not for all of your water bottles, if you want to take full advantages of having lots of boiling hot water. Something else to be careful about with a Kelly Kettle though is that it is no good for melting snow. Ideally, I would have two metal containers that can be used for carrying about 800ml of water, that I could also use for carrying water, leak proof enough for use as hot water bottles, but wide enough use for soup and oatmeal and stuff and be easy to clean. The new stainless steel ones are wide enough with a long spoon, but rather heavy. It is possible to make them out of large beer cans also and be strong and leak proof enough for carrying water, but not for use as a hot water bottle. Still not sure of best solution yet. If I could make a really good sealable lid I might even go with titanium.

#101477 - 09/08/08 06:33 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
One idea I have for a sealable lid for an metal flask/pot made from a large aluminum beer can or tall titanium mug would be a cozy of some sort, neoprene socks maybe, that would keep the lid on, which might be plastic, or wood maybe.

Anyone have any experience using neoprene socks or booties as cozies?
Do they hold up to the heat?

#101478 - 09/08/08 11:19 AM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 11
I use a 3 litter Camelbak that I place in my pack's bladder sleeve. It weighs a little more than the Platy's but my water filter hooks right up to the hose and I can fill it without taking it out of the pack. They also have a lifetime warranty. I also carry a 16.9oz plastic water bottle. It is very light and I use it for powdered drinks. I like the nalgene bottles, but they are bulky and heavy compared to a bladder.

#101479 - 09/08/08 03:43 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: JAK]
Folkalist Offline

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
The JetBoil, my current stove, uses a neoprene cozy. It can definitely handle the heat.
Why am I online instead of hiking?

#101480 - 09/10/08 05:40 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: JAK]
BorealHiker Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 75
Loc: The Third Maine
I would like to know more about this Kelly Bottle. This is new to me, and I will start looking into it now. Also, on this board, you appear to be the closest to me, in location! Closer than any in the US that I know of so far, and our regions are very similar.

#101481 - 09/14/08 01:28 PM Re: Questions about all water containers [Re: BorealHiker]
DJ2 Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1348
Loc: Seattle, WA
I carry two water bottles.

I use a 2 quart recycled gator aid bottle for my clean water. I carry that in my front bag for ease of access while walking.

I also carry a recycled Christal Geyser (bottled water from Safeway) 1 gallon bottle for dirty water. It has a handle, a wide cap and weighs less than 3 ounces. I've used it for over a year with no leaks. It uses up a lot of room empty or full but I have a large pack so I don't mind.

I have never gone more than 1 day without passing a water source. I do like to dry camp away from people, however, my two bottles allow me to carry up to 1.5 gallons.

I enjoy drinking warm water on warm days. It will stay cold longer, however, buried deep in the pack.....especially if surrounded by closed cell foam.

I once carried fish home from a mountain lake. They were wrapped in snow, plastic bag and closed cell foam. Eight hours later there was still snow in the bag, even though temps had been in 80s.

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