I was wondering what the best way to carry around water to keep yourself hydrated during a long distance race?

Submitted by JPNPADDLER on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 9:59pm

One option is to get a Camelbak Unbottle (comes in 3 sizes 50oz/1.5 litre, 70oz/2 litre and 100oz/3 litre) and strap it behind you on your seat/hull. The hose on it is just long enough to reach your mouth without needing an extension hose. You can put a strap around your neck to tie or tape the end to have easy access to it.

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If you need something smaller, look for a Camelbak Flash Flo (45oz/1.4 litre) which is worn around your waist.

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#1 Tue, 12/30/2008 - 10:45pm

found this on camelbaks site. A new invention for the ultra athelete

"The CamelBak RaceBak integrates wearable hydration into performance apparel optimized for endurance sports. Vest features a built-in pouch that carries a reservoir close to your back."

Only $100

#2 Tue, 12/30/2008 - 10:53pm

Another alternative are those Mocke Paddle Jackets that has a pouch which houses a 1.5 litre bladder. That thing also serves as a floatation vest too

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#3 Tue, 12/30/2008 - 11:08pm

what kind of strap do you use around the neck? Do they sell them?

#4 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 3:45am

Just something elastic, tie a small loop in it that you can just pass the bite valve through.

#5 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 5:37am

I drill a 4 inch hole in the rubber part of my seat behind where I sit and stick a 2 quart plastic bottle with a tube in it ,, works perfect and very inexpensive.

#6 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 7:24am

Not a big fan of the waist pack. The belt pinches at the waist in the front.

Not a big fan of the backpack either. Straps can pinch or be restrictive around the armpit when paddling.

I like the hole in foam behind the seat idea. Put a one liter nalgene bottle with a hose and bite valve. Get a clip from Camelback and you're set. Make sure to add a suction hole on top of the nalgene. if you make the hole to big, wrap with duct tape.

I've tried a bladder secured behind me and inbetween my feet. Works ok if you need more than a liter. The bladder can't be flat or you'll suck air. I made a small foam wedge for behind me to prop it up before securing...LNB

#7 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 7:47am

The Mock Paddle Jacket is pretty cool I guess. well, except for the fact that you look super super homo.

#8 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 8:49am

PFDs suck, poops! I hope it never comes to the point where they make you wear them in Hawaiian races. I had to wear one in a race recently, lame as can be. But if you have to wear one, those Mockes look pretty small at least. As far as camelbaks go, I would highly recommend not having one on your back while paddling. Ouch!

#9 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 8:55am

sh!t. I knew I should have patented my idea on the wearable rash guard. i sewed something like that about 5 years ago for paddleboarding. it worked like a champ. i even cut and stitched little holes to guide the tube over the shoulder. damn i should have gone to MIT. people would have listened to my idea...

#10 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 8:57am

The Mock Paddle Jacket is totally GAY..... I can see people in Cali wearing that gortesque Jacket. Maybe under a jersey it would look like bolt-ons!

#11 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 9:02am

It would be perfect for Cali-you could put your 9mm in one of those pockets for the after paddle highway shootouts!

#12 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 9:08am

yeah multi purpose GEAR, and you certanly want your enemy's, i'm mean paddling friends, to wear one, i believe one could sink to their death wearing the "Jacket".

In all truth any bladder will work, even the cheap ones, but i really like the 9mm idea.

#13 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 9:24am

Then there's the Todd Bradley Hydro Hat ....!!! Only Toddy can look cool in one of those .. he invented it.

"Thank you for your interest in the Hydro-Hat, Hands Free Hydration System. Patent Pending. Knowing the importance of properly hydrating during strenuous endurance sports, Hydro-Hat was developed to allow an athlete to satisfy this need without using his hands. Hydro-Hat is great for Canoeing, Mountain biking and more! Following is the Ordering details.
Aloha, Todd Bradley"

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Cheers Rambo

#14 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 10:59am

Jimi Hendrix first vid with Jr Walker and The AllStars..these two guys would probably wear that Mock Paddler Jacket Poo was mentioning...

#15 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 11:04am

thabnk you Mahatmark! This will keep me lmao into the new year!!!

#16 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 11:20am

Kicbacmaui hilarious and has tainted my own memory of such a famous song from my teen youth

#17 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 12:13pm

I`m for bringing back the monarchy if Hawaii passes a PFD law. What say you?

#18 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 1:28pm

I wonder why the hydro-hat never took off. BTW, Mike Smith of Lanikai made a hat like that first. Did Bradley ever succesfully patent his version?

#19 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 1:45pm

why wait for the passage of a PFD law.

#20 Wed, 12/31/2008 - 3:03pm

camelbacks are overrated in my opinion. I just got a new platypus bag. the hose attaches in a way that prevents the movement of the bag from slowing the flow of fluids to the motor(me) plus the entire top opens up like a zip lock.

#21 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 5:06am

I've got a blank foam seat for my Zephyr and will carve out a space for the bladder, A buddy had his Stingray set up like this. Just need the big foam seat not a sit on top canoe...
Camelback bladder hose will run pout a small tube hole in the foam. The foam should help to keep the beer, I mean water, cold as well.

#22 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 12:46pm

Someone else on here also made a cutout under the seat for a bladder on their Zephyr. They needed to relocate the velcro to the sides since the velcro is in the center.

The Stingray had its bladder cutout as part of its design as mentioned on this webpage.

I use one of these ice trays to make ice tubes to put in my bladder for cool refreshing drink of water. The bladder sleeve I have is insulated just enough to keep the bladder cool and enough to let the ice melt slowly. You can find them at REI or some Cycling stores.

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#23 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 2:52pm

How heavy it that ice pack..
Why not just semi-freeze the bladder?

#24 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 7:44pm

I just realized that the only people I ever notice talking about pfd laws in hawaii are people not in hawaii. Im not saying it doesnt come up but I have never heard one mention of pfd's at any of the few events ive been to. How about if we just agree to not use the words "Hawaii" and "PFD" in the same sentence again??

#25 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 8:40pm

How heavy it that ice pack..
Why not just semi-freeze the bladder?

I usually only use 3 of the four tubes most of the time and there is no difference in weight since it's just ice. As for that ice tray itself, it's made of rubber and it takes some skill in balancing that thing so as not to spill the water all over the place when putting it in the freezer.

I have done the semi-freeze bladder thing, but sometimes if I don't use it or go paddling that day, it just freezes solid. Before I remembered I had that thing, I use to just fill the bladder half way and freeze that. Then I'd fill the rest with water to be able to at least drink some instead of not being able to with a frozen solid bladder.

If I'm going somewhere else to paddle, it's easier to put the ice tubes in the empty bladder and keep the water that I'm going to fill it with in a 32oz Nalgene water bottle. That keeps the ice tubes more intact being insulated in the sleeve I have. I can later fill the bladder with the water just before I need it.

#26 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 9:14pm

You know i used to giggle at the Tahitians Va'a hydration setup before i realized why they use those huge 5Lt insulated jugs behind the cockpit instead of camelbaks like we do. Drinking hot , unpalatable liquid from a poorly maintained camelbak with black mould inside the bladder ain't good for the guts i can tell you.

After persisting with the bladder for 2 days and drinking buggar all when i did the Murray RedX in 2008 in very hot weather, i finally bought a jug like the one pictured below and it was a life saver.

Sometimes the simple things are best.

Cheers Rambo

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#27 Thu, 01/01/2009 - 9:33pm

i put my bag on the bungee spot in front of me with the hose on the bottom of course so it keeps flowing properly. The hose runs between the peddles. I placed a piece of velcro on the canoe in between the footwells and another in the corresponding spot on the hose. The rest just sits in my lap. I grab it when im ready and when Im done I drop the hose and it falls back to the velcro. If I huli theres nothing to get tangled. I have a zephyr so this works well but may not make sense for all canoe layups.

Now I just have to figure out the right mix to put in the bag!

#28 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 12:06am

That's probably the safest way to rig a hydration system. Some of those "coat hanger round the neck" jobs that some paddlers wear make the Hangman's Noose look lame.


#29 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 12:25am

Im a novice paddler so the thought of having to mess with that is exactly why I tried that particular way of mounting my bag. That and I got heckled like crazy when I wore a bag on my back!

#30 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 1:02am

If Jr or Danny did that it would be seen as cool and everyone would follow, funny world isn't it?


#31 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 1:07am

Yes it is! But im just a small squirrel in a big squirrels world tryin to get a nut!

#32 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 1:11am

Good thing is , there's plenty of nuts in the world to go round, so go get yours jp.


#33 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 1:15am

I remember when those Camelbaks and other hydration bladders first came out and I was in 29 Palms California for Desert training. They weren't good for keeping water cool back then either. Went to the tried and proven insulated water jug with the swivel out spout. Throw in some ice and a Gatorade pack and it just keeps you going in the hot sun and dry heat.

I know what you mean about the neckstrap to hold the tube I mentioned. Best to attach it using the CamelClip or the Camelbak Tube Trap so that it can separate easily if you do huli. Nothing like wrestling with the strap around your neck and the hose getting in your way trying to right your canoe.

I keep only water in my bladders as drink mixes can mess up the bag and cleanup is easier. I just use a 1 litre Camelbak Better Bottle with the flip up mouthpiece for drink mixes if needed.

#34 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 2:38am

the 5Lt set-up is classic. ;Years ago in Kona crews would use gallon water bottles under the seat, also a classic hydration set-up.

#35 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 6:55am

Hey Rambo, a couple of questions here matey :-)

How is that 5 litre system set up. Is it just a hose through the pull out spout. Does it take much.... to get the liquid flowing?

And....I have heard a few people express a dislike for the coat hanger... well wire that used to be a coat hanger, mouth piece system.
When I was in Brissy,I tried the coat hanger jig and it was truly awesome.
I had access to my mouth piece, it was comfy and easy to get on and off in a hurry. It was the easist access I have ever had to my hydration pack with out fumbling or altering my stroke.
Maybe Tracey or Erica could make you,.... and Westy, up a jig.
The ones you have tried are not the real thing.

So...what is you access preference... to you mouth bit of your hydration system. What do you use?

#36 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 4:17pm

If you unscrew the platypus or camelbak hose from the bag (they have a threaded end with o ring) and drill a slightly smaller hole in the side of the jug near the bottom, it will screw in making a thread in the soft plastic as it goes. Very water tight. Fill with liquid of choice and ice and you hydrate Tahitian Style. Like i said in my PM, it's more suitable for longer races of 3+hrs when you taste buds start to become more sensitive to taste.

I like having mouth piece in my lap in case i huli.

If you wipeout in big stuff with that coat hanger around your neck you will know why i don't use them anymore.

Cheers Rambo

#37 Fri, 01/02/2009 - 5:00pm

Thanks for the tip on how to set up the 5 litre drink system....another gem cheers.
I see where you are coming from about the wipeout risk and take it on board.
Cheers again

#38 Sat, 01/03/2009 - 1:31am

Don't understand why folks wear their hydration clamped around their chest and shoulders. Your chest and shoulders have enough work to do without the extra weight of water (not to mention the chaffing). You might as well fasten your car's trunk to a wheel..

It seems to me the bladder should be fastened to the boat and the tube run from there to your mouth. The tube should be held in position around your neck by velcro, a breakaway clip, or both.

Under no circumstances should the loop round your neck be something that won't come apart easily.
"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm" - Syrus Publilius

#39 Sat, 01/03/2009 - 7:14am

There are enough little plastic water bottles floating around the waters of the world so don't use those....

An clean those bladders after every use. Even faster if you had a sport drink in em..

#40 Sat, 01/03/2009 - 7:12pm

I find the black stuff in the drink tube keeps me regular!@#$

#41 Sat, 01/03/2009 - 11:55pm

I need solid food during racing and the black stuff is a perfect alternative to have to stop for shot blocks when comes off the tube.

#42 Sun, 01/04/2009 - 7:41am

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