Quick and (not so) dirty tricks to care for your hydration bladder
Love them, or hate them, most of us will agree that keeping hydrated while hiking is a lot easier when we use them – the hydration bladder.
I’ll admit, it can take a bit to get used to using them (not all mouthpieces are created equal), but I reckon once you give it a go you may just love it. Never again will you need to stop, take your backpack off, unzip it, take out your water bottle, drink, put your water bottle back in your bag, zip it up and put back on your back. Simply sip as you walk!
Here’s my tips for keeping your hydration bladder* clean and fresh:
- As soon as you can after using it, empty out any leftover water. This includes any water in the hose (you might need to use the mouthpiece to get this out).
- Dry the bladder out. Mine has a big opening that fits over a section of my dish drainer, so I spread it out and let it dry. Another way to do it is to hang it upside down on the clothesline (just make sure its open as far as it can be – I’ve used a peg sideways in there to do that).
- Put some mouthwash in there (about ¼ or ½ a cup should be enough), close up the bladder, and swish it around. Use the mouthpiece to draw some up into the hose. Empty mouthwash out and rinse with clean water. Empty all water out and dry the bladder. This will refresh the bladder (with the added bonus of fresh breath next time you hike J ).
- Freeze it. To kill off any bacteria, put the bladder in the freezer. Once you take it out, make sure you dry it out before putting it away.
How often you do steps 3 and 4 will depend on how often you use the water bladder for hiking. You can also do both of these things if it’s been stored away for a while (before you use it again).
That’s it – that’s what I do to keep my water bladder fresh and germ free. Do you have any other tips to add?
*I purchased my Hydration Bladder from Kathmandu. I love it because of the nice big opening – which makes it super easy to clean and dry it out after using it.
Bio: Sam is a daydreamer, storyteller, and hiker. She loves getting outside, and you’ll often find her on the bushwalking trails close to her hometown of Geelong. You can follow along with her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. If you have any questions that she can help with, or would like to chat about possible sponsored opportunities, advertising, or affiliations (that will benefit her audience) please drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.