Today marks the beginning of Week 2 of the Hydration Summit, a huge collaboration of 16 outdoor adventure writers discussing everything you ever wanted to know about hydration. For those of you who have not visited the site yet, I thought I’d do a breakdown of some of the highlights of Week 1.
My first article hit the night before the summit went live because I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t schedule my publish date properly. I crafted a full product comparison of the 4 top hydration reservoirs competing in the hydration system market today. I focused on presenting the CamelBak Antidote, the GEIGERRIG, the Osprey/Nalgene Hydraform Reservoir and the Platypus Big Zip. Each had their unique advantages. Go check it out and let me know which reservoir design you prefer.
Paul posted his article comparing the nozzle designs of each system as well. His review systematically focused on the Pros and Cons of each nozzle (bite valve) and illustrated the differences. He also got feedback from other users so his article didn’t just present his opinion. He compared the CamelBak, Osprey, GEIGERRIG, Outdoor Products, High Sierra and Platypus.
Katie presented a fascinating, and somewhat disturbing (Blowback!) article about techniques for creating water pressure in your hydration system in order to spray water from the bite valve. She presented multiple techniques (some of which I have tried myself) but ultimately focused on the one true “pressurized system”, GEIGERRIG. There are times when having the ability to spray water through your hydration tube is a very handy ability.
Hendrik gave us a nice little comparison review of 4 different hydration backpacks. Not all packs are created equal and many are designed for specific activities, making them less versatile and more specialized. Hendrik compared the Osprey Raptor 18, GEIGERRIG 1200, the GoRuck GR1 and the LAUFBURSCHE huckePACK and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of all of them.
Phil published an informative article explaining the dangers of cross-contamination when refilling your hydration system and how to avoid it. He shows us the most common points of cross contamination are:
- Dirty hands – Putting “dirty” hands in your mouth or eyes
- Dirty nozzle – Contaminating your hydration system hose nozzle
- Dirty reservoir – Putting “dirty” water into a clean hydration reservoir
- Dirty hose – Touching a clean hose with a “dirty” one
Whitney‘s fantastic and informative article about hydrating in the backcountry gave us an introduction to what the potential threats are in backcountry water sources. She then follows up with explaining proper treatment techniques to avoid drinking contaminated water and becoming ill. She offers some great tips for being safe with your drinking water.
Jessica had an opportunity to interview virologist J. David Beckham, MD, Assistant Professor in the Infectious Diseases Division at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine about hydration issues during outdoor activities. Her interview digs deeper in to the problems of contamination in backcountry water sources and the dangers of drinking untreated water. At one point she asks Dr. Beckham, “Are you confident relying on an inline filtration system, being able to fill your pack from a stream and have it filter thru the line and be immediately potable? Why or why not?” That is an important question and you should check out his answer.
We also had some great additions to “Stories from the Trail” where you guys get to tell us your real life hydration stories.
I kicked off Week 2 this morning with my newest article about how to deal with illness and dehydration in the backcountry. The danger of having to deal with the problems associated with drinking contaminated water are low on smaller trips. Most of the time, you will be back home and near medical help when you start to feel sick. But on longer trips into the wilderness, it is entirely likely that you’ll have to deal with a serious bout of illness and dehydration is the most dangerous challenge you’ll face. I discuss ways to deal with it.
Look for Ryan‘s article later this week about hydration supplements!