Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why Camelback, why?

I know it's hard to imagine, but I have a new nemesis.
This little gem pictured above is called a Camelback water system. Notice how it bears the name of the mountain I so fear and try to avoid.
Coincidence, I think not.
First to be fair, I must give the Camelback its due props.
It's pretty nice to have gallons of water strapped to your back while you're hiking. It frees up your hands and allows you to carry way more water than a bottle holds. Plus, the hose, just inches away from my mouth at all times, is pretty solid too. It makes slurping down water when I really need it a convenient, mindless endeavor.
So what's the problem you ask? Well, the issue actually has nothing to do with the functionality of the Camelback whatsoever.
The problem begins after I'm off the mountain, back at home. It starts as I'm trying to figure out how to get the leftover water out of this plastic bag and its tube into the sink.
The water is never fully gone. It is always stuck somewhere in there. There are drops that are humanly impossible to get to no matter how hard you shake the thing.
Trust me, I’ve tried everything.
I'm worried. Water stuck inside a plastic device can’t be good. Ewe gross, what if it gets moldy? What about the shot of old, warm water that goes into my mouth when I refill it for the trails?
So I did what any normal person with a problem nowadays does - I Googled "how to clean water completely out of a Camelback."
And get this...lots of people have this problem. In fact, there are message boards devoted to this issue where people discuss methods.
Apparently you can buy specific tools, a small nylon brush to be exact, to clean your water system. What? I'm sorry, are you kidding me? This thing already knocks you back $30 and all it does is carry water.
I'm not spending one more penny.
The next options include filling the system with hot water and bleach (um, no way.) Or how about using a spare acoustic guitar string twisted with cotton? (this is getting way complicated)
Phil aka Fisherman from one particular message board says, "I make sure I fill the bladder and hose with a water and 2-3 tbsp of baking soda immediately after returning from my run. This has worked for as long as I have had it. I've also attached a straightened paperclip to a long piece of fishing line, ran it through the tube, and attached a small piece of cotton ball to the other end then pulled the cotton through."
OMG! Honestly, I'm speechless. I think I'm just going to fill my backpack with water bottles if this continues.
This is just too much drama over water.

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