Camelbak versus Water Canteen

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helion83
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Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by helion83 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:03 pm

Hi all, 1st time Burner here and trying to prepare best I can. A friend and I have been having a discussion about is it best to take a Camelbak or a water canteen on the Playa while we're out there.

We're both pasty white Brits and I'm a ginger so water is going to a constant requirement hence needing something a larger volume than most water bottles. Suggestions of what we are thinking are below:

- Camelbak -Image
- Water Canteen - Image

I am advocating the canteen as I want something easily portable and easily available, also concerned over sweat and dust being caught under the bag while on the Playa. That dust sounds nasty. However, the Camelbak does carry more and can have those electrolyte pills easily added so we're kinda at a impasse as we lack knowledge on the issue. Any help would be gratefully received or if there are any other suggestions that'd be awesome also.

We're all looking forward to going however feeling somewhat intimidated by it all if I'm honest. Thanks for any feedback all.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Madgirl » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:14 pm

I personally prefer the camelbak because I like to be able to carry other things (dust mask, goggles, pen and notepad, cup, snacks, etc.), especially when I go out exploring and don't know how long I'll be away from my camp. It's SUPER dry out there so you probably won't notice yourself sweating much...it's never bothered me, anyway. I wouldn't bother spending a ton of money on a really nice camelbak - I have a knockoff version that I got at Walmart for way cheaper and it's served me well for 4 burns now.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by trilobyte » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:19 pm

There's no wrong answer, it depends on personal choice and convenience. It probably depends on how far away from your camp you want to go. A canteen would need to be refilled several times throughout the day or night.

It's a high altitude desert, you'll sweat less than you think, plus camelbaks do a good job of wicking away moisture (they're designed for people who'd normally be working up quite a sweat hiking or running or whatever). They're quite popular on the playa (and have been for years) because they generally work well. I think of them as modern generation of hydration tech, whereas canteen is an earlier generation. As long as you have water with you, you're doing it right.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by helion83 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:22 pm

Madgirl wrote:I personally prefer the camelbak because I like to be able to carry other things (dust mask, goggles, pen and notepad, cup, snacks, etc.), especially when I go out exploring and don't know how long I'll be away from my camp. It's SUPER dry out there so you probably won't notice yourself sweating much...it's never bothered me, anyway. I wouldn't bother spending a ton of money on a really nice camelbak - I have a knockoff version that I got at Walmart for way cheaper and it's served me well for 4 burns now.
Thanks for the reply, we're probably going to go to a sports store and get a knock-off there as well or purchase one when we get to America.

I agree that the carrying capacity of the camelbak is great, however you say that sweat isn't much of a problem? What about dust accumulating underneath the straps and such? How do you find maintenance or refilling them while out there?
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by helion83 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:24 pm

trilobyte wrote:There's no wrong answer, it depends on personal choice and convenience. It probably depends on how far away from your camp you want to go. A canteen would need to be refilled several times throughout the day or night.

It's a high altitude desert, you'll sweat less than you think, plus camelbaks do a good job of wicking away moisture (they're designed for people who'd normally be working up quite a sweat hiking or running or whatever). They're quite popular on the playa (and have been for years) because they generally work well. I think of them as modern generation of hydration tech, whereas canteen is an earlier generation. As long as you have water with you, you're doing it right.
Ah that's great news to hear. We've seen people wear them on the Youtube videos so figured they would be useful.

Water is a definite essential, we're both white as sheets so will make an extra effort to hydrate while out and about.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Madgirl » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:38 pm

helion83 wrote: Thanks for the reply, we're probably going to go to a sports store and get a knock-off there as well or purchase one when we get to America.

I agree that the carrying capacity of the camelbak is great, however you say that sweat isn't much of a problem? What about dust accumulating underneath the straps and such? How do you find maintenance or refilling them while out there?
I've never had a problem with dust accumulation...the one I have has mesh shoulder straps so they breathe pretty well. I usually refill mine a couple of times a day, depending on how much walking around I'm doing, but I tend to be back and forth from my camp a lot so I try to just make sure to fill it up every time I'm there. If you get one with a nice wide opening you can fill it with ice first, then water...keeps your water nice and cold for a long time.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by playaSilk » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:06 pm

I carry both and then some... I have a 3L camelbak for my H2O needs, a vacuum-walled thermos flask so that my cold water lasts longer when I'm out adventuring, and a mug that clips onto a carabiner that I use when I'm bouncing between camps that serve drinks. I don't think I could survive without all three. High maintenance much? I don't think so :P

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Thecatman » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:12 pm

Just my two cents, I prefer the camelback. It can hold more water. Either way you'll probably have to carry an extra gallon with you. I've gone out on my bike and in a few hours find myself going back to my camp to refill it. So I learned that quick.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:53 pm

I don't like Camelbacks. Partly it's a thing about plastic. It's not an anti BPA thing, but something that goes back to my childhood and flavors in my mother's tupperwear that were older than I am. You can carry multiple water bottles if you want. One can be water and the other can have electrolites. One can be mostly ice. Whatever. and you can put them in a backpack.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by rmc50 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:02 pm

I am a big fan of hydration packs, and think highly of the Camebak brand although I also own knock offs

The pack is useful for carrying other objects. Mine is packed with a photo copy of my drive's license and other important papers (insurance, emergency contact, etc). It also has lip balm and sunscreen loaded into it. It carries my ever present cup, a spare pair of goggles and a dust mask.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Jovankat » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:25 am

helion83 wrote:
Madgirl wrote:I personally prefer the camelbak because I like to be able to carry other things (dust mask, goggles, pen and notepad, cup, snacks, etc.), especially when I go out exploring and don't know how long I'll be away from my camp. It's SUPER dry out there so you probably won't notice yourself sweating much...it's never bothered me, anyway. I wouldn't bother spending a ton of money on a really nice camelbak - I have a knockoff version that I got at Walmart for way cheaper and it's served me well for 4 burns now.
Thanks for the reply, we're probably going to go to a sports store and get a knock-off there as well or purchase one when we get to America.

I agree that the carrying capacity of the camelbak is great, however you say that sweat isn't much of a problem? What about dust accumulating underneath the straps and such? How do you find maintenance or refilling them while out there?
I got a knock off last year and had to suck REALLY hard to get any liquid out of it. Late in the week I drank out of my boyfreind's real camelbak and my reaction was literally like "OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS MAGIC?!?!" So try it beforehand, it should be pretty effortless to drink out of. If it's not try getting just an official Canemlbak bite valve.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by C187 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:20 am

I think it depends on the knock off. I've been using nothing but knock off bladders for years with out any issue.

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Edit for OP.
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I do both types. The bladder when I know I'm going to be gone for long, and far away with out the chance of a refill. The bottle when I'm close or I know I can refill it. You don't have to keep your bladder in the backpack thing it came with. For instance I keep a bladder in my messenger bag. Just whip out the hose when I need it.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Jovankat » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:55 am

Well yeah, clearly, since we've had different experiences. My point was more; if you buy a knock off and it's disapointing try just upgrading the bite valve, that may make all the differnce.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Stickygreen » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:28 pm

i bring both.

the canteen is attached to a shoulder length strap to put around my chest, or waist. very minimal, and light weight.

The camel back is loaded with all the goodies needed for a prolonged adventure. It can get heavy, and cumbersome. Plus it's always in my mind to not forget it.

So basically if i'm going away from camp for an afternoon, or less than a full day i just bring the canteen. I usually clip a cup to the strap, and some chapstick in a little pocket on my canteen holder Thats pretty much all i need for less than a day of survival. The Camel Back is used for all day/nigh adventures, or full day journeys to deep playa, sometimes i'll even pack spare clothes in the pack and overnight at friends camps.

it's nice to have choice....
)'(

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by trilobyte » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:42 pm

I'll chime in again with some additional info. In the spirit of disclosure, these days I do neither. Well, I bring and occasionally have a canteen on my podbelt, but not all that often. I've got a trike with a big basket, and generally have a gallon jug of water with me. I also have a smaller liter-sized container with a screw-top lid that I'll pour water into, then pop that onto my podbelt if I'm going dancing (I can always come back out to my bike to refill).

I bring the canteen with me, but the width it takes up on my belt is usually more than I want to deal with.

I've had a camelbak in the past, it worked great. I had a lot of fun painting and decorating it to make it more unique, but that also served to make it more desirable... it got swiped from an off-playa event a few years back. Then I had the trike, and went a different direction.

In my first year I was dead broke, and even a small camelbak seemed too rich for my blood. The local camping supply joint carried bladders and drinking tubes from a company called Platypus and I just used that with an existing backpack, DIY style. It worked out great and fit my budget, but in the end the traditional backpack was just way too bulky.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Thecatman » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:01 pm

Take these suggestions and find what works for you.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by helion83 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:09 pm

Thecatman wrote:Take these suggestions and find what works for you.
After reading all this will probably go with the Camelbak as it seems a good choice, most of my queries have been answered so thank you for your responses! Have brought my "What's-that", so if you see this guy on a Camelbak say hello :)

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Thecatman » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:00 pm

Will do!
Are going to be gifting some of them :wink:
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by helion83 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:02 pm

Thecatman wrote:Will do!
Are going to be gifting some of them :wink:
Afraid not this time :( Grr will be my "mascot" while out on the Playa. It's not easy for me to meet new people so having something like this... It's a good conversation starter :)
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Eric » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:08 pm

Personally, I loath the taste from camelbacks, and my sensitive skin chafes under the straps (not to mention that every outfit becomes "outfit PLUS mismatched backback"). I bring 2 - 1 liter steel water bottles, one attached to each side of my pod-belt (once you get the rhythm down it's super easy to walk with them). I carry a smaller steel bottle as my drinking cup. I don't use the "sports lid" on them, I make myself take the cap off so I drink large amounts.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Jovankat » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:18 am

trilobyte wrote:In my first year I was dead broke, and even a small camelbak seemed too rich for my blood. The local camping supply joint carried bladders and drinking tubes from a company called Platypus and I just used that with an existing backpack, DIY style. It worked out great and fit my budget, but in the end the traditional backpack was just way too bulky.
Actually this is closer to what I did last year, I had a cheap knock off camelbak from eBay and I just took the bladder out of it and put it in the laptop sleeve of a backpack. That worked great. The only thing was the rest of the backpack was just one big space, not little pockets, so finding things was difficult.

So if you're getting a Camelbak consider what other things you might want to hold, either in pockets or clipped to straps. I found one for this year with a bit of storage and it's all black so it should go with most of my outfits or at least not stick out too horribly (there's a fluro yellow version of the pack that I considered cause that's a cool colour but it would totally stand out like dogs balls)

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by SquirrelHead » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:43 pm

Personally, I love my camelback. I use the bag to help carry all of the things I need. As a fellow ginger, having 3 liters of water with me is a life saver at times. Some days the playa takes you to places you weren't expecting and you aren't home for 12+ hours. At night I use two bladders in the bag so I can carry water and a booze punch. The water hose is on my left shoulder and the punch hose is on my right shoulder. 8) It's also nice to have a bit more than you might need in case your friends need hydration.

With all of that being said, don't forget to have a cup with you at all times in case someone is nice enough to offer you delicious libations.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Nipple » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:05 pm

Since everyone is giving reasonable advice that simultaneously falls on either side of Canteen/Camelbak, I'm going to take a hard stance.

You need to buy two camelbaks and have them with you at ALL times. You should probably have one with you RIGHT NOW.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Fan C » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:17 pm

Nipple wrote:Since everyone is giving reasonable advice that simultaneously falls on either side of Canteen/Camelbak, I'm going to take a hard stance.

You need to buy two camelbaks and have them with you at ALL times. You should probably have one with you RIGHT NOW.
I just looked around and realized I have two 20 oz h2o bottles on the desk, a camelback right behind me (3/4 full), and a backpack with 4quarts in canteens across the room. Is that enough water for eplaya?

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by andy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:24 pm

Another advantage of the Camelback - you can put some ice cubes in there when you fill up. Doesn't last all day but the water is nice and cold for a while. Also, the posts about carrying your ID, goggles, etc are spot on. You need goggles, a dust mask, lip balm, and ID, a cup for being offered drinks, your flashlight or light, and a few energy bars is always a good idea. The Camelback makes that much easier. IMHO the canteen is simply not enough water - the temple for instance is a mile round-trip through the desert. You could get there and suddenly you realize how thirsty you are (which is a mistake on it's own) and your 1L canteen is 1/3 full --- oops -- and it's another mile back to your camp. And man, it's hot today.

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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Thecatman » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:47 pm

Nipple wrote:You need to buy two camelbaks and have them with you at ALL times.
One for water and the other for your "beverage of choice"?
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by BBadger » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:41 am

I used to use my camel back all the time, but I kind of got sick of having the thing on my back all the time. Though I don't mind the flavor of the water from a Camelbak I rarely drank much of it while out there, preferring to bring something tastier to drink. Carrying a water bottle is a pain too, especially when you're going for longer distances.

What I'd suggest is that if you've got a bike, you should attach a basket to it to carry your drinks. Then you can have your drinks (or even a cooler) and not have to lug it around except close to where your destination is.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by Savannah » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:49 am

Eric wrote:Personally, I loath the taste from camelbacks, and my sensitive skin chafes under the straps (not to mention that every outfit becomes "outfit PLUS mismatched backback"). I bring 2 - 1 liter steel water bottles, one attached to each side of my pod-belt (once you get the rhythm down it's super easy to walk with them). I carry a smaller steel bottle as my drinking cup. I don't use the "sports lid" on them, I make myself take the cap off so I drink large amounts.
Same here. I'm for canteens all the way. I stuff them in whatever bag I'm fondest of.
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by DoctorIknow » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:18 am

I have two choices for stepping or biking out on the playa.
Both containers have a strap and can be loaded with ice.
They both have a very wide, very easy to operate, easy to clean cap/spout.
I also always add EmergenC, why not???" It makes me drink more water.
(BTW: don't take any EmergenC flavors out to BM that you are not familiar with....some you might find disgusting. I've found 2 boxes of the SuperOrange palatable throughout the week.)

For walking, I use the 1/2 gallon "Arctic" in the first pic.
For biking, I use the gallon "Columbia" and put it in the bike basket.
water jug.JPG
water jug 1 gal.JPG
Both available on amazon.com
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Re: Camelbak versus Water Canteen

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:06 am

I love my hydration pack. Having water when you need it not having to dig through a bag for a bottle is nice.

As far as particular brands of bladders go I highly recommend MSR bladders. They don't leak, they have the best anti-microbial properties I've found so far and the valves are better than camelbak IMO.

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