Hiking: How to clean and store a water pack

One thing that is really essential for me, when I go hiking, is my water pack. I only hiked without one right at the beginning, and I noticed it was too much of a hassle to take a bottle out of my bag, drink a sip, close the bottle again and then store the bottle safely away. It just took up too much time and I had to stop frequently.

So I changed to a water pack – and there are many different options out there. Mine is one with a slider on top, that’s the easiest way to open and close it. It is easy to drink during a hike, I can take a sip every now and then – and moreover, I can refill the water pack from the water tank in the office, so I don’t have to purchase a new bottle every time I hike.

Other hikers often ask me how to keep my water pack clean? It’s easy, just follow a few tips:
1) Only use it with pure water – don’t add any energy drinks, tablets or powders to your water. It will clog up the pipe and you’ll end up with a mouldy pack shortly
2) If you don’t use your water pack, empty it and store it in the freezer – this will kill off bacteria. Once you want to use it again, rinse it with fresh water
3) After every 4-5 times I’ve used it, I will treat it overnight. To do this, I’ll add two dental cleaning tabs and let them dissolve overnight and then let the solution drip through the pipe. After that, add fresh water, give it a good shake and rinse it, before using

I don’t have any special brushes to clean it – but so far I’ve not needed it. Just by being able to open the pack completely I can wash out the main body – and then I use the dental cleaning tabs to rinse through the pipe and mouth piece. This has worked well for me an my water pack has lasted two years without any problems!

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