I have received a camelbak water system for xmas as I have my first marathon looming this year.  It is the sort where the water pouch fits in the small of your back much like a bum bag.

I'm finding it a great piece of kit but the only problem I'm having (and reason I haven't got one in the past) is drying out the water bag when not in use.

I'm using a airbed inflator compressor to blow dry out the water pipe which works well but have yet to find a effective solution to drying the water pouch which lays flat when not in use & therefor doesn't get air circulation to dry out.

Any advice greatly appreciated!!image



  • Put it in the freezer.
  • Wont it damage the waterbag or are they designed for this?
  • I have one, and i have to use a dry cloth and a coat hanger to clean out the main pouch. The tube is difficult. I just try and suck as much water out. I let it aerobic dry by putting it on the radiator, or in the airing cupboard. I dont think there is much chance of catching some bug that will make you feel ill from not having a dry pack. I sometimes run the kettle through it the day before to be safe, but i have used one for two years and been fine.

    I like my camelbak, it is just easier to use sometimes then reaching out for the cups. It is lightweight as well, and you dont notice it on your back. I am saving it more for the summer months though when it is invaluable on long runs.

    Good luck with it.

  • I love my rucksack type camelback but don't know if I like the idea of a fanny bag style. I just wash mine and squeeze as much water out as possible and leave it somewhere airy to dry. 12 months on and not dead yet
  • I have a 12 year old backpack camelpak (it was one my husband had when he was a stoodent). I rinse it through and then put it in the freezer for a couple of days.
    Whereas my runners bottle didn't like being forgotten for a week and grew a new lifeform...
  • I rinse mine through and keep it in the freezer, I hope it will be ok when i get it out, it was last time but it 's been in there since August now!!! image

  • I always hang my bladders in the airing cupboard to dry - loop the tube over one of the slats and slip it into the open bladder mouth - that helps keep it open enough to dry out. in fact they stay in there till I need to use them again and the heat doesn't affect the plastic - some of my bladders are well over 10 years old now and are still fine
  • Thanks for all the advice!!  The airing cupboard idea would be good if I had one! Might try freezer or failing that a good tip on youtube suggests a dry cloth or kitchen roll held in kitchen tongs to wipe dry the inside of the water bladder.

    PS: early signs for the "bumbag" style of camelbak that I have are very good.  I can see myself getting many years of use from this prezzie. Pity all xmas presents weren't this usefulimage 

  • PJ - I think if you hang it up anywhere on a coat hanger it will dry well over a day or so. to me, the freezer is for food not C'bak bladders!!!

    a tip - wash the bladder out well after every use as that helps keeps the bugs and moulds away from the inside especially if you've been using some sort of fuel in the bladder. I sterilise the bladder every so often by filling it with water and dropping a Milton tablet in (these are used for sterilising baby bottles - you can get them or own branded ones in Boots etc) and leaving it in for 24hrs. flush out and then dry. that way I've never had any problems with contamination.
  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    I  use mine for either climbing, long days in the hills, or long runs and it usually gets bunged in the understairs cupboard with whatever is left in till the next time I need it.

    When I get it out I tip out what's in it and re-fill it. Mrs C sometimes shivers at the site of it and if the tube is looking too black insists on either the Kettle method if I want to use it immediately, or the Milton fluid solution if I want to use it the next day.

    Been using it that way for 10 years or so, meaning I have either very good luck, the constitution of an Ox, or there's no issue.

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • Cringes at the thought of chimneys camelbak :0
  • Mine's been ok with a bit of freezer treatment - just shake most of the water out of the bag and tube so it defrosts quicker when you get it out.
  • freezer


  • Stuck it above the wood burning stove (not on it!!) last night with water pipe holding the bag open & that seems to have done the trick. Don't think I will be lighting the woodburner in the summer for this though so washing line I think.

    Not sure about freezer but may well try later!

    Thanks for advice everyoneimage 

  • I empty it as much as possible, then hang up with something  ( a loo roll) sittting in the refill port to keep the 2 sides of the bladder apart. I avoid putting sugary fluids in it , as I think that would be dificult to clean.
  • sugary fluids are easy to clean out - just rinse with plenty of water
  • + 1 for sterilising tabs.  One, or a half of one, every so often and leave for a while, should kill anything that lingers, although dont leave in it for too long as it can take a while to get rid of the taste if you do.  Plenty of own brand ones available eg Tesco etc.  To dry it out I normally empty as much as possible, then wipe inside with a bit of kitchen roll and then place two egg cups inside to hold it open.
  • I recommend that you just simply buy a small industrial Autoclave unit, this would not take up much space, possibly about the same as a large washing machine, it should not cost you any more than £20,000 and you would have a run-ready water pouch at the touch of a button
  • Just wipe my bladder clean with a sheet of kitchen roll and then leave it to air dry with an empty kitchen roll tube stuffed inside to hold it open. Seems to do the trick, though I have only had water in it so far.
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