|2 litre Geigerrig hydration system – having a wee rest in the Lake District.|
A couple of months back I was invited to participate in a blogger’s hydration summit organised by Trail Sherpa. The event has just kicked off now and it’s all about engaging with outdoorsy folk concerning the subject of hydration when out on the hills.
You’ll find a few bloggers from all corners of the globe on there discussing the subject of water and outdoor activities – so feel free to muck in the debate; Hydration Summit
My contribution will be up on the site in a couple of weeks. I’ve had to delay my wee effort concerning cleaning hydration packs and such like due to work commitments (which entails me being away from my desk a great deal). However, in the meantime I’ve been testing out a relatively new award-winning hydration system from Geigerrig
So far, I’ve enjoyed using it but I do have one gripe regarding the kit. I’m not sure if any of the other bloggers have on the Hydration Summit but I’ll talk more about that in a moment.
Otherwise, what makes the Geigerrig system unique is it’s in-built pump. You’ll find a bloody bomber bladder (I’ve even stabbed rocks into it deliberately and it doesn’t puncture. I’ll be uploading a video of that soon) and two of your usual tubes snaking out but at opposite ends to each other.
One is obviously for drinking out of and the other features a small balloon for a hand pump. Give it a good squeeze a few times and what you’ll find is water then sprays out of your drinking nozzle! Works a treat too. No more sucking.*
The spray action even works when you use the Geigerrig in-line filter to clean out nasties and such like. Overall it’s a pretty impressive bit of kit.
Even so, I’m reserving judgement for a while longer yet. There’s some other aspects to the system I’d like to look into and push more when out on the hills before giving this product a personal thumbs up being the ever cautious man I am. I’m particularly keen to see how the filter compares to DrinkSafe Systems, for example. The Geigerrig equipment will work with third party filters you see (fair play to them). I’m not just talking about flow rates but also effectiveness when it comes to removing harmful bugs and chemicals.
The bladder is one of those slip and lock open top designs. Easy to fill and a breeze to turn inside out and clean or dry. So far, no leaks on that front. However, one issue I have is the taste of water when you drink immediately from the bladder (ie, with no in-line filter). It has that sterile ‘chlorine’ taste I often find with Camelbaks. It annoys me no end. I’ll be marching along on the hill and gasping for a drink, grasp the tube and being to gulp when I’ll suddenly pull a face cause it tastes like I’m supping straight from a swimming pool!
Saying that, Bob at Geigerrig assures me this is a one-off and most people don’t encounter my wee gripe. He recommends I turn the bladder inside out and shove it in a dishwasher (which you can incidentally with this system) along with a few drops of lemon juice. Otherwise, he’ll happily replace it! Good on him. I’ll give it a go first and see what happens.
I have to admit, I’ve never come across this taste issue with Platypus bladders or Source – ever. The ole Platys are my favourites namely because they have no taste and they can hold boiling water too (handy for winter hot water bottle). The Source bottles are good too but their caps warp and leak if you don’t take care. More so if you pour hot water into them even if they claim you can do so with no consequent problems. Alas, this is just my thoughts and experiences.
Anyway, do check out the Hydration Summit and see what’s happening. For those who are new to outdoor activities it’ll certainly be informative and enlightening. As for the veterans amongst you, well it may make for good debate. I’ve seen enough arguments here in the UK concerning drinking straight from streams and it’s merits to those who prefer to boil or filter and so on.
*Yeah, yeah! Squeezing and sucking – it doesn’t sound like I’m talking about a hydration system does it.