Hydration Pack Bladders

I cannot get the inside of the bladder to dry out after cleaning it up from kayaking trips (this was my first one with it this last weekend). Does anyone have any suggestions?

camelbak drying rack
camelbak makes a nice drying hanger rack that fits inside the bladder. it’s a good idea. i went a long time without one and eventually had to get it. now my water tastes great every trip.


Don’t dry it
Just rinse the soap well, and fill the bladder with tap water and force the air out. Dump the water before your next trip and re-fill.


i’d think drying is better
leaving water in the bag is a way for potential bacteria and/or mold to grow.

I will
put a little bleach in the water container or hydration bag and then let it all syphon out. Store it that way then just rinse once or twice before using. I don’t know if it is the right waay or not but it works for me…

minimal regimen, maximal regemin

– Last Updated: May-25-04 12:11 PM EST –

minimal regimen, drain bag, fully rinse with white vinegar and water 50-50, dry. If I do this right weh I get back this saves me a lot of work and my water tastes good.

ON occasion I need to use the Maximal regimen:

rinse out bag with water then rinse with bleach solution (30 drops of bleach to a quart of water no need to fully fill at all just get th air out), let bleach stay on for an hour then then dry and store without rinsing. Rinse with hot water before using.

Night before paddling regimen ('cause i was too tired to properly take care of all of my gear last trip):

Bleach and hot water for a couple of hours, water rinse, baking soda in hot water overnight, water rinse, vinegar in the morning, water rinse.

I find that using bleach or bleach and baking soda leaves me with a film I can feel on the inside of the bag. So baking soda to neutralize the bleach, vinegar to neutralize the baking soda.

I do this with platypus bags which can be boiled if needed. (do not boil for a long time please!)

I often carry a large, filled hydration bladder in my day hatch, and often (like, usually) give water to slightly underprepared paddlers, and have occasionaly recieved compliments on its freshness.

I bent a
coat hanger then stuck it in the opening for the tube and let it hang to dry.

Adapt and Overcome

– Last Updated: May-25-04 12:32 PM EST –

Good move Northman.

I really don't know what kind I have but the mouth is about 4" wide so I can add ice. It makes it dry much faster.

To be honest I haven't ever taken it on the Kayak, but I am thinking of a way to connect it lately...The Shearwater does not have a good place to keep a bottle of water out of the way.

You can also…
push the hose up into the bladder after rinsing and shaking out excess water and hang to dry. This keeps the insides from touching and allows for better evaporation. Nothing to rig, nothing to buy. That and the water and vinegar rinse keeps my bladder happy. Hope that helps.


Yes, it does!
I ordered a “lash it” kit from oceanpaddlesports and plan to keep it right in front of me. It doesn’t interfere with the drain. I had been stashing it on the deck behind me, and that works, but I think I would prefer it in front. I had one on my shearwater when we were at Del Valle. I have a 3 liter un-bottle.

“lash it” link:


Don’t forget to clean and dry the hydration pack hose.

After washing the pack with soap and water and then forcing it through the hose and then doing the same with fresh water, I remove the hose(have a kokatat pak - not sure if all hoses come out)and then holding one end, I spin the hose and any water that is inside the hose goes out the free end. Do that again from the other end and then hang over a kitchen cabinet to dry.

Usually dry overnight as there is very little left after spinning it dry.


(ps make sure the cats have left the room when you spin)

“The bride” is the keeper of ours,
…so I asked her.

She rinses them out with antibacterial soap, rinses them out with clear water, then hangs them upside down with a closepin until they are dry.

She stuffs a paper towel or wooden spoon up into them to keep them from sticking together.

“Brides” are good!



Just add salt
(and refrigerated) to stop the growth if you store them full.

I dry mine though.

Coiled hose
Yup - I do that too sometimes. Take everything apart - rinse - drain - coil tube into bag - hang to dry.

I also have been leaving an extra hose inside while using it and it seems to keep things flowing as the bag gets emptier. Did this by accident the first time as I neglected to remove it before filling. Didn’t notice until clean up.

Paper towels
and wooden spoons! Done both!

Never have needed soap though. What the heck are you people drinking? Gravy? A quick rinse and dry seems to do the trick for me.

Could be because I only use Gatorade/Water? Even forgotten the pack for a couple days and it rinsed out fine (once for a week - but grew stuff that time - the Camelbak cleaning brushes are very hand then!).

I may pick up the drying rack eventually - but anything works.

I use bladders a lot
and have several sizes.

My drying rack consists of a coffee mug tree and an assortment of PVC pipe cut to length.

Works great and the bags are usually dry in 24 hours.



rinse and freeze
i rinse it out well and throw it in the freezer.

I empty mine and rinse it, then I
put it in my freezer till the next time I need it.

for all the replies. I really like the home made ideas and will try one of those.

tried them all
but the camelbak hanger is the best. been using a M.U.L.E for 4 or 5 years on my bike. I eventually just bought the hanger.

-coat hangers rust and can poke holes in your bladder (been there, done that)

-wooden spoons never completely dry out, allowing gunk to grow on them.

-freezing just prolongs the inevitable.

buy the hanger.