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How do you carry water?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by martysgone, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. martysgone

    martysgone Adventurer

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    So how does everybody carry water and how much do you take?

    On a 3+ day unsupported ride I have been struggling to come up with a great way to carry enough water. Currently I have been using 4- 1/2 gallon nalgene bottles stored in my dirt bagz like these:
    https://www.rei.com/product/402058/nalgene-space-saver-bottle-64-fl-oz
    I like them because they are easy to use and rectangular for packing, but it leaves a real plastic taste after sitting in the heat. I also carry them in dirt bagz with all my other gear hanging off of a notoriously week XR650R subframe. I feel like it's a matter of time before the extra weight will break the subframe and it puts a lot of stress on the cloth bags.

    Options for better subframes have seemed to have diminished for the XRR, so I am looking at welding up something new and would like to incorporate a better water solution. Wanted to hear what everyone else is doing.
    #1
  2. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Why not carry a water filter and one maybe two bottles at that point?
    #2
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  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Because out west we don't have nearly as many running streams, ponds, or lakes as you guys do east of the great plains.

    While not as environmentally friendly as other options, I use individual store bought water bottles like Aquafina. The big advantage is that you can spread them out in different places in your panniers. The big disadvantage is the empty bottles.
    #3
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  4. SFC_Ren

    SFC_Ren Been here awhile

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    * oops, I was typing while the other replies came out. Lol*
    Do you not have water sources that drinking water can be filtered from? Maybe I'm lucky here in the PNW that the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington as well as even the drier areas often have water sources. I carry an MSR Sweetwater filter pump https://www.msrgear.com/sweetwater-microfilter , there are smaller ones available these days as well. I use a 3 liter camelback and I also carry two empty 2 liter MSR dromedary bags that if I need to fill I can attach to the outside of my bike luggage. I normally try to camp near a water source. I do not travel with the dromedary bags full they pack really small when empty. If I know that I won't be camping near water or am in an area that has sparse water sources I'll fill the two dromedary bags as needed. I started back in the day with the 3 liter Camelback and 1 gallon rotopax water container on the back of my CRF250L, but I almost never used the rotopax even on multiday trips because I was able to find water sources to fill the camelback from whenever needed and kept it relatively full so when I got to a place to camp I had cooking and hygiene water.

    #4
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  5. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Gotcha

    Looking on my phone it doesn’t show the location of the original poster
    #5
  6. Boricua

    Boricua Long timer

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    I ride a lot in the Colorado plateau where natural sources of water a few and far between. I use a water keg from seattle sports. 10 L capacity and collapses to nothing while empty. It has a convenient spout. However, its meant to stay upright. I use it primarily in my base camp. There's no way around the weight. At 8# per gallon you will always be lugging around a lot of weight with you. However, where there's gas, there's water and usually food. Unless you are setting a base camp where you will stay a few days you only need to carry enough water until your next fuel stop. When I set a base camp I try to do it within a resonable distance of a water source. I do a water run after I set up camp. Since I'm already unloaded I carry as much as I can put in the bike. I fill my 8L keg my two 2L nalgene bottles, the 5 Gal solar shower bag, and four 1L collapsible canteens I got at walmart. These last ones are super convenient. The weight nothing and collapse when empty. They have a pull out spout that let me put water where I need to without waste. That's about 10 Gal. Enough for a few days. Since I refill the smaller bottles and carriers every time I have a chance Ieven have enough water to shower. One thing I ride a big bike. So weight is not a problem. I just strap eveything to the pillion seat. I can carry up to 200# there.


    I've been considering a 10 L dromedary bag from msr. Just becuase it is easier to strap to the back seat. They are not cheap though.
    #6
  7. martysgone

    martysgone Adventurer

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    Yeah, I live in SLC and most of my forays are out in the West Desert in Utah and Nevada. I have a great platypus gravity filter that I use on other adventures, but the rare water I have found in the West Desert often has a sulfur smell. I have been told by locals that drinking it will surely result in an increase need to pack toilet paper.

    I have considered incorporating a rotopax, but it almost seems less convenient than smaller containers that could be easily filled in gas station sinks. Maybe I just need to find a better alternative to the nalgenes I have that leave a poor taste behind.
    #7
  8. a2ronm

    a2ronm Ti-6Al-4V

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    Camel Back and an MSR Dromedary Bag (or 2) should set you up between fuel stops. Wear the Camel Back and strap/lash/tiedown the filled Dromedary(s) to your bike.-they roll up when empty.
    #8
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  9. martysgone

    martysgone Adventurer

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    I really like the MSR dromedary bags with there pack cloth covering but the price is a bit steep. My goal is to carry about 2 gallons. I rarely need quite that much, but like the safety of having it. I put a rock through the bottom of the case of my old XR and it was a day hike out before someone finally saw me. Being thirsty was my biggest concern. Maybe I just needed to skin a rattlesnake and drink my own piss like Bear Grylls did. Not sure if he really would have done that without an audience, however. And, to me, anything that color should have hops and barley.

    Some of the collapsible containers seem like a good choice like this one:
    https://www.amazon.com/Nalgene-96-O...&qid=1549824919&sr=1-8&keywords=dromedary+bag

    I worry that they will eventually spring a leak and soak my gear. I had a really old one that started leaking where it got folded on a backpacking trip. I have been leary of them since. Maybe it's not a concern if I am regularly inspecting them.
    #9
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  10. Reno9108

    Reno9108 '02 1150 GSA

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    Yes, MSR dromedary bags. I have done parts of most of the BDR's and the 6 liter bag will get me into the 3rd day for everything I do including a small wash in the morning. Very tough, abuse resistant, foldable, fit anywhere, fillable anywhere (including the sketchy bathroom sink), wide mouth for adding ice in warm temps easy clean and dry when done with the trip. There is a noticeable taste at the end of the 2 days but you know the water is clean, but "we all gotta die sometime Red".

    Purchased 2 6L bags in early 2014 and that equal about 40,000 miles on the moto and 2 weeks of great Alaskan rivers.
    #10
  11. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    I live in the SW as well....understand the water issue for multi day camp trips.

    Here is my solution and reasons.

    1 ) when going out for a overnight unsupported camp ride, you need to carry approximately 2 gallons or about 6 liters of water per/person/night.

    2) Use high quality light water bladders is way better than bottles ! ! ...bladders are very small and compact when empty and MUCH lighter.

    3) Use multiple smaller 0.5-1.0 liter bladders ...if one leaks you will not lose all your water...and you can pack some water in each saddlebag to keep bike balanced.

    4) I REALY like the Sawyer brand bladders.

    Why only 2 gallons /person/night ?

    1) You must ride into a town to get gas at least once a day regardless for your bike ... where there is gas there SHOULD be water also. So you should only need 24 hour supply of water.

    2) Most camelbacks have a 3l bladder ( just under 1 gallon ) you will drink this water while riding

    2) at camp you will drink about 1 liter just to rehydrate ..you will use about 1 liter for cooking dinner and breakfast ...that leaves you 1 liter to ride out on next day for water and gas .

    I have successfully use this system in Utah and Arizona. ...for Colorado Mtn riding water is usually not an issue...just bring a filter lots of streams.

    Hope that helps

    Scott
    #11
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  12. martysgone

    martysgone Adventurer

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    Dromedary bags seem like the solution. Thanks all.
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  13. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

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    I use the Mylar bags that are inside the Box-o-joe at Dunkin. They seal tight, are durable/reusable and convenient. also semi disposable as in if they get too crappy there is no heartbreak in chucking them out.
    I don't cary too much water in travel so I fill them when I get close to camp. Either with purchased water or from a supply that I need to filter later. I always mark one bag specifically for Potable".
    I clean them at home with a simple bleach solution and hang dry .
    The big problem with them is that if not placed on a level surface (at camp) they tend to slowly walk themselves off the edge and plummet to the ground. .. When camping alone, the sound can be a bit disturbing..until you figure out what it was,.. LOL
    #13
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  14. JMforPres

    JMforPres Long timer Supporter

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    #14
  15. Boricua

    Boricua Long timer

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    Those nalgene canteens area pos. I got one from REI it broke on the first trip.

    This is the one I use.

    https://smhttp-ssl-74572.nexcesscdn...d64343b1bc593f1c5348fe05efa4a6/1/4/149919.jpg
    #15
  16. Boricua

    Boricua Long timer

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  17. mytmav

    mytmav bike & fourby junky

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    Don’t do it, they are shit, have had a few mates that have used these instead of drom bags and they have split. They use a wine cask inside and aren’t up to the rigours of a bike trip. One mate stored his inside his swag ( bed roll) to protect it and it split, 5 litres through his bed and down quilt, and no water for him. Another trip a mate had his on top of all his gear in the fourby, water all through the back of his stuff.
    If you want a consistent reliable way to carry water buy the drom bags.
    Buy once and cry once, instead of spending just as much trying different systems.
    #17
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  18. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Platy bags. Very small when empty, plenty of volume when full. For riding I put one in the tank bag as a hydration reservoir and clip the bite valve to the tank bag.
    #18
  19. Boricua

    Boricua Long timer

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    thank you
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  20. Boricua

    Boricua Long timer

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    #20
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