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  1. #1
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    Can water go "bad" in Camelback?

    How long can water stay in a Camelback after a ride before its not drinkable? I had a partially filled Camelback from a previous ride maybe 3 days earlier at the most. It tasted ok so I added more to it and went riding. I started feeling kinda bloated and uncomfortable during the ride and my stomachs been been kinda weird since. Could it have been the water?

  2. #2
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    It depends.....

    - if you backwash into the tube, your water is more susceptible to growing "bugs"
    - if you fill it with non-chlorinated water, it'll also be more likely to grow bugs

    It's best to rinse it after each use and let it air dry, but who takes the time to do that? Not me.

    I'd clean it before your next ride, and every few months:

    - rinse a few times with hot water
    - fill with cold water all the way full
    - add about 1/4 teaspoon of bleach OR 1 tsp hydrogen peroxide
    - mix it up by shaking, and let some of that go through the tube
    - let sit 4 hours+
    - rinse a few times

    If it has visible slime growing on it, clean that off with the brush that they sell before adding bleach/peroxide. Or, you can try adding some baking soda with the hot water to clean off that slime.

    Schmed
    2001 Turner O2 XC
    2012 IndyFab Planet Cross CX
    2013 Kona Raijin SS

  3. #3
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    If I leave water in my camelbak (after a ride) for 3-5 days and open the fill neck it feels kinda slimy in the bladder. I will flush after every ride and let it air out.

    Storing it in freezer is what many users are doing to prevent or slow bacteria growth.

    After 5 uses I fill with water and put in a teaspoon of bleach. Leave it for an hour and rinse, dry and store.

  4. #4
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    Bleach doesn't leave some kind of lingering taste afterward? I can't even rinse a water bottle without leaving some kind of taste behind.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blammo585 View Post
    Bleach doesn't leave some kind of lingering taste afterward?
    Not for me. You shouldn't put too much bleach in there and I let it completely dry out.

  6. #6
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    I got to start cleaning mine. I've gone 4 season with just topping it off and cleaning it in the winter. I'm still alive!

  7. #7
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    I leave the water in there then rinse it out before filling it up to go riding. Seems like the plastic taste isn't around as much

  8. #8
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    Are these better than water bottles...I mean in terms of less (or no) plastic taste? I had been wondering myself how people went about cleaning these or if people just rinsed them out.

  9. #9
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    Just toss it is the freezer after you are done riding.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blammo585 View Post
    Are these better than water bottles...I mean in terms of less (or no) plastic taste? I had been wondering myself how people went about cleaning these or if people just rinsed them out.
    My Camelbak has more of a plastic taste than most water bottles do, but I have heard that the Platypus reservoirs are the best in terms of function and taste. The benefit of not having to stop or slow down at all to drink and having your hands free while riding though makes it worth it to go with a Camelbak or another bag.

    I empty my Camelbak after every use. I work at an outdoors store and I've had enough people come in who have had to replace their reservoirs because they left them some water in them that I learned the lesson through them. Its much cheaper to dump out your bag and clean it after every use.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by suprteck View Post
    Just toss it is the freezer after you are done riding.
    Thats a good idea. I might try that from now on.

  12. #12
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    I usually clean my reservoir once a week. It gets daily use during the one week, so it's usually never dried. By the end of the week there is usually a little growth, but nothing that has killed me (yet). It is a good idea to invest in some cleaning supplies for it, though. A regular sponge will suffice for the reservoir, and a piece of paracord with a few overhand knots in a row can be pulled through the tube to clean it, in a pinch. The cleaning kit is worth it for the drying rack, brushes, and couple of tabs if you can find it for around $10.

    *edit* As I never actually answered your question...I wouldn't go for more than a week before rinsing and refilling the reservoir. After that, the taste gets worse and worse.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by suprteck View Post
    Just toss it is the freezer after you are done riding.
    I've been doing that with the same camel back for 5 years and no mold. Just make sure you empty out the water and from your sippy hoes or else it was take a while to thaw out on your next ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskewl View Post
    I've been doing that with the same camel back for 5 years and no mold. Just make sure you empty out the water and from your sippy hoes or else it was take a while to thaw out on your next ride.
    My bladder is over 8 years old and never had to clean it out besides rinsing it out and storing in the freezer. I have the one that has built in blue ice. Wish they still made those...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    I got to start cleaning mine. I've gone 4 season with just topping it off and cleaning it in the winter. I'm still alive!
    Three years on mine. Not even a taste difference.

    However my waterbottles get black slime growing on them if I don't let them air dry after one use...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyclesnIPAs View Post
    How long can water stay in a Camelback after a ride before its not drinkable?
    The school I work at has a "disaster relief" setup with enough food and water for the whole student body and faculty for three days. Mostly "juice boxes" with water and these brown bricks dense calorie food. One brick is ~2000 calories, quite nasty. (Most public schools have something similar in case of an earthquake or something)

    The water has an expiration date on it and is regularly replaced. One day I tried one that was very expired, just out of curiosity. It tasted like dust and made my mouth feel very dry!

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