Creative ways to pack your hydration pack?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Creative ways to pack your hydration pack?

    How do you pack your MULE for all day outing?

    During summer, I add 2 extra water bottles in my tired Northface Cloud (4 years old) and some food to go all-day epic. It was time to upgrade it. So I asked Santa a MULE with all-day epic in mind, since everyone loves it on this board. It fits on me nicely, but it turned out it is smaller than the previous one I had. Fill the reservoir and the whole backpack bloats like an Italian sausage, making the back ventilation system practically useless. Stuff extra tube (just in case), pump, camera, it has no room for the extra shirts or jacket. No sunglass clip either. I ended up sewing extra straps at the bottom to hold cloths, sunglass clip on the shoulder strap, and extra hangers for anything else…

    I should’ve returned it for a bigger backpack, but I felt obligated to use it (doh!). How do you pack MULE for an all-day outing? Extra straps, extra hooks, extra…something?

  2. #2
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    Define...

    Quote Originally Posted by hatake
    How do you pack your MULE for all day outing?

    During summer, I add 2 extra water bottles in my tired Northface Cloud (4 years old) and some food to go all-day epic. It was time to upgrade it. So I asked Santa a MULE with all-day epic in mind, since everyone loves it on this board. It fits on me nicely, but it turned out it is smaller than the previous one I had. Fill the reservoir and the whole backpack bloats like an Italian sausage, making the back ventilation system practically useless. Stuff extra tube (just in case), pump, camera, it has no room for the extra shirts or jacket. No sunglass clip either. I ended up sewing extra straps at the bottom to hold cloths, sunglass clip on the shoulder strap, and extra hangers for anything else…

    I should’ve returned it for a bigger backpack, but I felt obligated to use it (doh!). How do you pack MULE for an all-day outing? Extra straps, extra hooks, extra…something?
    Define all day epic. A Mule would seem to be a several hour epic pack. I've thought about getting one for local riding since my Hawg is pretty big. The Hawg is more of an all day epic, pack your camera, extra food and water type pack, IMO.

  3. #3
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    All day >= 5 hours pedaling

    More than 5 hours of saddle time, and a half of it is uphill. As an example, some of the old forest road + single track up Colorado's 12,000 ft mountains from 7,000 ft base. Temp ranges 70F at the base to mid 30s at the top especially with wind. MULE holds 3L water, but I typically bring 1.5 additional litters in 2 regular water bottles in the side pockets. Now I know I should've asked for the one with bigger capacity.

    It's too late to return, so I'd like to see how others carry all their belongings in a limited space. Or creative ways to expand the limited space. Extra straps, expansion fabric pieces, piggy back storage, etc. Thank you!

  4. #4
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    I'll try to photo mine tonight..

    I have added and changed my Blowfish a few different ways. I will try to get some photos up. It is not a Mule, but maybe it will give you some ideas.
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  5. #5
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    That would be fantastic! Thanks!

  6. #6
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    I have a Mule and Wound up buying a Hawg for all day outings and Snowboard outings. I just found that the Mule is too small for what I needed to put in it. I can get the Hawg so full that I really shouldn't even be carrying it and I have relegated the Mule to my Commuter/short day bag or I let the Fiance use it.

    Normally my Hawg Carries:
    Jacket (when up north)
    Trail Mix bars
    Wallet
    Phone
    Pump
    2 tubes (I once needed 3 but I still refuse to carry more than 2)
    Camera
    Extra shirt
    Sub and/or subs
    + much much more

    My Mule I can get my:
    Phone
    wallet
    Pump
    maybe a shirt if I fold it right
    I can fit more in there but the stuff is so stretch out that I feel I like I am going to pop the Mule at the seams.


    You can pick up an 05 hawg pretty cheap if you search for them. I got mine for $65.
    I know this really doesn't help with your question but just my 2 cents
    Last edited by Muggsly; 01-09-2006 at 02:08 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies anyway. I heard on this board how MULE was the best thing for all-day outing. But I guess I drink too much water, and I must be too much of a packrat. I have lost so many water bottles - they all bounced out of the cage on rocky descends. I even lost bottles from the backpack side pockets before. Everything needs to be in or strapped on the backpack. MULE must be build for minimalist packer. It fits great when it only has 1/2 water in the bladder with nothing else. I do love the fact I can carry my phone in secure pocket. Easy access everywhere... I just can't pack enough. Certainly not for all-day outing.

    I appreciate your inputs on how you have expanded the MULE's capacity!

  8. #8
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    I had a mule...

    And yes, it was too small. It could carry the 100oz bag, which was the "epic" part - but all else it could take was rain jacket in upper mesh and food bag in pocket. I run a trunk on the bike, so tools/spares/etc fit there, but it was not enough for winter rides when layers needed to go on/off or work rides where pruners/etc needed a place to go.

    A friend had a HAWG, but was always having to strap stuff to the outside, dropping things. I have the TransAlp and have never regretted it. For summer epics you can carry 2 bladders+food+ anything else you want. The only problem I have is forgetting stuff in there and lugging around things like spare headlights during day rides. DOH! It does have the same cinch straps as the HAWG, so the extra space doesn't just flop around.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatake
    I have lost so many water bottles - they all bounced out of the cage on rocky descends.
    When I need to augment my camelbak with bottles I use a velcro strap to secure them. Never lost one while doing this.
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  10. #10
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    Here goes

    I addded the webbing loops on the outside of the camelbak so I could run a long elastic cord through it. I can carry a crap load of stuff on the outside.
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  11. #11
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    Humm, TransAlp looks good. I need to start a Christmas list for 06 MULE is great for a 2~3 hour regular ride, so that's what I keep it for. Teamdicky, thanks for the photo - that's actually a very useful feature for a winter jacket, and also to trap the water bottle that may fly out of the mesh part. Strapping the bottle seems to be a good idea, but I just peeled off LizardSkin chanin stay protector and saw amount of scratch underneath!

    Thanks all!

  12. #12
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    Location matters

    I find the Mule works pretty well in California. I carry all my tools (Cranks Bros Multi, tire irons, tube, patch kit, first aid kit, Leatherman multitool) and food in the zip pocket on the back. I strap my phone and a light jacket, arm warmers into the webing. I stuff my pump, saw, and othe trail stuff in the big zip pocket. If I bring a camera it stays in the case but belts to the upper chest strap. Sunglasses go in Jersey pocket if I have to take them off. With all this BS and a full load of water it is quite a piggy. However it works well for me. Even all day rides. However, if I lived in CO or someplace it would be too small. Here arm warmers and a light rain/wind jacket are plenty.

    Some of the other companies make a pretty good bag for a lot less than Camel Back if you need a "big job" second bag.
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  13. #13
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    Dump two gigantic cans of Monster drink into your camelback bladder. Ride through Moab like a madman. That's what my cousin does.

  14. #14
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    the new mule

    ...is a bit smaller than the last 2 or 3 years. I got one in late 04, and saw they came out w/ a lighter one a few months back. But the new one has fewer storage pockets & options than the old one.But it really is quiete a bit lighter than mine...
    I agree tho-the mule is not for what you need. I can barely fit a lite pullover or rain jacket when i have a full bladder.
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  15. #15
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    is it just me or has Camelbak discontinued the TransAlp...can't find it on the website and a google turned up stores that no longer carry it
    DMR

  16. #16
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    Pack a hydration pack?

    Hell, I just throw stuff on my back, and wing it.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KERKOVEJ
    Hell, I just throw stuff on my back, and wing it.
    Now that gives a new meaning to the backpack!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMR For Life
    is it just me or has Camelbak discontinued the TransAlp...can't find it on the website and a google turned up stores that no longer carry it
    DMR

    I think they replaced it with the alpine explorer it still only has one bladder but ther is nothing that will stop you from putting in another b/c that pack is HUGE! It has 2x the carrying capacity of the hawg, which I have yet to fill my hawg full, so I can't imagine what you could get in that thing. Maybe if you are MTBing Everest.
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  19. #19
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    TransAlp is gone

    Which means I better take good care of it. The "replacement" seems to be the Ventoux - 1300 in^3 cargo room, but only in orange/gray? Sounds like a good closeout next fall......

    Climber packs are good, but don't have the reflective stuff. The Ventoux has the "stash the helmet in it" slot and the built-in rain cover, so it is the one now.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  20. #20
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    They issue the MULE to deployers here at Barksdale AFB. Most end up rotting in people's dorm rooms of garages. Terrible waste if you ask me, I am always trying to pry one from someone's junk heap but they seem to get attached!! I have a tiny camelbak that I use for running and quick trips, I think it has a 1L or 1.5L bladder and enough storage room for a tube and a pump. On the other hand I have a Camelbac Motherlode which is ideal for camping trips, etc, as you can fit small children and a weeks worth of rations in it at the same time. Oddly enough, its NOT Camelbac's biggest offering, but they do issue it to us on the Flightline so everyone I know has one! I know I didn't contribute anything, but I do agree, the older Mules were MUCH bigger!
    I am CHEAP

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KERKOVEJ
    Hell, I just throw stuff on my back, and wing it.

    Hey, doesn't that guy know fur is politically incorrect?!!

  22. #22
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    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/113...elBak-HAWG.htm

    Got the '04 HAWG (larger capacity than the redesigned 05 models) for an xmas present for the days where the Mule wasn't cutting it off Pricepoint for $60. I hadn't run into many times where I couldn't cram everything I wanted for rides into the Mule but a larger camera I got a few months back forced me to move to something larger. I'll probably use the Hawg a lot now even on shorter rides. Hopefully it will prevent that 'sausage strapped to the back' feel that a full Mule always had.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

  23. #23
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    I have a MULE as well and sold my HAWG as I never need it anymore.

    I have bought a very thin Hally Hansen base layer for when it gets cold, also a Berghaus paclite goretex jacket and usually wrap the base layer inside the paclite jacket, roll it in a ball and then strap that to the outside. The paclite keeps it waterproof.

    I never fill the bladder to more than 2litres but then I am very good at rationing my water. I do refill where I can but there is usually a mate around with a little extra in an emergency.

    You could use energy gells instead of food or use high calorie energy bars if you really want to chew something. They are tiny and contain loads of energy.

    Ditch the pump and get some CO2 canisters.

    I don't put my digicam in the Mule, its in a padded Lowepro case with a loop and I put my chest strap through the loop so it permanently hangs on my chest. Its much easier to access and is very well protected.

    Hope some of these ideas help.

  24. #24
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    MINI Mule rocks!

    I have Mini Mule. So much space, I can hold all tools, 1 tube, 1 shock pump, 60oz. water, tire pump, food, and shirt. Yep, Mini Mule can hold all that, it's light and it's sick.

    With a regular Mule I don't know. Never owned one. I guess this was a waste of time. Sorry. What I do is put all the water in it, then put my other stuff in it.

    Do you really need all that stuff?
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  25. #25
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    Living in a cold climate would eliminate the MULE as an all day pack IMHO, but in warmer climates where all you might need in the way of extra clothes is a rain jacket it should work fine for between a 3-4 hour ride w/ supplimentation of water bottles for Accelerade or whatever drink you mix. I keep a sadle bag on my bike to carry the multi tool, patch kit, keys etc (small, but heavier stuff). I'll find out tomorrow just how well the MULE will do for a 3-5 hour trip and if it'll hold my 3 litres of water, 2 bagels, chicken breast, banana, trail mix bars, cell, pump, shock pump, mini rain coat and med kit. Will have at least 1 bottle on the bike w/ accelerade.

    Biggest thing I see that you could change to make it work better is that the outside lower mesh pocket is big at the top and then to small at the bottom, if you could expand that I think yopu would add a bit of useful room. Anyway I'll update this once I'm done riding tomorrow.
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  26. #26

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    Try the CamelBack Rim Runner?

    Universal Cycles.com has it in stock. I just wonder if it's designed for bicycling as well?

  27. #27
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    Thanks for all suggestions. Never tried the energy goo, but I may - energy bars become brick hard in cold climates, unless it is a rice krispy stuff. Thanks for that suggestion. I'm a rather traditional guy when it comes to food, and I just can't get worm with space age food

    I used to have CO2 canister, but had an outing where I needed to fix 2 punctures in one ride, and for someone who had no tools on the ride. Pump gives me two things - unlimited supply of air and a peace of mind. You never know what'll happen in woods.

    I'm currently sewing up an expansion fabric to the main chamber that zips up. Also sewing two straps on the outside mesh pocket so I can securely carry extra bottles outside. Sewing machine is much easier to use these days (unless you get Euro-Pro junk).

  28. #28
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    New skill

    So I (ok, my wife) got the sawing machine from Santa, and I'm having a ball! I attached a pair of straps at the top, and rigged a nylon bottle holder (of some kind) I discovered in the closet to store all gears - perfect size for spare tubes and other stuff. Pretty secure, but all detachable. First time sewing - not bad. Now that I think, it was a baby bottle carrier...


    Sewing machines these days are amazing. Pop the bobbin in, and get it right on.

  29. #29
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    Full day ...

    Quote Originally Posted by wadester
    And yes, it was too small. It could carry the 100oz bag, which was the "epic" part - but all else it could take was rain jacket in upper mesh and food bag in pocket. I run a trunk on the bike, so tools/spares/etc fit there, but it was not enough for winter rides when layers needed to go on/off or work rides where pruners/etc needed a place to go.

    A friend had a HAWG, but was always having to strap stuff to the outside, dropping things. I have the TransAlp and have never regretted it. For summer epics you can carry 2 bladders+food+ anything else you want. The only problem I have is forgetting stuff in there and lugging around things like spare headlights during day rides. DOH! It does have the same cinch straps as the HAWG, so the extra space doesn't just flop around.
    For a full day of pedalling, pannier packs may be more appropriate.

    I like to "be prepared" on the local 10 mile trail and I carry a lot of stuff in my HAWG. And I certainly USE all 3 liters on a hot day.

  30. #30
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    Seen the '06 HAWGS ???

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/113...elBak-HAWG.htm

    Got the '04 HAWG (larger capacity than the redesigned 05 models) for an xmas present for the days where the Mule wasn't cutting it off Pricepoint for $60. I hadn't run into many times where I couldn't cram everything I wanted for rides into the Mule but a larger camera I got a few months back forced me to move to something larger. I'll probably use the Hawg a lot now even on shorter rides. Hopefully it will prevent that 'sausage strapped to the back' feel that a full Mule always had.
    I too did not like the 05 Camelbak redesign. I think they tried to make everything silky and feminine. But I just looked at the site and the '06 stuff is up ... VERY COOL




    BTW, the TransAlp seems to be gone replaced by a few different hiking packs.



    Good job for 2006 Camelbak!!!!

  31. #31
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    [QUOTE=RideFaster;1482722]I have Mini Mule. So much space, I can hold all tools, 1 tube, 1 shock pump, 60oz. water, tire pump, food, and shirt. Yep, Mini Mule can hold all that, it's light and it's sick.

    With a regular Mule I don't know. Never owned one. I guess this was a waste of time. Sorry. What I do is put all the water in it, then put my other stuff in it.

    The mini mule is a kids pack. holds 1.5 liters and so is no good
    Last edited by ltk1144; 12-17-2011 at 08:01 AM.

  32. #32
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    flashback !

  33. #33
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    thas called a backpack and awesome ways to keep hydratedddd !!!!!

    cheeersssss...

    james ford

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