If you’re the owner of a hydration pack, you may know that maintenance and care can be tricky – depending on the brand and model. Here’s a look how to be at ease and know you’ve always got tasty fresh source of hydration with you.
Take Good Care Of Your Backpack
The backpack is the heart-piece of your equipment and deserves extra attention and care. Whether you regularly brush it down, wipe it with cloth or throw it in the washing machine, depends on how muddy and dirty you go – and on the make of your pack (pay attention to the tag, and to the care & use directions that come with your pack).
Here’s general advice on how to give the pack some love and attention before a serious outing – and especially after pulling it out of storage, say after the winter months:
- Open all pouches and pockets, make sure the zippers are zipping just fine.
- Check for brittle plastic pieces and order replacements if needed.
- Check the seams for potential ruptures.
- Clean the pack inside and outside with a cloth, mild soap and warm water.
- Check if the backpack still fits your back properly.
- Then air it in a dry place until heading outdoors.
One last thing: don’t wait till the last minute to go over this checklist! Give yourself a few days to react and possibly get an upgrade from our line of tactical backpacks in all sizes.
As we’re talking Hydration Packs, the care and use of the backpack (or any pouch or pack) is important, but any dirt is mostly a cosmetic problem. Not so with the actual water bladder: any dirt or pollution may cause a bad taste and worst case a health-issue. So here’s an in-depth look at the hydration bladder hygiene.
How To Clean a Hydration Bladder
How often should you clean your tactical hydration bladder? First answer: it depends on the brand. If used with regular water, SOURCE reservoirs do not require specific cleaning, drying or draining. If used with sweetened, flavored and isotonic drinks, or before extended storage, we recommend the following cleaning procedure:
Step 1: Clean the Reservoir
- Disconnect the drinking tube and remove the Widepac closure from the bladder
- Wash the bladder with soapy, lukewarm water and scrub with a soft brush if needed; rinse well;
- Hang the bladder upside down and let it air-dry – do NOT use a hairdryer!
- Pro-tip: Place the drinking tube or a paper tissue or any other non-sharp object inside the bladder, to keep the bladder-walls apart.
Step 2: Clean the Drinking Tube
- To clean the tube, connect it to the bladder;
- Open or disconnect the valve and press water through the tube by rolling up the reservoir top-down; rinse the tube with soapy, lukewarm water;
- To clean the tube thoroughly from residue of sweetened drinks, consider cleaning it with our Tube Brush
- Pro-tip: To dry the tube, hold the tube by the valve and swing it a few rounds in a circle (only recommended outside with plenty of airspace).
Step 3: Clean the Drinking Valve
- After regular use with water, the valve does not need to be disassembled and cleaned; just rinse it with soapy, lukewarm water.
- Deep-cleaning the valve is only recommended when your valve got pushed deep into the mud or if it’s for some other reason completely messy and dirty; disassemble the Helix drinking valve as pictured below.
How to Store Your Tactical Hydration Bladder
- Make sure that all components of your Hydration System are completely dry.
- Connect all parts (bladder, drinking hose and drinking valve).
- Store the Hydration System in a clean and dry place (no direct sunlight and no extreme temperatures).
SOURCE Hydration Technologies
Our tactical hydration bladders are extremely low maintenance, reliable and durable, thanks to a number of hydration technologies which SOURCE has developed over the course of the last decades.
One main advantage of SOURCE bladders in comparison with market competitors is the GlassLike technology: made of multilayer Polyethylene (PE), our reservoirs are 2,000 % smoother than those made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), which is used by most other major brands.
With the surface smooth as glass, biofilm and bacteria cannot build up, thus preventing any moldy taste in the water. Additionally, we have embedded an antimicrobial agent inside the multilayer film of the bladder and drinking tube – the GrungeGuard – to guarantee a fully functional bladder over years of use.
Click here to find out more about our revolutionary SOURCE Hydration Technologies.