Something that always distracted me is the fact that most hydration bladders feature a very, very long hose. This is basically a good thing, but when worn on a platecarrier you mostly end up with two scenarios. Either youve got a long hose that you can either choose dangling around your holster or dangling around your mag pouches. I normally ended up with storing inches of the hose inside the hydration pouch, which made getting a drip of water an exceptionally demanding task.
I wanted to solve the problem and stumbled onto various approaches in mountainbike and outdoor message boards. So I combined the best approaches. Please note that I got with a Camelbak bladder and this approach works only with them.
So to start with, you will need some stuff on your table:
- Camelbak bladder (surprise)
- Nail Scissors
- Multitool (not needed, but the pincer can come in handy)
- A white marker pen
Now you can unpack your new camelbak or check your old one for damage. Please note that Camelbak valves can get brittle over the time, so be carefull with used ones or long time shelve items.
First step is to remove the bite Valve. If the hose has a cover, just pull the cover towards the bladder to expose the hose.
You need to cut the bite valve with the nail scissors with two centimeters of the hose to prevent damaging it.
Now that you got a piece of the hose with the valve in it, its time to sepparate the valve. Cut the piece of hose, attached to the valve vertically with the nail scissors carefully. You should clearly see a part of the valve exposed now.
Now its time to carefully heat the hose covered valve with indirect flame from the lighter. A few seconds are enough to make the rubber of the hose loose enough to acess it with the scissors and cut your way. Repeat the process with little breaks until you can rip of the remains of the hose.
You should have an undamaged valve that you can put on the side of your table.
Now its time to expose the hose still attached to your bladder. Roll up the cover a bit and cut a few centimeters of the hose and the excess cover material.
You can repeat this process until you slowly reach the desired length. Now cut the cover vertically once or twice and roll it up. Put your bladder into your pouch or backpack a
After this, put the bladder in your backpack or carrier and route it how you plan to use it. Also put on your kit and do like you want ton get a sip. Find a length that fits your needs and add an inch or two for the valve. Mark this location with the white marker.
Apply a nice, rounded cut to the hose. Make sure its really smooth.
Now you just have to roll down the cover and cut it to the same length as the hose.
The final step is putting the valve back in place. There was some science going on on the interwebs of how you have to heat the hose before and cool it down after it. But in my case brute force and a little twisting and turning worked best.
Make sure that your bladder works and is completely proof.
I think that you are all aware of the fact that you can always cut material but never add back more. So dont be to generous while cutting it down.
Well, its simple as that. Dont be afraid of optimizing your kit. I really enjoy my tactical hydration even more now as it isnt dangling around
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