Ask the Gear Guy

Cleaning a hydration pack

Q. How do I clean out my Camelbak hydration system?
– Manky Water Matt, Savannah, Ga.

A. Good for you for actually cleaning your hydration pack. If you don’t clean those things, nasties can grow inside the water bladder and drinking tube and make you sick.

For full, detailed instructions on how best to clean your Camelbak or other water pack, we found some great information at the company’s Web site,

Here’s the short version: Fill up your Camelbak with warm soapy water. If it’s particularly nasty, add some lemon or a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the water (my tip, not CamelBak’s). You’ll need some sort of brush (Camebak sells one for $10) to get down the tube and inside the reservoir to scrub it up. Rinse, and then hang to dry.

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Comments about “Cleaning a hydration pack”

  1. Rich says:

    Use denture cleaning tablets. They are cheap and clean very well. Just fill with warm water and let them work for a while. Rinse a couple times and you are good to go.

  2. Off-Trai Monkey says:

    Toss it in the garbage and get a Nalgene. Easy!

  3. Flash 18 guy says:


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