Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hydration - Platypus style

With the weather taking a turn toward the higher temperature ranges it seems like a good time to share a little hydration idea I've been using for a few years now.  The original idea came from my friend Leo who really liked using the Platypus bottles/bags for running.  I'll cover the many advantages after the how-to part.

1. Visit your favorite outdoor store and purchase, at minimum; a 17 oz. Platypus and some 3mm utility cord (usually found by the climbing equipment).  Don't hesitate to buy 4 or 5 feet of the stuff since it is only .16 a foot. Platypus now makes a friendlier top for the bottle, similar to the Ultimate Direction kicker valve on a more expensive bottle, but I opted for the cheap top that you have to purchase extra.  I also picked up a cord lock so I could cinch it up and keep it tight on my hand.
Platypus bottle: $7.95
Push Pull top:  $2.95
Cord Lock:  $1.25
3mm cord:  $0.48
Total:  $12.63

2. Use a hole punch to make four holes in each corner of the Platypus.  If you don't have a hole punch available try using a hammer and big size nail.  The trick is, you want to create a hole without making lines like you would if you were using a razor.  The lines will spread and eventually break out the sides.

3. Take your utility cord and route it through the holes.  Get creative and try some different patterns.  On my first Platypus I did a cross on both sides, which was a bit much.  I'm going with the single cross on this new one.
Old style Platypus:
From 2010-06-03 Platypus How To
New style Platypus:
From 2010-06-03 Platypus How To
The general idea with the utility cord is to make it a little easier to hold without thinking about it too much.

4. Add the cord lock or tie it off in a knot and cut the loose ends.  After cutting the loose ends make sure and burn them so they won't fray (just hold a lighter about a centimeter below the cut and it will melt).

Now I will explain why I like this better than a standard handheld.
  1. When it is empty you can fold it up and carry it without using your hands by stuffing it in your waist pack or hydration pack.
  2. No sloshing.  You can easily squeeze the air out as you drink and not have the incessant sloshing going on.
  3. If am carrying my hydration pack it is much easier to use the Platypus to fill up at mountain springs than it is to fit the bladder in a tight area.
  4. If you're concerned about weight it is lighter than a handheld.
  5. Easy to add accessories like a piece of cloth to wipe the sweat off your brow (Jay has done this with success, pictures please).
  6. When it's filled with water you can use it as a pillow, try that with your handheld!
Take it or leave it, it is simply an alternative to what's out there.  If you have come up with some other form of hydration we would love to hear about it, tell us about it in the comments.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Christian - the system rocks! I used two platypus' on my recent R2R2R run and loved that I could slide them into my waist belt once they were empty. If you put the valve side on top, fold it over with the valve under the cord it is secure and doesn't flop around. Also, I put a small piece of terry cloth through the cord on the back that served as a wonderful snot and sweat rag. All-in-all, a much better alternative to a handheld for those of us who like waist packs but sometimes need extra capacity. Thanks for sharing!