A hydration backpack is a backpack used to store essential fluids and help keep you hydrated.
We knew our 2017 camping trip to the Ullswater in the Lake District was going to involve lots of walking/hiking and we wanted to make sure we were correctly equipped.
As we were taking our 3 young girls on a hike from Gillside to Helvellyn (10km round trip with an elevation of 570m), we needed to ensure they (and us) would have access to plenty of fluids.
Which Hydration backpacks?
We decided that backpacks with hydration bladders inside would be the best solution. They incorporate a long drinking tube that runs over your shoulder so fluid is readily available without the hassle of unpacking anything. Also, you get all the advantages that a backpack brings, freeing up your hands/arms for climbing and also allowing other stuff to be carried too. They also allow the children to carry and take responsibility for their own fluid/gear.
Here is a link to the hydration backpacks we purchased -> CLICK FOR MORE INFO
The adults already had backpacks that would accept hydration bladders so we just purchased a couple of 3ltr bladders that would slide inside.
Here is a link to the hydration bladders we purchased -> CLICK FOR MORE INFO
We also decided to give some hydration tablets a test. The advantage of these is that they help with hydration and maintaining your electrolyte levels. It is also helpful that they come in different flavours and our princesses are allergic to the flavour of water, so we went for Cola and also Berry.
Here is a link to the hydration tablets we purchased -> CLICK FOR MORE INFO
Using this gear.
Everything worked as expected, the kids enjoyed using their hydration packs and had plenty of drink for the entire walk. The only downside to the ones we purchased for them was that they didn’t really have much room for anything else.
Our hydration bladders were great. Our existing rucksacks are bigger, even with the 3ltr bladders inside them there was still plenty of room for our packed lunch.
Would we buy again?
Yes definitely. We purchased the kids packs from eBay and let them choose their own colours. The only criticism is that we would have preferred them to have been a little bigger so the kids could have carried their own lunch.
Our hydration bladders were excellent, and if you have a backpack that will fit one then they are certainly worth purchasing.
Overall, I feel that having fluids to hand via the drinking tube results in you sipping small amounts more often which keeps you hydrated throughout your hike. You also don’t have to keep stopping or fiddling about with bottles. The kids hydration backpacks gave us peace of mind that they were drinking regularly and the along with the hydration tablets, we knew they were getting the right fluids that they needed.
We got to Helvellyn, ate lunch, paddled in Red Tarn and had a thoroughly unforgettable day. We can’t wait to use the packs on our next challenging family hike.