Monday, September 7, 2009
Hydration packs have been in existence since the end of Desert Storm in the early 1990s. During the war, it was determined that constant and regular hydration with known-clean and pure water was required in the harsh environment of the desert. At the time, the most common method of hydration was the ubiquitous commercial clear plastic bottles of filtered or deionized water.
However, it was the private sector that designed and engineered the concepts used today. It wasn't long before the military was full on board with the implementation and integration of the hydration pack in a number of conformations; each suited to the particular mission requirements.
The best hydration systems available are the MIL-SPEC conforming packs. Most military applications are based on interchangeable and replaceable components and built to withstand the most strenuous demands. Don't be fooled by camouflage covers, however. If it has a tag reading “Made in China,” it's a copy and generally not worth the water its carrying.
Hydration packs are made by a number of very good manufacturers for many applications; from routine hiking to kayaking, biking to packs built to accommodate a woman's anatomy.
Shop for the application first, then get the best quality hydration pack you can find. Readily available spare parts or specialized accessories make a huge difference. A more general pack with adaptable features is better than having several overly specialized packs in most cases.
“Hydrate or die,” is more than a catchy slogan. It's reality.
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