On my first Camino, I used a water bladder inside the pack and felt that that was quite good, and I carried an extra emergency packet inside of my pack.
There’s always a huge debate about what’s the best system to use for water. Many people love bladders, many people love bottles in their side pouches, many people like bottles mounted on their packs.
I haven’t tried all three, but I have to say that the system I like the best is to have store bought water bottles on the front harness of the pack, and then using the cheap system of using a valve to hold the water. You can see this in a picture.
Is this system good? Well, it’s simple. It’s easy to manage how much water you’re drinking. You don’t need any special equipment other than in the hose and the valve, and it’s very flexible as you can use whatever size bottles you want depending on the weather and the distance that you’re walking because you can just buy bottles of water in the store. Most of these cheap systems come with a couple of adapters that will fit most store bought bottles of water.
I find it’s actually not difficult to swap the bottles while I’m walking, so if I finish the one attached to the hose, I simply disconnect that and move the free one across from the other side.
During our limited training in Australia, I wanted to assess how much water we would use, to get an idea what size and what bottles I should be carrying. I estimated we were going through about 400 to 500 milliliters of water per hour.
Because we haven’t really hit the hot weather yet, our water consumption is probably reduced, and I find that we’re going about 10 kilometers per liter. Although I think as the Camino progresses and the weather warms up, we’re probably going to be using a lot more water. But at the moment, 10 kilometers per liter is seeming to be fairly standard.
See what I tend to do is I look at the map each day and see how far apart the villages are and where the waterfronts are and if we’re going to stretch that’s longer than 10 kilometers, then I might throw an extra bottle into the pack.
But so far, the system is working really well.
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