Gear Review: Geigerrig Rig 1600 Pressurized Hydration System
Regardless of how you choose to carry your water with you while hiking, it’s pretty safe to say that the primary use of that water is going to be for staying hydrated – drinking.
Whether you carry it in lightweight bottles in the side pockets of your backpack, in a spare Platypus type bladder inside your pack, or in a hydration bladder configured with your pack it’s highly likely that you’ve practiced and perfected the art of getting to it quickly and easily when you need to drink – at least I hope you have…
While the primary purpose of your carried water is for hydration, there are several other important demands for water in the back country that you may not be planning for or considering when looking at a hydration system. I’d like to take a look at those “other” scenarios to see how a pressurized hydration system, like the Geigerrig 1600, can help to provide quick and efficient access to the water when it’s needed.
Being outdoors and backpacking in the wild is not without its share of risks. It doesn’t take very much to get cut or scraped while on a trail and if you do it’s going to need to be cleaned and dressed. Most of us carry topical ointments or creams that we can put on a cut to disinfect it, but it’s well known that the best way to clean an open wound is to thoroughly flush it with a steady supply of clean water. This is especially important if you have dirt or debris in the wound.
If this were to happen to you or a trail partner, would you be able to use your water to easily clean the wound? If it’s in a bottle or small container you could easily pour it on to the wound, but if it’s in a standard hydration bladder it’s not going to be quite as easy. In this scenario a pressurized hydration system will not only let you target the wound with water quickly, it will help force out any debris in the wound using the increased water pressure – flushing it properly. You’re also a lot more likely to use less water this way that you would by pouring it out of your bottle or bladder.
Washing Your Gear and Personal Hygiene
Another very typical use for water on the trail if for cleaning or washing. Whether for washing your hands or face, brushing your teeth, or cleaning your cooking utensils after making a meal, you’ll need to have some clean water handy. Unless you have a huge supply of water to use for camp cleaning tasks, you’ll want to perform your cleaning by using as little water as possible.
Pouring clean water out of your bottle for cleaning will empty your water reserves very quickly. If you have access to a good water source and a way to filter or purify it, this may not be an issue, but if you need to preserve the clean water that you have and make it go as far as possible you’ll need a way to control the water and trickle it out carefully. I found this very easy to do using the Geigerrig hydration system. With its squeeze nozzle and pressurized bladder I was able to squirt my titanium SP600 mug with just enough water to clean it off without wasting any. I’ve learned to be pretty stingy with my water over the years and the Geigerrig made controlling the water very easy.
Sharing Water With Others
There are also like to be occasions when you’ll need to share some of your water with others, if they’ve run out or if they can easily access their supply. A classic example of this is when I am hiking with my chocolate Lab, Coco. Even though she carries her own gear and food, I haven’t been able to find a good solution for her to carry her own water supply (manufacturers are you listening?). Most of the time it’s not a big issue because, unlike us, she can drink from just about any water source without getting sick – and she does, a lot!
There are times though when there are no water sources available and the only option to get Coco hydrated is to share my water. Despite how much I love her, I do not want her licking all over the end of my hydration tube or my water bottle – yuck. The pressurized reservoir of the Geigerrig lets Coco get really close to the end of the water nozzle while I spray the water into her mouth – making it easy and hygienic!
The Bottom Line
There are many advantages to having a pressurized hydration system like the Giegerrig Rig 1600. I've gone over just a few of them here, but I'm sure there are many more reasons why having a system that can squirt the water out under pressure, instead of having to suck it through the tube, is a better solution. Coco definitely agrees!
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