Whether you’re working hard in the heat, hiking on a trail, or just trying to stay hydrated throughout the day, it’s true that having a Camelbak is one of the best ways to carry water with you. It’s easy to fill, easy to take a drink, and easy to cart around. But with the thin bladder pouch, getting it to dry completely after cleaning to avoid mold or mildew might be a question on your mind.
The drying process for a Camelbak bladder can be simple with many creative solutions. There are a few important things to keep in mind. Let’s take a deeper look into some of these suggestions so that you can find one that is right for you.
Clear Out Any Excess Water
After giving the Camelbak bladder a good wash at the end of the day, open the cap and shake out as much water as possible. It is okay if there is still a significant amount in there because the water can be stubborn and stick the sides of the pouch together. Do your best to get the bulk of it shaken out. You can use other methods to dry the rest of the remaining water.
Drain the Hose
To drain the hose as best you can, hold the Camelbak bladder high with the mouthpiece end of the hose as low as you can. Squeeze the mouthpiece to let out any trapped water in the hose.
Again, you will probably not get all the water cleared out with this step, but it can drain out a significant portion in the hose.
Hang the Camelbak Upside Down
If you have the time, just let the Camelbak hang upside down to air dry. This might take 1-2 days, depending. Remember to leave the cap off. You want it to be completely free of moisture if you plan to pack it away to store for a while.
Use an Expander
Some Camelbak bladders come with built-in expanders to separate the edges to allow for better airflow into the bladder for faster, more efficient air drying. If your Camelbak doesn’t have one already, you can improvise with clothes hangers, a fork, or anything you can think of that will keep the pouch expanded.
Use Paper Towels
After shaking the Camelbak bladder of excess water, another effective method is to use paper towels. Swipe along the seam of the bladder and along the surfaces. You can even wipe through the hose if you have a piece of fishing wire and cotton balls. Snake the wire through the hose and pull the cotton end out. You can ball up the paper towels and leave them in the bladder to fully dry out or just let it hang. After about four hours or so, you should be good and dry.
Use a Zero Goo Dryer
There is a manufactured product that you can buy called Zero Goo. It is a type of blow dryer designed for Camelbak bladders. The product reviews are on Amazon if you would like to check out this option. It seems the biggest complaint is how loud it is.
Can You Use the Freezer to Dry Up Remaining Water in Camelbaks?
To quickly touch on the myth of the freezer, keep in mind that washing your Camelbak bladder and freezing it won’t remove or kill the microbes that feed bacteria. Freezing it will slow down the reproduction, but as soon as it warms up, the bacteria will still be there.
Avoid using your freezer as a way to clean and disinfect your Camelbak. The freezer is a good solution only if you have cleaned the bladder and plan to use it again really soon.
The best way to ensure your Camelbak bladder is completely dried before putting it away would be to shake out dripping water and empty the hose by squeezing the mouthpiece. Wipe paper towels along the inside surfaces, hang the bladder upside down and expand with either an expander or more paper towels. Also, look into any products on the market that might speed the process along, like Zero Goo. Let the Camelbak air dry for as long as it takes to come away moisture-free.