When you hike you drink from a hydration bladder coz you are badass like that. Great. How do you store your bladder? Is it a health hazard you are oblivious to.
It is difficult to completely dry off a bladder, its hose and mouthpiece. Worse, if you store it in a dark kitchen cabinet with moisture, you re just asking for an infection.
So what to do:
Wash and Rinse: Use the brushes included in the hawi outdoors cleaning kit to scrub every nook and cranny of your bladder, hose and mouth piece. If you want to be extra extra, use a very small amount of bleach. For a natural solution, place half a lemon (seeds removed) in your bladder then fill up your bladder with water. Let sit for a few minutes.
Rinse the bladder thouroughly to remove any left over bleach. Be sure to run water through the hose and mouth piece. Hold full bladder up then squeeze the mouthpiece to get water to run through the hose.
Dry: Disconnect the hose and let it dry separately. Using the hanger included in the Hawi Outdoors cleaning kit, hang up the bladder with the cap open. If you can, leave it out direct sunlight. The sun will kill any lingering bacteria or mold.
If you dont have the Hawi Outdoors cleaning kit, improvise. We find that throwing in some clean kitchen items in the bladder will do the trick. The idea is to keep the cap open and ensure no wall of the bladder touching the opposite wall.
Freeze: Yes, freeze your hydration bladder. No matter how well you've dried out the bladder and hose there is a risk of mold growing in the stored bladder. The best way is to store your hydration bladder in a freezer. Roll it up and wrap the hose around it to save on space.
This is the most effective way to avoid mold in your hydration bladder. It is important to dry it out as much as possible before freezing to avoid ice inside your tube. The next time you are heading out be careful when grabbing your bladder, a frozen layer of water could have glued it to your freezer. Rinse it before you fill it up. Happy hiking!