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Old 05-31-09, 03:45 PM   #1
xcapekey
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3 Methods of Carrying Lots of Water

Hey all...I just did a tour through the Carrizo Plain in California. One of the most remote spots in CA. Anyway, it provided an interesting experience having to carry a lot of water in remote places. I wrote a post on my site and thought it might benefit others.



Gallon Jug vs. Mini Water Coooler Jug vs. MSR Dromedary Bag vs. Platypus Bag vs. CamelBack Bladder

http://epicureancyclist.com/?p=536

Also, check out the pics from the trip here:



http://www.flickr.com/photos/russroc...7618990912048/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/russroc...7619015741590/

Best,
Russ
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www.epicureancyclist.com
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Old 05-31-09, 04:13 PM   #2
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Always nice to hear about some experiences.

I'm still tempted to try the "NeverReach." I've used a Camelbak on tour, and it's OK, but it would be nice to reduce the back sweat a little.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:18 PM   #3
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Nice trip, Russ. Also, I appreciate the review on the Platypus and Dromedary bags- I take out of the way trips sometimes too and I`ve been thinking about shelling out for something like that. FWIW, Ortleib has a line of water bags too, but I`ve never used them either.

My current water carrying method depends on how far between services. Iodine tablets if there are reliable "alternate" water sources, a 2 Gal gas can (never used for gas) if it`s a short span between water sources, a 7 Gal water can (but I`ve never put more than 5 Gal in it) for long spans. You guys went three days on two gallons each? That`s pretty water-efficient, but I think I`ll stick to my two Gal per day system!
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Old 05-31-09, 04:23 PM   #4
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rodar

we were doing 2 gallons a day...and managed to find one refill point each day (somebody's hose, a natural spring, purified water from a pistachio farm).

R
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Old 05-31-09, 04:42 PM   #5
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we were doing 2 gallons a day...and managed to find one refill point each day (somebody's hose, a natural spring, purified water from a pistachio farm).
Sorry- I thought it said carrying three days worth on one of the blogs. Where`s Carrizo Plain? You posted a nice report on a trip down in Riverside/Palm Springs area last year- is that the same general region?
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Old 05-31-09, 04:47 PM   #6
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I'll reply about location. It's between Atascadero and Oildale, between San Luis Obispo area and the Central Valley. And it is one vast, empty place. The San Andreas Fault track is visible in part of the area. Petroglyphs, mostly just open space.
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Old 05-31-09, 05:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for the good info. I usually have plenty of empty space in my panniers so a quart or liter gatorade bottle in each of the four panniers, one on the rear rack in front of the tent, and full water bottles on the frame is all I ever need to carry. But I am not inclined to want to tour where I need to carry more than a gallon and a half or so at a time.
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Old 05-31-09, 06:25 PM   #8
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When cycling around Australia, my water carrying methods were:

1) Camelback: I got one with 3L bag and then fitted a second 3L bag so I could carry 6L on my back.
2) Water Bottle cages on the bike: 3 oversized bottles for total of 2.5L
3) Two extra 1.5 quart water bottles to stash in panniers for total of 2.5L
4) "Sea to Summit" water bag for 4L
5) Extra bottles of liquid brought along the way and stashed in pannier

When in the Outback, I'd typically carry 6-9L through combination of the first three options. However, the maximum amount I left with was from Roebuck Roadhouse with 16L of water on board through combination of all five options above.

I like the sea to summit and dromedary bags as they fold down small, can be stashed in a (cooler) pannier. When cycling across Russia my riding partner had a large 10L bag that we could fill up only at end of the day to carry enough water for bathing and cooking that last ~10km into camp. It would get lashed across a back rack.
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Old 05-31-09, 06:54 PM   #9
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Cool trip.

I love my Msr dromedary bags, they are tough. Only complaint is that they are a bit hard to unscrew the main lid after a day or so. I usualy just fill throught the smaller cap though, and use the larger for cleaning. I prefer several smaller bags for weight distribution, and if one is destroyed(it happened, nothing cool, just a sharp rock), I have three more water containers. Also, I have the sippy hose attatchment that I transfer from bag to bag as needed, and it can work as a shower as well. leave one in the sun for a few hours, hot to warmish water. I can also use the hose to fill directly from my msr microworks filter.
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Old 05-31-09, 09:40 PM   #10
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MSR Dromedary bags are tough buggers.

I call my ten liter one "the pig".

10 liters is a nice size even for cool weather touring, but the 4 liter size ones are much more manageable on top of a rack.

I tend to be a water pig if there's any around, I'd carry a ten liter Dromedary and then some in the Great Basin or Southwest fo sure.

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Old 06-01-09, 05:41 AM   #11
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Wow, I might have to try the Carizzo plain this summer with my brother and nephew. It isn't all that far from my sister's place in Gilroy, where I'll be staying, and I've wanted to see that area for years. Then again, late July might not be the best time to bike there, hmmm?
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Old 06-01-09, 08:35 AM   #12
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I checked out your photos. It looks like a great ride. I'm curious about the exact route. I live about 2 miles from the Morro Bay campground. This looks like something I'd enjoy. I checked out your blog but couldn't find an itinerary. If you wouldn't mind posting a quick one it would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-01-09, 08:43 AM   #13
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You got some really nice pics there.

One reason I put a front rack with shelf is to carry unexpected load like water or food (or even firewood on a short distance) that doesn't fit in the panniers without putting more weight on the rear wheel.
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Old 06-01-09, 11:42 AM   #14
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BBT...I'll post a map soon...

Best time to go would probably be in the spring after it rains....

We lucked out with some cool-ish weather...highs in the mid-80s...wouldn't want to attempt it when it was in the 100s

Russ
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Old 06-01-09, 10:53 PM   #15
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BBT...just posted a map of the route...let me know if you want any specific details.

http://epicureancyclist.com/?p=548

Russ
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Old 06-01-09, 10:58 PM   #16
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A while back, I was reading about a guy's unicycle trip across the country. When he was riding through Death Valley, he had no way to carry all the water he needed. He said he made him a little sign that said "Need Water", and about every third car would stop and give him water. Of course, that trick might work better on a unicycle than on a bicycle. And that assumes you have cars on the route, too.
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Old 06-02-09, 06:14 AM   #17
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He said he made him a little sign that said "Need Water", and about every third car would stop and give him water.
If there are cars along such a remote route, my guess is that trick might still work on a bike (though I wouldn't want to bet my life on it).

When cycling around Australia, there are some large gaps between known water stops in Northern West Australia. In the days it took me to cycle through the area, I had about half a dozen cars pull over as they passed me to inquire if I had enough water. I wasn't actively soliciting, but suspect I'd have had a fair amount more if I was.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:43 AM   #18
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This would not be a good place to rely on cars...we counted two cars in one day. One of them didn't even blink as it drove by and the other was a park ranger that saw our bike tracks and went to investigate...
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Old 06-02-09, 10:45 AM   #19
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One of them didn't even blink as it drove by and the other was a park ranger that saw our bike tracks and went to investigate...
That strikes me as very odd. I can`t imagine a car passing without stopping at least to make sure everything was hunky-dory. I wonder if it was some kind of smuggling operation.

Yeah, about asking for water (or anything else) from passers by- I`d have no problem doing that if an unforseen need came up, but there`s no way I`d rely on it and plan for it from the get-go. Emergencies are one thing, irresponsible is an entirely different matter. You guys did it right, IMO.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:04 PM   #20
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We use to carry a canvas water bag on the pickup when I grew up on the edge of the desert.
Sounds like the very thing to suspend in the triangle of the bike or on a trailer.
They work extremely well and keep the water cool through evaporation (nothing like a long cool drink of water in the heat of the day).

Now that I've remembered about that... I have to start looking for one for this summer.
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Old 06-03-09, 01:19 AM   #21
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Hi,

I have 1 Camelback (3L), 2 bottles on the bike (1,5L), 2 waterbags (10L) and I'm able to attach 10 PET bottles (20 L). Additional I can carry 10-15 kg fruits - which contain also water.
That should be sufficient to cross the Sahara in summer ;-).
I normally carry 4 L of Coke and 3 L of water for a hot day (>40°C - no shade). That's for me sufficient. If there is no water available than I don't boil water for cooking.

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