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  1. #1
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    Looking for ways to carry water

    I am looking for a way to carry extra water, 2-4 gallons, on a trip that I am planning on. I would like to carry extra water because water is not guaranteed to be available for a couple of days of the trip. I have thought about using 2-3 liter bottles, but they are bulky and take up alot of room in they panniers. I am wanting something that will let me maximize the amount of water I can carry while minimizing the space they take up.
    This trip will be self supported, camping along the way. It will be 7 days of riding, covering 280 miles in upper 90 to 100+ degree weather.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

  2. #2
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Every gallon of water will take up 231 cubic inches and weighs 8.35 pounds. There's no way around that.

    I guess the real question is the shape and placement of the container(s).

    I would want several smaller containers. It allows more flexibility in placement. You could put some in your panniers (if you have room). You could modify a water bladder to hang from your top-tube.

    In any case, try to keep most of the water low so that the bike doesn't become unwieldy.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  3. #3
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    You can get a few of these and have all the water you will need.Just do a search for them if for some reason you can't find them get back here and I will post the place for you.
    Dromedary® Bags

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthayer View Post
    I am looking for a way to carry extra water, 2-4 gallons, on a trip that I am planning on. I would like to carry extra water because water is not guaranteed to be available for a couple of days of the trip. I have thought about using 2-3 liter bottles, but they are bulky and take up alot of room in they panniers. I am wanting something that will let me maximize the amount of water I can carry while minimizing the space they take up.
    This trip will be self supported, camping along the way. It will be 7 days of riding, covering 280 miles in upper 90 to 100+ degree weather.
    Camelback Unbottles http://casanovasadventures.com/catalog/water/p382.htm
    Platypus Water Tanks http://www.rei.com/product/768127
    or my favorite
    MSR Domlites http://www.rei.com/product/733951

    Or use bags from "wine in a box" really light tough mylar
    Or just crush 2 liter bottles when not using them, they'll take a lot of abuse on not leak.

  5. #5
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    you could get one of those 100oz camel backs. 100 oz = .7 gallon. you could also use 1 litre bottles for your regular water bottles and rig up a way to carry more than just 2 on the frame.
    instant human: just add coffee
    trek 830 mountain track - dead

  6. #6
    mev
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    When cycling around Australia, I used a combination of places with smaller containers:
    - three large bottles on the bike = 2 liters
    - camelbak = +3 liters
    - two extra normal water bottles = +2 liters
    - second bladder for camelbak = +3 liters
    - sea-to-summit water bag = +4 liters
    - extra containers = +4 liters

    While my normal load was in range of 8-11 liters, I had spots where I carried up to 18 liters. I found that a combination of smaller bottles and water bags worked better than a single large water bag. Those then got distributed in various places to also distribute the weight.

  7. #7
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    MSR dromedary bags if you want to have stuff that will last for years, or, a bag out of an octavin if you just want one time use.... the MSR bags can easily be lashed to the pannier tops.

    http://www.octavinhomewinebar.com/in...10323a42796d31

  8. #8
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    FWIW, I say get a trailer and toss a couple of these in the back: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___80816

    You can also stick a couple of water bottle cages on the front fork, if you aren't using front panniers.

    Also I'd imagine that multiple containers is better, simply because if one container gets compromised you haven't lost all your water.

  9. #9
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    The advantage of Camelbak Unbottle and MSR Dromedary Bags is that they're strong. You're less likely to have a nasty surprise and find yourself without water.

    What about using a filter to get your water from rivers, streams, etc? Carrying a lot of water means carrying a lot of weight. A trailer may indeed be the best solution.

    Also I second what the above posters said: multiple containers have advantages over one large one.

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I am looking at some of the MSR bags and will probably be ordering some of them. I am not really to fond on the idea of using a trailer for a couple of reasons. The place I will be going, I will not be able to cross over some causeways on the bike and will have to use the ferry some. Also, I am going to stay at a house with about 15 other people packing into it. I really would not have a place to store it and the bike.
    I did give the water filter a thought, Adam. I am basically going to ride through about 150 miles of farmland with minimal sources of above ground water. Not very many creeks, rivers, lakes, and once I get closer to the coast Ill have do deal with the salt. Its not the desert, but it can be as dry as it at times.
    I am more concerned about running out of water and having to deal with the hot temperatures. It is probably going to be more water than Ill need and Ill probably regret carrying the extra water. One good thing is, I wont need the extra water until I am going to be on flat terrain.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

  11. #11
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    I have not used the bags you cite, but a generic comment on polyethylene bags is that they can snag and leak. Last summer I wanted to test my new panniers and racks with weight in town before a tour so I put a five liter bag (from boxed wine) of water in each front and rear pannier, then rode about 10 miles. A couple minor leaks developed, the cause was inside the panniers where hardware that attaches to the rack had some sharp edges. If there is any chance that your new bags might tear, you might want to carry a spare dry bag as an emergency container to put the leaking bag into.

    If it was me, I would use 2 liter soda pop bottles and while empty they would be in a mesh duffle strapped on top of the rack.

  12. #12
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    You could do kitty litter panniers and just fill one up with water.
    1988 Miele Azsora

  13. #13
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    I've been using the MSR Dromedary bag (10L) for the past 6 weeks on tour. It's very well made. Once on a sunny day it actually warmed up the water inside until it was almost too hot to touch. For carrying, loop the webbing around your saddle and place it on top of your rear rack.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  14. #14
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Filter?
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

    2010 Giant TCR SL 3
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  15. #15
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    you need water purufication tablets or filtering machines.And you need the map of the area and in that map you need to find where you can find water than establish your rout through watery places.

  16. #16
    Junior Member avalon7's Avatar
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    Have you considered using a trailer, It would keep the weight down low and off the bike.

  17. #17
    Hot in China azesty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    Every gallon of water will take up 231 cubic inches and weighs 8.35 pounds. There's no way around that.
    <offtopic>

    1 Litre of water weighs 1 kg and takes up 1000 cubic cm.

    Metric is so much easier.

    </offtopic>

    z

  18. #18
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azesty View Post
    Metric is so much easier.
    +1

    To the OP, I just ordered a 2L Platy soft bottle that I figure I can use to supplement whatever I carry in my three or four water bottles in cages and outside pockets of my panniers. Don't have 'em yet, so I can't vouch for them, but they seem like a good solution. From what I gather they fold up real easy when empty, too, so as to not take up a lot of space.

  19. #19
    40 yrs bike touring
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    I have used most of the methods outlined except a trailer.The most important part of carrying water is the location. Too much weight placed too high alters your center of gravity and then your bike handling. The lower the location the better.

    A Japanese tourist had a two gallon hard container mounted in the triangle on the seat tube and the down tube. He had a rack fitted to two water bottle braze-ons to hold the container. Very effective use of space too.

  20. #20
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    I am going to get a filter, and will be carrying it on this tour. I am going to coastal area of Texas. Once I get about 2/3 of the way there, it turns into farm land. Miles and miles of straight, flat, and mostly empty roads. I have actually changed the route up a number of times so I will be going through the most cities and communities possible. I also put myself where I can camp in a town at night. I am planning on doing about 50 miles a day during the the hill country, and then when I get to flat land, I am hoping to do 60-80 miles. I am mainly concerned with the heat during the day and becoming dehydrated. Its going to be hot and its going to be hell doing it, but I need a vacation. I am in a funky state again, and I just need to get away for a week and forget about work. Besides I said that I was going to do this trip so I am going to do it.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

  21. #21
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    After tonight's ride, I stopped in at the store to get some pizza for supper. While awaiting for the pie, I was browsing around the store, it was a general store, and they had some Camelback Unbottles 100oz for $25.00. I went ahead and bought both of them. So now I have part of the issue of how to store water taken care of. Hopefully I can find some more good deals again.
    It is not about the destination. It is about the journey getting there.
    Competitors work until they get it right, but champions work until they can't get it wrong.

  22. #22
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    The most I ever carried was 7 litres, distributed as follows:

    2x 750ml bottles inside the frame triangle
    1x 1.5l bottle under the frame triangle
    2x 2l Platypus bottles in panniers.

    I also carried a Katadyn Pocket water filter in case of emergencies - didn't have to use it but I was glad to know it was there, despite the weight.

    The HUGE advantage of Platypus (etc) bottles is that they shrink and save space in the panniers as you consume the water, and take up zero space on the days when you know you won't need to carry that much. If you use a handlebar bag, get one of the drinking tubes too.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mev View Post
    When cycling around Australia, I used a combination of places with smaller containers:
    - three large bottles on the bike = 2 liters
    - camelbak = +3 liters
    - two extra normal water bottles = +2 liters
    - second bladder for camelbak = +3 liters
    - sea-to-summit water bag = +4 liters
    - extra containers = +4 liters

    While my normal load was in range of 8-11 liters, I had spots where I carried up to 18 liters. I found that a combination of smaller bottles and water bags worked better than a single large water bag. Those then got distributed in various places to also distribute the weight.
    I can not imagine carrying 18 litres.
    yes i am a weight weenie
    Scott Addict R2 LTD
    Surly LHT

  24. #24
    One legged rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcullen View Post

    Or use bags from "wine in a box" really light tough mylar
    Or just crush 2 liter bottles when not using them, they'll take a lot of abuse on not leak.
    Wow, box wine bags. I never would have thought of that but its a brilliant idea!

  25. #25
    Senior Member porter's Avatar
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    We've been using these a couple of these ortlieb 4l bags on tour and liked them a lot. One of touring buddies had an MSR bag (not sure what kind

    http://www.bikebagshop.com/ortlieb-w...4l-p-1004.html

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