Tips & Tricks – Hydration Vests

Being that I live in the middle of nowhere (not really, but Luxemburg is a VERY small town) I train for the most part solo.  This posses several challenges when my mileage starts to ramp up.  I was given excellent advice by a fellow runner (CamelBak Marathoner Review – Dane Rauschenberg) when I became to research different regarding hydration vest options for my long training runs. I ended up purchasing the CamelBak Marathoner Vest in May 2015 and have been very happy with it, (Chicago or Bust – CamelBak Marathoner Review on Amazon) but I found that cleaning it out was time consuming especially for medium length runs where a handle held was not enough and a 2L bladder too much. That is when I came across the Orange Mud HydraQuiver Collection. The bottle system that Orange Mud offers was intriguing…so I ordered the single barrel version to give it a try.  To say I was impressed is an understatement, I found it to be a great fit for my training needs. Plus it was easy to clean for day to day use. Now don’t get me wrong, my CamelBak vest is not sitting around collecting dust, I still have a great amount of love for this system and use it weekly for my long runs.  What I have found is that there is a place for both vests in my running routine!  In using these products a ton I have learned a few things, in the spirit of paying it forward below you will find some “tips & tricks” that work for me.  Hopefully they help you out…

CamelBak Marathoner

  • Use lube. Grease up with Trail Toes around the edge of the vest and also on your body, that is unless you like chaffing or tramp stamps scars.  I learned this the hard way at the Minocqua No Frills Marathon this year and ended up with a missing section of skin that scabbed over to unfortunately look like a tramp stamp.  Not a good look! Thank goodness it is slowly starting to fade.  Don’t even get me started on how painful showering was after that race. Let’s just say child birth may have been less painful.
  • Freeze the bladder full of water or hydration fluid of choice.  On really hot days it helps tremendously to keep your core cool.  I have found that freezing my bladder the night before gives me a bit of an advantage out smart hot, humid Wisconsin summer days.  If you are a fan of Tailwind Nutrition it freezes like a slushie and makes for a welcomed treat while running. My favorite combo is lemon & raspberry buzz – YUM!
  • Don’t use the hooks. Instead of securing the tube back using the hooks on the vest loop the tube through the clips on the front of the vest. This makes accessing the tube for a drink much easier and will not force you to slow down to push the tube into place.
  • Use waterproof pocket for your phone.  You never know what the weather will be on a long run, things can change.  I love to run in the rain, but my iPhone is not such a trooper in a downpour.  For safety purposes I always carry my phone and put it in the waterproof pocket to keep it dry no matter what I encounter.

Orange Mud HydraQuiver – Single & Double Barrel

  • Pigtails, braids, or a messy bun. I have relatively long hair and have found that when I pull it back into a ponytail I end up getting the bottle caught up in my hair.  The solution for me has been to pull my hair onto my shoulders and braid it so it falls forward.  Much easier to access the bottle and less swearing (I was loosing a ton of hair).
  • Double check your lids.  I have gotten 1/2 way into a run and found that I created my own sprinkler system…aka I did not screw the top on my bottles tightly and have been spilling all over the place.
  • Pre-load bottles.  I use Nuun Hydration for many of my runs, but it is carbonated.  It only takes one accident to figure out that you need to let all the bubbles settle before screwing the top on your bottles.  I have come to fill my bottles the night before to make sure that all the carbonation has settled and I don’t end up with a mess while out on the trail.
  • Keep it tight.  When adjusting the vest you have to really yank on the straps to get the fit just right.  I use lube under the straps on the pack in the summer and place the lube on my skin in winter when I have lots of layers on.  Either way the key is to get the pack strapped down snug.

#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive


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