Thursday, July 17, 2008

DIY Hydration System

During the training weekend in Esbjerg, we had quite many hours of strenuous paddling. Keeping hydrated while paddling in swell, wind and moving water doesn't allow long breaks from paddling, to dig out a water bottle from the cockpit or dayhatch. The deck-mounted bag with a hydration bag and tube in it, that i had on the kayak when paddling friday evening failed to do the job, during friday night's surf session. The valve fell off the drinking tube, and the tube was generally just getting in the way of maps, GPS and all the other stuff on the deck.

That convinced me about the need for a PFD-mounted hydration system (a thing which i had, until now, been reluctant to adopt, because it adds more clutter and weight to the PFD). Unfortunately, Stohlquist doesn't make a hydration system for my X-Tract D PFD. After looking at a similar system from Kokatat, i thought "how hard can that be"?

A quick DIY-session with sewing machine and various leftovers of nylon fabric ended with a quite functional solution. Total material costs are negigble - working time was around one and a half hours, including sewing on the badge from Smyril Line (which kindly offered to transport our kayaks, gear and food from Denmark to Torshavn).

The PDF-mounted bag takes a 1,5 L hydration bag. First impressions are good, definitely better than the deckmounted system - time will tell if the concept holds!

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