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Re: Owner Review - CD Platypus product line

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  • starnescr
    Andy Baised on this info I m thinking the Big Zip 4 L with Hooser would work best. at about 10 inches wide it will still slide down inside the area I need to
    Message 1 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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      Andy

      Baised on this info I'm thinking the Big Zip 4 L with Hooser would
      work best. at about 10 inches wide it will still slide down inside
      the area I need to put it and by only filling about half full it
      should remain fairly slim. In looking at the picture on the CD site
      I assume the Big Zips's do not have the tube running inside the bag
      since they fill from the top but empty from the bottom. Or do you
      flip it over once filled. I would think not since it said on the
      site you could fill without removing from the pack. I am assuming
      this means filling from the zipper side.

      Coy Boy

      PS after looking at my Eddie Beaur 2 L bag I think it may be a
      Platypus. Sure looks identical to the ones pictured.

      --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Andy Mytys" <amytys@f...> wrote:
      > --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "starnescr" <cstarnes@n...> wrote:
      > > I have a Eddie Bauer 2 L hydration system... trying to see how it
      > > might work inside my GG Nimbus ozone but when I fill it full of
      > > water it takes on a rather round shape and wont fit inside the
      > > space between the frame sheet and padding next to my back.
      >
      > I'm a tester on the Vapor Trail, which is smaller than your Numbus
      > OZnoe. I have used up to a 4-liter Platy in the slot you're
      talking
      > about.
      >
      > The trick is to put it in before you put too much in your pack.
      >
      > In my case, I used the REI 2.5 gal PVC coated nylon bucket that's
      10
      > x 9.5 inches. I fill that up with my cookpot, stove, med kit, put
      > it at the base of the pack, then fill things around the side of
      the
      > bucket like my Therm-A-Rest ultralight 3/4. I'd say all this gear
      > goes no higher than the top of the side pockets.
      >
      > Anyway, at that point, I have to put the Platy in. Then, I put
      the
      > rest of the gear in the pack. My wife actually has to keep
      > reminding me, as my short-term memory sucks. I've gotten the
      whole
      > pack packed, marveling at how much I must have ate the night
      before
      > to get so much free space overnight, only to have my wife
      ask, "What
      > about this?"
      >
      > > I was wondering if any of the larger systems you mentioned
      > > are wide. My bag is 6 inches wide and 16 inches tall but when
      > > filled it is about 3 inches across.
      >
      > FWIW, my 3L bottle is 7.5 x 16 inches. The 4L Water Tank is 10.5
      x
      > 14 inches. The 3L is 3" thick, and the 4L is about 5". I would
      say
      > I could only get the 4L to work at 4.5"+, so I most likely had
      about
      > 3.5L+ in there.
      >
      > > As for the little nipper in you chest pocket of the Parka.
      Stuff
      > > for madecinal pourpouses has an antifreeze quality about it.
      >
      > Now now... you know this is a common myth and nothing more.
      >
      > What I can tell you is the main bottle at base camp is a 1.5L
      > plastic jobbie of "Hot Damn" labeled, appropriately enough,
      > the "Lightweight Traveler". "Hot Damn" is like candy, and it's
      easy
      > to get carried away. The "Little Nipper" is like having
      > a "governor" :)
      >
      > BTW, I don't just pack crap. I also carry some Drambuie,
      Luksusowa,
      > and Zabrowka. The Zabrowka is cool because it has a blade of
      grass
      > that a buffalo pissed on stuffed inside, and the color has turned
      > yellowish as a result. Much more of a balls-y drink then Tequila
      > with two dead worms in it. More potent too. Hmmm... maybe we
      need
      > to have a new "gear" category.
    • Andy Mytys
      ... Make sure you re looking at the Big Zip 4 (9x17 ) and not the 4l Water Tank (10.5 x 14 ) when you talk measurements. The Water Tank is not compatible
      Message 2 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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        --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "starnescr" <cstarnes@n...> wrote:
        > Andy
        >
        > Baised on this info I'm thinking the Big Zip 4 L with Hooser would
        > work best. at about 10 inches wide it will still slide down inside
        > the area I need to put it and by only filling about half full it
        > should remain fairly slim. In looking at the picture on the CD
        > site

        Make sure you're looking at the "Big Zip 4" (9x17") and not the 4l
        Water Tank (10.5 x 14") when you talk measurements. The Water Tank
        is not compatible with the "Hoser", as the closure (Big Zip) and
        spout are on the same end. You need to have the spout down for the
        gravity, but doing that would compramise the zip.

        Rather than getting a 4l, I'd recommend getting a "Big Zip Hoser"
        1.8l bottle, and another, non-Big Zip, 1.8l bottle.

        The 1.8s are great because of their stout footprint (7.5x13in). I
        find that they are much more packable. You would have the advantage
        of not being stuck with a big honking bag when you only needed 2-
        liters... just leave the non-BZ at home.

        One 1.8 can go in the slot behind your suspension, or vertically on
        the inside of your pack. The other 1.8 can simply lay flat at the
        top very of your pack, just under the top-lid if you have one (still
        inside the pack skirt, though). Because it's only 13", it will fit
        sideways no problem.

        If someone you're hiking with runs short on water, you just pull the
        non-BZ 1.8 out and give them some water. No issues of watching them
        gross out when you pinch your bite-valve and let it flow :)

        > I assume the Big Zips's do not have the tube running inside the bag
        > since they fill from the top but empty from the bottom.

        Right. No inside hose on any model for that matter. Zips always
        have the zip side up.

        > ... it said on the site you could fill without removing from the
        > pack.

        I find this isn't really the case. The way gear ends up shuffling
        around, the weight of the pinch on an empty bag becomes to much to
        overcome by pouring or pumping water into the empty Platy. Platys on
        the outside side-pockets of pack, like the P-1/P-2/Breeze, work
        great. But, the water doesn't stay cool for long as the bag isn't
        insulated. Inside the pack, the water can stay cool on all but the
        hottest of days.
      • redbike64
        I remember thinking what the heck could I say about a water bag? and now here s a couple thousand words. Quite the review, Andy! --Rick ...
        Message 3 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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          I remember thinking "what the heck could I say about a water bag?"
          and now here's a couple thousand words.

          Quite the review, Andy!

          --Rick

          --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Andy Mytys" <amytys@f...> wrote:
          > Cascade Designs Platypus product line review
          > Owner Review
          >
          > Reviewed By: Andrew Mytys
          > Email: amytys (at) backpacker (dot) com
          > Date Published: November 1, 2002
          > Update History: None
          >
          >
          > Product Information: Manufacturer: Cascade Designs
          > Item: Platypus Water Bottles and Carriers
          >
          >
          > Product Description:
          >
          <<megasnip>>
        • Andy Mytys
          Thanks, I had the same what can I say attitude about the Term-A-Rests. Comfy and lightweight... you can t have both... pick one. If you want comfy, get a
          Message 4 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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            Thanks,

            I had the same "what can I say" attitude about the Term-A-Rests.
            Comfy and lightweight... you can't have both... pick one. If you
            want comfy, get a TRest. End of story!!! Then I saw all the TRest
            owner reports popping up, and figured I'd be better off putting my
            efforts towards the Platy, esp since I had that "Efferdent" trick up
            my sleeve :).

            Now I just need someone to read through the mess and give me the OK
            to upload.

            --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "redbike64" <richard.dreher@j...> wrote:
            > I remember thinking "what the heck could I say about a water bag?"
            > and now here's a couple thousand words.
            >
            > Quite the review, Andy!
            >
          • Shane Steinkamp
            No, I can t, and I appreciate the help. ;) Shane
            Message 5 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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              No, I can't, and I appreciate the help. ;)

              Shane

              > Hey... Shane can't cover all the bases :)

              > > Sometimes, Andy, I really worry about you... ;o)
              > > Jerry

              > > From: Andy Mytys [mailto:amytys@f...]
              > >
              > > The Zabrowka is cool because it has a blade of grass
              > > that a buffalo pissed on stuffed inside, and the color
              > > has turned yellowish as a result.
            • Helen Hillberg
              Ah, but you can have both, at least for three season use. The Big Agnes air mattress at 1 lb 4 oz. is nine ounces lighter than the full-length UltraLite
              Message 6 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                Ah, but you can have both, at least for three season use. The Big Agnes air mattress at 1 lb 4 oz. is nine ounces lighter than the full-length UltraLite Therma-a-Rest and there is just no comparison with comfort, the BA has it all over the UltraLite. The standard Therm-a-Rest is almost as comfortable as the air mattress but weighs a whopping 2lb 11 oz.

                Helen

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Andy Mytys
                Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 10:09 AM
                To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Owner Review - CD Platypus product line


                Thanks,

                I had the same "what can I say" attitude about the Term-A-Rests.
                Comfy and lightweight... you can't have both... pick one.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • dawnhark
                Nicely done, Andy, and thanks for the Efferdent tip, I love it! Dawn
                Message 7 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                  Nicely done, Andy, and thanks for the Efferdent tip, I love it!

                  Dawn
                • Andy Mytys
                  ... Last I checked, the full length was 1lb, 6.7oz (weighed on a digi postal scale at home). The 3/4 is 1lb, 1,2oz. ... I ve got no complaints with the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                    --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Helen Hillberg" <hhloth@m...> wrote:
                    > Ah, but you can have both, at least for three season use. The Big
                    > Agnes air mattress at 1 lb 4 oz. is nine ounces lighter than the
                    > full-length UltraLite Therma-a-Rest

                    Last I checked, the full length was 1lb, 6.7oz (weighed on a digi
                    postal scale at home). The 3/4 is 1lb, 1,2oz.

                    > and there is just no comparison with comfort

                    I've got no complaints with the Therm-A-Rest... I would *love* to try
                    the BA to see what's better about it. Might just be a personal
                    preference too. I'm used to sleeping on a firm Sterns and Foster at
                    home... the Therm-A-Rest UL gives similar support, but I don't have
                    the "roll around" space of my "California King" bed.
                  • Andy Mytys
                    It s actually my wife s idea. She s a florist and it s what they use to clean the nooks and crannies of vases... safe on crystal too. One day I came home with
                    Message 9 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                      It's actually my wife's idea. She's a florist and it's what they use
                      to clean the nooks and crannies of vases... safe on crystal too.

                      One day I came home with some brown deposits on the bottom of my
                      Platy after taking water from a CG pump. Couldn't get it out for the
                      life of me. The wife rolled up her sleeves, pushed me aside, and
                      took me to school :)

                      Basically, anything "clever" you see me post is probably her doing.

                      --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "dawnhark" <dawnhark@y...> wrote:
                      > Nicely done, Andy, and thanks for the Efferdent tip, I love it!
                      >
                      > Dawn
                    • hhloth@msn.com
                      Interesting, I took the weight from the Cascade Designs website since I only have a three-quarter standard and three-quarter Guidelite. UltraLite was listed
                      Message 10 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                        Interesting, I took the weight from the Cascade Designs website since I only have a three-quarter standard and three-quarter Guidelite. UltraLite was listed as the lightest of their line at 1 lb 13 oz. for the full length.

                        Helen

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Wrom: UZXUWLSZLK
                        Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 12:51 PM
                        To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Owner Review - CD Platypus product line

                        --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Helen Hillberg" <hhloth@m...> wrote:
                        > Ah, but you can have both, at least for three season use. The Big
                        > Agnes air mattress at 1 lb 4 oz. is nine ounces lighter than the
                        > full-length UltraLite Therma-a-Rest

                        Last I checked, the full length was 1lb, 6.7oz (weighed on a digi
                        postal scale at home). The 3/4 is 1lb, 1,2oz.


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Andy Mytys
                        I know CD made occassional changes to the materials, but there was nothing wrong with the one that I have in terms of durability, comform, or slippage... I
                        Message 11 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                          I know CD made occassional changes to the materials, but there was
                          nothing wrong with the one that I have in terms of durability,
                          comform, or slippage... I can't see an engineer at CD saying, "let's
                          make it even heavier" based on the UL that I have.

                          It is the standard burgandy/brown color scheme, a few years old.

                          My really old TRest UL is blue/brown, and weighs a couple OZ less.

                          --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., hhloth@m... wrote:
                          > Interesting, I took the weight from the Cascade Designs website
                          since I only have a three-quarter standard and three-quarter
                          Guidelite. UltraLite was listed as the lightest of their line at 1
                          lb 13 oz. for the full length.
                          >
                          > Helen
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > Wrom: UZXUWLSZLK
                          > Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 12:51 PM
                          > To: BackpackGearTest@y...
                          > Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Owner Review - CD Platypus product
                          line
                          >
                          > --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Helen Hillberg" <hhloth@m...> wrote:
                          > > Ah, but you can have both, at least for three season use. The Big
                          > > Agnes air mattress at 1 lb 4 oz. is nine ounces lighter than the
                          > > full-length UltraLite Therma-a-Rest
                          >
                          > Last I checked, the full length was 1lb, 6.7oz (weighed on a digi
                          > postal scale at home). The 3/4 is 1lb, 1,2oz.
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • (no author)
                          oonbow Gearskin Pack, Field Report Message-ID: User-Agent: eGroups-EW/0.82 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain;
                          Message 12 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
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                            Here's my Field Report on the Moonbow Gearskin. Please read and comment.

                            Thank you!

                            Dawn


                            Moonbow Gearskin Pack, Field Report
                            10/27/02


                            Biographical Information

                            Tester: Dawn Harkins, age 47, female, 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm), 187
                            pounds (85 kgs), torso 16.5 inches (42 cm), chest at sternum 40.5
                            inches (103 cm), hips 42.5 inches (108 cm).

                            Email Address: dawnhark "at" yahoo "dot" com
                            Location: Lake Tahoe, Northern California, USA

                            Backpacking Background: I began backpacking in 1973, went infrequently
                            in the eighties and nineties, and now backpack regularly. Almost all
                            of my hiking is done in the High Sierra in areas within a day's drive
                            of Tahoe, though I also frequent the Great Basin High Desert
                            (northwest Nevada) in winter. I've hiked in Oregon, Idaho, Colorado,
                            Montana, Wyoming, British Columbia, and Alaska. I have the good
                            fortune to live in the middle of the mountains while working
                            part-time, so it's easy for me to go camping, day hiking, and
                            backpacking often.


                            Product Information

                            Manufacturer: The Moonbow Company.
                            Date of Manufacture: August 2002
                            Manufacturer Web Site: http://moonbowgear.com/
                            MSRP: $125.00 USD and up (price varies with options and materials chosen)

                            Listed Weight: Around one pound (454 grams). Moonbow gear is
                            custom-made, so no two packs will weigh the same.
                            Weight as Delivered: 20.1 ounces (570 grams)
                            Listed Capacity: 2500 to 6500 cubic inches (41 to 106 liters)

                            The Moonbow Gearskin pack system is an innovative lightweight design
                            that should be seen to be understood and appreciated. Before reading
                            on, I strongly advise you to go to http://moonbowgear.com/, click on
                            the Camping/Hiking link, click on the Custom Packs link, and finally
                            click on the Gearskins link. Here you'll find photos that will do much
                            to de-mystify the Gearskin.


                            Field Information

                            Location: The Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California, at
                            elevations of 5,000 to 10,000 feet (1,500 to 3,000 meters).

                            Description of Location: The terrain in the test area is mountainous,
                            with granite peaks and ridges, alpine meadows, streams, canyons, talus
                            slopes, lakes, and alpine and sub-alpine forests. This is a semi-arid
                            region.

                            Weather Conditions: The weather during this testing period was
                            generally dry and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 22 F (-5 C) to
                            85 F (29 Celsius).

                            Backpacking Style & Experience: I backpack a couple times a month in
                            the Sierra Nevada in a wide range of alpine conditions. Most trips are
                            two to three days long. As far as pack weight goes, I'm slowly
                            upgrading to lightweight and hope to arrive eventually at around 15
                            pounds (6.8 kilograms) for everything except fuel, food, and water.
                            (If I was really serious about it, I could go to ten pounds/4.5
                            kilograms base weight, but I find I'm not happy without a book and my
                            big Therm-A-Rest pad.) My current base weight is around 20 pounds (9
                            kgs).

                            I use tarps or floorless tents for shelter when backpacking, carry an
                            umbrella (for sun) and a poncho, and hike with poles. Jesse, my dog,
                            always comes along. I hike both on and off trail, and I like to avoid
                            my fellow human beings as much as possible. I am an ambler who takes
                            frequent breaks, as opposed to those who like to cover a lot of miles
                            on their hikes. One of my favorite tenets of lightweight backpacking
                            is to try and have every item I carry serve at least two (preferably
                            more) functions.


                            Field Report

                            Having just reviewed my Initial Report, I find I've already commented
                            on many aspects of the Gearskin that would normally belong in this,
                            the Field Report. I'll proceed by expanding on areas where I gained
                            more knowledge through field experience, and by updating where
                            appropriate.

                            One thing I want to make clear up front is that I had never used a
                            frameless pack for backpacking prior to testing the Gearskin, I prefer
                            to carry almost all of my load on my hips, and I succeeded in doing
                            this with ease. This is great lightweight pack.


                            To Pocket, or Not to Pocket:

                            From the Initial Report: "Jonathan McCue of Moonbow had asked if I
                            wanted a pocket on the back, and I said yes, even though it probably
                            wasn't necessary because, in a sense, the whole Gearskin is a pocket
                            or pockets—you can stick maps, snacks, water bottles, etc into the
                            pack at any point along the sides and top simply by unclipping a
                            buckle, stuffing the item in among your gear (or between your gear and
                            the Gearskin), and redoing the buckle… Compression prevents things
                            from falling out."

                            I use the pocket on the back of my Gearskin, which is made of the same
                            silicone-impregnated nylon as the rest of the pack, to hold my 2-liter
                            (68 ounces) water bag (I'm still not a convert to hose-hydration). The
                            pocket wasn't specially designed for this use, so I can't really
                            complain that it doesn't fit my water bag. When the Gearskin
                            compression straps are cinched tight, the pocket has very little
                            volume left. It is gusseted so that the center portion of the pocket
                            does retain volume, but both sides, amounting to at least half of the
                            total pocket, are flattened firmly against the pack body. I think the
                            gussets should be moved out toward the outside edges of the pocket so
                            that more of the pocket volume is useable. Meanwhile, I used it for my
                            water bag anyway, but I only carried about a liter (34 ounces) of
                            water at a time, which did fit into the pocket.

                            Other pockets: I wear glasses, so I Velcroed a case to a shoulder
                            strap for them (I switch between clear and dark–lensed glasses). This
                            worked fine.

                            When I first began using the Gearskin, I too had the
                            fear-of-being-pocketless-ness experienced by at least one other
                            tester, so I added a small pocket to the other shoulder strap, but
                            here's where my individual hiking style makes my needs a bit different
                            from other hikers'. I ended up removing that second pocket, because I
                            take frequent short breaks. How do pockets relate to frequent breaks?
                            On many of these breaks I take my pack off, so my pants pockets are
                            then easily accessible for small items like lip balm, and the Gearskin
                            is easily accessible for larger items. (Moonbow will add as many
                            pockets as you wish, however, if you prefer.)

                            The only concession I've made recently to pocketphilia is that I've
                            attached a long narrow nylon fabric "quiver" to the left side the
                            Gearskin, using the compression straps threaded through the carry loop
                            on the quiver so that it hangs somewhat loosely. It then functions
                            wonderfully as a receptacle for my umbrella and/or one or both of my
                            hiking poles. Ideally, these items would be stored under the side
                            compression straps, but I found I wanted an option where I would be
                            able to switch from poles to umbrella quickly, without having to
                            remove the pack and undo the compression straps.

                            Regarding making the leap from using a lot of pockets for organizing
                            my stuff: I segregate most of my smaller gear into two or three
                            stuff-sacks and zip-lock bags, and my water filter goes into its own
                            sack. I keep my poncho folded into a zip-lock bag (hehe, haven't had
                            to use it for the past six months—now that I've been so bold as to put
                            that into words, it should soon commence to snow like hell). Larger
                            items, like jackets, bags, pads, and shelter, are laid into the
                            Gearskin without additional bagging. I'll address loading the Gearskin
                            in greater detail below.

                            To conclude the Pocket section, no pack, however festooned with
                            weight-adding pockets it may be, offers easier access to each and
                            every item one carries than the Gearskin. Admittedly, it takes a bit
                            of getting used to, but it's a worthwhile shift to make. It helps to
                            devise a system you like for loading your gear, and then use that
                            system every time, so that you know where things are and can simply
                            undo the compression strap nearest the piece of gear you want to access.

                            Upon arriving in camp, I normally pull things out of my pack as I need
                            them and leave the rest of my stuff in the pack. One of the funniest
                            (remember, I'm easily amused) unforeseen results of using the
                            Gearskin was that I soon had all my gear strewn madly about, sitting
                            on rocks and hanging from branches and tossed hither and yon,
                            willy-nilly. I learned to establish a new camp set-up routine that
                            included first pitching any shelter, as usual, and then arranging most
                            items neatly inside the shelter. When I go without shelter, I now put
                            my things in a semi-neat pile at the head of my sleeping area on top
                            of the opened-flat Gearskin.


                            Packing the Gearskin:

                            From the Initial Report: "Instead of an enclosed bag, [the Gearskin]
                            has a flat rectangle of fabric bordered by compression straps (four
                            on each side, plus two on top), plus shoulder, load-lifter, and
                            sternum straps, and a padded hipbelt. There is no frame, nor are there
                            any stays in this pack; weight-transferring stiffness is obtained by
                            tightly compressing the load."

                            I've used the Gearskin on five weekend trips so far and I am amazed at
                            the simplicity and effectiveness of this pack's design. It's a bit
                            difficult to get used to at first: No stuff sack for my sleeping
                            bag?!? Unheard of! And yet, the unstuffed bag, along with your other
                            large or bulky items, functions to keep everything in place within the
                            Gearskin, resulting in a solid, unshifting, steady load with no empty
                            spaces. This is one of the best things about the Gearskin: the pack is
                            always the exact same size and shape as your load! Can't beat that.

                            I try to keep most of my loads to 30 pounds or less. Here's what I
                            brought on an overnighter in August, when the weather was still warm:

                            Total weight was approximately 25 pounds (11.4 kgs) and included my
                            Thermarest Base Camp pad, bag, Hex 2 tent, Thermarest chair, a big
                            trash bag (used in combination with the chair to create a ground
                            sheet), umbrella, nylon pants, fleece jacket, windbreaker, about a
                            liter of water, MSR Miniworks filter, two days of food (about five
                            pounds including dog food), stove and kitchen items, a few first aid
                            and repair items, and a bunch of smaller things like matches, cordage,
                            spare socks, etc.

                            I put all the food into one large zip-lock bag and organized the other
                            small items into small zip-locks inside a silnylon stuff sack. The
                            water filter was in its own mesh bag, as were the kitchen items.

                            To pack the Gearskin, I first spread it out flat on the ground, all
                            buckles unfastened and moved to the far ends of their respective
                            straps. Hip-belt and shoulder-straps were on the ground; the inside
                            surface of the pack was facing skyward.

                            Next, I positioned the tent very loosely over the pack, lengthwise. I
                            folded my pad into thirds and placed that on top of the tent,
                            positioned over the part of the pack that would later be resting
                            against my back. I placed the chair, which includes inflexible support
                            rods, on the pad with the rods oriented vertically and placed at the
                            sides. Next came my sleeping bag, tossed loosely over the rest, also
                            lengthwise.

                            The rest of the gear was placed on top of the bag. I put the food bag
                            at what would soon become the bottom of the load (just over the
                            hip-belt) and lined up the other items horizontally above that, with
                            the lightest things placed toward the top.

                            Finally, I folded the edges of the tent inwards lengthwise and then
                            folded the whole big wad of stuff in half. If I've lost you here, my
                            apologies, and please go to the Moonbow website for clarity
                            (http://moonbowgear.com/).

                            I usually fasten the top two compression straps first, and then the
                            sides. At this point it's all a fairly amorphous mass, and now is a
                            good time to make sure the load is centered over the back of the
                            Gearskin properly. Now all you have to do is tighten all the straps,
                            put it on, and walk. My gear tends to extend about four inches (10 cm)
                            beyond the pack body on each side.

                            Right about now you're remembering a few things you forgot to pack,
                            but don't despair. It's easy as pie to unclip the appropriate strap
                            and put whatever gear you forgot anywhere in the pack. Which is very,
                            very nice.

                            I still have concerns about leaving my gear partially exposed. From
                            the Initial Report: "By design, the Gearskin exposes my tent, tarp,
                            ground sheet, or sleeping bag to damage by tearing or abrasion, unless
                            I take the additional step of using either a pack cover or a nylon
                            pack liner."

                            I've given a lot of thought to this, and I think the answer, for me,
                            will depend on what I'm carrying for shelter on a given trip.

                            If I'm not carrying a tarp to use for a ground sheet, I'm thinking
                            I'll want to use a large, say about 25"x30" (64x76 cm) silnylon bag to
                            enclose my fabric gear in order to protect it from snags. This will,
                            of course, mean that I'll have to pack a bit differently. I haven't
                            tried it yet, but I envision it this way:

                            Lay out tent, pad, and bag as usual (for Gearskin packing), but don't
                            put it on top of the Gearskin yet. Fold lengthwise, then in half, and
                            slip this big wad into the large silnylon bag. Position the filled bag
                            on top of the Gearskin and proceed as usual, placing smaller items
                            such as clothing, mess kit, food bag, and water filter on top of the
                            bag, and then folding the back of the Gearskin up and over everything.
                            Snap and tighten compression straps.

                            Alternatively, you could put everything inside the large bag, but then
                            you would loose one of the very useful features of the Gearskin
                            design, which is easy access to every item.

                            If I am carrying a groundsheet, it can be positioned under tent, bag,
                            and pad and folded inward around same so as to protect that
                            more-essential gear from snags. The only drawback to this method as
                            opposed to using a large bag is that the ground sheet becomes the
                            outermost layer and is susceptible to snags. Where I backpack, summers
                            are usually long and dry, so I wouldn't be too worried about the holes
                            letting in water. I could also easily patch small holes. For winter or
                            rainy-weather camping, I would be unwilling to expose my groundsheet,
                            and thus my sleeping bag, etc, in this way.

                            I think that if I hiked in very wet conditions, I might go with the
                            pack cover instead of these two methods.


                            Fit and Comfort:

                            Generally speaking, the Gearskin is the most comfortable pack I've
                            used. It's not as comfortable as going naked, though, for which I
                            bitterly blame the Moonbow Company. Be that is it may, I'm pretty
                            satisfied. The concern I had about the shoulder straps laying flat
                            still exists to some extent, but not as much as it did initially.

                            I plan to play around more with the way I pack the Gearskin, possibly
                            removing the rigid supports from my chair and stowing them
                            horizontally, and shaping the load a bit so it fits the curve of my
                            back. As it stands now, however, I'm pretty pleased with it. The
                            weight savings alone account for a great deal of added comfort.

                            The buckle on the hip-belt still digs into me towards the end of the
                            day, but I fixed that by positioning a square of foam padding behind
                            it. I plan to attach the foam permanently.

                            I like to vary the tightness of the shoulder straps and load lifters
                            as I'm walking along; the variety seems to help prevent soreness from
                            developing in any one spot.

                            I do wish that, even though this pack is custom-made to my
                            measurements, there was some way to adjust where the shoulder straps
                            attach to the pack body (ie, adjust the torso measurement). The pack
                            was built to my specifications, but I'm no expert, and it can be tough
                            to get an accurate torso measurement. Adjustability of torso length
                            would give me one more way to play with the fit.

                            The best things about this pack are its extremely light weight, its
                            variable capacity, its comfort, and the way it provides easy access to
                            all one's gear.


                            Problems:

                            From the Initial Report: "After the Dardanelles trip [this was the
                            first trip with the Gearskin] I was disappointed, but not particularly
                            surprised, to find that there are two spots (at the back where the
                            bottom of the hip-belt is sewn to the pack) where the fabric is
                            tearing away from the stitching. When I initially examined the
                            Gearskin, I noticed that these areas looked susceptible to too much
                            stress for the way they are constructed (ie, with a line of stitching
                            that extends about a half inch/1.3 cm downward from where the hipbelt
                            is sewn to the body fabric)."

                            This problem could be prevented with a slight change in construction:
                            Don't extend those two lines of stitching beyond the area where the
                            belt is sewn to the body with a long horizontal line of stitching. On
                            my pack, the silnylon is ripped out for the short length of this
                            extension, but the inner reinforcing fabric has held. I think the pack
                            will survive these wounds, but they are unnecessary and preventable,
                            and they probably weaken the pack to some degree.

                            I would also like to see care, loading, and fitting instructions
                            included with the pack.

                            Here's a thought I just had which actually applies to all packs with
                            hipbelts, not just the Gearskin. As stated earlier, I carry all or
                            most of my load on my hips. Because of that, there's a lot of downward
                            pressure, and belts inevitably slip down too low and need to be hiked
                            back up, and often tightened. To help minimize this, I try to wear
                            shorts and pants made of fabric that has some friction, some texture
                            to provide resistance against the fabric of the hip-belt. Wearing
                            smooth or slippery nylon, for instance, just doesn't work for me. I
                            wonder if it would be a good idea to put some dabs of silicone
                            caulking on the inside of one's hip-belt to help it grip better? I
                            might give it a try, and if I do I'll let you know how it worked in
                            the Long-Term Report.

                            Thank you to BackpackGearTest and Moonbow for the opportunity to
                            participate in this test.
                          • John Burnet
                            Toby, Chris, Andy, Heather, and Shaun, Okay kids, here s the thing. I ve run out of time tonight and I m leaving before the crank of dawn to head into the
                            Message 13 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Toby, Chris, Andy, Heather, and Shaun,

                              Okay kids, here's the thing. I've run out of time
                              tonight and I'm leaving before the 'crank' of dawn to
                              head into the woods for three days. Andrew is gone for
                              the next few days as well. So, odds are, that it's
                              going to be several days before you guys get your
                              edits and folders.

                              Sorry I couldn't get these done. Packing, as always,
                              took more time than expected and I've spent several
                              un-planned hours vainly trying to find a local source
                              for freeze-dried beef.

                              I'll probably catch up around the middle of next week.

                              Happy Trails,

                              John Burnet
                              gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
                              BGT List Monitor


                              All is well
                              As I swing up to the border, bent for hell
                              And the service station man agreed
                              I didn't look too well
                              But the mountains and Maryann
                              Are calling out to me
                              And I got my bed roll on my back
                              And everything that I could pack
                              To see me on my way

                              All is well
                              The foothills are coming into sight
                              Today is just a memory
                              The future is tonight
                              And the red pines will bow their heads
                              The rivers and the watersheds
                              Will carry us along
                              And the mountains and Maryann
                              Will greet me there as only she can do
                              G. Lightfoot

                              __________________________________________________
                              Do you Yahoo!?
                              HotJobs - Search new jobs daily now
                              http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/
                            • Andy Mytys
                              ... Sure... give me more time. I ll just add another 1000 words to my Platypus review :) It s all under Hoser , plus I added a drying step to the end of the
                              Message 14 of 22 , Nov 1, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., John Burnet <gatemansnametag@y...>
                                wrote:
                                > Toby, Chris, Andy, Heather, and Shaun,
                                >
                                > Okay kids, here's the thing. I've run out of time
                                > tonight and I'm leaving before the 'crank' of dawn to
                                > head into the woods for three days. Andrew is gone for
                                > the next few days as well. So, odds are, that it's
                                > going to be several days before you guys get your
                                > edits and folders.
                                >


                                Sure... give me more time. I'll just add another 1000 words to my
                                Platypus review :) It's all under "Hoser", plus I added a drying
                                step to the end of the cleaning instructions. Here it is...

                                ---------------------------------------------

                                Cascade Designs Platypus product line review
                                Owner Review

                                Reviewed By: Andrew Mytys
                                Email: amytys (at) backpacker (dot) com
                                Date Published: November 1, 2002
                                Update History: None


                                Product Information: Manufacturer: Cascade Designs
                                Item: Platypus Water Bottles and Carriers


                                Product Description:

                                The Platypus hydration system, by Cascade Designs, is a complete
                                product line for storing and transporting water in the backcountry.
                                The family of products includes flexible and collapsible water
                                bottles, tanks, totes, and carriers. Most of the products can serve
                                anywhere from a simple canteen to a complete, lightweight, hands
                                free hydration system that can double as a shower. In terms of
                                weight, most Platys fall between one and two ounces, including the
                                cap. A complete "Hoser" ™ drinking tube attachment will weigh
                                another two onces. The largest reservoirs available, the "Water
                                Tanks" ™, weigh between two and three ounces, depending on capacity.

                                Platypus water carriers are made of a clear, triple-layer, welded
                                plastic laminate. This construction insures durability and keeps
                                your water from tasting like "plastic", even after being stored for
                                extended periods of time and across various temperatures. All
                                Platypus bags are lined with high-density food grade polyethylene so
                                there are no issues with chemicals, found in all plastics, leaching
                                into your water.

                                I have personally used all of the products described in this review,
                                many since 1999. Throughout this short time span, Cascade Designs
                                has made durability related improvements to the material that the
                                Platypus reservoirs are made of and changed the bite valve design in
                                the hands-free, "Hoser", hydration system.


                                Platypus Water Tank:

                                The largest family of water carriers available in the Platypus line
                                are the "Water Tanks" ™. Available in 2, 4, and 6-liter capacity
                                sizes, they are ready to carry lots of water when needed (e.g.
                                hiking in hot, dry, conditions). Like all Platypus bags, when empty
                                they are extremely lightweight and fold down flat for convenient,
                                compact, storage.

                                Water Tanks ™ feature the "Big Zip" ™ opening for quick and easy
                                filling, comfortable handles, an easy-pour spout, and a secure
                                closure cap. When in an upright position, the spout on the Water
                                Tanks ™ is located at the top corner of the bag. These bags are
                                meant to carry water but, due to the location of the spout, are not
                                meant to be compatible with the "Hoser" ™ drinking tubes or shower
                                adapters. When filled, the Water Tanks ™ are freestanding.

                                On a recent trip to Utah, the hike called for a 16-mile stretch with
                                no water and 100-degree temperatures. I carried two of the 4-liter
                                tanks of water in my pack, in addition to a 3-liter Platypus "Hoser"
                                ™ system.

                                It was my first experience with carrying so much water in a Platypus
                                product. The fact that these bags had the "Big Zip" ™ opening (think
                                industrial sized Zip-Loc) made me nervous. What if the "Zip" should
                                come open in the middle of my hike?

                                Fortunately for me, the "Zip" came open and leaked a little water
                                before I actually got onto the trail. I noticed the leak as I was in
                                the process of adjusting my gear to fit in a comfortable manner
                                within my pack. When I opened the pack for a final adjustment to my
                                camera gear, there was a small puddle on top of my stuff sacks.

                                Upon close inspection, I figured out what had happened. I placed my
                                camera bag on top of the Platypus bags thinking that, if there was a
                                leak, the camera was the last thing I would want to get wet.
                                Unfortunately, when I placed the bag on the Platypus tanks,
                                the "Zip" openings were facing upwards. The pressure of the camera
                                bag's weight, in addition to the stress of the bag being pressed
                                down on the Platypus tanks by the backpack top lid, forced the
                                closure to slightly open and leak water.

                                To get around this problem, I simply folded the "Zip" closure down
                                once and fastened it with duct tape. At the time, I was not in a
                                position where experimentation was a good idea. With water being
                                scarce until around noon the next day, I didn't want to chance about
                                additional leakage issues.

                                Since that time, I have found myself in similar packing situations
                                and have just folded the top closures of my "Big Zip" ™ flat. The
                                duct tape idea, while providing additional security, is completely
                                unnecessary.


                                Platypus "Big Zip" Reservoirs:

                                "Big Zip" ™ reservoirs (left bag in photo) are similar to the Water
                                Tanks ™, above. They are available in 1, 1.8, 2, 3, and 4 liter
                                capacities with the 3 and 4 liter bags having built in grommets for
                                attaching carry handles or suspending the bag to use in conjunction
                                with the optional camp shower attachment. All sizes come with a
                                closure cap. The bags do not stand upright when full since the pour
                                spout is located at the bottom corner of the bag. "Big Zips" ™ are
                                compatible with the optional "Hoser" ™ drinking tube attachment.

                                The "Big Zip" ™ closure works like an industrial sized Zip-Loc, and
                                having a wide opening for access is very convenient. Backcountry
                                users who use chemicals to treat their water can just let the source
                                flow freely into the bag, or dip the bag into the water for quick
                                filling. Sports drinks are a snap to make with the "Big Zip" ™ -
                                Just pour in the powder, add water, secure tightly, and shake. The
                                wide opening is also nice for putting ice cubes into the bag and
                                makes access for cleaning purposes easy. The opening is also a nice
                                feature for drying purposes as you can place a small towel directly
                                in the bag and either navigate it with your hand, or shake the bag
                                about until the moisture has been absorbed by the towel inside.


                                Platypus Reservoirs:

                                Standard Platypus reservoirs (right bag in photo, above) are
                                available in 1, 1.8, 2, and 3 liter capacities. All sizes come with
                                a closure cap, and can stand upright when full. Standard reservoirs
                                are compatible with the optional "Hoser" ™ drinking tube and shower
                                kits.

                                The main difference between the standard and "Big Zip" ™ reservoirs
                                are price, size, and how you fill the bag. The bags cost about $1
                                less than a similarly sized "Big Zip" ™, with the difference in the
                                3 liter models being about $3. While capacity between two bags may
                                be the same, a comparable "Big Zip" ™ is 1-inch taller in order to
                                accommodate the zipper. Of course, without the advantage of a large
                                opening, the standard reservoirs have to be filled using a small
                                hole that's about the size found on 20oz plastic pop bottles. For
                                filter users, Cascade Designs sells an optional filter link that
                                allows you to screw your filter's output hose securely to the
                                reservoir - Now you can concentrate on pumping, rather than keeping
                                the hose from popping out of the bag.

                                Standard reservoirs are also difficult to dry after cleaning.
                                Leaving it open to air-dry on your kitchen counter can take up to a
                                week. I find that rolling up a paper towel, inserting it entirely
                                into the reservoir, then shaking vigorously is a good way to pick up
                                most of the excess moisture quickly. Getting the paper towel back
                                out of the bag can be a little tricky, and those with "sausage
                                fingers" should be careful not to get the Platypus stuck to the to
                                the tip of their finger while trying to fish out the towel.

                                This said, if you find yourself uneasy about trusting the "Big Zip"
                                ™ from leaking on the trail, the standard reservoir may be the
                                product for you.


                                Platypus "Hosers":

                                The Platypus "Hoser" ™ system allows for hands-free access to your
                                water using a simple gravity based design. You fill a "Hoser" ™
                                compatible Platypus with water, attach the drinking tube to the
                                spout, then place the Platy either inside your pack or in a pocket
                                on the outside of your pack. The area where the drinking tube is
                                attached to the Platy should be pointed down.

                                The drinking tube is 42" (106cm) long so you can really get the
                                water deep in your pack where it will be insulated and kept cool by
                                the surrounding gear. One of the best locations for your reservoir
                                is vertical, against your back. By placing heavy items, such as
                                water and food, between your shoulders and as close to your back as
                                possible, you'll have a well balanced pack that's easy to control.
                                And, as long as you put the reservoir in at a vertical position,
                                you'll have a good flow of water until the last drop is gone.

                                The system also comes with a lapel clip, allowing you to
                                conveniently attach the hose to your pack strap, shirt collar, or
                                wherever you prefer (see photo, right). There's no more rummaging
                                into your pack for water or dislocating your shoulder reaching for a
                                water bottle. Just grab the bite valve, pull it up to your lips,
                                bite down a little, and sip.

                                Easy access to water is the real selling point of the "Hoser" ™
                                system. Hikers that wait until they are at a "convenient" point to
                                access their water often find themselves drinking only when they are
                                thirsty. It's well known that if you feel thirsty, your body is
                                already short a good liter of water. Such a shortage can decrease
                                your level of endurance, and make getting to your destination more
                                of a challenge then you initially planned. With dehydration also
                                come headaches, moodiness, and just a miserable hiking experience.
                                To stay adequately hydrated, however, you don't have to drink a lot
                                at one time - The key is to drink at regular and frequent intervals,
                                giving your body time to properly absorb the water. With the
                                Platypus "Hoser" ™ system, there's no excuse not to be well
                                hydrated.

                                Many hikers, when using the "Hoser" ™ for the first sip, cough up
                                the water just as fast as they took it down. This is due to air that
                                was trapped in the hose. Gulping down water followed by a little air
                                and more water causes a natural reflex cough - It's nothing to be
                                concerned with. Rather than drinking from a freshly filled Platypus,
                                I recommend that you hold the drinking tube down and pinch the bite
                                valve for 2-3 seconds, letting any air trapped in the drinking tube
                                escape while filling the tube with water.

                                "Hosers" ™ are available in either kit form, to convert non-"Hoser"
                                ™ setups, or with the purchase of a standard or "Big Zip" reservoir.
                                If bought together with the bag, the standard closure cap will not
                                be included in the purchase. As mentioned above, the "Hoser" comes
                                with a length of hose that has a specially designed closure cap on
                                one side, and and a lapel clip and "SyperFlow" ™ bite valve on the
                                other. The current bite valve design has been around since late 2000
                                (pictured below, left). For sake of comparison, the older bite valve
                                system is also pictured (below, right).

                                As you can see, the newer bite valve design has fewer parts. Today,
                                the flexible rubber bite valve simply slides onto the end of the
                                tube. The older bite valve system is a bit more complex, proves
                                difficult to clean, and has a tendency to leak a drop or two when
                                pointed toward the ground - On more than one occasion, I have found
                                myself announcing to the group that I have felt rain and, on clear
                                days, looking up to see if I am the unfortunate target of a passing
                                bird. In addition, the old, two piece, bite valve has a tendency to
                                trap impurities in its components. Although the water in the
                                reservoir is always clear, taking the bite valve apart after an
                                extended time on the trail always reveals a dark color to the inner
                                core. Was it some sort of a mold?

                                I do find that I prefer the feel and flow rate of the old bite valve
                                when compared to the new design. The older model is more
                                comfortable, and I can't stop the flow of water by biting too hard
                                on the rubber tip like on the current design. In contrast, the newer
                                bite valve is much larger and, after being accustomed to the older
                                design, feels like a clumsy mouth guard between my lips. Biting down
                                hard will crimp the opening shut and prevent a good flow of water
                                from being dispensed. Coming from the old system this is certainly a
                                noticeable change, and especially true when going up or down steep
                                inclines. In such times, it's easy to bite down lightly or come down
                                hard, but somewhere in between, at least for me, can be a bit beyond
                                awkward. The newer bite valve also has a "textured" feel to it, and
                                the old design is smooth.

                                A final difference between old and new designs is in the closure cap
                                (pictured above, center). The old cap is smaller and more ridged,
                                and has a tendancy to skip threads when being secured to the bottle.
                                This is not easily detected and, on more than one occassion, I have
                                had the cap slip off the reservoir when I was pulling it out of my
                                pack. Thankfully, every time this has happened the water has already
                                been consumed over the course of my hike - I have never had my gear
                                soaked. It remanis a constant concern nonetheless.

                                With the new cap design (right, in the picture), such mishaps are a
                                thing of the past.


                                Platypus "Little Nipper" Reservoir:

                                The "Little Nipper" ™ is a small, 375ml, Platypus reservoir with the
                                closure cap located at the top. It conveniently fits in the chest
                                pocket of a winter parka. This is a very handy size to have when you
                                need a little hydration to get you by, but don't want to encumber
                                yourself with an external pack or heavy load. As the name suggests,
                                it's also good for carrying a "little nip" of something that's a bit
                                stronger than water or sports drink.


                                Winter Use:

                                Cascade designs claims their reservoirs can be either frozen or
                                boiled without damage to the plastic. They can definitely be frozen,
                                and finding yourself with a block of ice in your pack during the
                                winter is no fun (although it can be amusing for fellow hikers). The
                                plastic on the bottles is thin and offers no insulation from the
                                elements. As soon as the mercury hits the freezing point, your water
                                is in jeopardy. "Hoser" ™ users are in an even worse predicament, as
                                their drinking tubes and bite valves are totally exposed on the
                                outside of their packs.

                                Cascade Designs does make an optional bite valve cover, drinking
                                tube insulator, and hydration insulators for 1.8, 2, and 3 liter
                                reservoirs. When combined together, these help to prevent your
                                system from freezing in cold temperatures.

                                While these insulating systems may be good for sub-freezing
                                temperatures, I would keep a watchful eye on the effect of sub-20°F
                                temperatures on your Platypus. In extreme conditions, I would forego
                                the Platypus system altogether and instead go with a standard
                                Nalgene bottle. I would then cut sections of a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
                                closed celled foam sleeping pad and, using duct tape, secure them
                                around your water bottle.

                                I would, however, still have my "Little Nipper" ™ packed in the
                                chest pocket of my parka, for "medicinal purposes" only.



                                Platypus Accessories:

                                The "Hoser" ™ kit - bite valve, drinking tube, specialized closure
                                cap, and lapel clip - are available as a "Hoser" ™ conversion kit
                                for those with existing compatible Platypus reservoirs that were
                                bought without the "Hoser" ™ option.

                                Platy Patches - for those worried about a puncture on the trail, a
                                small, lightweight, patch kit of six individual self-adhesive
                                patches is available. As they are virtually weightless, tossing one
                                into your 1st-aid kit can't hurt. This said, I have hiked over a
                                thousand miles with my Platypus bags and have yet to suffer a leak.

                                Shower Kit - This is very similar to the "Hoser" ™ concept except
                                that the flow out the hose is constant. Using the plastic crimper
                                that's attached to the hose, you can turn the shower on or off. The
                                end of the hose has an attachment that breaks the water coming out
                                into a wide spray.

                                Filter Link - As mentioned in the text above, Cascade Designs makes
                                a special cap that allows for attaching a water filter outlet hose
                                directly to your reservoir. This allows you to pump without having
                                to struggle with keeping the output hose of your filter inside the
                                Platypus reservoir.

                                Push-Pull Cap - This is a simple push-off, pull-on, cap, similar to
                                those found on dish washing liquid dispensers. Pull, squeeze, and
                                drink. I only wish that the "Little Nipper" ™ came standard with
                                this cap as it's much better suited for "nipping", especially when
                                wearing a thick pair of gloves.


                                Cleaning your Platypus Reservoir: The one piece of information
                                that's not included, either in the packaging of Platypus reservoirs
                                or on the manufacturer's web page, is tips on how to clean your
                                Platypus bag.

                                Whether it's "colored" water from an old pump, creek water laced
                                with tannins, or you've simply waited too long before cleaning your
                                Platy after a trip, there are times when your system will just look
                                and smell terrible. The instructions below outline my personal
                                system used to keep my reservoir clean and fresh.

                                To clean your Platypus reservoirs, I recommend the following:

                                1) Get a clean plastic container that can hold at a few liters of
                                water. An empty gallon of milk is what I like to use.

                                2) For each liter of water your Platypus holds, pour in 1 teaspoon
                                of household bleach into the container.

                                3) Fill the container halfway with water, close, and shake
                                vigorously.

                                4) Pour the mix into your Platypus, adding water as needed until
                                your Platy is full.

                                5) Close the reservoir and let it sit for 30-minutes.

                                6) If you have a "Hoser" ™ system, drain the Platy through the
                                drinking tube and bite valve. Otherwise, just pour the water out.

                                7) Flush the Platy and "Hoser" ™, if applicable, with clean water a
                                few times.

                                8) Next, fill the Platypus half way with plain, clean, very warm
                                water (not hot). For every 1-liter of reservoir capacity, place one
                                Efferdent pill into the bag (non-"Big Zip" ™ users will have to
                                break the pills up). Efferdent is an anti-bacterial denture cleanser
                                that has a "minty" taste to it. It's inexpensive, at a cost of about
                                $6 per 120 tablets. If you can't get Efferdent, any tablet-based
                                denture cleaning system will work. The tablets will start to fizz
                                and dissolve, turning the water to a bluish color. The solution will
                                move its way into the corners of the reservoir, loosening dirt and
                                debris that may be trapped there. Once the tablets are fully
                                dissolved, close the reservoir and shake vigorously for about a
                                minute. Fill the remainder of the bag with warm water and let it sit
                                for an hour. If your bag is really dirty, you can even let it sit
                                overnight.

                                9) Pour out half the contents, close, and once again give the bag a
                                good shaking.

                                10) Empty the remaining portion of the Efferdent solution from the
                                Platypus. If you have a "Hoser" ™ system, drain this water through
                                the drinking tube and bite valve.

                                11) Rinse out the Platypus a few times, including the drinking tube
                                if applicable, with clean water.

                                12) Depending on your model, drying the Platypus reservoir can be a
                                bit tricky. Simply leaving it on the kitchen counter can take a week
                                or more for all the water to evaporate. If you have a "Big Zip" ™,
                                drying is easy. Simply place a small paper towel through the "Zip"
                                opening, into the bag, and either navigate it with your hand, or
                                shake the bag about until the moisture has been absorbed by the
                                towel inside. If you own a non-"Big Zip" ™ model, roll up a paper
                                towel and insert it entirely into the reservoir, then shake
                                vigorously until all the water droplets have been forced into the
                                towel. Getting the paper towel back out of the bag can be a little
                                tricky, and those with "sausage fingers" should be careful not to
                                get the Platypus stuck to the to the tip of their finger.


                                Note that, after performing this procedure, the first reservoir of
                                water might taste a little "minty". Not to worry - grandma never
                                died from it, and neither will you.


                                Personal Biographical Information: Reviewer: Andrew Mytys
                                Email: amytys (at) backpacker (dot) com
                                Homepage: Andy's Lightweight Backpacking Site
                                Location: Michigan


                                Backpacking Background:

                                I live in Michigan and have been hiking seriously for 15 years,
                                although I've camped since I was 6 years old. My hiking experience
                                is limited to the continental United States and Europe. I spend
                                about 2-months per year on the trail. 2-4 day outings are reserved
                                for my home state of Michigan, where I'm a year-round hiker
                                (including winter/snow camping). I also enjoy hiking in nearby
                                states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as treks into
                                Ontario, Canada (Bruce Peninsula, Algonquin Provincial Park). I
                                reserve my 4-7 day trips for November through March when the weather
                                is perfect for tackling environments such as the Grand Canyon.
                                Longer trips are usually in the summer where I'll most likely be
                                somewhere along the Pacific Crest or on the Continental Divide. As
                                longer periods of time become available, I take in extended hikes in
                                more remote areas of the world where just getting from home to the
                                trailhead can take 2-3 days.

                                I consider myself a lightweight hiker. I carry the lightest gear I
                                can get my hands on which will provide a comfortable wilderness
                                experience and adequately support the goals of my trip. Unless my
                                goals are time/distance oriented, my pace is always slow. I rarely
                                exceed 1.5 miles/hour. I rest frequently, hike long days, and enjoy
                                whatever nature throws my way.
                              • Andy Mytys
                                OK. I found the warranty and cleaning instructions for Platys from CD. Boy, do they hide that stuff well in the packaging. Anyway, I included it in the
                                Message 15 of 22 , Nov 2, 2002
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  OK. I found the warranty and cleaning instructions for Platys from
                                  CD. Boy, do they hide that stuff well in the packaging.

                                  Anyway, I included it in the review, did some additional
                                  proofreading of my own, reworded some stuff, added some stuff, and
                                  now I've got a honkin' 27k review on a plastic bag :)

                                  Enjoy!


                                  p.s. I'm also available to extend the length of term papers by 500%
                                  if desired (haha)

                                  -------------------------------------------------

                                  Cascade Designs Platypus product line review
                                  Owner Review

                                  Reviewed By: Andrew Mytys
                                  Email: amytys (at) backpacker (dot) com
                                  Date Published: November 1, 2002
                                  Update History: None

                                  Product Information: Manufacturer: Cascade Designs
                                  Item: Platypus Water Bottles and Carriers


                                  Product Description:

                                  The Platypus hydration system, by Cascade Designs, is a complete
                                  product line for storing and transporting water in the backcountry.
                                  The family of products includes flexible and collapsible water
                                  bottles, tanks, totes, and carriers. Most of the products can serve
                                  anywhere from a simple canteen to a complete, lightweight, hands
                                  free hydration system that can double as a shower. In terms of
                                  weight, most Platys, as they're commonly referred to, fall between
                                  one and two ounces, including the cap. A complete "Hoser" ™ drinking
                                  tube attachment will weigh another two onces. The largest reservoirs
                                  available, the "Water Tanks" ™, weigh between two and three ounces,
                                  depending on capacity.

                                  Platypus water carriers are made of a clear, triple-layer, welded
                                  plastic laminate. This construction insures durability and keeps
                                  your water from tasting like "plastic", even after being stored for
                                  extended periods of time and across various temperatures. All
                                  Platypus bags are lined with high-density food grade polyethylene so
                                  there are no issues with chemicals, found in all plastics, leaching
                                  into your water. Platypus bags may be frozen, or boiled buy
                                  inserting a filled reservoir into an uncovered pot and keeping it
                                  covered with water that's cooking.

                                  All Playpus reservoirs come with a lifetime warranty. It doesn't
                                  cover abuse but, if your Platy should fail during normal use,
                                  Cascade Designs will replace it free of charge.

                                  I have personally used all of the products described in this review,
                                  many since 1999. Throughout this short time span, Cascade Designs
                                  has made durability related improvements to the material that the
                                  Platypus reservoirs are made of and changed the bite valve design in
                                  the hands-free, "Hoser", hydration system.


                                  Platypus Water Tank:

                                  The largest family of water carriers available in the Platypus line
                                  are the "Water Tanks" ™. Available in 2, 4, and 6-liter capacity
                                  sizes, they are ready to carry lots of water when needed (e.g.
                                  hiking in hot, dry, conditions). Like all Platypus bags, when empty
                                  they are extremely lightweight and fold down flat for convenient,
                                  compact, storage.

                                  Water Tanks ™ feature the "Big Zip" ™ opening for quick and easy
                                  filling, comfortable handles, an easy-pour spout, and a secure
                                  closure cap. When in an upright position, the spout on the Water
                                  Tanks ™ is located at the top corner of the bag. These bags are
                                  meant to carry water but, due to the location of the spout, are not
                                  meant to be compatible with the "Hoser" ™ drinking tubes or shower
                                  adapters. When filled, the Water Tanks ™ are freestanding.

                                  On a recent hike in Utah, the route called for a 16-mile stretch
                                  with no water and 100-degree temperatures. I carried two of the 4-
                                  liter tanks of water in my pack, in addition to a 3-liter
                                  Platypus "Hoser" ™ system.

                                  It was my first experience with carrying so much water in a Platypus
                                  product. The fact that these bags had the "Big Zip" ™ opening (think
                                  industrial sized Zip-Loc) made me nervous. What if the "Zip" should
                                  come open in the middle of my hike?

                                  Fortunately for me, the "Zip" came open and leaked a little water
                                  before I actually got onto the trail. I noticed the leak as I was in
                                  the process of making final adjustments to the gear in my pack. When
                                  I opened the pack to put some additional film in my camera bag,
                                  there was a small puddle on top of my stuff sacks.

                                  Upon close inspection, I figured out what had happened. I placed my
                                  camera bag on top of the Platypus bags thinking that, if there was a
                                  leak, the camera was the last thing I would want to get wet.
                                  Unfortunately, when I placed the bag on the Platypus tanks,
                                  the "Zip" openings were facing upwards. The pressure of the camera
                                  bag's weight, in addition to the stress of the bag being pressed
                                  down on the Platypus tanks by the backpack's top lid, forced
                                  the "Big Zip" ™ closure to twist, open slightly, and leak water.

                                  To get around this problem, I simply folded the "Zip" closure down
                                  once and fastened it with duct tape. At the time, I was not in a
                                  position where experimentation was a good idea. With water being
                                  scarce until around noon the next day, I didn't want to chance about
                                  additional leakage issues.

                                  Since that time, I have found myself in similar packing situations
                                  and have just folded the top closures of my "Big Zip" ™ flat. The
                                  duct tape idea, while providing additional security, is completely
                                  unnecessary.


                                  Platypus "Big Zip" Reservoirs:

                                  "Big Zip" ™ reservoirs (left bag in photo) are similar to the Water
                                  Tanks ™, above. They are available in 1, 1.8, 2, 3, and 4 liter
                                  capacities with the 3 and 4 liter bags having built in grommets for
                                  attaching carry handles or suspending the bag to use in conjunction
                                  with the optional camp shower attachment. All sizes come with a
                                  closure cap. The bags do not stand upright when full since the pour
                                  spout is located at the bottom corner of the bag. "Big Zips" ™ are
                                  compatible with the optional "Hoser" ™ drinking tube attachment.

                                  The "Big Zip" ™ closure works like an industrial sized Zip-Loc, and
                                  having a wide opening for access is very convenient. Backcountry
                                  users who use chemicals to treat their water can just let the source
                                  flow freely into the bag, or dip the bag into the water for quick
                                  filling. Sports drinks are a snap to make with the "Big Zip" ™ -
                                  Just pour in the powder, add water, secure tightly, and shake. The
                                  wide opening is also nice for putting ice cubes into the bag and
                                  makes access for cleaning purposes easy. The opening is also a nice
                                  feature for drying purposes as you can place a small towel directly
                                  in the bag and either navigate it with your hand, or shake the bag
                                  about until the moisture has been absorbed by the towel inside.


                                  Platypus Reservoirs:

                                  Standard Platypus reservoirs (right bag in photo, above) are
                                  available in 1, 1.8, 2, and 3 liter capacities. All sizes come with
                                  a closure cap, and can stand upright when full. Standard reservoirs
                                  are compatible with the optional "Hoser" ™ drinking tube and shower
                                  kits.

                                  The main difference between the standard and "Big Zip" ™ reservoirs
                                  are price, size, and how you fill the bag. The standard reservoir
                                  costs about $1 less than a similarly sized "Big Zip" ™, with the
                                  difference in the 3 liter models being about $3. While capacity
                                  between the two Platys designs may be the same, a comparable "Big
                                  Zip" ™ is 1-inch taller in order to accommodate the zipper. Of
                                  course, without the advantage of a large opening, the standard
                                  reservoirs have to be filled using a small hole that's about the
                                  size found on 20oz plastic pop bottles. For filter users, Cascade
                                  Designs sells an optional filter link that allows you to screw your
                                  filter's output hose securely to the reservoir - Now you can
                                  concentrate on pumping, rather than keeping the hose from popping
                                  out of the bag.

                                  Standard reservoirs are also difficult to dry after cleaning.
                                  Leaving it open to air-dry on your kitchen counter can take up to a
                                  week. I find that rolling up a paper towel, inserting it entirely
                                  into the reservoir, then shaking vigorously is a good way to pick up
                                  most of the excess moisture quickly. Getting the paper towel back
                                  out of the bag can be a little tricky, and those with "sausage
                                  fingers" should be careful not to get the Platypus stuck to the to
                                  the tip of their finger while trying to fish out the towel.

                                  This said, if you find yourself uneasy about trusting the "Big Zip"
                                  ™ from leaking on the trail, the standard reservoir may be the
                                  product for you.


                                  Platypus "Hosers":

                                  The Platypus "Hoser" ™ system allows for hands-free access to your
                                  water using a simple gravity based design. You fill a "Hoser" ™
                                  compatible Platypus with water, attach the drinking tube to the
                                  spout, then place the Platy either inside, or in a pocket on the
                                  outside, of your pack. The area where the drinking tube is attached
                                  to the Platy should be pointing down.

                                  The drinking tube is 42" (106cm) long so you can really get the
                                  water deep in your pack where it will be insulated and kept cool by
                                  the surrounding gear. One of the best locations for your reservoir
                                  is vertical, against your back. By placing heavy items, such as
                                  water and food, between your shoulders and as close to your back as
                                  possible, you'll have a well balanced pack that's easy to control.
                                  And, as long as you put the reservoir in at a vertical position,
                                  you'll have a good flow of water until the last drop is gone.

                                  The system comes with a lapel clip, allowing you to conveniently
                                  attach the hose to your pack strap, shirt collar, or wherever you
                                  prefer (see photo, right). There's no more rummaging into your pack
                                  for water or coming close to dislocating your shoulder while
                                  reaching for a water bottle. Just grab the bite valve, pull it up to
                                  your lips, bite down a little, and sip.

                                  Easy access to water is the real selling point of the "Hoser" ™
                                  system. Hikers that wait until they are at a "convenient" point to
                                  access their water often find themselves drinking only when they are
                                  thirsty. It's well known that if you feel thirsty, your body is
                                  already short a good liter of water. Such a shortage can decrease
                                  your level of endurance, and make getting to your destination more
                                  of a challenge than you initially planned. With dehydration also
                                  come headaches, moodiness, and a miserable hike in general. To stay
                                  adequately hydrated, however, you don't have to drink a lot at one
                                  time - The key is to drink at regular and frequent intervals, giving
                                  your body time to properly absorb the water. With the
                                  Platypus "Hoser" ™ system, there's no excuse for not being well
                                  hydrated.

                                  Many hikers, when taking the first sip out of their "Hoser" ™, cough
                                  up the water just as fast as it went down. This is due to the air
                                  that was trapped in the hose - Gulping down water, followed by a
                                  little air, and more water causes a natural reflex cough. It's
                                  nothing to be concerned with. Rather than drinking from a freshly
                                  filled Platypus, I recommend that you hold the drinking tube down
                                  and pinch the bite valve for 2-3 seconds, letting any air trapped in
                                  the drinking tube escape while filling the tube with water.

                                  "Hosers" ™ are available in either kit form, to convert non-"Hoser"
                                  ™ setups, or with the purchase of a standard or "Big Zip" reservoir.
                                  If bought together with the bag, the standard closure cap will not
                                  be included in the purchase. Instead, the "Hoser" will come with a
                                  length of hose that has a specially designed closure cap on one
                                  side, and and a lapel clip and "SyperFlow" ™ bite valve on the
                                  other. The current bite valve design has been around since late 2000
                                  (pictured below, left). For sake of comparison, the older bite valve
                                  system is also pictured (below, right).

                                  As you can see, the newer bite valve design has fewer parts. Today,
                                  the flexible rubber bite valve simply slides onto the end of the
                                  tube. The older bite valve system is a bit more complex, proves
                                  difficult to clean, and has a tendency to leak a drop or two when
                                  pointed toward the ground - On more than one occasion, I have found
                                  myself announcing to the group that I have felt rain and, on clear
                                  days, looking up to see if I am the unfortunate target of a passing
                                  bird. In addition, the old, two piece, bite valve has a tendency to
                                  trap impurities in its components. Although the water in the
                                  reservoir is always clear, taking the bite valve apart after an
                                  extended time on the trail always reveals a dark color to the inner
                                  core. Was it some sort of a mold?

                                  I do find that I prefer the feel and flow rate of the old bite valve
                                  when compared to the new design. The older model is more
                                  comfortable, and I can't stop the flow of water by biting too hard
                                  on the rubber tip like on the current design. In contrast, the newer
                                  bite valve is much larger and, after being accustomed to the older
                                  design, feels like a clumsy mouth guard between my lips. Biting down
                                  hard will crimp the opening shut and prevent a good flow of water
                                  from being dispensed. Coming from the old system this is certainly a
                                  noticeable change, and especially true when going up or down steep
                                  inclines. In such times, it's easy to bite down lightly or come down
                                  hard, but somewhere in between, at least for me, can be a bit beyond
                                  awkward. The newer bite valve also has a "textured" feel to it, and
                                  the old design is smooth.

                                  A final difference between old and new designs is in the closure cap
                                  (pictured above, center). The old cap is smaller and more ridged,
                                  and has a tendancy to skip threads when being secured to the bottle.
                                  This is not easily detected and, on more than one occassion, I have
                                  had the cap slip off the reservoir when I was pulling it out of my
                                  pack. Thankfully, every time this has happened the water has already
                                  been consumed over the course of my hike - I have never had my gear
                                  soaked. It remanis a constant concern nonetheless.

                                  With the new cap design (right, in the picture), such mishaps are a
                                  thing of the past.


                                  Platypus "Little Nipper" Reservoir:

                                  The "Little Nipper" ™ is a small, 375ml, Platypus reservoir with the
                                  closure cap located at the top. It conveniently fits in the chest
                                  pocket of a winter parka. This is a very handy size to have when you
                                  need a little hydration to get you by, but don't want to encumber
                                  yourself with an external pack or heavy load. As the name suggests,
                                  it's also good for carrying a "little nip" of something that's a bit
                                  stronger than water or sports drink.



                                  Winter Use:

                                  Cascade designs claims their reservoirs can be either frozen or
                                  boiled without damage to the plastic. They can definitely be frozen,
                                  and finding yourself with a block of ice in your pack during the
                                  winter is no fun (although it can be amusing for fellow hikers). The
                                  plastic on the bottles is thin and offers no insulation from the
                                  elements. As soon as the mercury hits the freezing point, your water
                                  is in jeopardy. "Hoser" ™ users are in an even worse predicament, as
                                  their drinking tubes and bite valves are totally exposed on the
                                  outside of their packs.

                                  Cascade Designs does make an optional bite valve cover, drinking
                                  tube insulator, and hydration insulators for 1.8, 2, and 3 liter
                                  reservoirs. When combined together, these help to prevent your
                                  system from freezing in cold temperatures.

                                  While these insulating systems may be good for sub-freezing
                                  temperatures, I would keep a watchful eye on the effect of sub-20°F
                                  temperatures on your Platypus. In extreme conditions, I would forego
                                  the Platypus system altogether and instead go with a standard
                                  Nalgene bottle. I would then cut sections of a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
                                  closed celled foam sleeping pad and, using duct tape, secure them
                                  around your water bottle.

                                  I would, however, still have my "Little Nipper" ™ packed in the
                                  chest pocket of my parka, for "medicinal purposes" only. Also, I
                                  might be inclined to take along a 1-liter standard reservoir (non-
                                  "Big Zip" ™) with me. Remember, Platys can be boiled. With this in
                                  mind, you could pour hot water into the bag and bring it into the
                                  sleeping bag with you for added warmth. Should you suddenly find
                                  that your winter sleeping bag isn't keeping your warm enough, a
                                  Platy could be the difference between a comfortable night's sleep
                                  and an agonizing battle hypothermia. Just be careful not to make the
                                  water too hot, as you want to avoid burning yourself. As for
                                  placement, I find the most effective area to place the hot Platy is
                                  right next to the femoral artery (i.e. "Crotch it"). It sounds
                                  silly, but winter is hardly the season to be concerned with looks or
                                  style. Staying warm will, at the very least, ensure a pleasant
                                  backcountry experience in the premier season for hiking (just ask
                                  someone's who's experienced it). It can also be a lifesaver.



                                  Platypus Accessories:

                                  The "Hoser" ™ kit - bite valve, drinking tube, specialized closure
                                  cap, and lapel clip - are available as a "Hoser" ™ conversion kit
                                  for those with existing compatible Platypus reservoirs that were
                                  bought without the "Hoser" ™ option.
                                  Platy Patches - for those worried about a puncture on the trail, a
                                  small, lightweight, patch kit of six individual self-adhesive
                                  patches is available. As they are virtually weightless, tossing one
                                  into your 1st-aid kit can't hurt. This said, I have hiked over a
                                  thousand miles with my Platypus bags and have yet to suffer a leak.
                                  Shower Kit - This is very similar to the "Hoser" ™ concept except
                                  that the flow out the hose is constant. Using the plastic crimper
                                  that's attached to the hose, you can turn the shower on or off. The
                                  end of the hose has an attachment that breaks the water coming out
                                  into a wide spray.
                                  Filter Link - As mentioned in the text above, Cascade Designs makes
                                  a special cap that allows for attaching a water filter outlet hose
                                  directly to your reservoir. This allows you to pump without having
                                  to struggle with keeping the output hose of your filter inside the
                                  Platypus reservoir.
                                  Push-Pull Cap - This is a simple push-off, pull-on, cap, similar to
                                  those found on dish washing liquid dispensers. Pull, squeeze, and
                                  drink. I only wish that the "Little Nipper" ™ came standard with
                                  this cap as it's much better suited for "nipping", especially when
                                  wearing a thick pair of gloves.



                                  Cleaning your Platypus Reservoir:

                                  Whether it's "colored" water from an old pump, creek water laced
                                  with tannins, or you've simply waited too long before cleaning your
                                  Platy after a trip, there are times when your system will just look
                                  and smell terrible.

                                  Hidden on the inside flap of the packaging are Cascade Designs
                                  instructions for cleaning your Platy. Cascade Designs recommends
                                  using hot, soapy, water and rinsing with hot water. For a more
                                  thorough cleaning, they outline the following procedure:

                                  1) Pour 1/4 cup baking soda and 3/4 cup water into reservoir and
                                  shake.

                                  2) Add 1/3 cup lemon juice to the mix, shake, and vent by loosening
                                  cap away from the face.

                                  3) Repeat shaking, loosen cap, and let stand.

                                  4) Rinse with hot water.

                                  5) Repeat as necessary.

                                  6) To dry, blow inside to inflate and set upright.


                                  I have found what, in my personal opinion, is a better system as it
                                  disinfects rather than just removing the "skunk" from a well-
                                  traveled reservoir. The instructions below outline my personal
                                  system used to keep my reservoir clean and fresh.

                                  To clean your Platypus reservoir, I recommend the following:

                                  1) Get a clean plastic container that can hold at a few liters of
                                  water. An empty gallon of milk is what I like to use.

                                  2) For each liter of water your Platypus holds, pour in 1 teaspoon
                                  of household bleach into the container.

                                  3) Fill the container halfway with water, close, and shake
                                  vigorously.

                                  4) Pour the mix into your Platypus, adding water as needed until
                                  your Platy is full.

                                  5)Close the reservoir and let it sit for 30-minutes.

                                  6) If you have a "Hoser" ™ system, drain the Platy through the
                                  drinking tube and bite valve. Otherwise, just pour the water out.

                                  7) Flush the Platy and "Hoser" ™, if applicable, with clean water a
                                  few times.

                                  8) Next, fill the Platypus half way with plain, clean, very warm
                                  water (not hot). For every 1-liter of reservoir capacity, place one
                                  Efferdent pill into the bag (non-"Big Zip" ™ users will have to
                                  break the pills up). Efferdent is an anti-bacterial denture cleanser
                                  that has a "minty" taste to it. It's inexpensive, at a cost of about
                                  $6 per 120 tablets. If you can't get Efferdent, any tablet-based
                                  denture cleaning system will work. The tablets will start to fizz
                                  and dissolve, turning the water to a bluish color. The solution will
                                  move its way into the corners of the reservoir, loosening dirt and
                                  debris that may be trapped there. Once the tablets are fully
                                  dissolved, close the reservoir and shake vigorously for about a
                                  minute. Fill the remainder of the bag with warm water and let it sit
                                  for an hour. If your bag is really dirty, you can even let it sit
                                  overnight.

                                  9) Pour out half the contents, close, and once again give the bag a
                                  good shaking.

                                  10) Empty the remaining portion of the Efferdent solution from the
                                  Platypus. If you have a "Hoser" ™ system, drain this water through
                                  the drinking tube and bite valve.

                                  11) Rinse out the Platypus a few times, including the drinking tube
                                  if applicable, with clean water.

                                  12) "Hoser" ™ owners should pull the bite valve off the end of the
                                  hose and visually inspect the inside. If it appears black or
                                  otherwise unclean, you can soak the bite valve itself in a weak
                                  bleach solution for 30-minutes (i.e. one drop of bleach in a glass,
                                  that is then filled with water). You can also use a Q-Tip to try to
                                  loosen up and remove any sort of grime. As the rubber on the bite
                                  valve is porous, you may not be able to rid yourself of the
                                  discoloration entirely. After a bleach treatment, however, this
                                  discoloration is nothing but cosmetic. Disciplined, post hike,
                                  cleaning of your system will avoid this from occurring to begin
                                  with.

                                  13) Depending on your model, drying the Platypus reservoir can be a
                                  bit tricky. Simply leaving it on the kitchen counter can take a week
                                  or more for all the water to evaporate. If you have a "Big Zip" ™,
                                  drying is easy. Simply place a small paper towel through the "Zip"
                                  opening, into the bag, and either navigate it with your hand, or
                                  shake the bag about until the moisture has been absorbed by the
                                  towel inside. If you own a non-"Big Zip" ™ model, roll up a paper
                                  towel and insert it entirely into the reservoir, then shake
                                  vigorously until all the water droplets have been forced into the
                                  towel. Getting the paper towel back out of the bag can be a little
                                  tricky, and those with "sausage fingers" should be careful not to
                                  get the Platypus stuck to the to the tip of their finger.

                                  Note that, after performing this procedure, the first reservoir of
                                  water might taste a little "minty". Platys can, after all, absorb
                                  flavors. Not to worry - grandma never died from it, and neither will
                                  you. It will go away soon and is surely preferred to drinking from a
                                  skunky, trail worn, reservoir.


                                  Personal Biographical Information: Reviewer: Andrew Mytys
                                  Email: amytys (at) backpacker (dot) com
                                  Homepage: Andy's Lightweight Backpacking Site
                                  Location: Michigan



                                  Backpacking Background:


                                  I live in Michigan and have been hiking seriously for 15 years,
                                  although I've camped since I was 6 years old. My hiking experience
                                  is limited to the continental United States and Europe. I spend
                                  about 2-months per year on the trail. 2-4 day outings are reserved
                                  for my home state of Michigan, where I'm a year-round hiker
                                  (including winter/snow camping). I also enjoy hiking in nearby
                                  states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as treks into
                                  Ontario, Canada (Bruce Peninsula, Algonquin Provincial Park). I
                                  reserve my 4-7 day trips for November through March when the weather
                                  is perfect for tackling environments such as the Grand Canyon.
                                  Longer trips are usually in the summer where I'll most likely be
                                  somewhere along the Pacific Crest or on the Continental Divide. As
                                  longer periods of time become available, I take in extended hikes in
                                  more remote areas of the world where just getting from home to the
                                  trailhead can take 2-3 days.

                                  I consider myself a lightweight hiker. I carry the lightest gear I
                                  can get my hands on which will provide a comfortable wilderness
                                  experience and adequately support the goals of my trip. Unless my
                                  goals are time/distance oriented, my pace is always slow. I rarely
                                  exceed 1.5 miles/hour. I rest frequently, hike long days, and enjoy
                                  whatever nature throws my way.
                                • JimSabis@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 11/1/2002 9:42:38 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... ...and it s considered a luxury item yet! Sheesh!! ; ) Jim s. [Non-text portions of this
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Nov 3, 2002
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                                    In a message dated 11/1/2002 9:42:38 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                    amytys@... writes:


                                    > BTW - I wasn't kidding about the buffalo piss.
                                    >

                                    ...and it's considered a luxury item yet!

                                    Sheesh!!

                                    ; )

                                    Jim s.


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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