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Recommended hydration/first aid backpacks?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'd welcome other ski patrollers' recommendations and opinions (pro and con) on using a hydration pack to also carry basic first aid supplies.


I patrol on a small hill so don't need a large fluid reservoir or mountain-size pack for AR or back-country gear. Maybe 40-oz fluid and storage comparable to basic fanny pack would suffice, tho neat compartments would be a definite plus.


The Camel Back Rocket I use for cycling has a 40-oz bladder and the hose has neoprene insulation, but there's virtually no storage. DaKine also makes a good selection of hydration packs, but if you've got a particular favorite, the brand and model would be helpful.


I'm not keen on getting hung  up on a chair lift so any thoughts or advice in this regard are also welcome.


Why switch? I'm in the market to replace my old fanny pack. And the performance/fatigue advantages of on-hill hydration were laid out pretty well in the ski patrol magazine's spring issue.


If I weren't trying to do my part for the economy, I could get another year out of the old backpack and stick a water bottle inside my parka.


post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

So...  Nobody uses a hydration pack?

post #3 of 7

Nope.  I just stop by the base or the patrol shacks and drink up.  I don't carry a pack around.  1st aid supplies go in the vest or come in the trauma pack.  

post #4 of 7

I use a fanny pack myself, but what about one of the new Columbia packs?  Here is the smallest:




post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

To close the loop on this thread I started a while ago...


The new Columbia/NSP "Rescue Series" backpacks shown in the post above do NOT, contrary to all the early hype, include an "insulated hydration system."


It's commonly understood that any outdoors recreational "hydration system" includes a hose, mouthpiece and bladder/reservoir and the Columbia packs had none of those.


In fact, there's only a few strips of their new mega-hype insulation material inside one of the shoulder straps that would serve to insulate the hose, but you must provide your own hydration system.


I ordered mine and after it arrived, found that NSP had changed the description in the online catalog to read "Hydration System Compatible."  I'm still puzzled how they could misrepresent it in the initial marketing and press materials.

post #6 of 7

Assuming you don't want a dedicated patrol pack, the organizer you use is probably more important than the pack.


I've used a Cascade Toboggan Deluxe Organizer Kit in a series of packs (Camelbak Menace, BCA Stash BC, Vaude Freerider 25) very successfully.  It's basically a classic Harper pack without the waist straps and padding.


If you only need a smaller insert, the Crossbow First Aid Module should work.  I actually bought both inserts, and still have an unused Crossbow, but that's another story.

post #7 of 7

Find an older BCA Stash. 


I find that they just don't keep coffee hot though...  wink.gif

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