How To Set Up and Use a Camelbak for the First Time

Camelbaks are some of the most popular hydration packs for cyclists, runners, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. They are also convenient for activities like skiing because they free up your hands to hold poles while still being able to drink water. 

Whether you are training for an extreme competition or just trying to keep up with your kids, the Camelbak will make staying hydrated more manageable than ever before. 

If you’ve used one before, you’re probably a fan. If you’re thinking about trying one for the first time, there are a few steps that you should take to get your gear up and running!

how to use a camelbak for the first time

Why You Should Use a Camelbak

Camelbak is a type of hydration pack worn by runners and bikers for a variety of activities. It is a backpack with a water bladder and a straw. While it may seem like an odd object, most people find it quite helpful.

You fill it up, put it in your backpack, and sip water through the hose when you get thirsty. It’s a simple concept that has been successfully carried out.

Many people prefer using a Camelbak product over traditional water bottles because it’s easier to stay hydrated throughout the day with them. They are also more convenient than conventional backpacks because they are lightweight and easy to carry.

Here Is How To Use a Camelbak for the First Time

Prepare All of Your Materials

It would be best if you had your Camelbak, a water bladder (canteens can be used as well), and some tweezers.

There are three main components to the Camelbak: the pack, the bladder, and the straw. The pack is made of fabric and has several pockets on it.

The pockets are where you put things like your phone, keys, wallet, etc. The bladder holds your water and has a tube that runs from the bladder to your mouth (a bite valve). The straw allows you to drink without removing the pack.

Make sure your Camelbak is clean before you first use it. This is an excellent habit to get into every time you fill up your reservoir with water.

Fill It Up With Water

To get started, you’ll need to fill up the bladder (the big plastic bag) with water. To do that, open up the backpack and locate the bladder compartment. This will be an insulated pouch inside your backpack with a big opening on one side and a smaller opening on the other side.

Take out your bladder, turn it upside down, pull open the insulation flap, and unscrew the cap on top of the bladder. At this point, you should be able to pour water into the bladder.

When you have enough water, put back on the cap, close up the insulation flap at the bottom, and turn on the switch that will start pumping water into your backpack.

Camelbak Hydration Pack

Make Sure You Put The Bladder in the Camelbak

Most people who use a hydration pack for the first time will put the bladder in the wrong place and attempt to wear it on their head like a hat which should be avoided. Keep your bladder away from your head unless you are wearing a headlamp or a visor.

The bladder has two openings: One of them is a bite valve that you bite on to suck water out. The other opening is where you fill the bladder with water (it also has a space for the tube).

Once you have filled the bladder with water, put it inside the Camelbak and put the mouth of the tube in your mouth, and go hiking.

Drink From It

Drink from the bite valve as you would a water bottle. When you’re finished, push the bite valve back into the bladder to stop the water flow.

For a quick drink, you can pull out the tube and bite valve, but this will leave your drinking tube exposed. Also, you will notice that there are two different ways to drink from it. One is by using a straw, while another is using a tap.

It is important to note that you must make sure that it is in good condition before drinking from it if you are using a tap.

Add Ice (Optional)

You can add ice to the reservoir to help keep your water cool on hot days. Because you won’t be able to drain the water from the tube and bite valve, be sure to put it in an accessible place in your pack so that you can pull it out as needed.

Secure the Bladder and Bite Valve Tube

Pull the bite valve (the part you put in your mouth) out of the hose (the long flexible part attached to the bladder). Open your mouth and bite down on the bite valve as you suck on it. You can also open and close the flow by biting down on it harder/softer or moving your teeth to one side of it.

After drinking from it, you will need to replace it with another one to continue drinking from it. This can be done by removing the old one and replacing it with a new one.

Make sure that you secure the bladder and bite valve tube so that they do not leak out of your backpack during this process.

Read also: How to Dry Your Camelbak


Hopefully, you’ve learned why Camelbaks are useful as well as everything that you need to when using your new Camelbak for the first time.

The most important part of this is that you’re always going to want to remember to always drink before waiting until you’re thirsty. If you wait until then, the chances are that you’ll find yourself in trouble a lot quicker than you want to be or realize.

Another thing that you’ll find is that your Camelbak might leak out on the sides when it’s brand new. So, if there is any of that leaking from the bladder, make sure and wipe it off so that way it doesn’t end up leaking on your clothes or anything else.