Water Wednesdays! Dune?!?

the magic of desert 3 by Izabela Keppler

Water Wednesday: Water from Dune?

Today I’m going to cover what I’ve always called the “Dune water system” thanks to the lovely world-building of Frank Herbert (“the spice must flow!”).

When camping, staying hydrated is one of the most important tasks to stay healthy and better able to enjoy your adventure.

If you are living in a tent, you need to have your home system set up, but you also need to remember to bring water with you when you travel. If you’re long term camping, it’s much the same; though your ‘home’ system may be a bit shoddy, you still need to carry water with you. If you’re out for a short(ish) trip, don’t underestimate dehydration and the damage it can inflict.

Keeping water on you at all times, and actually drinking and refilling it several times each day, will improve your experience and your health. Most people don’t realize just how much they aren’t drinking when they head out unless they’re challenged to keep track. I had a friend who swore he was drinking enough, so we gave him a bottle and at the end of the trip asked him if he finished it. He, of course, swore he did – so we made him pour it out and he’d only had maybe half of it. Total surprise to him, no surprise for us. But, it got him thinking about his habits and sure enough, he started having a smile on his face more often and was able to extend his stamina.

tip I give for long hikes: if you are headed out and recognize that you don’t drink as much as you should, look ahead for any particular trees or cacti or bends in the river or sand dunes that look distinctive. Tell yourself you’re going to drink at, or before, that marker. Keep doing it. The longer the hike, the shorter the distance between markers. 

These water systems look somewhat strange, and they take effort to keep clean, but they are an easy way to have constant access AND remember to keep drinking as you travel.

My example for today is:


I know, I know, I just talked about packs. But those don’t have the water built in, and I really wanted to cover the ‘Dune System’ and this bag itself is actually pretty good, so I figured I could get away with it (feel free to violently disagree in the comments, I enjoy rigorous conversation).

This particular example is an ‘easy sip‘ so you don’t have to struggle to drink while charging (or wheezing) up a mountain.

It also comes with Microban protection on the tubing and sack. Yes, you still have to keep it clean. No, that doesn’t mean it’s ‘self-cleaning’ (unless you think public bathrooms are self-cleaning, in which case: we need to have a chat about your expectations in life and how to not end up swindled at every turn).

Another perk to the ‘Dune System’ is to not have your water right up against your body (like a sling) and not bouncing around (like a canteen). If you’re in cold weather, the drink may be colder than you like, but at least you’re being leeched of body heat by the sack. And, if it’s your pack of everything, you’re stuff might even keep it warmer.


What NOT to put in these:


tonic water

diet soda (yes, it still has the same issue)

tea leaves

essential oils

harsh cleaning products

toxic cleaning products

pure vinegar

bug spray

sugar or not-sugar crystals

badly mixed powder drinks

(and if you’re curious: yes, I’ve had conversations about all of these with unfortunate neighbors. Their tubing didn’t make it.)

Why? Because all these ruin the Microban, the tubing, and the sack.

For carbonated beverages in particular: think of pouring soda into your travel coffee mug and snapping the lid on tight. Then think of your travel mug expanding, cracking the seal, and leaking in your car/purse/desk/etc. Same idea, but these cost a lot more than a travel mug. And if all of your stuff was in the bag with the water system? Ick. I would have to recommend a sudden and dedicated full cleaning of everything before it stains/weakens/starts dripping/attracting bugs.

As for the others? They still ruin the system, just not as fast. It’s more in the way of chipping away at the lining and getting caught in the corners. And each are incredibly difficult to really get clean. If you always put safer options in, the end result is always easier and safer to deal with.

What you should put in these:


Light-colored drinks, premixed and unlikely to separate

Camp soap, or watered-down vinegar/foodsafe cleaning solutions

Clean the water system as often as you would any water bottle. Don’t wait on it. If you think something got in it, immediately flush it out and wash the entire set. You don’t want anything hiding to cause a problem later.

I’ll be honest: I’m not really sure what else to say about these. It seems pretty straight forward, except for all the people I’ve met who’ve proven that statement false. Which is perfectly fine. If we don’t ask about what we don’t know, we never truly get anywhere, much less anywhere productive and positive.

What questions do you have? What else about them do you want to hear? Do you love the Maud’dib as we all should?

Let me know in the comments!

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I'm (now) an Affiliate, who blogs about the materials, gear and supplies needed for living in a tent and long term camping: http://longtermcamping.siterubix.com I also enjoy reading and sci-fi in all its many forms.

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