[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgvxsUfs57c&w=300]

There are several techniques for drying a hydration pack’s bladder, though none of them are very quick — typically hours or days. If you want to store your hydration system or don’t want to risk mildew / bacterial growth, you’ll need to speed up the drying process.

I considered using a hairdryer for this, but anything more than mild heat is best avoided, and drying the drinking tube would be tricky. So I had a better idea.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgvxsUfs57c]

It occurred to me that I could once again use an air compressor (I have a Makita MAC700) to make life easier.  With this approach, I was able to completely drain and dry the drinking tube in about 10 seconds, and drying the bladder took about 5 more minutes on top of that.

Here’s the process:

  1. Empty reservoir bladder.
  2. Purge hydration tube with compressed air, and continue spraying until dry (about 10 seconds).
  3. Drain pooled water from reservoir via a combination of compressed air and shaking.
  4. Put a clean, lint-free rag in reservoir, and spray it with compressed air to move it around.  Repeat with a few more fresh rags until all droplets are gone.
  5. Dry remaining surface moisture with compressed air.

Since I wasn’t going to use the hydration system again in the near future, this was a better alternative to storing the bladder in the freezer until the next use.  Here are some other alternatives if you don’t have a compressor or don’t need fast drying: