Living in South Florida has it’s many challenges when it comes to long distance paddling. Dealing with constant heat and humidity is a big one for us! For me it’s always a challenge to stay adequately hydrated. Now that I am training to paddle at the Chattajack, challenges have come about when I try and build a better mouse trap that allows me to focus on my paddle stroke and not be distracted with the extra weight and bulk of carrying water and nutrition. This post is about sharing my efforts to find solutions that, makes my setup quick, focuses on comfort and prevents problems out on the water.
Since I often deal with the difficulty of maintaining my upright posture during long distance paddling, I find carrying water on my back in my PFD a non-solution. That forces me to carry water in the boat. Being 5’11” I have plenty of room for placing my fluids in front of the footwell and then run long tubing back to my seat. This often creates a second problem when you paddle in the heat. Ask anyone who paddles in South Florida and you’ll quickly see that wearing a PFD can quickly cause the paddler to overheat. I don’t want to get into the pros and cons of this practice in this post but it’s definitely a reality here. So the problem to solve is how to attach the bite valve so you have easy access to it?
The above picture is just a sampling of ways to secure your drink tube. But if your not wearing a PFD how to do attach it to your paddling top? Additionally, I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like to add my nutrition to my water. I like having plain water and a separate bladder for nutrition (Because I prefer to drink my nutrition). So if you place both bladders in the footwell you now need to secure two bite valves.
So the Kit I will be using for this year’s Chattajack is a 3 liter Geigerrig Engine and the Mocke Paddling Rapid Bladder. I put my plain water in the Geigerrig and my nutrition in the Mocke Rapid Bladder.
Since Mocke sells 140 cm tubing as an assessory, which makes length never an issue and since each engine has different bite valves it’s easy to know which has just water and which has nutrition.
I have traditionally used a tube clip to attach them to my paddling top but have found them to break too easily. I have found that to be a great distraction on the water trying to either stuff the bite valve into my top or rest it in my lap. My most recent solution is pictured below.
The bite valve next to the whistle is a traditional tube clip and the other bite valve is secured with a Nite Ize S-Biner #2. I find this a perfect solution for easy adjustment and detachment for a quick beach finish as well.
Let me know if you have other solutions or further questions. See you on the Water.