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HydraPak’s new Pioneer camp water reservoir delivers water for all of basecamp

Written by Sam Anderson

If you’ve ever used a portable camp water reservoir, you know that it’s a critical part of daily operations. Everybody in camp visits it at least a time or two daily. It’s especially important to have a good one in the backcountry or anywhere where there’s no running water nearby.

A good camp water reservoir should work well in a few key ways — it should be tough, packable, and easy to clean and use (especially with one hand).

The HydraPak Pioneer looks like everything we’d want in a camp water reservoir. It’s got a big opening for emptying and filling, a tap you can operate with one hand, and semi-elastic TPU material with welded seams.

HydraPak Pioneer details and functionality

Its ripstop nylon outer shell helps keep it safe from punctures and includes an ingenious zipper storage pocket for odds and ends. Thick cinch cords should help it carry comfortably and resist wear when you hang it from trees around camp.

The spigot works with one hand and in one of two ways. Either use it as an auto-sealing button (think the classic spigots on sideline Gatorade jugs) or twist it to lock it in place to wash your hands or dirty dishes. It also locks closed for transport. And it’s on the end of a flexible 7-inch tube, which detaches and stashes in the pocket.

The TPU reservoir is BPA and PVC-free. Its slide-seal top helps it not only open wide for fast filling but also turn inside out for cleaning. HydraPak’s slide-seal system is a lot like a freezer bag with one of those plastic zippers — the sliding, slot-like closure seals the two sides together.

Finally, you can fit the HydraPak Pioneer with a portable water filter in case you need to gather from a sketchy source. An optional adapter (included) connects to a 28mm backcountry water filter like a Sawyer Mini Water Filter.

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LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

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