I recently purchased a new Camelbak M.U.L.E. hydration pack for day hikes and such. Previously I was used to hiking with a bookbag or small pack and carrying 2-3 Nalgene bottles full of water. My old system works for those who don’t care about maximizing their trail time. After using a hydration pack it would take a lot to get me to switch back, you hydrate more efficiently and much more quickly. Anybody who regularly visits the outdoors and is interested there are a few things you should know. Try the pack on at a store like REI or a local outdoor retailer before purchasing to make sure it is comfortable and right for you, for instance, Camelbak makes a pack specifically for women taking into account the placement of the chest strap. Look for one with enough water capacity to keep you hydrated on a tough trail, as I said 3 Nalgene bottles is around 90 oz so I like the 100 oz pack. You will most likely not need that much but I like to err on the safe side. I find the packs with extra space to bring with me a compass, map of the area I’m hiking in, waterproof matches, basic first aid kit, knife, camera and a snack to be extra useful. Be sure to test the mouthpiece when you get home and you have cleaned the bladder to make sure it doesn’t leak. After one trip to your favorite state park or trail you will be glad you made the purchase. The pack is lighter because it distributes the water evenly and you won’t have to stop to drink which adds more time to stop and enjoy the outdoors which is the whole point.