Fast forward two and a half months to when I needed to fill my water bladder for a hunt. I go to my plastic tote and look for an empty water bladder, but there is nothing in there that even resembles a H2O carrying device. I then open my Badlands 2200 and reach down to find there is some weight to the water bladder. 'Ahhhh, crap!' I knew I was in for some trouble. I reached into the bladder pouch and what I felt can only be described as very gross. I knew there was mold in the bladder just by how it felt. Imagine grease between two pieces of plastic sheeting. Yeah, that's how it felt. When I pulled the bladder out, this is what I saw.
|This is what neglecting your water bladder will do.|
Complete nastiness and I knew I had to do some serious cleaning. It was going to take some chlorine tablets, elbow grease and a few prayers to get this as clean as I needed it to be. After a few grumblings I ventured to the local sporing goods store.
Back at home with a full box of cleaning tablets I went to work. Let me tell you, I paid dearly for my mistake as it took me nearly forty-five minutes to get everything cleaned the way I needed it. I had to cut off the tube by the mouthpiece just so I could have an opening to run the small tube-cleaning brush through. Even that took more than ten minutes of hard scrubbing!
|I still had fifteen minutes of scrubbing ahead of me after this pic was taken.|
After forty-five minutes and two chlorine tabs I had cleaned it well and I vowed never to use a flavored drink mix in my water bladder again. I also told myself that I would empty out my water badder after each hunt so I would not have to repeat the experience! Plus, it could have been a health issue had I not cleaned it extremely well.
A word to the wise. Take great care of your water system because you always need water in the field. Mold is not something to take lightly either. Please let my mistake be a lesson for us all.