Ever seen mold grow?  I mean, really grow?  It’s disgusting.  It smells.  It’s nasty to look at and, yes, mold easily can form in your hydration pack.

Check out the image below if you really want to see how subtle it can be, though:

The thing is, though, that it doesn’t have to be visible to be mold.  There are certain times when just a little bit is gonna’ be in your hydration pack and it’s your job to keep your water clean and safe for consumption.

Understanding Different Types of Mold:

  • Red Mold is not harmless but it’s not as dangerous as others, like black mold.
  • Green Mold could be just about anything unwanted in the fungus department.
  • Brown, Olive Green is usually found on plants in the outdoors and can be found on insulation and damp carpets indoors.
  • Blue/Green/White is the color of mold that you’ll see on top of perishables that have gone bad in the fridge and bread. This was used to create penicillin years ago.

So, while any mold is bad news mold inside of a hydration pack, it’s not always going to be deadly.  However, health risks are present if you don’t take the proper steps in disinfecting and cleaning your hydration bladder after each use.

Get Rid of Mold in Hydration Packs

Step 1: 

Fill bladder with water.  Add 2 to 3 tablets of chlorine dioxide and let the bladder sit over night.

Step 2:

Boil water and carefully fill the bladder with in hopes of removing any mold that might already be there.

If that doesn’t work, then consider getting another bladder or you can avoid getting mold in your water pack in the first place.

Prevent Mold from Growing in Hydration Bladders

  1. Wash and dry the bladder after each and every use.   I know a guy that fills his hydration pack and only refills when it’s empty.  He doesn’t clean or change water until it’s gone.  I’ve begged him to change his ways but unfortunately, he’s a casualty waiting to happen.
  2. Have 2 different bladders per pack. This may seem like over kill but if you’re able to fill/use/clean/dry one bladder and have another one ready to go then it’s easier to always have a mold free pack.  This is particularly helpful if you’re using a hydration pack daily or smaller hikes.