Do you take off your hydration pack when working trials on the trail or leave it on?

What’s the consensus on what to do with your hydration pack when you stop to work a section of the trail that requires trials skills, or even working a part of the trail, in general?. Take it off or leave it on? I like to take mine off and then put back on when I continue on the trail.

It used to bug the heck out of me but now I forget about it. Not piling it too full of useless stuff and too much water might be helping, but the main thing I think is just getting used to having it there. If I stop at a spot for an hour then I take it off, mostly to dry off the back though.

I have landed on my back more than once and was always glad to have that big, water pillow on at the time. I take it off to play around after a trail ride to jump around (well, what passes for jumping for me) on things. When trail riding, the stops to play on toys are short enough that it would be too much bother.

I hate bugs they are so gross and scary. Therefore if any part of my pack or clothing touches the ground I remove it immediatly and leave it behind.

I take any bags or camelbacks off if I’m hopping for more than about 20 seconds. I just annoys me and on the unicycle I usually don’t use my camelback but rather my backpack because I need something to put my pads in.


So are those your innertubes, wrappers, plastic bags, etc.? Now we know who’s doing it! :slight_smile:

I was especially dismayed at the instances of this I saw on the Slickrock Trail in Moab. The ground is all rock, so whatever you leave laying around just sits out until somebody else picks it up. I watched some bicyclists do a chain repair, then leave their leftover chain bits in the middle of the “trail.” What, too heavy to carry?

Anyway, back to topic. My friends and I do short amounts of hopping with the pack on, but if we’re spending “quality time” at a challenging spot, the packs come off.

When I was in Moab in 2001, it was one thing to ride a section with the pack off, and another to ride it with your pack on. In my case, this meant a Camelbak with a jacket on it, and also my butt bag (fanny pack). The two of those can flop around quite a bit, I’m usually reluctant to take them off unless I have to do either lots of, or very high hops. High hops make the Camelbak hit the back of my helmet and push it down in front of my eyes.

if it’s a hard section, or a big drop, i’ll take it off, otherwise, I just leave it on.


Take it off, Take it off, Take it off. I take mine off a lot for playing around on stuff, or for photo oportunities. I have a Hawg, and it flops around a bit with 100 oz of water in it, plus tools. I tend to take way too much stuff when I ride.


Get a nice stable pack that doesn’t flop around and you won’t need to take it off.

My Ultimate Direction Xspurt is nice and stable. It’s stable enough that I usually don’t feel the need to take it off for jumping over logs or riding small stunts on the trail.
It’s the best backpack style hydration pack I’ve used.

My other hydration pack is a Camelbak Bandido which is a hip mounted pack that holds about 64oz of water. This model has since been discontinuted. A well designed hip mounted pack can also be very stable and easy to jump with. It’s a great pack for when I don’t have to carry as much water.

Ha ha… I like their phrase on the website, “Tested by animals” .