Chris Hammond
Chris Hammond Founder of, an avid computer geek, photographer, and amateur bicycle rider

Hydration Planning for Dirty Kanza

Hydration Planning for Dirty Kanza

CamelBak Chase VestFor the 2019 Dirty Kanza (halt pint) I had some concerns about how I was going to handle hydration for the event (be sure to read our 2019 Ride Review). I had a whole list of how items to take on the ride, some on me, some in the SAG wagon. Water, and water containing devices were some of the most critical items for the ride.

For the 100 mile distance last year, there was one stop at ~mile 50, so I planned to ride that first 50 miles with enough water to get me to that stop. That consisted of two 24oz CamelBak Podium Chill bottles, both full of water. I also had a backpack that held 3 liters of water as well. The pack I had on my back was a Deuter with a 3L hydration bladder. The bag, and the water, were likely too much, too big, too much water, but it is what I had and I didn’t want to spend money on another bag.

For the first half of the ride, hydration really wasn’t an issue, the second half however, it was more important. The sun and heat during the 2019 running of the Dirty Kanza were pretty intense. It was warm, and there were very few clouds to protect you from the searing rays. I don’t remember exactly how much water I went through on the second half, but I do recall stopping at a farm and filling up a water bottle, chugging it, and repeating the fill before heading out on the gravel again.

For the 200 mile route in 2020, I’m going to have to figure out a good hydration strategy. Part of that strategy started this week with the ordering of a new hydration vest (or two). I picked up the CamelBak Chase Vest from Amazon on Friday with a Black Friday price of $75, and then another one on Cyber Monday for $65. So I now have a red and a black bag.

The Chase Vest contains a 50 ounce bladder, so just under 1.5 liters of water. My initial plans, months away from DK 200, is to have both bags with me for the ride. I will likely take the second bladder and freeze it ahead of time, and at one of the SAG zones replace an empty bladder with the frozen bladder to give me some cold water as the temperature starts to heat up for the day.

As of 12/4/2019, you can still find the vest on Amazon, at least in black, for $75, the other colors are back up to the normal retail price of $99.

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