Thursday, August 13, 2015

AmTips: So You Find Out Your Reservoir Has Reached the End of Its Useful Life Almost 24h Before Your Race Starts

You wake up to a puddle on the hotel carpet the day before your race.  But you don't have a dog.   It's coming from one of your hydration packs.  What do you do?  Here's what I did.


  1. Well, for starters you probably should have prepared for this.  I did.  I didn't have to repair my reservoir as I could have swapped out my day reservoir (which has only been used once) to the leaky night one but that shit will cost you time at the transition station.  Let's say you only had one reservoir though--this is where coming to town well ahead of the start comes in handy. 
  2. Look up hardware stores in the vicinity.  Go there.
  3. Buy this.
make sure it's water resistant and laminated polyester.

4. Ascertain that the manager is helping out with the orientation later tonight.  Make small talk.  (Thanks Sue of Ace Hardware for offering to drive me back to get this sorted out in case I was unsuccessful! And for being open at 7am!)
5. Return to hotel room.  You will need the following:

> The tape you bought
> The TV tuned to MuchMusic so you don't hear your silly breathing
> A sink
> Your gimp reservoir with a bit of water in it
> A hair dryer

6. Turn the reservoir so the water is all on the bottom and the affected area is not exposed to fluid.  Dry the outside of it with a hair dryer.
7. Crease the affected area over itself and tape it with a strip no bigger than 1cm x 3cm.  Roll it over with the roll of tape over the edge of the sink counter. 
8. Repeat.  Invert the reservoir to see if water is leaking every once in a while.  Re-invert and dry with the hair dryer if so, then repeat the taping.
9. Repeat until you get something that looks like this:

10. Let the reservoir sit upright for a little bit.  See if any water seeps out at a reasonable rate over a few minutes or so (i.e. if there's rain at your race you may not mind a slow seepage rate).
11. Place a larger strip over the quilt you have created.
12. Refill the reservoir but not to 100%.  (This volume is important, especially if you have a ton of gear pressing against the reservoir.)
13. Replace the reservoir in your pack.  Wear it.  Go for a short jog.  See if there's any further leaking.  Repeat steps 5-12 as necessary.  

A few notes:
> Your reservoir will not fill to 100% of the stated volume anymore.  But hey, beggars can't be choosers.  
> Your reservoir may choose to leak but at least you will have water when you need it.  Probably.  Beggars can't be choosers.  

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