I do believe in drinking lots of water while walking, whatever the time of year. But I’ve always found water bottles a bit inconvenient. I either have to take off my rucksack, or even if I use side pockets, I’m often struggling to extract the bottle and then find the way to replace it while walking.

Traditional hydration systems using bladders don’t really cut it for me either – the bladders are a faff to use and tricky to wash, clean, drain and dry out.

Great solution from Camelbak

Walking in the Shropshire hills, earlier this year, I spotted one of my friends with a much more elegant solution. It’s the Camelbak Eddy bottle with hands-free. The cute thing about the Eddy is that the top has a vertical, rigid pipe inside, reaching to the bottom of the bottle. This means you don’t have to tip the bottle up to drink or drain it.

The hands-free adapter is simply a drinking pipe like you would have on a bladder, with a bite-valve. The beauty of it is you can slip the bottle inside a rucksack, or in a side or mesh pocket. The pipe runs over your shoulder and slips through the strap loop for standard hydration tubes.

I love the ability to take regular sips of liquid throughout my walk, and with my hands free or warm in my pockets.

The principle is blissfully simple and I did consider trying to fashion one myself with a bladder pipe, plain water bottle and a length of stiff tube. If you want to give it a try – please let me know your results. However, the Camelbak product is not expensive and the build quality is excellent.

It’s now my regular walking tipple-supply and I just drop it into whichever rucksack I’m using on that day.