Ty Miranda, 127 YinD
I may be way behind the times and that makes sense. Growing up, I was a figure skater, marching band member, and a very average runner. Since coming to Thailand, I have expanded my fitness horizons to include biking, real running, and yoga. I enjoy these activities because they are a great stress relief and keep me energized and focused. What I just learned was how awesome Camelbaks are.
Last January, while I was getting ready for the Khon Kaen Half Marathon, I saw PCV Alyssa Scott refiling her Camelbak in preparation for her run the next day. She was worried about the water lasting and if she had enough space for her snacks. It got me thinking, why the heck would you run with a Camelbak on? I thought Camelbaks were for long distance hiking or military personnel, but not for runners. I was confused. I started talking to PCV Alyssa about her Camelbak and then, I was convinced. I had to buy one! Let me tell you why.
First, Camelbaks are great for long distance runners, especially in Thailand heat. Forget carrying water bottles or having to stop at the convenience stores, just put enough water into the pack to get you through your run and you’re all set. Also you can mix electrolytes with the water. Check out 7-11 for the orange power mix that costs around 7 baht.
Second, I know races have water, so why bring your own? I wrestled with this idea for a while and then it hit me. If I pack my own, I don’t have to stop to refill and I also don’t have to battle the other runners for water. I found this super helpful during my recent race in Phayao. It was nice to just keep running past the refuel stations without having to wait for refreshments. For me, it’s not about the time spent but about the ease of it.
Also, Camelbaks aren’t as awful carrying as I imagined. I thought it would feel like I was carrying a keg or something but I was wrong. I bought a Camelbak with an extra strap so that the pack did not bounce while I ran. I also secured it tight to limit the bouncing. In all honesty, I do not feel the extra weight. It’s also nice because most packs have pockets to hold snacks, phones, keys, or anything you need during fitness activities. I usually carry some nuts or fruit for the longer runs.
Finally, Camelbaks are not just for running. I recently went on a 25 mile bike ride and used my Camelbak while riding. It was great because I didn’t have to reach for my water bottle or worry about dropping it on the road. (I have done this multiple times and it’s embarrassing.) I also used my Camelbak during a recent hike which was really sweet.
If I have convinced you to invest, you are in luck. I found an awesome place in Bangkok that sells legit, authentic Camelbaks for reasonable prices. The Mahamitr Thai Army shop is near Mochit and you can see all their merchandise online. The shop has the option for pick up or your can pay extra for EMS shipping. The shop owner was super helpful and let me look through many kinds of Camelbaks. He also spoke great English. https://www.facebook.com/mahamitrthaiarmy/