Troubleshoot This: Busted Hydration Bladder

Learn to field-fix a leaky reservoir.

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Troubleshoot This: Busted Hydration Bladder

Micro punctures Hold a lighter just beneath the hole (but not touching the reservoir). The heat will melt the material together in seconds.

Ruptured seams or small holes Clean the hole/tear with an alcohol prep pad from your first-aid kit, then smear a dab of Gear Aid’s Seam Grip ($7; 1 oz.; over the area. Wait 24 hours after applying the sealant before drinking from the bladder.

Larger holes Cut two circles of duct tape: one slightly larger than the hole, and the other ¾-inch bigger. Place the smaller patch sticky-side-up over the hole to minimize the water’s contact with the adhesive. Then cover it with the larger piece, sticky-side-down.

Full blowout Line the reservoir with a plastic bag or condom (carry a lube- and spermicide-free one in your medical kit), fill the bag, tie it off at the opening like a water balloon, and secure the reservoir cap. You won’t be able to sip through the hose, but you will be able to carry water.