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The History of CamelBak

CamelBak got its start in 1989 when an EMT named Michael Eidson repurposed an IV bag to carry extra water on the Hotter’N Hell 100-mile bike race outside Wichita Falls, Texas. He tucked the IV bag into a white tube sock, placed that into the back of his jersey, and then ran a thin hose over his shoulder. To keep it closed when he wasn’t using the hose, Eidson clamped it shut with a clothespin. Eidson then started a company to turn his makeshift creation into today’s famous CamelBak hydration system. Jeff Wemmer, a competitive cyclist, quickly became a fan. Eventually, he was hired by CamelBak and helped keep the fledgling company afloat during some tough times in the early 1990s by embarking on a road trip to sell their products. Today, CamelBaks are made using medical-grade silicone bite valves and reservoirs crafted from polyurethane sheets formed into bags using heat from high-frequency radio waves. The CamelBak quickly became popular in the military and remains so today. In 2003, NASA even became a customer (the company makes the small blue bite valves used in the hydration systems of spacesuits)! CamelBak is also popular with hikers, bikers, and sports enthusiasts. There are many similar hydration systems on the market today, but CamelBak remains one of the most popular options.

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