My Camelbak is trying to kill me.
April 25, 2014 12:31 AM   Subscribe

My previously-cooperative Camelbak suddenly gave me intense friction burns. What did I do wrong?

I'm trying to train for a marathon in a hot and humid climate, and the method I've settled on to avoid risking dehydration on longer runs is to wear a Camelbak. I took it on two runs -- 7 miles and 15 miles -- and it seemed to work beautifully, with no ill effects.

Then I took it out a third time on an 8-mile run, and out of nowhere, at the end of the run, I found myself with downright impressive friction burns down my sides and -- worst of all -- down the undersides of my arms, apparently from rubbing against the straps. I have to emphasize that this wasn't mild irritation -- the marks down my arms 30 minutes after the run were an ugly red and yellow, and while I may be a wuss, I'm not that much of a wuss, and the pain as I tried to take a shower, put on a shirt, and sleep in bed that night was pretty damn intense.

I don't think I did anything differently on the third run. The fit felt about as tight and the Camelbak didn't seem to bounce around more than usual (something I'm sensitive to, as I hate that feeling). I wore the same sort of quick-dry tee (not a tank-top) as I did on the prior runs.

If this had happened the first time out, I'd probably have just blown a raspberry and decided that I wasn't meant to wear a Camelbak while running. If it had just been minor chafing I might have shrugged and maybe tried some vaseline next time or something. But two delightful runs followed by OH MY GOD THE PAIN makes me think I might have done something wrong the third time out. And I really want to make this work because it's the only good way I've found to run more an hour here without unpleasantness. (Stashing water along the route is not an option.)

Any ideas? Too tight? Not tight enough? How do I avoid this happening again?
posted by eugenen to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
I wear a water pack pretty regularly. Sometimes these things happen and then never happen again.

Were you sweating more than usual?

You mentioned the same type of tee, but was it the exact same tee? If this one fit a bit looser, that could cause what you describe.

Are there any loose straps that could be tucked in? I have one end of a strap that will cause problems if I don't tuck it back.

And Body Glide.
posted by TORunner at 5:27 AM on April 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Did you change anything else that's in contact with your body recently, like different laundry detergent, different sunscreen, different shampoo or shower gel? Taking any new medications? Is the pollen count off the charts where you are? Maybe you are having a mild allergic reaction to something in your environment that is only showing up where you are getting the most friction.
posted by drlith at 6:53 AM on April 25, 2014

I'm starting to come on board as a consultant/co-designer for a company called Ultimate Direction (full disclosure), so I have experience with most all the gear they have. I'm super picky about gear, and I wouldn't be using it, if I wasn't happy to do so. But some of the gear they put out, that I like are things like their hand-held, with a little pocket for gels/keys phone

(they also have an insulated version)

As well as their running vests. You could potentially put a hydration bladder in them, but they're really made to be worn with bottles up front. The idea is that it's way easy to refill, if necessary - you can keep the vest on and just pop the bottle out and bottles are a lot cheaper to replace then a bladder. Their signature series is a good place to start:

The Krupicka is very minimal; the Bakwin one is one I used for a month straight, instead of a backpack.

Fancy youtube vids,

Really nice to have room for things like GPS, jacket, money, light, etc when trailrunning (where, "trailrunning" may mean "all day romp in the mountains"
posted by alex_skazat at 2:41 PM on November 1, 2014

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