Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Amazing Camel Back Is A South African Invention

To those of us who bike and hike, carrying enough water to sustain us is a challenge (as Elena found out on a five mile hike Sunday.) The one liter bottle of water often "does not cut it." We can now use a pack on our back to carry water. This allows us to carry more water and leaves our hands free for other purposes. This pack is called a camel back. I have had a camel back for many years. It cost a humble $15.00. It wore out and I found a new camel back at Dick's Sporting Goods yesterday. It is of great quality. I got it discounted from $100.00 to $60.00. I brought it home and organized it for my next hike. It made me think back to January of 1990. I was in Durban, South Africa with a woman friend named Shona. She took me to visit an inventor. The South African army had special operations troops operating in the Kalahari dessert. They could not carry much weight because they often had to parachute into an area or land by helicopter. This innovative man invented a pack with a collapseable water tank inside. The South African troops loved it. This inventor started to sell a civilian version in South Africa. Thanks to Shona, I got to spend one afternoon with him. He lived in a small apartment. He was a very modest and unassuming man. Little did he know the revolution that he had started for bikers and hikers all over the world.

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