A while back I started hiking a little more to supplement my swimming workouts, and for a while there it was replacing them because I was too respiratorally sick to swim through a lot of the first part of the year. After a while I deemed it necessary to pick up a new Camelbak. I had one from way back when I was in the Army but it was old, leaky and a little funky… plus it had no pockets. I wanted something that carried a lot of water but also had plenty of places to put things without being an enormous backpack. I fished around at Mountain Air Sports in San Luis Obispo and found the Camelbak Mule NV. It really hit all my buttons. It’s small but capable of carrying quite a bit. It feels good when I wear it. It has a quarter million pockets. As a bonus it’s a really bright obnoxious color and it has a cool waterproof cover hidden in the bottom that you can pull out if you get caught in the rain.

I think the Mule NV is actually supposed to be more of a mountain biker sort of thing but it’s worked really well for me for hiking thus far. I take it out on a regular basis and I’ve had zero problems with it. Sometimes I’ll even skip the water bladder and just use the Mule as a backpack when I’m out during the day.

This backpack ain’t cheap, current retail runs $130ish (I forget what I paid but I hope it wasn’t that much…), but it is a very well constructed piece of gear that will last you a long time if you treat it half way decently. You can buy this pack from Camelbak or any shop that carries Camelbak products.


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