This Isn’t Your Father’s Canteen

It may come as a surprise to some people up here on the peaceful North Coast to find that a local company manufactures and sells equipment to about 80% of the world’s modern armed forces, according to a published story in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

It turns out that canteens aren’t canteens anymore.  They’re "next-generation hydration systems" and just about the only company in the world that makes "next-generation hydration systems" is CamelBak Products of Petaluma, California.

The Jane’s story says that about three million military personnel are using their CamelBak hydration systems world wide.  The United Kingdom alone, ordered 25,000 ThermoBak three-litre systems for the UK deployment in Iraq, and 5,000 systems for the Royal Armoured Corps. Czech, Romanian, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Macedonian troops all use the system.

The CamelBak system is basically a backpack with a flexible drinking tube that runs over one of the shoulder straps that the user can put in their mouth.  The military application is obvious – no hands are needed to take a drink.  Newer systems have a built-in filtration system produces 99.99% bacteria free drinking water.

You can find an example of a CamelBak product here and an example of a military product here.

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