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CamelBak

In the late 1980’s, an emergency medical technician named Michael Eidson made his first hands-free hydration system using—of all things—an IV bag filled with water, and a white tube sock. He was competing in a 100-mile road race in the sweltering Texas summer heat, and he needed a way to frequently and reliably hydrate himself without slowing his progress. So he filled the IV bag with water, slipped it into a sock, and tucked it in his jersey. He ran a small hose from the bag and clipped it over his shoulder with a clothespin. As archaic as it seems by today’s standards, it was the beginning of something big. It took some time to develop a more sophisticated production version, then CamelBak was faced with the task of getting their product out into the world.

That’s when Jeff Wemmer came along. Wemmer, like Eidson, was a cyclist as well. He swore by the comfort and convenience of CamelBak early on, and before long, he was pounding the pavement selling units. Legend has it, Jeff rode back and forth across the country selling early incarnations of the CamelBak off the back of his motorcycle. Sales were slim, but they were growing, albeit slowly.

These days, CamelBak has come a long way from IV bags and tube socks; they’ve grown since their one-man motorcycle sales team. Their products can be found on the back and in the bottle cages of riders, runners, skiers, triathletes, climbers, soldiers, and just about everyone else who gets thirsty.