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Bicycle enthusiast Michael Eidson participated in the "Hotter'N Hell 100," which is exactly what it is to this day: a 100-mile road race, over four days in the grueling summer heat of Wichita Falls, Texas. Water is vital to surviving the race, but there are few places to refill, let alone time to stop. Eidson, an emergency medical technician by trade, came up with a solution on the spot: he filled an IV bag with water, put it in a white sock sock (yes, a real hose sock) and tucked the entire device into the back of his bike shirt. Then he threw the hose over his shoulder and clamped it shut with a clothespin. Hands-free hydration was born. And CamelBak was made to emulate it.
Jeff Wemmer, a competitive cyclist who fell hard for CamelBak, was so impressed with the product that he started bringing packages to races to sell them. Talk about a fan. CamelBak eventually hired him, and in 1993 Jeff embarked on a road trip to keep the startup afloat during very difficult times. According to company lore, Jeff visited bike stores from Florida to California and pitched our product from the back of his motorcycle. Every order Jeff faxed to the factory breathed new life into CamelBak for another day.
Much has changed since our days of an IV bag in a tube sock sold by a motorcycling sales team of one, but our core values remain the same - it takes courage, conviction and imagination to quench our thirst for better - from inventing the hydration category to becoming the world's leading maker of hydration solutions.