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clodbuster
2008-02-18, 17:36
Water being essential could you all share what kind of water sources you run into on the trail and what do you do to make water safe to drink?

Mutinousdoug
2008-02-18, 18:25
Water being essential could you all share what kind of water sources you run into on the trail and what do you do to make water safe to drink?

Streams, springs and lakes are most common. Those who treat their water have two choices: Chemicals or filters. As you are from Iowa, filters may not be an option since it seems your DPH is concerned that some of you are not consuming your fair share of the fluoride that some filters remove.
Chemicals such as "Aqua-Mira" are the lightweight way to go although generally I go with the filter method of purification. Plain household bleach can be effective if proper dosage is observed and you don't mind the smell/taste.

Rifleman
2008-02-19, 01:51
Springs & streams. If the water has a lot of floaters, filter through bandana first. Then use Aqua-Mira. If I was paranoid, filter first (2 microns), then chemically treat. Five minutes rolling boil will kill a lot of baddies also.
R.

KLeth
2008-02-19, 03:17
We use the MSR MIOX, taste is not bad and you can treat about 200L of water with a good handfull of rock salt and two photo batteries. The MIOX solution kills everything including little swimmers.
MIOX does not filter, use bandana, gypsy well or waterfilter to remove floaties.

If you use PE (or other clear plastic) bottles, keep water under treatment out of the sun since the chemicals are broken down by UV light. After threatment this can be used to reduce the taste of chemicals in the water.

dropkick
2008-02-19, 07:32
I'm an iodine guy (Polar Pure (http://www.polarequipment.com/)).
I also have a filter bottle I've never used (Sawyer (http://www.sawyerproducts.com/sawyer_products/pages/water_filters/index.htm))
Occasionally I'll boil (boiling times (http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/faq/emerg.html))
If it comes from a spring (and I can see the source) or just because I don't feel like messing with it, occasionally I'll just drink it. (do-oh (http://www.cdc.gov/Ncidod/dpd/parasites/waterborne/default.htm))

I'll take water from whatever source I can get it from.
If I can get it, I prefer spring water, but I've actually even drank from a mud puddle before.

-The majority of the time I try to plan my hikes to either be alongside water (stream, river, ditch) or have the stops be by standing water (ponds and lakes).
Many of my hikes are specifically chosen just because there is a mountain lake at the end.

grannyhiker
2008-02-19, 15:08
I'd like to issue a caution about using iodine. After about six weeks of weekend hikes where I used iodine to purify my water, I started to develop a rash. Not just a simple rash; these were deep lesions (lichen planus) that itched like crazy, took months to heal and left permanent scars. Since then I have had to avoid all seafood, iodized salt (I can't go out to dinner without asking for special food) and multivitamin/mineral combinations (they all contain iodine). I have to read labels on everything because I need to avoid even sea salt (which contains small traces of iodine). A surprising number of energy bars either contain sea salt or have iodine added. I also discovered (the hard way) that I cannot take glucosamine/chondroitin because it is derived from shellfish.

My dermatologist told me that iodine allergies are not all that uncommon. He said that there is a good reason why the CDC says that use of iodine to purify water should be restricted to emergencies. Even if you don't develop an allergy, too much iodine can affect your thyroid. It is contraindicated for pregnant women and children.

In addition, iodine is considered one of the least effective chemicals against giardia or cryptosporidium spores. Especially if your water is cold (it is out here in the Cascades), it takes up to 4 hours to do its job.

After that experience I will not use any chemicals, although I do take along some Katadyn Micropur (chlorine dioxide) tablets as an emergency backup. I've been using the ULA Amigo Pro gravity filter (saves my back from having to stoop over the water source pumping), but for future use I'm eyeing the Steri-Pen.

CaSteve
2008-02-19, 23:32
but for future use I'm eyeing the Steri-Pen.

I've been using the Steri-pen. It works great in the area I've been hiking lately (Sierras), but if I were in lower lying areas, I'd revert back to my MSR Miniworks.

dropkick
2008-02-20, 02:13
I'd like to issue a caution about using iodine. After about six weeks of weekend hikes where I used iodine to purify my water, I started to develop a rash. Not just a simple rash; these were deep lesions (lichen planus) that itched like crazy, took months to heal and left permanent scars. Since then I have had to avoid all seafood, iodized salt (I can't go out to dinner without asking for special food) and multivitamin/mineral combinations (they all contain iodine). I have to read labels on everything because I need to avoid even sea salt (which contains small traces of iodine). A surprising number of energy bars either contain sea salt or have iodine added. I also discovered (the hard way) that I cannot take glucosamine/chondroitin because it is derived from shellfish.

My dermatologist told me that iodine allergies are not all that uncommon. He said that there is a good reason why the CDC says that use of iodine to purify water should be restricted to emergencies. Even if you don't develop an allergy, too much iodine can affect your thyroid. It is contraindicated for pregnant women and children.

In addition, iodine is considered one of the least effective chemicals against giardia or cryptosporidium spores. Especially if your water is cold (it is out here in the Cascades), it takes up to 4 hours to do its job.

After that experience I will not use any chemicals, although I do take along some Katadyn Micropur (chlorine dioxide) tablets as an emergency backup. I've been using the ULA Amigo Pro gravity filter (saves my back from having to stoop over the water source pumping), but for future use I'm eyeing the Steri-Pen.

Grannyhiker,
Not trying to downplay your problem with iodine, as I am sure that it has caused you a lot of pain and suffering, and you have my complete sympathy.
Also I'm glad you found a water purification system that works for you. It sounds like a good system.
However...


Iodine sensitivity depends on the individual. Also many of the problems blamed on the iodine are often not caused by it, but rather by the unmasking of preexisting thyroid problems.
The majority of people can use iodine with no problems what so ever.

Source: Use of Iodine for Water Disinfection: Iodine Toxicity and Maximum Recommended Dose - Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 108, Number 8, August 2000



The the CDC does say that iodine isn't recommended for pregnant women, people with thyroid problems, those with known hypersensitivity to iodine, or for continuous use for more than a few weeks at a time.

But they don't say that iodine should be restricted to emergency use only.
In reality they recommend its' use.

Source:Link cdc WaterTreatment"]cdc WaterTreatment (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentWaterTreatment.aspx)


Iodine if used correctly will kill Giardia, it may not kill Cryptosporidium. But as your filters might even miss crypto, the only way to be truly safe from Crypto is to boil the water

Sources: cdc/parasites/giardiasis (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/giardiasis/factsht_giardia.htm#child_diagnosed)
cdc/parasites/cryptosporidiosis (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/cryptosporidiosis/factsht_cryptosporidiosis.htm)


Also many people (some say a majority) have been infected by Crypto, have developed an immunity and didn't even know the whole event happened. As I believe I'm probably one of those people I don't worry to much about Crypto.



Iodine does need a period of time to work (30 min. or more) and the colder or more turbid the water the longer it needs.
The time needed can be offset some by using one or all of these methods: warming the water with your body, straining the water through a cloth before treating, using more iodine.

I treat my water 8 or more hours before I use it, allowing more than enough time for the iodine to clean the water. I do this by carrying more than one water bottle, and trading them off. 1 for treatment 1 for use.

Amigi
2008-02-21, 07:42
Filter! Anything else is pointless and unsafe.

And the Steripen is a joke. No? Take it to a lab, you'll see... I've done exhaustive research here and on WB about it. It cannot work they way they claim, unless your scientific rules are different from mine... Plus its enviromentally wasteful ( batteries, batteries ). I'm pretty far from being an environazi but I do try to limit my disposable battery usage.