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#174280 - 01/24/13 01:58 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: Rick_D]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Inline both filter to 0.01 microns absolute. They are basically the same filter. Both can be set up as part of a gravity system (no pumping, hooray!). They also have one that filters viruses, but that's also very prone to blockage. Viruses are not a problem unless you're downstream of human settlement, in which case I'd use chlorine dioxide for the viruses and then filter for the bigger stuff (especially protozoa, which can take as long as 4 hours to zap chemically).

I would not waste my time or risk my health on methods not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Your Mileage, of course, May Vary. I've never had giardia but my dog has--after spending half a day cleaning up my car after he "exploded," I treat most of his water, too!

After having a friend get a nasty case of giardia (confirmed by lab tests) after a trip in which the only time he didn't treat his water was where the spring was coming out of the hillside, I hesitate to suggest not treating except in emergencies. He was super careful about sanitation, too. It turns out that the camping area in question has been popular with hunters for many, many years and the ground water there is probably contaminated.

I've also hiked farther up what looked like a pristine mountain stream only to find a dead deer lying in it, another reason I treat nearly all my water.

Again, Your Mileage May and probably will Vary!

Re sanitation: Frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizer, especially after "potty" breaks and before handling food, are important to prevent Norovirus (a true nasty, prevalent on the Appalachian Trail last spring) and other infections. Also, if you get sick during your trip, it's probably not giardia, which has an incubation period of ~10-14 days. There are plenty of other bugs (e. coli and the above mentioned Norovirus) that can make you just as sick, but they are far more apt to spread through lack of handwashing than in the water.

Do note, in an emergency, that dehydration can kill you quite rapidly. Go ahead and drink whatever's available in that case. If you get sick from the water, it won't happen until you get home and are close to medical care. If you don't drink, you'll be dead before you get home!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#174283 - 01/24/13 02:58 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: OregonMouse]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
I got hooked on a Sawyer gravity-feed setup a couple years ago and it's now my favorite (having tried just about everything there is to try). It's simple, easy to use, field-servicable and perhaps best of all, I can wander off and do other things while it's working.

I use the "PointONE" system because I'm not typically worried about viruses. In a pinch (really cruddy source water) I can always toss in a ClO2 tablet, but that hasn't been an issue where I hike.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#174289 - 01/24/13 04:32 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: Rick_D]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I went to the Sawyer site and looked at the "Squeeze" and that is awesome. It's definitely a step up from the LifeStraw/Britta charcoal system I mentioned, and not that much more in initial cost.

OM, it's pretty easy to read a topo map and get a very good idea of the watershed feeding your source. If everything above you is wilderness for the watershed you're in you're not likely to find any bugs in a clear running spring.

Again, we have very good water here in the Ozarks, and where I'm at, we have lots of public and private forest land and a low density of population, so I'm at a pretty low risk here if I'm aware of my source. The same is true out west. You have some mining issues there you want to be aware of, but there are lots of places there you can drink right from the source and never have to worry about it. If you look at a population density map of the US you'll see why the AT has issues with water, it's not just people, but all the livestock and pets you have to account for as well.

Great water is like fine wine, but it never gets any better than a natural pristine source, and each has it's own unique character.

I search for natural springs here, and waypoint them when I find them. They're are one of the most precious things I find when I'm out bushwhacking and one of the main draws that gets me out there. So, the idea that I would filter and sanitize every source is not something I buy into. I'd rather not filter any of them, but I do if I'm taking from one that is not pristine.

I'll readily concede that if you're not comfortable with your ability to judge a source you should sanitize your water every time, but I think it's worth learning about the risks and how to evaluate them. There are springs in Texas that have some great water and I'd drink right from them and be thrilled and thankful to have the chance. I wouldn't think of filtering that water, that'd be just wrong to miss out on that opportunity.
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"You want to go where?"



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#174331 - 01/25/13 10:00 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By 4evrplan
Originally Posted By billstephenson
I'll sell you my katadyne hiker right now for $25 and wait for it. laugh


Don't know if you're serious, but that is pretty tempting. Nonetheless, for reasons all my own, I'd have to decline.


That's really not a great deal, the filter is old and the Sawyer Squeeze is a better option, so in the end you'd still spend the $50.
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"You want to go where?"



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#174332 - 01/25/13 10:10 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: finallyME]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
After all this talk about filters, and viruses, I saw this article on the norovirus today:

"New Norovirus Strain Rips Through The U.S."

So I started looking for natural treatments for a virus. That led me to this article on sauerkraut, which I think is pretty interesting. This especially got my attention:

"These probiotics kill off bad pathogens in the intestines such as bacteria, yeast and viruses."

Makes me wonder if putting a little juice from sauerkraut would sanitize water. Seems like it'd be worth looking into.

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#174333 - 01/25/13 10:30 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: billstephenson]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Bill, my German heritage is demanding I stop thinking you're messin' with us. grin

Between Sauerkraut und Kimchi we won't need anything else!

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#174342 - 01/26/13 02:46 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: Rick_D]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Rick_D
Bill, my German heritage is demanding I stop thinking you're messin' with us. grin

Between Sauerkraut und Kimchi we won't need anything else!

Cheers,


lol

I don't know if it will keep me safe from a norovirus but I'm going to make some Sauerkraut today using that recipe because it sounds so good (and it's really easy). I hope I can find a cabbage! laugh

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#174347 - 01/26/13 04:54 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: billstephenson]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Preserved meats, pickles and sauerkraut are, BTW, definitely implicated in stomach cancer. My ex-husband (from eastern Europe) died of it as did his father, thus putting our children at high risk. Scary--it's one of those cancers that is usually not caught until it's too late do do anything about it.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#174352 - 01/26/13 06:47 PM Re: Any on-trail experience with GSE for water purity? [Re: OregonMouse]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Preserved meats, pickles and sauerkraut are, BTW, definitely implicated in stomach cancer. My ex-husband (from eastern Europe) died of it as did his father, thus putting our children at high risk. Scary--it's one of those cancers that is usually not caught until it's too late do do anything about it.


We're talking about fermented cabbage, it's good for you. From the article:

"And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer."
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"You want to go where?"



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