Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think if you buy high quality (like Platypus), not some off-brand knock off, the risk is a bit smaller.
Finding the enfamil collapsible bottles was somewhat comforting. I used a few Dollar Store bottles like those before that but there was no comfort there. I've got another I found at WalMart by Outdoor Products that's a bit better than those Dollar Store bottles. It's a 1 liter collapsible and it accepts the Britta filters too.
All of the Dollar Store bottles I bought started leaking after a few days of backpacking. I hate tossing stuff after just a few uses.
Wandering_daisy wrote: "There also are specialized plastic bags that do not "bleed" plastic into samples (if you are also worried about carrying backpack food in a bag)."
I would love a perfectly safe camelback type bladder, and a real cooking pot (instead of trying to use a water bottle as a pot), but even if the modern bladders don't impart a taste into the water (or so I've read, on amazon), I still don't trust that they wouldn't leach odorless/tasteless bad stuff. How do I know if one of the water bladder manufacturers uses this special plastic?
Nalgene makes a line of plastic bottles for laboratories called "Scientific Nalgene". They come in various sizes - even square and rectangular bottles and are designed to minimize plastic "bleed" and are non-reactive all sorts of chemicals. These come in an incredible variety that you will not find at an outdoor store. Just google "Scientific Nalgene".
Glass is used if you are sampling trace levels of volatile organics. Trace levels are not something that I would be too worried about.
Cookware and health: http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0112/pots.htm This article is from 2012. Searches I found that are more recent, seem like marketing towards the use of titanium. (please see previous post on page 3: my search for plastic hydration options)
Having read this thread, I have a question- is all the water consumed coming from home? Filtration and the source would seem to be far more a factor than the container. Doesn't PH and mineral content alter taste? Or is all water boiled first? My water on trips rarely is in the container for long lengths of time. The dry, desert trips I've taken, I looked for lightweight , packable, containers with the least concern for taste as the water weight was already adding 20 lbs. The rate that various container materials release their components into the water may be worth looking into. If the water is kept cool, I would think the rate of release would be reduced. I must admit that a long cool drink out of an old stainless Sierra cup was refreshing. Or maybe because it had finally gone silent after it had clanged and banged its way to the source.... I've looked at the Kleen Kanteen in the 64 oz. size, which is not terribly heavy and has a stainless cap liner so no plastic contacts your water.
I didn't bring up filtration, as I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro. Anyway, I just ordered a platypus 1 liter bladder-bottle on sale at REI outlet. I'm going to die with the rest of you.
Bravely done! ;-)
FWIW I use taste-odor as a proxy for potential contamination through leeching. If a container imparts, for example, a plasticy odor with time, I ditch it for something else. The early Camelbaks, for example, gave a lovely waterbed fragrance with enough contact time, while the current ones don't. Also, sometimes drink hoses do this while the container itself does not. This is why I prefer silicone hoses (which your Hiker has) for filters and reservoirs. The bit of water in the drink hose sits in the sun and can get quite warm, so I try to drain it between uses. (I don't think of it as a health issue so much as a "yuck" issue.)
I am not going to discuss whether certain plastics leach chemicals or not. That is for others to decide. But here is something to help...hopefully.
If it is a collapsible "bag", then most likely, the inner layer (they are usually multilayered) that touches the water is either Polyethylene or Polypropylene. It can be something else, but those two are the easiest to heat seal together.
Almost all aluminum water bottles have a plastic liner. Does it leach....that is for you to determine.
Most stainless bottles are NOT lined with plastic. Which means you will still have to do research into whether the stainless reacts and leaves stuff.
Titanium bottles aren't lined....if you can find one. This would be the lightest weight, most expensive, non-plastic option.
Of course, glass is probably the most inert. Canning jars are probably your best option here.
My advice for a non-plastic container is to use stainless. It is lighter, doesn't break, and you can put it in the fire. I would still need to bring at least a metal pot to eat out of. You couldn't use a plastic bowl, because that would defeat the whole exercise. Glass would be my second choice. Glass has problems, but they can be mitigated against. In the end, it is up to you to weigh the risks/benefits. Another thing to think about is how often are you drinking while camping/backpacking, compared to when at home. If you drink from a glass container 100% at home, but then for 5 nights out of the year switch to plastic....how much will that effect you?
Oh yeah, leather canteens are generally lined with wax, at least the ones I have seen.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
Depending on the trip, I will take plastic or stainless, or both. Wax coated leather sounds cool, but look at this one that is coated with latex: http://www.backcountrygear.com/leather-bota-bag.html#.U2FIE6fZv6p I have no idea if latex is neutral. Wax? I guess it would depend on the wax. Wax from honeybees is probably ok. Petroleum based wax is probably not.
While I did get the platypus softbottle (actually, I neglected to see it was only a half liter... sorry if I led you on a wild goose chase), I also got two wide mouth stainless steel water bottles (one stanley, one gaiam that's painted on the outside). I found a 13" long bamboo spoon. I ordered some wire on ebay for less than $2, which I will use to make a handle to pick up the stainless steel water bottles from the fire (saw that in another post). What cooking do you think I would still need a pot for?
Those bota bags aren't coated in latex. It is a latex bag, that has a decorative leather outside. It is basically a big rubber balloon in a leather pouch. All I know about latex is that some people are allergic to it.
The only leather canteens that I have seen that are true leather canteens were hand made, and the person said he soaked the inside in beeswax.
As for why another container to eat out of, I have a hard time eating out of a water bottle, even with a wide mouth. I guess it really depends on what food you have. I usually do freezer bag style while backpacking. But, that is putting hot water in a plastic bag...which would defeat this whole exercise. I also put food in my pot and let it soak there before eating. You could probably get away with one container...but try it before you commit for a week long trip. I guess a wooden bowl would also work, but I don't know if that would be lighter than a titanium bowl. I use the snow peak titanium bowl as my go to eating dish. It holds 20 fl oz and weighs 1.6 oz. A silicon bowl is around 4 oz.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
I got a bamboo spoon that weighs a half an ounce. Maybe 0.6 ounce, but I don't have a very sensitive scale. It's 12 inches long.
Another idea: I think that activated carbon absorbs plastic toxins. I thought of using carbon inside the drinking tube of a hydration bladder. In my first attempt, I crushed the carbon, hoping to get it to fit better in the tube, but I couldn't get water to go through it. I think that bigger pieces would work better at allowing the water to flow. I put a piece of coffee filter on the drinking side, so I wouldn't suck up the carbon. I also would recommend putting another on the bag side.
The plus side of this, is that I drink more water if there is a drinking nozzle sitting on my shoulder. I used this (without carbon though) when I was a bicycle messenger over a dozen years ago. You can start off full of ice cubes, which keeps your back cool. I am thinking of using this for bicycle commuting and day hikes. The simplicity of a bottle may be better for backpacking.