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  1. #81
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    For the bigger part of my life, I had no knowledge about water treatment.
    So I've travelled long and wide, the Middle East, North Africa and USA/Mex drinking about everything I've ever got, untreated - without any more problem than occassionally some light diarhhoe.
    Once in Israel I've developed a very serious sickness that kicked me off the bike within minutes, shivering in fever and writhing on the ground (I'll not give further details), but this was at a time when I lived in civilisation drinking botteled water, and the real cause I never got to know.
    OK, this was when I was young and strong and adventurous. And true, there were by far not as many people everywhere as there are nowadays.
    I strongly belive that people's waste is the most dangerous.

    Nowadays, I take a very close look at the map (or Google Earth) to get a clear picture where the water I'm going to get comes from.
    If there is a settlement or any other kind of civilisation upstream, I will treat the water.
    If this is a cold spring and no hint of civilisation upstream, I might just take it as it is.

  2. #82

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    Where I backpack in the Southeast mountains pigs like to wallow at springheads and make big divots in the mud for cooling purposes and therefore much of the assumed pristine spring creeks are fouled with pig juices etc.

    One time I was backpacking up the North Fork Citico Creek and discovered a half eaten dead horse laying right in the middle of the creek.

    Another time I was coming down the South Fork Creek and smelled a terrible smell and found a rotting deer carcass right in the creek above my campsite.

  3. #83
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    In Hawaii we have Leptospira in freshwater streams transmitted via feral hogs, cattle, rodents, and domesticated dogs. Contracting Leptospirosis even when kayaking and swimming while having open cuts tends to be more dangerous than Giardasis.


    Making blanket statements that it is medically unnecessary to treat water, pardon the pun, doesn't hold water. And, that comes from one that doesn't chemically or pump filter with a device treat 75+ % of the time in the lower 48 backcountry.

  4. #84
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    Once we stealth-camped on the shores of Lake Kinnereth, Israel (the one Jesus walked across).
    At one point nearby some sweet water seeped out of the gravel seam what you could call a beach, and we simply dug a shallow hole and used the water for whatever we needed it. It was summer, searingly hot and we needed loads of water.
    Several days later I strolled further up and found a small stream through the plantages being the source of this gravel/beach-spring.
    Some hundred meters upstream I found the carcasse of a monster rat, the size and shape of a piglet, rotting in the stream.
    Duhhh...
    Still we didn't die, didn't even go sick.

    But neither would I repeat this voluntarily, nor would I recommend it to others.
    Better treat or filter your water.

  5. #85
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    #4 is very wrong sorry puking and the squirts will dehydrate you way faster.

  6. #86
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BionicAnkle View Post
    #4 is very wrong sorry puking and the squirts will dehydrate you way faster.
    That's a valid point, so please let me clarify my reasoning: If someone is badly dehydrated while hiking, that is an immediate risk to life and health and getting rehydrated is the immediate priority. In the context of hiking the A.T. or other US trails, odds (on average) are that a hiker that immediately needs water will not get sick from drinking at any one water source, which makes treating their dehydration the more prudent option rather than trying to continue on dangerously dehydrated. In addition most common waterborne illnesses in the US have a lenghty incubation period, so even in the event that it is necessary to drink from a questionable water source, there will still likely be time to head back to civilization and get medical treatment prior to the onset of symptoms.
    Last edited by Sarcasm the elf; 02-05-2018 at 10:47.
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  7. #87
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    A good example might be the story of Aaron, as described in "127 hours".
    He survived, after having freed himself, by drinking loads of water, no matter which quality.
    And he encountered a very bad sickness later due to bad water, which he survived luckily as he then was in hospital already.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by MA_Woodaman View Post
    I don't know guys and gals...we know the science of bacteria and pathogens pretty well. I'd say that unless you have a super unique gut tract, consuming surface water anywhere is a big risk.

    If you've got access to a spring like many of us in this room are likely able to identify and use correctly that's one thing.

    I think that article sends the wrong message to the wrong group of people.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    I thought the article was interesting. I use Aqua Mira mostly and sometimes have a squeeze filter or SteriPen for quick water treatment on trail. On AT I generally did not treat spring water, but did treat stream water. Maybe overkill per the article, but it was easy to do, and I plan to continue. Have never had giardia (as far as I know) or other waterborne infections, FWIW. I do know someone who got giardia from a spring in the Quehanna region of PA (not on AT), the one source she did not treat on a weekend trip prior to developing symptoms of her infection.
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  9. #89
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    I guess I've always been a Boy Scout when it comes to hiking/camping. The scout motto is "Be Prepared".

    Water in the wild, water falls, pools, streams, rivulets, ponds, can be deceiving. I have always filtered and used a Steripen throughout my ten years poking around along the AT.
    You may find this illustrated article in today's STAT of interest . Drinking without proper protection is always a crapshoot and the payback can be regretful. Have a Lovely Day!

    https://www.statnews.com/2018/02/07/...0d29-150542621

  10. #90

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    https://www.outsideonline.com/227940...ter-your-water

    points out the obvious holes the slate "story"

  11. #91

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    You can Lees a hiker to water but ya can’t make em filter...oh well, pun intended.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by LovelyDay View Post
    I guess I've always been a Boy Scout when it comes to hiking/camping. The scout motto is "Be Prepared".

    Water in the wild, water falls, pools, streams, rivulets, ponds, can be deceiving. I have always filtered and used a Steripen throughout my ten years poking around along the AT.
    You may find this illustrated article in today's STAT of interest . Drinking without proper protection is always a crapshoot and the payback can be regretful. Have a Lovely Day!

    https://www.statnews.com/2018/02/07/...0d29-150542621
    The catch here is " medically necessary"

    It is not medically necessary to avoid diarrhea.

    Most people will get over any sickness they get from Water by themselves like they do most communicable sicknesses. To that end no it's not medically necessary


    Please count the scientific references in the outside article to support it's opinions. It's nothing but typical magazine garbage. I counted .....zero.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-08-2018 at 00:31.
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  13. #93
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    https://www.outsideonline.com/227940...ter-your-water

    points out the obvious holes the slate "story"



    Good post and worth reading, but his conclusion


    Both Welch and Linck argue that the failure to wash hands after taking a poo is responsible for more infections than drinking unpurified water. But while that is an argument for taking some hand sanitizer along, it is not an argument against water treatment.
    The next time you go camping, you should do both.


    seems to promote the idea that hand sanitizer is a good substitute for hand washing.

    Too bad there are not any studies out there that give real insight on how effective filters are in the field — as they are actually being used. I just got a multi-pack of Sawyer Minis from Amazon, and was challenged on why I needed more than one when the packaging says each is good for 100,000 gallons.
    Last edited by rickb; 02-08-2018 at 07:38.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Too bad there are not any studies out there that give real insight on how effective filters are in the field — as they are actually being used. I just got a multi-pack of Sawyer Minis from Amazon, and was challenged on why I needed more than one when the packaging says each is good for 100,000 gallons.
    I buy underwear in 6 packs.
    I don't assume I need them all at once.

    The mini is good filter. It's a bit slow, Ive used mine for several werks on trail. In my experience it costs me 2 mpd (1 hr) to take time to filter water with it. After a few L, it does require back flushing , so I bring the syringe.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    The catch here is " medically necessary"

    It is not medically necessary to avoid diarrhea.

    Most people will get over any sickness they get from Water by themselves like they do most communicable sicknesses. To that end no it's not medically necessary


    Please count the scientific references in the outside article to support it's opinions. It's nothing but typical magazine garbage. I counted .....zero.
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, some half million children around the world die annually due to diarrhea related complications. In the US, which ranks around 72nd in diarrhea related deaths, there are approximately 1,500 deaths per year. Clearly its not on par with tobacco related deaths, however if one is not among the "most" who survive it without complications, it becomes a very serious issue.

    We are very fortunate here in the US, having (for the moment anyway) water filtration systems that reduces pathogens and parasites that lead to diarrhea along with a robust medical industry that has simple to complex medicines and care for acute symptoms. There are failures in the water system of course, Flint MI being a good example of what happens when the regulatory requirements are skirted for short term monetary gains and when we see them there are corresponding long term effects of tainted drinking water.

    Given the facts of what diarrhea is and the complications it introduces to the human body, I consider it a medical necessity to avoid it whenever possible. Though most all of us experience diarrhea symptoms occasionally, we tend to think of it more of an annoyance than life threatening until the impact of dehydration and/or other complications changes opinion that diarrhea is not a serious issue. I have not ever heard an MD say not to worry about diarrhea, but I have not talked to all of them.
    Last edited by Traveler; 02-08-2018 at 08:49.

  16. #96
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    We are literally surrounded by germ, viruses, mold, etc. that could potentially kill us. The human body has adapted to deal with most of them. Even the black plague in Europe only killed one in five. It has been shown that children from fastidious homes are more prone to diseases. I was raised on a little farm eating dirt and running around barefoot. I wouldn't drink water that was not treated that was running through a cow pasture but I have no problem drinking water that comes out of the side of a mountain like most of the water sources along the AT. If you are weak you probably need to filter and then add chemicals and finally boil your water.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, some half million children around the world die annually due to diarrhea related complications. In the US, which ranks around 72nd in diarrhea related deaths, there are approximately 1,500 deaths per year. Clearly its not on par with tobacco related deaths, however if one is not among the "most" who survive it without complications, it becomes a very serious issue.

    We are very fortunate here in the US, having (for the moment anyway) water filtration systems that reduces pathogens and parasites that lead to diarrhea along with a robust medical industry that has simple to complex medicines and care for acute symptoms. There are failures in the water system of course, Flint MI being a good example of what happens when the regulatory requirements are skirted for short term monetary gains and when we see them there are corresponding long term effects of tainted drinking water.

    Given the facts of what diarrhea is and the complications it introduces to the human body, I consider it a medical necessity to avoid it whenever possible. Though most all of us experience diarrhea symptoms occasionally, we tend to think of it more of an annoyance than life threatening until the impact of dehydration and/or other complications changes opinion that diarrhea is not a serious issue. I have not ever heard an MD say not to worry about diarrhea, but I have not talked to all of them.
    The same can be said about everything. Numbers look large, but they are tiny percentages. And we are only talking about the US to boot

    Treating water is no more a medical necessity than a flu shot is . 99.+% of normal healthy people will be just fine without it, even if get sick. Post exposure treatment is also common and effective in US too
    Is it prudent? Maybe. But that is different than being necessity. A necessity is something that is required.

    I have heard of nobody in modern US times dieing from not treating Backcountry water.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-08-2018 at 09:23.
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  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailing_Faith View Post
    Wow, pretty bold title... I have filtered / treated water since I was a kid (well maybe not as much when I was a kid)....

    What do you think of this?

    https://slate.com/technology/2018/02...necessary.html
    He can do what he wants. I'm still filtering my water.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    My two cents:


    1) The odds of getting a waterbourne illness from any one source is overwhelmingly low.
    2) The majority of illness that are blamed on "bad water" are actually transmitted by contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. Proper hand washing with honest to goodness soap is far more effective at reducing the spread of pathogens than water treatment.
    3) Most commercial filters do not protect against viruses like Noro virus that is ever present on major trails.
    4) It you are unable to treat your water, just drink it. Dehydration is generally more dangerous to the average hiker than waterbourne contaminants.
    5) All that said I still treat my water, because I think it's easy and a smart thing to do.
    Well written. I agree totally.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Folks are filtering water coming straight out of a mountain spring then go to the store and buy spring water. Go figure!
    Spring water you buy in the store is also filtered.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

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