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Thread: drinking water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    764

    Default drinking water

    jack mentioned in another post about not taking enough water and nearly dying of thirst. this happens to me all the time. I drink about a gallon and a half of water everyday anyway. my question is what do you guys do for water in the park? sometimes I'll throw a bottle in the back of my vest, but the weight is rather cumbersome, and it's not enough. I've considered wearing my camelbak, but have never tried it. I also have a water bottle with a filter built in. this is nice because it provides unlimited water on a trip, and filters giardia but it tastes like straight charcoal. I wish I could just drink straight from the stream like god intended. what do you guys use?
    Trevor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: drinking water

    also, does anyone know, if you do drink park water, what's the chance of actually getting giardia? *I know everyone says don't drink it, and don't worry, I don't plan on it. *but it reminds me of this: *most people would have you believe that eating a raw egg will give you salmonella. *in commercial eggs, on average, 1 in 30,000 eggs is infected with salmonella. *in eggs from free range chickens it's estimated to be almost 0. *so you could eat raw eggs all your life and probably never be affected, but ask the average person and they'd tell you that you were taking your life in your hands. *I know my facts about eggs, but I don't about the water in gsmnp. *that's why I ask. *does anyone know? *
    Trevor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Hendersonville, NC
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: drinking water

    Many a times have i found myself in the same boat, dying of thirst and wanting some water badly. Up until about 2 years ago, i would just drink water out of the stream that i was fishing as long as i was in a state park, national forest, national park, etc. and knew it was protected. I remember a trip to hazel creek about 6 years ago and i drank the water out of there for 4 days straight, it's not like i could get back out to get any water . Anyways, i think that the actual chance of you getting giardia is pretty slim if you drink stream water, but there is a chance, which is a big increase over the zero chance you would have if you didn't drink it. That being said, i try to bring water for long trips and i'm thinking of getting a backpack with a hydration pack in it to help with that, however i wouldn't think twice about drinking stream water if i was in dire need of it. Sorry, i know that this isn't a straight answer but i would try to steer away from it if possible. I drank stream water for years and never got it, meanwhile a family member of mine got it and they never drank anything but water from the faucet, so.......

    Maybe someone on here with a scientific background could help answer this one, because i don't know a definitive answer. Great question, i'm really interested in finding more about it too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: drinking water

    It only takes one bout with giardia to convince you to not take any chances with drinking unfiltered water. DON'T DO IT! I know from experience. When we go to Abrams we usually carry A Pur Hiker filter. It is reasonably small and light. This past year I got one of the filter bottles. I like it for convenience if I want to go really light. It doesn't taste the greatest and it's slow but it works.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: drinking water

    Regardless of how thirsty you are, don't risk giardia by drinking the stream water, not matter how clear it looks. Your chances are not slim you will get it but better odds that you would get giardia from drinking untreated water. The taste of charcoal from a filtered bottle is much more desirable that the results of giardia. Dancing Bear is correct, one bout of the "scours" and you will wish you had never drank the water.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: drinking water

    I generally carry a hydration pack of some sort, either a Camelbak or one made by Gregory. The only downside to going this route is that carrying that weight plus the vest can really make your neck and shoulders tired.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Hendersonville, NC
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: drinking water

    How much are one of them lightweight filters I was looking at getting one a while back but all of the ones i came across were pretty expensive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nashville,TN
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: drinking water

    This topic happens to be a favorite of mine as I like to backpack and Back country FF.

    It is true that our water is not a clean as it once was. Having said that, their are many options available that one can employ when treating or drinking water. Some of the possible microorganisms; Giardia,Cryptosporidium, bacteria and and virusis.

    If at lower elevations or around agricultural areas never drink the water without filtering or treating it. I usually carry a 2 liter bladder in these areas in my pack.

    When at high elevations or around pristine headwaters your chances of drinking it successfully without filtering or treating it are much improved. (But I'm not telling you to do it)

    For many years I have hydrated straight from the stream(No filter and no treatment) at elevations 3000ft plus as long as their are no cattle or housing developments above me, just pristine wilderness.(Again, not telling you to do it). I have never been sick.

    So how to treat? ( A few examples
    - Wash your hands Rule#1 You are more likely to get bugs from dirty hands
    - Filter is best,but can be expensive and cumbersome,but works well
    - Aqua Mira-'Effective for some bugs but not all
    - Iodine tabs, again, works for some bugs but not all, and make sure you don't have a thyroid disorder
    - Bleach- That's right! Household bleach. (NON SCENTED!!!) Cheap,easy and tastes like city water.
    1-2 drops per liter of water, wait 30 minutes and enjoy. Old tylenol dropper works well. Have used it many times in the past and never a problem. Some folks on their thru-hike on the AT have adopted this and love it.
    - There are other treatment measures, research what works best for you.

    Disclamer;
    I am not advocating that you do any of the above. Just some food/Water for thought!
    Do some investigating of your own ,it will make you a happy camper/FF.
    I am not a scientist, just an avid FF/HIKER. O, I read alot about this topic.

    If there are any kids reading this. please ask your parents before you adopt any new form of water treatment, they will always point you in the right direction.

    Enjoy the outdoors- DryFly1


    "Great things are done when men and mountains meet." William Blake

    http://www.mtff.org/ (For general interest in the Middle Tennessee area)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,034

    Default Re: drinking water

    For those of you who have said that the risk may be low for Giardia in the Park...that may be so, but we know someone personally who was affected by it. *This person was infected even after filtering water...by cross contamination of the intake and output hoses.

    She was sick for months and months and months...that is just not *worth the risk for me.

    The one time I considered drinking straight out of the stream (I had forgotten my water bottle), in my mind I was poopoo-ing the risk. *I was walking upstream trying to decide if I would drink or not...and spotted a dead and rotting carcass of a deer in the stream. *Had I taken a drink downstream from that ....my mind ewwws every time I think of it. *

    Those two things have broken me of ever even considering drinking out of the stream without filtering the water.

    Paula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: drinking water

    My son thru-hiked the AT and is a long distance hiker- He uses the bleach technique due to weight but prefers the filter. I almost aways carry a filter in my day pack. I carry a bottle of water in the back of my vest while fishing. If I am in a ways, I can filter for a refill or the way home.
    1. I had a fellow teacher who almost died from liver damage due to Hepatitis(sp?) from drinking out of a "spring" while back packing!!!!! He thinks the source of infection was in the Park, He was an expert on backpacking and the Park.
    2. Be careful about "stashing" or cooling bottles or cans in the stream.
    3. I am careful"WHERE" I get my water from when I filter. Once fishing up a stream (about 6-8 miles off the road) in the Beartooth- Absaroka wilderness of Yellowstone, I came around a corner and out of nowhere there was a pack sting of horses IN THE RIVER . I try to find a spring if I can.
    Randy Sale

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