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Old 04-28-2010, 11:35 AM
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PeteCz PeteCz is offline
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Location: Maryville, TN
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I think the point is that the water in the Park is very clean as a general rule, but you should realize that by not filtering/purifying you are opening yourself up to the possibility of ingesting some toxins that result from unusual circumstances. Here in the Park its really the possibility of untidy humans and animals, as well as dead/decaying animals in the streams. More than likely you would be ok without filtering/purifying, but I think your risk actually goes up the smaller the stream gets. Its really a PPM statement...and as long as you know the risk...its your call.

Now out West, all bets are off. Based on the Land Use policies of the NFS, even in Wilderness areas, you can never be sure that you are not drinking from a stream laced with cattle feces and urine, or even carcasses. I've been in two different Wilderness areas in Colorado and have run across HERDS of cattle and sheep above 10,000'. Its an unbelievable degradation of that pristine environment, but for some reason they (NFS) allow it...NEVER drink without filtering/purifying out there. Its just way too big a risk...

"Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:15 PM
Kytroutbum Kytroutbum is offline
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Posts: 546

In Wyoming ,once I came around a bend upstream of my camp and an outfitter had his pack string in the stream. I taught with a guy, an experienced backpacker and Biologist, who got extremely sick with Hepatitis. He was hospitalized for weeks and out of work for several months. I've got a katadin filter and always use it, whereever I am!.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:42 PM
Speck Lover Speck Lover is offline
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I use a Sweetwater Guardian Purifier approximately 50% of the time and a MSR Miox Purifier about 50% of the time. For me, water purification is kind of like insurance....... I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

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Old 04-28-2010, 07:05 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Owl--I'm in your camp. I drank untreated, unfiltered water for decades, but anyone who ever has the misfortune of getting giardia will realize that the moderate amount of extra trouble is justified a hundred times over. The risk isn't worth it.
Jim Casada
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:47 PM
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spotlight spotlight is offline
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Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
I have drank straight from small streams in the smokies and luckily didn't get sick. Did that more in days past but then I started thinking about hogs upstream that might be doing their business in the stream or worse layin dead in there and I figured it made more sense to use some aqua mira since its quick and cheap and I stopped gambling.

Honestly though there have been some recent studies that suggest most people camping that get gardia are actually getting it from their or others they are withs poor hygeine after taking a dump. People tend to get some on their hands and spread it that way. For years people camping have been getting sick with gardia and folks always assumed it was from the water but now they are thinking that may not be the major source after all but it still can't hurt to treat the water just more common sense.
They mention this in Appalachian Trail hiking hand books most hikers get sick from others,poor hygeine a small 1 ounce bottle of hand sanatizer is always with my water treatment stuff I use it after toilet use before getting water and before eating I have never had any probs Doctor Bronners soap is a good thing to have as well you only need a drop and you can wash your hands with soap. just please don't do it in the stream....I have seen people do it I have before I knew the harmful effects to the watershed.
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:23 PM
Hoosier Hoosier is offline
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Default I'll be purifying after what I saw

Thanks for the replies guys. It has been years since I had gone backpacking and quite frankly then it was iodine tablets or boil, at least that is what I knew of back then. I did buy a Katydyn filter and was definitely planning on using that. But after some of the things I saw this weekend I think I will use some purifying tabs as well. I ended up having two late additions to my camp later in the day. One I was absolutely dumbfounded by. That evening he literally stripped down to his underwear and cleaned himself up in the same creek hole he just took his water out of minutes earlier. If that weren't enough the next morning as I was leaving I'll be danged if the same guy wasn't taking a leak no more than 5/10 feet from that same watering hole on the bank. I thought about saying something but I am the type if I get going I don't know when to stop sometimes. So I usually don't even start. Just amazing. So guess maybe that was my sign.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:24 AM
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Younger Tom Younger Tom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Davidson, NC
Posts: 35

A couple of years back I was walking by Forney creek and came around a bend to see a doe standing in the middle of the stream taking a dump. That and the size of that beaver dam in bone valley is enough for me to avoid drinking out of the stream. It also seems like I see a lot more beaver sign than I did 10 or 15 years ago.

I got this a couple years ago for setting up base camp:

It uses the same filter as the hiker, so you get a spare filter along the trip as well.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:20 PM
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mattblick mattblick is offline
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Location: Springboro, OH
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Posting a reply to this old thread because I used a new water treatment method on my last trip. Perhaps this might sway some of you "dip and sip" people. I got giardia on a trip 10 years ago, and have been very vigilant in hand cleaning and water purification since..

I had previously used a MSR Miniworks EX filter, not the easiest device to bring along as it won't fit in a fishing vest and weighs a full pound. I now use a Steripen Traveler Mini. It weighs 3.6 ounces with batteries (set of batteries last for 50 treatments) and is 6x1x1 inches in size; will fit your pocket. It treats water in a few seconds; bright UV light kills giardia, cryptosporidium, and viruses.. I got mine for under $40 from an online retailer..
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:14 PM
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Dancing Bear Dancing Bear is offline
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Default Katadyn!

I too did the giardia scramble several years ago. Now I always filter and after owning several I have to say the Katadyn Hiker is my favorite. Clear doesn't equal clean.

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Old 04-04-2011, 09:23 AM
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Mac Mac is offline
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Location: Lexington, KY
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Last year for the first time we used the Katadyn Chlorine Dioxide tablets. 30 tablets treats 30 litters of water and weights only .4 oz when weight is a consideration. Made the water look like a Chlorine swimming pool but tasted fine.

When space and weight are not as much a concern we use the MSR Hyperflow.

Either way we always purify our water.
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