Backpacking and Safe Drinking Water

Those who enjoy outdoors activity are constantly concerned about the safety and quality of the water they drink. Traditional methods are far from ideal and create more gear to carry and more time to spend instead of enjoy the great outdoors! Never assume that untreated water is safe to drink just because a person is in the mountains or in a remote place. More than one thirsty backpacker has greedily quenched his or her thirst with unfiltered mountain water only to discover a dead animal or excrement only a little ways upstream.

A Safe and Natural Way to Purify Water

The factual source we quote is from independent lab tests that follow strict qualification and testing/credentials guidelines which are posted on this site FDA-certified lab tests for water-borne pathogens

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What Other Choices Do You Have to Ensure Your Drinking Water Is Safe?

The two major types of water impurities are biological and chemical. Most wilderness areas and hiking terrain are at higher elevations and above or up stream of any outposts of “civilization”. So in most wilderness areas chemical contamination is not a real problem. The primary exception to this rule of thumb is in some desert areas where dissolved chemicals may reach toxic levels through evaporation.

Biological impurities on the other hand potentially exist in almost any water source except possibly right at a spring because they are carried not only by other hikers but also by animals. Biological contaminates may be microorganisms, bacteria, or viruses.

The two most common microorganisms to contaminate a hiker’s water sources are Giardia and Cryptosporidiosis. Chemical treatments are typically less effective against these than boiling or filters.

Many different forms of bacteria and viruses may also cause discomfort if ingested from contaminated water sources. Coliform and E coli are bacteria sometimes found in water that may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. Boiling and chemical treatments are typically more effective against bacteria and viruses than are filters.

Backpacking Water Purification by Boiling

Water purification by boiling does readily kill giardia. And you don’t need to do it for five minutes as some literature states. Just bring the water to a boil and giardia will be dead.

The problem is that if you are on a major hike or backpacking trip, you probably don’t have this overwhelming desire to carry the amount of fuel needed to boil water for days. You also may not want to spend your time doing this type of water purification, when you could be hiking or reading. If it’s hot, and the humidity is low, you should be drinking about a quart an hour when you are backpacking. You can easily down 7-10 quarts a day. You’d spend all your time and fuel boiling drinking water for giardia if you had to purify water that way. More importantly, boiling does not kill most water-borne pathogens and leaves the hiker vulnerable to illness in the wilderness. NutraSilver kills all water-borne pathogens in 15 minutes.

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About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

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