Archive for the ‘Water’ Category

We recently gave a talk at Orvis Dayton about water.

This is the first big camping weekend and we figure some people might want to read our take on water sourcing and purification.

How to Find Water
At home, choose tap water or filtered water.  Bottled water contributes to waste and chemical content is not reported.

Consider adding rain barrels to your garden as a way to ease the burden of sewage systems.

Outdoors, look for free flowing clear water.  If none is to be found, follow hillsides downward.  Look for lush plant life and wildlife as possible water sources.  Avoid muddy or standing water if possible, as they are most likely to have bacterial growth.

What can be in unpurified water?

  • Viruses and bacteria
  • Giardia and Cryptosporidia, causes of severe intestinal disease
  • Turbidation, i.e. dirt particles in water

How to Purify Water

Our recommendation is to invest in a hand powered water filter.  Costing about $90, these filters will last through thousands of gallons of water cleaned.  Simply put one end in the water source, the other end in your water container, and pump until container is full.  Removes all pathogens.

Iodine or chlorine dioxide tablets are another popular choice.  To use, drop in a container with sourced water and wait.  4 hours is the recommended wait time to guard against cryptosporidia.

Household bleach can be used in a pinch, at a rate of 1/8 tsp (8 drops) per gallon of water.  Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before use.

Boiling water for 5 minutes kills pathogens, but is an extensive use of  fuel.

How to Store Water

We advise taking enough vessels on an outdoors trip to equal half of your daily drinking needs—at minimum, a 1 liter container.

You want a bottle that is lightweight enough to not be a burden, strong enough to not break if it is dropped, and one which does not impart flavor or chemical toxins.  Stainless steel is an ideal material to meet those needs and a variety of stainless steel bottles exist in the marketplace.

Many clear plastic water bottles contain an additive called bisphenol-a, or BPA.  BPA has been connected to many cancers and other life threatening diseases.  Some counties have banned the substance and many manufacturers are phasing it out of production.  If you have an old plastic bottle, consider a switch soon.

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