Back country water

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Back country water

Postby Greg » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:24 pm

This may seem obvious to some but for those stubborn individuals (like me) and anyone else who may not be aware it is a very good idea to purify any back country water prior to consumption. I have always been rather skeptical about the ubiquity of water borne parasites in fresh water streams but now I am a believer. My practice had been to carefully select water courses that basically looked clean, had no turbidity and were relatively clear. I always carried some sort of chemical based treatment but rarely used it as I hate having chlorine in my water. After about 25 years of rolling the dice on this I got infected by a pretty nasty case of giardia after drinking some untreated water in the Walton Glen area. Get a good filter that removes not only bacteria but protozoa as well and use it. From now on this is will be my practice in the back country.
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Re: Back country water

Postby Dom » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:53 pm

Greg as you are aware, I got Giardia in Tennessee in 2004 - I lost 30lbs in a couple of weeks.
I was using a filter - MSR miniworks ex filter to be precise. If you're in the backcountry for an extended period of time and your filter is in contact with contaminated water often, you will eventually contaminate the spout of your filter. I suspect that is how I got sick. Others in my group who were using iodine didn't. YMMV.

All this to say, I do not recommend using a filter.

Since then I purify my water with iodine, aquatabs or Pristine water solution. I too did not purify my water religiously in NB, presuming most springs and streams were free of waterborne diseases.

Walton Glen is the last place I would expect to find Giardia, especially since there is no cattle in the immediate area. Very unlucky man. Based on your experience, I will be changing my practice and will be purifying all backcountry water I drink from now on.

Good recovery and hang in there. It gets better with time. Silver lining is you will be light for ice climbing season.
So much rock, so little time
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Re: Back country water

Postby Greg » Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:04 pm

Dom wrote:Greg as you are aware, I got Giardia in Tennessee in 2004 - I lost 30lbs in a couple of weeks.
I was using a filter - MSR miniworks ex filter to be precise. If you're in the backcountry for an extended period of time and your filter is in contact with contaminated water often, you will eventually contaminate the spout of your filter. I suspect that is how I got sick. Others in my group who were using iodine didn't.

Good recovery and hang in there. It gets better with time. Silver lining is you will be light for ice climbing season.


Ahhh, good to know re filters.........yeah I've already dropped about 10 pounds :o
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Re: Back country water

Postby MaDelaney » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:12 am

Dammit! I should've taken a drink with you Greg - sounds like an easy way to lose the next 20 pound! Bhahaha

Signed, one big A-hole
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