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#11288 - 03/03/11 09:31 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
nothing wrong with the water flowing into the small tarn/lake. Just don't take it out of the lake.


At the risk of putting too fine a point on it - getting to the inflow point of this little tarn is difficult and time-consuming, so for all practical purposes you have to use an area where a hundred other people may use it on any given day - hence the need to filter.

As for the water flowing across a couple of switchbacks about 1/3 of the way up - even when it is flowing in general, it's often frozen in the early hours as you begin the climb. Even when it's thawed, you have to block the trail in order to get water. So ... because of the uncertainities/hassles of this location, I regard it as an emergency water source, and filter 3 liters at the little tarn.

Of course, YMMV. The above is the basis for my decisions. Everyone is free to make their own choices.

Whether to filter/not to filter is often a prickly issue for some, but not me. Just like I don't play in traffic, jump off 3 story buildings, try to outrace a cop, snack on roadkill - I don't drink from questionable water sources.

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#11289 - 03/03/11 10:36 AM Re: Water purification [Re: KevinR]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
nothing wrong with some good old roadkill. One trip from WI to CA, I counted 53 opportunities to cook some free meat. I then got a Road Kill cook book from Santa...
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#11290 - 03/03/11 10:44 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Fishmonger]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
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#11291 - 03/03/11 10:59 AM Re: Water purification [Re: wagga]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
Figured the roadkill comment would keep the tone light!

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#11292 - 03/03/11 11:11 AM Re: Water purification [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7908
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Whether to filter/not to filter is often a prickly issue for some, but not me. Just like I don't play in traffic, jump off 3 story buildings, try to outrace a cop, snack on roadkill - I don't drink from questionable water sources.
grin Well, let me see....

I've played in traffic (heck, the way I drive, I do that often -- just ask wagga). I've jumped off a 3-story bridge, and once got away from a cop (I was ~17). And I have eaten roadkill. So... I drink from more water sources than Kevin. grin

The inflow into the Trail Camp tarn IS a ways off the trail, so it takes a minute or two to get there, but it isn't difficult. I'd trust that water any day.

It's a trade off whether you carry your filter that far and use it right by the trail, or walk a little distance and dip your water.

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#11294 - 03/03/11 01:12 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Steve C]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
There's a nice view of Trailcamp from over there, especially if you climb up a bit.
It's a beautiful spot what with the grass islands, stream flowing by, and the waterfall nearby.
Well worth the effort! smile

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#11295 - 03/03/11 02:26 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I've played in traffic (heck, the way I drive, I do that often -- just ask wagga). I've jumped off a 3-story bridge, and once got away from a cop (I was ~17). And I have eaten roadkill. So... I drink from more water sources than Kevin. grin


Okay, now THIS changes the parameters as to what is considered safe. Lesseee....More dangerous: toss filter or survive Steve's maniac driving?? TOSS THE FILTER!!! You have a better chance of survival!!! eek
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#11296 - 03/03/11 03:04 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
I get the Heebie-jeebies thinking about drinking water with live things swimming around in that you can see let alone the little things you can't see. I always filter my water.


Edited by Mike Condron (03/03/11 03:04 PM)
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#11299 - 03/03/11 03:46 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Mike Condron]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
I get the Heebie-jeebies thinking about drinking water with live things swimming around in that you can see let alone the little things you can't see. I always filter my water.


I hear ya, Mike, I feel the same way. I'd rather be safe than sorry later that I didn't filter my water. Water purification systems, anywhere from tablet to filters, are well worth their weight, and their weight is so minimal.

And, for the person who spoke about the weight of a filter, you made me laugh. A while back some WZ members teased me for complaining that a bear canister was too heavy, now it's my turn to tease back because a water filtration system is so very light.

We could all do what Bear Grylls does, he ties a knot in the wrist of his shirt sleeve, then places at the base of the knot charcoal from a burnt-out fire, a bit of grass on top of the charcoal and then pours water over both the charcoal and grass and let's it filter out of his shirt into his canteen.

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#11302 - 03/03/11 05:46 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Mike Condron]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Mike Condron
I get the Heebie-jeebies thinking about drinking water with live things swimming around in that you can see let alone the little things you can't see. I always filter my water.


you should see your skin under a microscope... you'd probably faint.
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#11303 - 03/03/11 08:47 PM Re: Water purification [Re: lynn-a-roo]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7908
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: lynn-a-roo
I hear ya, Mike, I feel the same way. I'd rather be safe than sorry later that I didn't filter my water. Water purification systems, anywhere from tablet to filters, are well worth their weight, and their weight is so minimal.

And, for the person who spoke about the weight of a filter, you made me laugh. A while back some WZ members teased me for complaining that a bear canister was too heavy, now it's my turn to tease back because a water filtration system is so very light.

Yeah, I saw that rant about the canister... That person has left us, but you and the rest can laugh anyway.

My point is, and Fishmonger hints at it too, that there are more likely sources than water where you can acquire those intestinal bugs. The current literature on backcountry intestinal issues always stresses cleanliness much more than the need to filter the water, at least in the high altitudes where we hike.

You are all welcome to carry a water filter, but until someone can actually FIND any evidence of water contaminated enough to make you sick, then that filter is about as useful as the T-shirt and charcoal.

I know someone who used to carry a rock hammer in his pack on every day hike. But then he was using it to slow him down enough to be comfortable hiking with all the others in his group.

I'm getting too old to carry hammers and stuff like that. It is far more enjoyable to hike with 20 lbs on my back than 30.

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#11304 - 03/03/11 09:07 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
You are all welcome to carry a water filter, but until someone can actually FIND any evidence of water contaminated enough to make you sick, then that filter is about as useful as the T-shirt and charcoal.


Just for clarification(unintentional pun!) I do not believe that a certain amount of folks filter their water because they are fearful of giardia, (which is extremely unlikely in the Whitney Zone, or most of the high sierra trails). Rather, it sounds like Mike, Lynne, and others just may not like pulp in their orange juice (I can still see my mother straining my juice because I was convinced that pulp was some sort of contamination)

To each his own, but I gotta say that comparing a filter to a rock hammer???? is really funny.
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#11305 - 03/03/11 09:28 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Bee]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7908
Loc: Fresno, CA
> To each his own, but I gotta say that comparing a filter to a rock hammer???? is really funny.

Ya, well, you know the dude who carried the hammer. wink

Besides, the hammer's a cheaper paper weight. smile

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#11338 - 03/04/11 04:45 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I only complain of a filters weight when it comes to long distance backpacking where everything saved is important.

And come on people, does it really matter if your steak had it's throat cut, took a slug to the chest or did a cart wheel over the hood of your car? As long as it's fresh!

Once again about filters. I once was at the Cottonwood Lakes and I had no filter and it was dark as I got my water from Lake 3 and I was drinking on it back in camp and decided to shine my flashlight on it to see lots of little things swimming around in my bottle. I can't say I enjoyed that but extra protein never hurt I guess.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (03/04/11 04:46 PM)
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#11340 - 03/04/11 06:39 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Fishmonger]
docdiamond Offline


Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 18
Loc: Raleigh, NC
I like the seatbelt analogy. Lots of folks don't filter their water on Whitney, and don't have problems. Not a bad risk if you ask me. But I do wear my seatbelt!

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#11534 - 03/14/11 01:37 PM Re: Water purification [Re: RoguePhotonic]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
RP - I laughed so hard at your steak analogy! Nice end to my work day today. Thanks.
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#11540 - 03/14/11 04:40 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Bee]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Bee
Just for clarification(unintentional pun!) I do not believe that a certain amount of folks filter their water because they are fearful of giardia, (which is extremely unlikely in the Whitney Zone, or most of the high sierra trails).


I am fearful of giardia (because I had it, so it isn't extremely unlikely to ingest those critters in the High Sierra). I thought it would not happen to me after so many summers of drinking unfiltered water. I also read everything about that stuff, and figured I was smart enough to save me the hassle and weight of a filter. Thing is, even if you don't plan on it, sometimes you will find yourself in a place that appears safe, you'll be thirsty and suddenly you're careless and drink what you should have left alone or at least boiled or treated.

Even after a spoiled trip due to giardia, I still don't own a filter; I will just try to be even smarter and avoid sub 8000 foot Yosemite streams. However, I will buy a filter for a October Muir Trail hike I am planning - during my last September trip it was not only difficult to find clean water sources, but water in general. With a filter I would have been able to use almost all surface water. Without filter I had to go through some dry stretches.
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#11541 - 03/14/11 04:47 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Fishmonger]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
I am fearful of giardia (because I had it, so it isn't extremely unlikely to ingest those critters in the High Sierra).


Just curious (not interested in starting any arguments here) but when you ingested your giardia, was there any time in the previous days that you were below 10K? (My definition of "High Sierra" is anything above 10k)
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#11551 - 03/14/11 05:56 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Bee]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
since there's a 3 week incubation period, it would have been in Yosemite, where, though, I don't know. I was the only one to get sick, and we shared water almost everywhere.
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#11562 - 03/14/11 11:53 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7908
Loc: Fresno, CA
Fishmonger, not meaning to be argumentative here, but did you also eat food prepared by others in those several weeks before your symptoms? Maybe swim in a public area?

Your case sounds quite similar to the "smoking gun" case back in the 1970s -- hikers got giardia, so it was obviously the water. It has since been shown that the incubation time, and the lack of any evidence of giardia in the water in the area where they camped, point to some other source of their giardia infection. But that erroneous study started the huge rush to water filter use.

Several years ago, I had giardia. Doctor confirmed it. County health people called me. I said I had been out hiking and drinking untreated water. The person didn't even care that my hike started just four days before the first symptoms. Scientific studies show it takes 7-10 days. So I got it from someplace around home. Daycare situation, swimming pool, some fast-food -- who knows?

But based on the timing, it wasn't the water.

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