Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (47% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 07:44PM
I tend to use filtered water for everything. Drinking, cooking and dishes. It can be a bit of a hassle, especially if the water source is not really close. I prefer to err on the side of caution as I don't want to be sick on the trail. However, I can't help but wonder if it matters for everything. Cooking will boil the water, and my cooking pot gets heated the next time I use it. What do you do for your water?
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 07:50PM
Quote
traildad
Cooking will boil the water,

For how many minutes? If long enough, then yes, that's a form of 'treatment'. I usually don't leave the water boiling very long.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 08:17PM
No need to filter the water if you are boiling it before putting any foodstuff in it.
Done it a zillion times... never have gotten sick out there.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 08:30PM
Quote
chick-on
No need to filter the water if you are boiling it before putting any foodstuff in it.
Done it a zillion times... never have gotten sick out there.
What about for washing your cooking pot?
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 08:41PM
Quote
traildad
Quote
chick-on
No need to filter the water if you are boiling it before putting any foodstuff in it.
Done it a zillion times... never have gotten sick out there.
What about for washing your cooking pot?

OK, this is how I clean my stuff in the backcountry.

Step 1) eat
Step 2) use utensil that the big guy gave you to preclean pot and bowl (your finger)
Step 3) there is sooooo little left if you do it right... a VERY small amount of water finishes the job
Step 4) drink water or disperse it
Step 5) with the dish towel you brought... wipe completely clean

Done

Hot water does wonders... so step 3 may include firing the stove back up to heat a small amount of water

This is how we've been doing it for a LONG time... again, never gotten sick, never have gotten
any food stolen by bears, etc.

It drives me bonkers to see ppls pictures of them washing their dishes in a stream or lake.

Give it a try...

It's pretty easy to Leave No Trace



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 09:00PM
Quote
chick-on

Step 2) use utensil that the big guy gave you to preclean pot and bowl (your finger)


An approx. 2" x 4" piece of Scotch-Brite scour pad works better on the pots... esp. if you've managed to scorch some food (e.g., pasta) while cooking.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 09:05PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
chick-on

Step 2) use utensil that the big guy gave you to preclean pot and bowl (your finger)

An approx. 2" x 4" piece of Scotch-Brite scour pad works better on the pots... esp. if you've managed to scorch some food (e.g., pasta) while cooking.

If you're GONNA use a scour pad... a 50x100mm piece is far superior.

(or use that item on the end of your utensil (you're finger nail))
(or don't fall asleep while cooking)

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 09:12PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
chick-on

Step 2) use utensil that the big guy gave you to preclean pot and bowl (your finger)

An approx. 2" x 4" piece of Scotch-Brite scour pad works better on the pots... esp. if you've managed to scorch some food (e.g., pasta) while cooking.

If you're GONNA use a scour pad... a 50x100mm piece is far superior.

(or use that item on the end of your utensil (you're finger nail))
(or don't fall asleep while cooking)

Chick-on is looking at you!


Seems rather large:
50x100mm = 5.0m



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2011 09:15PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 09:14PM
Quote
szalkowski
Seems rather large:
50x100mm = 5m

Ooopsie... my bad... dat was to scratch ur butt



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 08:30PM
Here's the relevant portion of the CDC's recommendation, assuming we're talking about mountain locations:

Quote
CDC
At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (>2,000 m), boil water for 3 minutes or use chemical disinfection after water has been boiled for 1 minute.

I've consumed untreated water flowing from rocks in the Sierra several times w/o incident. I've also become sick from spring water in the East Bay Hills (prolly because of all the cattle...grrr...). If you're not going to treat it then the recommendations probably don't matter a whole lot. If you are, then might as well follow them.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 03, 2011 06:03AM
Quote
ttilley
Here's the relevant portion of the CDC's recommendation, assuming we're talking about mountain locations:

Quote
CDC
At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (>2,000 m), boil water for 3 minutes or use chemical disinfection after water has been boiled for 1 minute.

I've consumed untreated water flowing from rocks in the Sierra several times w/o incident. I've also become sick from spring water in the East Bay Hills (prolly because of all the cattle...grrr...). If you're not going to treat it then the recommendations probably don't matter a whole lot. If you are, then might as well follow them.

The CDC article make the important point that heat improves the effectiveness of chemical agents and the role of particulate material. A combination of warming and chemical action is very reasonable to conserve fuel-- 3 minutes is a LONG time before adding food. The addition of solid material would invalidate the 3 minute guide as I understand the recommendations.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 02:14PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
ttilley
Here's the relevant portion of the CDC's recommendation, assuming we're talking about mountain locations:

Quote
CDC
At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (>2,000 m), boil water for 3 minutes or use chemical disinfection after water has been boiled for 1 minute.

I've consumed untreated water flowing from rocks in the Sierra several times w/o incident. I've also become sick from spring water in the East Bay Hills (prolly because of all the cattle...grrr...). If you're not going to treat it then the recommendations probably don't matter a whole lot. If you are, then might as well follow them.

The CDC article make the important point that heat improves the effectiveness of chemical agents and the role of particulate material. A combination of warming and chemical action is very reasonable to conserve fuel-- 3 minutes is a LONG time before adding food. The addition of solid material would invalidate the 3 minute guide as I understand the recommendations.

You can cut back on the heat once it reaches a full boil. I know they say it should be a "vigorous boil", but I thought that once it reaches boiling temps (phase change from liquid to gas), it doesn't get any hotter. Or at least that's how I remember it from high school chemistry. You can really cut back on the amount of fuel used once it reaches a full boil.

Even then, I've heard some recommendations that letting it boil too long is overkill. I remember preparing hot water for tea using stream water right in a steel camp cup. Once it was bubbling, I turned off the heat. I didn't get sick.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 02:33PM
Quote
y_p_w

You can cut back on the heat once it reaches a full boil. I know they say it should be a "vigorous boil", but I thought that once it reaches boiling temps (phase change from liquid to gas), it doesn't get any hotter. Or at least that's how I remember it from high school chemistry. You can really cut back on the amount of fuel used once it reaches a full boil.

I don't understand what the difference is between a "full boil" and a "vigorous boil"? For me, it's one and the same.

When any instruction calls for the water to be brought up to a full boil, it means that all the water should be as close to 212º F as possible. When water just starts to boil, only some of the water in the container has reached 212º. It usually takes bit longer (depending on how hot the heat source is) for the rest of the water to approach 212º F.

Quote
y_p_w
Even then, I've heard some recommendations that letting it boil too long is overkill. I remember preparing hot water for tea using stream water right in a steel camp cup. Once it was bubbling, I turned off the heat. I didn't get sick.

That doesn't prove anything. It could have very well been that the stream water was not contaminated to start with.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 03:17PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
y_p_w

You can cut back on the heat once it reaches a full boil. I know they say it should be a "vigorous boil", but I thought that once it reaches boiling temps (phase change from liquid to gas), it doesn't get any hotter. Or at least that's how I remember it from high school chemistry. You can really cut back on the amount of fuel used once it reaches a full boil.

I don't understand what the difference is between a "full boil" and a "vigorous boil"? For me, it's one and the same.

When any instruction calls for the water to be brought up to a full boil, it means that all the water should be as close to 212º F as possible. When water just starts to boil, only some of the water in the container has reached 212º. It usually takes bit longer (depending on how hot the heat source is) for the rest of the water to approach 212º F.

I meant the same thing. Just let it get up to the point where the water is absolutely bubbling up, and it should be at whatever boiling point for the elevation. At that point it's not going to get any hotter and the heat source can be cut back. As long as there's some reasonable steam bubbles, it should maintain at the boiling temp. If you keep it absolutely bubbling up, then you're going to end up with more water evaporated.

I realize that when you're bringing it up to a full boil, you might get localized boiling closest to the heat source. I agree that it might not be entirely at the boiling temp even though pockets might be.
Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 08:24PM
In a campground it is easy usually to just get the water from the spigot, so it's all potable.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 02, 2011 08:34PM
I chemically treat all water I'm drinking. In camp, I have a big nalgene cantene that I use to store untreated water that I use for cooking and washing up. Nver had a problem. It's mostly just remembering what is what - i know that if it's in a drinking bottle it's treated. If it's in the canteen it's not.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 03, 2011 11:34AM
I use filtered water for drinking and cooking. For cooking it is mostly to insure no "particulate material" is in the water and affecting the taste. It is probably completely unnecessary, but then it doesn't take much extra effort either. For washing I use whatever is handy.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 12:04PM
I just finished reading this article after a backpack trip where several of the people were drinking right out of the very fast-flowing Tuolumne River w/o treating it, and after talking to a backcountry ranger who said he doesn't treat the water. I also once met a scientist who was sampling the water up toward Young Lakes and he said that they rarely find giardia in the water in Yosemite. In the article the author says it is more likely you will contract giardiasis from your fellow backpackers who don't wash their hands and handle your food than you will from the untreated water. I find this info very credible with the number and quality of the citations. What do you think?

Giardia in the High Sierra


Edited to say, I didn't mean to make this a reply to a specific post. It was meant to be a general reply to the thread and I don't know how to change it sad smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2011 12:07PM by eat.sleep.hike.
Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 02:49PM
You're assuming giardia is the only thing to worry about. The Merced is among a number of waterways in the parks that tested positive for e. coli. And regardless of what the experts say, there are plenty of hikers I know who've been treated for giardia and their health has never been the same. So roll the roullette wheel if you please, I'll filter and boil.
avatar Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 02:19PM
Quote
traildad
I tend to use filtered water for everything. Drinking, cooking and dishes. It can be a bit of a hassle, especially if the water source is not really close. I prefer to err on the side of caution as I don't want to be sick on the trail. However, I can't help but wonder if it matters for everything. Cooking will boil the water, and my cooking pot gets heated the next time I use it. What do you do for your water?

If I had a filter with me on my trip, I probably would have used a filter even for the water I was using for beverages and for other stuff.

I was using chlorine dioxide generating tablets. I just boiled previously untreated water straight up. I used my treated water primarily for drinking on the trail. I think I might have also treated a small amount of water.

I collected all my water with a 1 gallon PETE bottle. I'd either pour that in for boiling, or I'd use the tabs and leave it overnight and/or during the day. I could tell it was treated because the tablets gave the water a pale greenish-yellow tinge. I think I also boiled maybe one liter of water for later drinking on the trail. That water did taste much better than the tablet treated water.
Re: Treated water, just for drinking or everything?
August 07, 2011 02:35PM
The need for backpackers to filter Sierra water for drinking and what all else was always controversial with old timers like this person. Of course there was a time none of us had any of the high tech water filters, most rarely used chemical or boiling treatments, and few of us got sick. We just used common sense. Then for a decade or two filters became policy and I eventually capitulated. But well before that well known Sierra water study came out, I and fair numbers of others had already discontinued bringing the filters most of the time. Actually I will still bring my filter today if my destinations warrant such. However in most of our higher mountains like where I will be going next week, up McGee Creek, there are lots of sources of clean water coming off canyon walls without having to use that main creek or lake waters. A few weeks ago when we camped along Cherry Creek at 6k, drank right out of the creek. With all the summer horse packing up in Emigrant Basin, there is certainly some places above in that basin that has giardia. But the volume of water in the stream was huge such that numbers of cysts per volume would have been zip or way below thresholds.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login