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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That ‘Pure’ Mountain Stream May Be Contaminated



Camping and hiking are great fun and allow us to get away from the hectic rounds of our lives and enjoy nature. Although food can be taken along quite easily, due to the light weight of freeze dried and dehydrated foods, water will be a problem. For a short hike, it’s easy to bring along a small bottle of water, but for longer hikes or when camping, you will have to rely upon natural water sources, this is where water filters come into play. Quality Water Filters 4 You offer a wide selection of quality water filters for camping and hiking

People who camp often do so beside a stream, lake, or river. This will give them good access to a water supply. However, even if the stream looks crystal clear, there can still be dangerous pathogens in the water – the absence of humans will not guarantee purity, and wild animals can carry infective agents in their guts and then urinate or defecate them into the water.

Common Water Borne Diseases

Nearly everyone has heard about giardia, those tiny protozoans that can wreak havoc with your gastrointestinal system. Most mammals carry these organisms and they are passed on as cysts in fecal material. Beavers are the animal most closely associated with giardiasis, but even mice and voles can spread this disease, which causes diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly dehydration.

Cryptosporidium is another protozoan, a microscopic, single celled creature that is not quite an animal. While infection with this parasite made the news several years ago because of contamination of a water supply by farm animals, it is also present in wild animals such as deer, birds, fish, and raccoons, all of which can release cysts into the water. Like giardiasis, cryptosporidium infections result in diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal distress.

And, our old enemy, E. coli, can also be swimming happily in that beautiful, clear water. Like the protozoans, this bacterium is also present in the intestines of wild animals. This can be a serious disease, especially if you are far from medical help.

Safe Drinking Water

Fortunately, there are a number of excellent options to choose from that will provide you with safe drinking water while you’re roughing it:


  • Water filter straws are probably best for those who are going on a relatively short hike. These handy filters are no larger than a fountain pen, but will allow you to take a safe drink from any ‘wild’ water source. They are usually good for about 10 gallons.
  • Bottle water filters are probably one of the best filter devices ever made. These will filter 100 gallons of water and you need simply fill the bottle with water then squeeze clean water out. They are light in weight and easy to carry in a backpack.
  • Camp water filters come in a variety of types, from those that require you to pump water through the filter to those that are filled and then hung up on a tree to let gravity do the work.
  • Small stainless steel gravity water filters are another good choice. These have 2 chambers – the upper one containing a filter element (candle) and the lower holding the filtered water.




by: Chris Tracey

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