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A couple of thoughts - first and most important, you will need to treat the=
water the length of the trail, not just in New Mexico. You will be shari=
ng water sources with cows, antelope, horses, quail, ducks and anything els=
e that wanders by through New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana. In Colorado, a =
test of water sources found something like 95% tested positive for giardia.=
In many places there are lakes with beavers and moose. In some places the=
water source is a tiny trickle across a road. Most of the water you will =
find is of really really bad quality. We went through 5 filter elements du=
ring our thruhike - about one a month. We killed one filter in 4 days in t=
he Great Basin.
As to iodine, we use that as backup to our filter, or when we are feeling l=
azy, and in some really bad sources we have used it in addition to the Pur =
filter. I have read that no one actually knows what level of iodine is saf=
e, as it can depend on individual sensitivity. Most people believe that on=
e six month hike isn't enough to do any long term harm. After 15 years as =
a backpacker, and one who has used iodine off and on a lot during that peri=
od, including 4 long hikes, I have to wonder whether my current thryoiditis=
is related to the use/overuse of iodine. Maybe yes, maybe no, and it's to=
o late to change what is past. Of course, now I have to either use a filte=
r or take my with some really bad water. I remember the reservoirs in the =
Great Basin. Yech!