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[cdt-l] iodine/bleach/filter

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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!