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[pct-l] Re: Iodine

Dave Gomberg <gomberg@wcf.com> wrote:

>I am seriously considering I2 (iodine) purification for a John Muir Trail
>trip (24 days or so).  The only input I have found about the downside of
>lots of iodine is a lethal dose is between 2 and 15 grams plus (I am
>planning on about 120mg of IODIDE over 30 days).  Does anyone have any
>other info on the effects of lots of iodide?  

From the page http://www.netcom.com/~brick/pct_med.html "Medical Advice for
the PCT Through Hiker" by yours truley:

When these germs (Giardia and Crypto) leave the body, they encyst
themselves (cover themselves with a tough coating) that makes them
extremely difficult to kill chemically. The FDA has warned cities that use
surface water that normal chlorination WILL NOT KILL GIARDIA. For the
backpacker, this means that chemical purification may not work, depending
on the type and concentration of the chemicals used. Iodine seems to be the
best, but it may still take SEVERAL HOURS to kill the Giardia if the water
is cold. Chlorine tablets are even worse. "

I seriously doubt that you could poison yourself with too much iodine over
a 3 week hike. A whole 6 month through hike might be another matter.
Remember that most table salt has Iodine added, so having it in your diet
is not a bad thing. It stays in your thyroid for a long time, so if you are
worried, try avoiding iodine now to deplete your system, and let your trip
catch you up.

The real issues are:

1. It can take a long long time for Iodine to kill giardia if the water is
cold or turbid. Make sure you use a system that measures the water
temperature, and abide by its timetable.

2. The water tastes like s**t. I did the vitiman C stuff, and I still
tasted like s**t to me. I could drink it if I used a drink mix like cool
aid. Dehydration becomes a real problem if you don't like the way the water

Brick Robbins
San Diego, CA          

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