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Re: [pct-l] Yucky stuff in the water
About giardia and tolerance levels one can develop to it, it's my understanding
that before the days of chlorinated drinking water, most everyone was running
around with giardia and assorted nasties in their systems, and generally with
no ill effects. This would be similar to the "third world country" scenario
presented, although I think there ARE things in some of THAT water which
would sicken even those with an iron gut.
Basically, giardia has always been around, perhaps contrary to what might be
insinuated from all the hype of late (to the benefit of the various purifyer
brand names), and we the public water supply (and bottled)-bound consumer
have merely become unaccustomed to its omnipresence over the years.
I'm convinced that I was able to build up a fairly formidable tolerance to
giardia on my AT hike between 96 and earlier this year. Although I often
filtered my water, I did take chances from a good many springs, and was
fairly sloppy with my dirty water around camp, as well as with my filter's
hoses. No doubt in my mind that the critters went down the hatch to
varying degrees, but with no ill-effects to speak of. Having become confident
of resistance toward the end of the hike, I seemed to take more and more
risks, and with no repercusions.
A smart idea? Probably not. I will certainly be filtering as I head out onto
the PCT this spring, and handling the camp water with care. But it would make
sense, even feel right spiritually, that one could adapt to the conditions
occurring naturally in a world we, as all other creatures still, were once
Of course, horse crap in the water couldn't be considered "natural."
- Blister>Free, PCT '98
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