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[pct-l] Sprucing up the water

There was some discussion about ways to improve some of the less palatable
unimproved sources of water along the PCT, and to add some variety to all of
that darned hydrating.  My idea:
I'll be bringing along packets of something called "EmergenC."  Sometimes
seen near the check-out at convenience stores, this stuff is not to be confused
with the adjacent Slim Jims and bon-bons.  It's a highly concentrated,
effervescing powder which you add to water to create a "nutrition drink"
primarily consisting of high-potency vitamin C (on the order of 1 gram per
packet).  You get the C in the more usable form of potassium ascorbate, so
it is readily absorbed by the body (whereas ascorbic acid, a la Tang, tends
to pass through the body in high doses).  Also provided are some sodium and
magnesium, and a safe megadose of the B vitamins, for energy.
This stuff strikes me as useful for a number of reasons... first, each pack
is small and weighs about nothing.  You're getting the C which thru-hiker
diets lack, and which is also a powerful antioxidant - not only do we need
vitamin C on the trail, we need it even more than in everyday existance, due
to our high production of free radicals through intense activity.
One or two packs a day would tally up to around $18 for the month.  The
equivalent benefit from Gatorade or Tang, if you can compare, would cost over
$40, and would weigh a ton (powdered Tang is heavy).
You can buy the stuff in a 36-pack for $10 or so at various health food
outlets, and it comes in tangerine, tropical, and some other flavors.  Mixed
strong, it's a bit tart.  With a quart of water, it would be pleasantly weak.
I believe the company name is Alacer.  EmergenC.
- Blister>Free, Mex-au-Can '98
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