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Re: [pct-l] Potassium permanganate
i was on a trip where we used potassium permanganate to wash our hands
before eating and decanted saturated iodine solution to sterilize our
water. i don't know what when wrong with our system, but nine out of
ten of us got very ill. perhaps the PP solution did its job and
something else went wrong. i've recently heard that the iodine-based
water sterilization techniques are not effective.
i am planning to through-hike the pct this year with a water filter.
they are heavy (close to a pound when wet, which they usually are),
but it is the right tradeoff for my risk/comfort/weight profile.
(the trip was in 1983. we tried to walk from kashmir through zanskar
to ladakh (northern india). we failed, but not due to illness. my
girlfriend at the time wrote a book about the trip, which i hope to
add to my web site soon.)
On Wed, 10 Mar 1999, Jeff Jones wrote:
> Howdy listers,
> I was talking yesterday with a pilot that had just completed a 2 day
> survival school here in the desert. He was singing the praises of
> potassium permanganate (KMn04 if my memory of chemistry is correct).
> The pilot has spoken with some municipal water treatment agencies that
> use it and it was reported to be more effective than iodine or
> chlorine. I asked about taste and color (it's dark purple) and he said
> that at the concentrations used for water purification (don't know the
> exact numbers), the color and taste were not noticeable. At higher
> concentrations where the water is purple, it can be used as a soak to
> treat athletes foot. From my aquarium days, I vaguely remember
> something about it's antifungal properties. Lastly, he mentioned that
> they used it as a fire starter. A gram or two sprinkled on an ounce of
> sugar was wrapped in a gauze pad (the kindling). Place on a hard
> surface and then scrape hard with a stick. Poof!!! Fire. The gauze
> pad caught on fire long enough for small sticks to be added. Thought
> I'd throw this out on the list to see if anyone has pros or cons, or the
> concentrations that should be used. Sounds intriguing to me, at least
> enough to start some investigating anyway.
> Jeff Jones
> * From the Pacific Crest Trail Email List | http://www.backcountry.net *
* From the Pacific Crest Trail Email List | http://www.backcountry.net *