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RE: [pct-l] Re: Giardia exposure

Tom wrote >> When I hike I always use a filter and are very careful to not
"unsafe" utinsels with "safe" utinsels. I  have never been sick.
I am a filter person because it reduces REAL pack weight. <<

I have to admit it took a couple of rereads to discern the logic of carrying
more weight to save weight. But I got it! Still the issue of water
purification remains a muddy one and will probably continue to be so. Years
ago I never filtered or treated water with no apparent drastic results.

Then getting back into backpacking a few years ago, picked up the current
trend and got a water filter. I carried it on a 700 mile trip a couple
summers ago with mixed results. First is clogged a day away from town so we
drank unfiltered water. Later it just plain broke so we switched to iodine
for the remainder of the trip.

Since then, I've decided to forget the filter and rely on iodine. Since it
generally only takes a half hour to work, I don't find that much slower that
filtering water. Sitting there pumping water when you're dog tired is
certainly no fun. I much rather drop in a tablet then sit and relax under a
tree than deal with pumping. 

Trying to keep the filter from being contaminated is fine for a week hike.
However it's been my experience that long distance hikers tend to devolve a
few centuries once on the trail a few weeks. Sanitary habits that are
routine at home seem to disappear. 

Until much more substantial proof is offered as to first how bad the streams
are, second how reliable different methods of purification are - especially
under different circumstances over long periods of time - and third how much
resistance - or lack of - our bodies can build up to fight water borne
pathogens, I'll remain an iodine user. To me it's the lesser of several

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
Fallingwater Journals - www.fallingwater.com
Pacific Crest Trail Assoc. - www.pcta.org
American Long Distance Hikers Association - West -

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