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I'm seriously considering leaving my water filter at home next summer

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  • trail2nowhere
    this is for Sierra hiking only. Given that all the research concludes that gardia is pretty much not in the Sierra. I m thinking the filter is just extra
    Message 1 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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      this is for Sierra hiking only. Given that all the research concludes that gardia is pretty much not in the Sierra. I'm thinking the filter is just extra weight and hassle. Last summer I carried one but didn't use it much and had no trouble. I talked top a number of USPS and USFS staff and they all concurred that they personally did not carry a filter.

      Jack
    • y2faye@sbcglobal.net
      Good call in my opinion. I haven t carried a filter in the Sierra for years and have never had a problem. I am picky about where I get my water when I have a
      Message 2 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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        Good call in my opinion. I haven't carried a filter in the Sierra for years and have never had a problem. I am picky about where I get my water when I have a choice, though. I also carry emergency iodine tabs but have never used them.

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "trail2nowhere" <trail2nowhere@...> wrote:
        >
        > this is for Sierra hiking only. Given that all the research concludes that gardia is pretty much not in the Sierra. I'm thinking the filter is just extra weight and hassle. Last summer I carried one but didn't use it much and had no trouble. I talked top a number of USPS and USFS staff and they all concurred that they personally did not carry a filter.
        >
        > Jack
        >
      • Roleigh Martin
        Some things to consider about purifying or not-purifying water on the JMT. http://www.ridgenet.net/~rockwell/Giardia.pdf Giardia lamblia and Giardiasis With
        Message 3 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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          Some things to consider about purifying or not-purifying water on the JMT.

          http://www.ridgenet.net/~rockwell/Giardia.pdf
          Giardia lamblia and Giardiasis
          With Particular Attention to the Sierra Nevada
          By Robert L. Rockwell

          Great read, thanks to Peter Burke, long time Sierra Hiker and JMT forum member for years (don't know if he still follows posts, hope so).

          Peter has not purified water and followed the safe rules in the PDF but once he did get sick.  He reported on it on this forum.  I'm in a rush and can't figure the link yet but here is the posting.  See my highlighted paragraph:

          ---------- Forwarded message ----------
          From: Peter Burke <pburke@...>
          Date: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM
          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Concerned
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com


           
          Todd wrote:
          > Has anyone heard anything from Peter Burke? He's the one with Claire and Damein that was trying another a Yo-Yo.
          >
          > They finished the SB then bailed. I know there are members that
          know him better than I do, I just hope that everything is O.K. with them.
          >
          > T.

          back to work on Monday, so nothing wrong here. 1500 photos to sift
          through, so it'll be a while before we can post the story.

          summary of the yo-yo - started out and did a TM to YV loop over the
          first 3 days, then headed south. Faster than planned we got past Reds to
          VVR. All went as planned until we hit the downhill from Pinchot. While
          sitting on a rock after crossing White Fork, Claire just fainted into my
          arms. Probably dehydration we thought, but she had some pretty painful
          blisters, plus she has a history of fainting (I once popped a blister on
          her hand and she dropped to the floor instantly). Then, we hit a second
          storm next morning, and had to sit in the tent for the rest of the day
          until late morning the next day. Not good for the motivation of young
          hikers, but we were still on schedule and had enough food to finish. At
          the Kearsarge turn, Damien was really hard to convince that we needed to
          finish at the Portal at least, while the idea of walking back to
          Tuolumne Meadows by now appeared like some crazy stunt nobody in his
          right mind would want to do. Thing is - when you are actually down there
          on the trail after 200+ miles, you look at this place with the question
          "why would I want to come back here in a few days?" and to be honest, I
          really don't know why one would, other than to set some meaningless
          records.

          So even before Forester, we were not going to head back north. To top it
          off, Claire fainted again right in the store at the Portal, right on the
          carpet in front of the cash register, probably because we really pushed
          on the downhill and her feet were in rough shape - she was limping for
          the next few days. There's no way I would have let her continue, even if
          both of them had still been interested in finishing.

          Starting around Rae Lakes, I also found out that Yosemite water does in
          indeed need filtering (or that my body is a better host to parasites
          than the one of my children). So when we hit the end of the trail, I was
          mostly looking forward to getting a prescription of Metronidazole (it
          works, and as recently posted, don't take Immodium when you have
          giardia, as it makes things exponentially worse in just 24 hours). At
          least we lucked out with the timing of that issue so that we didn't
          re-enter and find ourselves somewhere in the middle of nowhere when this
          kicked in. Actually getting health care in CA on a weekend is a whole
          different story. I say, have the stuff in your med kit if your doc will
          prescribe it, because you will know when you need it and any delay to
          actually get treatment can really be frustrating.

          Bottom line on the yo-yo: we probably won't try again, because once you
          do the trail one way, you really have very little reason to go see he
          exact same set of mountains a second time. We got a feel for that
          been-there done-that sensation on the TM to Happy Isle and back to TM
          run at the start of the hike, which just felt like a really poorly
          planned route, not like a new look at the same place. You recognize
          every other log and mud hole on the trail, but you really don't see
          anything new. My photo count for the return hike up is a fraction of
          what we have from the hike down to the valley.

          Ignoring the abort of the original plan, this year's hike was clearly a
          notch better than last year, mostly because we were properly equipped
          for all the snow and high water and the kids were now old pros. The
          landscape with all the snow was much more interesting than last summer,
          and we managed to camp in many places we would count among the best
          sites we ever found. Saw a bear up close, two rattle snakes (one lives
          right ON the JMT in Yosemite, a few miles below Sunrise Creek, the other
          next to the trail into Fish Valley below Rainbow Falls). So quite the
          adventure again, even though we didn't go to Crater Lake and a few other
          places we had in mind, add due to that pesky giardia population in my
          gut after the end of the hike.

          Oh, my backpack's hip belt came apart (how do you claim your life time
          warranty when on the slopes of Silver Pass?), and it would have never
          lasted for another 200 miles, plus my hiking poles decided that four
          JMTs are the expected life time of this model just as we came down from
          Whitney. So, a 1 week break at the Portal probably could have put us
          back on the trail northbound, but our minds were already set for a comfy
          return trip home with a lot of nights at the pool and plenty of
          overeating to make up for the pounds lost on the trail.

          Peter




        • Roleigh Martin
          PS, on a different posting by Peter, 5-24-2010, he commented: I ve hiked up there since 1988 and was just as scared of the water as most are when they first
          Message 4 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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            PS, on a different posting by Peter, 5-24-2010, he commented:

            "I've hiked up there since 1988 and was just as scared of the water as most are when they first are told you can get those nasty parasites up there. But over the years I used them less and less and then I educated myself, rather than to listen to filter manufacturer's, retailers, and rangers who want to error on the safe side to avoid any possible lawsuits.  YMMV, but I know the water is just about perfect up there. Drink out of fast moving large bodies of water, or out of small clean side streams that come from clean terrain above (no horse traffic, no camp sites), and your risk of getting sick from water is virtually zero.

            Did you know giardia completely dies off every winter since it cannot survive freezing, and needs to be re-introduced in spring? Not what a filter manufacturer will point out...

            Peter"

            [End Quote]

            One more thing, I've talked to many NPS rangers in the Sierras about this and I find it's about a 50-50 split of opinion in the rangers about purifying versus not purifying.  I don't think you need to worry about filtering other than why not bring a 1 micron $3 filter to filter out Crypto and Giardia if it's there, minimally.  If you are worried about bacteria and viruses, then there is the Chlorine Dioxide tablets (which only require 20 minutes for bacteria and viruses but up to 4 hours for Crypto and Giardia, but if you use the 1 micron filter, you've got that covered).

            Here is my favorite 1 micron filter -- it will never break down -- but I do use them only 1 filter per JMT hiker (and then toss it).  It's only $3.  This information comes from my Gear List in our file library: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirtrail/files/Gear/Gear%20lists/

            4"x8" 1 Micron Polyester Filter Bags - Use a
            wire cutter to remove the steel ring and it is a 1
            oz, 1 micron filter. If you pre-filter the water
            before you treat with the Chlorine Dioxide
            tablets (either Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide
            tablets or Aqua Mira tablets, either are
            chemically identical), one only needs to wait
            20 minutes after putting one tablet into each
            quart of water. If you filter 6 quarts of water a
            day, you’ll need 5 units of 30 tablets. Weight
            of 150 tablets (good for 6.5 quarts a day for 23
            days) is estimated at 1 oz.

            http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=fbp81

            Wow, I checked the link (it's broken) and the correct link is:

            http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=PESP3S

            But it took me about 5 minutes to find the right link, before that, I found first that they are now selling a .5  micron (twice as good) but unfortunately it's a longer length bag and costs $13.  You can cut the bag to size though, it used to be about 8" long, now it is 16" long (by 7" diameter or 3.5" wide folded flat). 

            http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=PTFEP1S

            Anyway, for $13 and the weight of only 1 oz, I recommend you bring a .5 (or 1) micron filter and use that if you are not going to do anything else with water.  Peter got sick that one time following his advice, and I bet if he had used this .5 micron filter, he would not have gotten sick.  An ounce of weight and something that can't break down on the trail, don't worry about the water thing.  (I am now inclined to just bring only this, and one box of 30 tablets of Chlorine Dioxide tablets for areas where I don't trust the water.)  I have brought these items along in the past plus the Steripen, but I want to reduce weight and the arguments for how clean the Sierra water is, makes me want to cut out the 5-6 oz of weight a Steripen with batteries imposes.  But I do recommend and will take and use a .5 micron filter which only weighs 1 oz and costs only $13.

            Their 1 micron filter is still only $3 though and it's dimensions are 8" with a 4" diameter (2" folded flat).  You want to take a vice-grip and cut the metal ring out of the top of the filter and remove it with a needle nose pliers to save 1 oz (advantage of doing it this way is to preserve the hanging loop the filter comes with--nice to hang off a tree branch and let it dry overnight).

            Some links on efficacy of Chlorine Dioxide treatment of water and the benefits of 1 micron or  smaller filters are here:

            http://aquamira.com/bpl_2_efficacy-of-water.pdf

            http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/backcountry_water_treatment.html

            http://www.cdc.gov/crypto/factsheets/filters.html

            Notes: “C. [Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts can be as small as 4 microns (Flanigan and Soave, 1993)” – see http://biology.kenyon.edu/slonc/bio38/hannahs/crypto.htm

            “Giardia (say "gee-ar-dee-ah") cysts are elliptically shaped and range in size from 6 to 10 microns.” – see http://www.water-research.net/Giardia.htm

            A lot of good links in our Library on Water Treatment:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirtrail/links/Safety__health_and_first_aid_001262976223/Water_issues_001303357322/



            -------------------------------------------------
            Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
            _

          • dueno_delasierra
            Good for you... good luck on that. I myself relish on the opportunity to enjoy fresh water from the stream; but, not unless it is coming right out of the
            Message 5 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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              Good for you... good luck on that. I myself relish on the opportunity to enjoy fresh water from the stream; but, not unless it is coming right out of the rockie hill or glacier. Unlike your good luck, I have been w folks who became seriously ill after drinking water from streams. I have also seen dead wild life just up stream and have seen people doing terrible things near water sources. I safe not using a filter for a 911 situation. Besides, my 3oz filtering system is hardly a weight inconvenience. Happy trails.


              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "trail2nowhere" <trail2nowhere@...> wrote:
              >
              > this is for Sierra hiking only. Given that allp the research concludes that gardia is pretty much not in the Sierra. I'm thinking the filter is just extra weight and hassle. Last summer I carried one but didn't use it much and had no trouble. I talked top a number of USPS and USFS staff and they all concurred that they personally did not carry a filter.
              >
              > Jack
              >
            • John
              Gotta say I very rarely treat my water, but I am selective as to where I get it. As I recall, Peter speculated that he got sick from Sunrise Creek. I avoid
              Message 6 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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                Gotta say I very rarely treat my water, but I am selective as to where I get it. As I recall, Peter speculated that he got sick from Sunrise Creek.

                I avoid drinking down stream from any popular camps, lakes or other popular areas. I pretty much stick to springs and other sources coming from less visited areas (which there are plenty to choose from).

                That system has worked for me for 40+ years; it may or may not work for others.

                JD
                Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                www.johndittli.com



                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                >
                > Some things to consider about purifying or not-purifying water on the JMT.
                >
                > http://www.ridgenet.net/~rockwell/Giardia.pdf
                > Giardia lamblia and Giardiasis
                > With Particular Attention to the Sierra Nevada
                > By Robert L. Rockwell
                >
                > Great read, thanks to Peter Burke, long time Sierra Hiker and JMT forum
                > member for years (don't know if he still follows posts, hope so).
                >
                > Peter has not purified water and followed the safe rules in the PDF but
                > once he did get sick. He reported on it on this forum. I'm in a rush and
                > can't figure the link yet but here is the posting. See my highlighted
                > paragraph:
                >
                > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
                > From: Peter Burke <pburke@...>
                > Date: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM
                > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Concerned
                > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Todd wrote:
                > > Has anyone heard anything from Peter Burke? He's the one with Claire and
                > Damein that was trying another a Yo-Yo.
                > >
                > > They finished the SB then bailed. I know there are members that know him
                > better than I do, I just hope that everything is O.K. with them.
                > >
                > > T.
                >
                > back to work on Monday, so nothing wrong here. 1500 photos to sift
                > through, so it'll be a while before we can post the story.
                >
                > summary of the yo-yo - started out and did a TM to YV loop over the
                > first 3 days, then headed south. Faster than planned we got past Reds to
                > VVR. All went as planned until we hit the downhill from Pinchot. While
                > sitting on a rock after crossing White Fork, Claire just fainted into my
                > arms. Probably dehydration we thought, but she had some pretty painful
                > blisters, plus she has a history of fainting (I once popped a blister on
                > her hand and she dropped to the floor instantly). Then, we hit a second
                > storm next morning, and had to sit in the tent for the rest of the day
                > until late morning the next day. Not good for the motivation of young
                > hikers, but we were still on schedule and had enough food to finish. At
                > the Kearsarge turn, Damien was really hard to convince that we needed to
                > finish at the Portal at least, while the idea of walking back to
                > Tuolumne Meadows by now appeared like some crazy stunt nobody in his
                > right mind would want to do. Thing is - when you are actually down there
                > on the trail after 200+ miles, you look at this place with the question
                > "why would I want to come back here in a few days?" and to be honest, I
                > really don't know why one would, other than to set some meaningless
                > records.
                >
                > So even before Forester, we were not going to head back north. To top it
                > off, Claire fainted again right in the store at the Portal, right on the
                > carpet in front of the cash register, probably because we really pushed
                > on the downhill and her feet were in rough shape - she was limping for
                > the next few days. There's no way I would have let her continue, even if
                > both of them had still been interested in finishing.
                >
                > Starting around Rae Lakes, I also found out that Yosemite water does in
                > indeed need filtering (or that my body is a better host to parasites
                > than the one of my children). So when we hit the end of the trail, I was
                > mostly looking forward to getting a prescription of Metronidazole (it
                > works, and as recently posted, don't take Immodium when you have
                > giardia, as it makes things exponentially worse in just 24 hours). At
                > least we lucked out with the timing of that issue so that we didn't
                > re-enter and find ourselves somewhere in the middle of nowhere when this
                > kicked in. Actually getting health care in CA on a weekend is a whole
                > different story. I say, have the stuff in your med kit if your doc will
                > prescribe it, because you will know when you need it and any delay to
                > actually get treatment can really be frustrating.
                >
                > Bottom line on the yo-yo: we probably won't try again, because once you
                > do the trail one way, you really have very little reason to go see he
                > exact same set of mountains a second time. We got a feel for that
                > been-there done-that sensation on the TM to Happy Isle and back to TM
                > run at the start of the hike, which just felt like a really poorly
                > planned route, not like a new look at the same place. You recognize
                > every other log and mud hole on the trail, but you really don't see
                > anything new. My photo count for the return hike up is a fraction of
                > what we have from the hike down to the valley.
                >
                > Ignoring the abort of the original plan, this year's hike was clearly a
                > notch better than last year, mostly because we were properly equipped
                > for all the snow and high water and the kids were now old pros. The
                > landscape with all the snow was much more interesting than last summer,
                > and we managed to camp in many places we would count among the best
                > sites we ever found. Saw a bear up close, two rattle snakes (one lives
                > right ON the JMT in Yosemite, a few miles below Sunrise Creek, the other
                > next to the trail into Fish Valley below Rainbow Falls). So quite the
                > adventure again, even though we didn't go to Crater Lake and a few other
                > places we had in mind, add due to that pesky giardia population in my
                > gut after the end of the hike.
                >
                > Oh, my backpack's hip belt came apart (how do you claim your life time
                > warranty when on the slopes of Silver Pass?), and it would have never
                > lasted for another 200 miles, plus my hiking poles decided that four
                > JMTs are the expected life time of this model just as we came down from
                > Whitney. So, a 1 week break at the Portal probably could have put us
                > back on the trail northbound, but our minds were already set for a comfy
                > return trip home with a lot of nights at the pool and plenty of
                > overeating to make up for the pounds lost on the trail.
                >
                > Peter
                >
              • John Ladd
                I agree that risks are very low. I don t carry a filter. I do carry chemical treatment (Aqua Mira drops) and I use them almost all of the time (obvious
                Message 7 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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                  I agree that risks are very low.  I don't carry a filter.  I do carry chemical treatment (Aqua Mira drops) and I use them almost all of the time (obvious spring fed water sources excepted).  Giardia is rate in the Sierra but we do have pack animals on the trail and if you happen to be not far downstream of where they have relieved themselves recently, you could have a problem.  I don't mind the flavor of Aqua Mira and don't find it that much of a hassle to use.

                  But hand hygiene (esp if traveling with a group sharing food/cooking/cleaning) is a way bigger problem than giardia and needs way more attention than water treatment.

                  John Curran Ladd
                  1616 Castro Street
                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                  415-648-9279


                  On Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM, trail2nowhere <trail2nowhere@...> wrote:
                   

                  this is for Sierra hiking only. Given that all the research concludes that gardia is pretty much not in the Sierra. I'm thinking the filter is just extra weight and hassle. Last summer I carried one but didn't use it much and had no trouble. I talked top a number of USPS and USFS staff and they all concurred that they personally did not carry a filter.

                  Jack


                • charliepolecat
                  downstream of where they have relieved themselves recently, you could have a problem. We have a river running through Houston (its called a bayou for some
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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                    " downstream of where they have relieved themselves recently, you could have a problem."

                    We have a river running through Houston (its called a bayou for some peculiar reason) that if you pee in it you'd improve the quality of the water.
                  • Mark Liechty
                    ... That rule applies for almost ALL of Texas.
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jan 2, 2012
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                      On Jan 2, 2012, at 4:48 PM, charliepolecat wrote:

                      > We have a river running through Houston (its called a bayou for some peculiar reason) that if you pee in it you'd improve the quality of the water.
                      > #####

                      That rule applies for almost ALL of Texas.
                    • speedcenter2001
                      ... the Sunrise Creek guess was based on incubation time and my sense for where the most risky water source of the trip was. It could have been anywhere
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Gotta say I very rarely treat my water, but I am selective as to
                        > where I get it. As I recall, Peter speculated that he got sick from
                        > Sunrise Creek.

                        the Sunrise Creek guess was based on "incubation time" and my sense for where the most risky water source of the trip was. It could have been anywhere else, as the incubation time is somewhat vague. I do recall feeling somewhat sick around Reds Meadow already, but it remained under control until the end of the trip. I take that as another hint that I got the bug before Reds.

                        All that said - a water filter only goes into my pack in late season when water sources are far in between and you can't be picky, plus in late season there's been plenty of opportunity for giardia to be re-introduced. For an early season hike, a few aquamira pills are all I'd pack, and based on my 2010 experience, I probably would use them more frequently than in the past.
                      • Roleigh Martin
                        Peter, Thanks for participating in this thread. What do you think of that .5 micron filter I mentioned. I know it is not good enough for bacteria filtering,
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                          Peter,

                          Thanks for participating in this thread.  What do you think of that .5 micron filter I mentioned.  I know it is not good enough for bacteria filtering, only the Crypto/Giardia.  My dislike of filters for long distance hikes is the times I've seen the filter get so sluggish that even doing field maintenance couldn't get it working well enough to use, or do you have a filter where that is never the case?  What filter do you use, what does it weigh?

                          Thanks!
                          -------------------------------------------------
                          Visit Roleigh's Google Profile
                          _


                        • speedcenter2001
                          ... funny that you mention field maintenance - it is that part that finally got me to ditch filters: I had the fancy $100 MSR Hyperflow, which is great on
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Peter,
                            >
                            > Thanks for participating in this thread. What do you think of that .5
                            > micron filter I mentioned. I know it is not good enough for bacteria
                            > filtering, only the Crypto/Giardia. My dislike of filters for long
                            > distance hikes is the times I've seen the filter get so sluggish that even
                            > doing field maintenance couldn't get it working well enough to use, or do
                            > you have a filter where that is never the case? What filter do you use,
                            > what does it weigh?

                            funny that you mention "field maintenance" - it is that part that finally got me to ditch filters: I had the fancy $100 MSR Hyperflow, which is great on day one, but by day 3 will only sliggushly move water through the tiny cartridge. So you then follow the complex back flush process, which I did not understand until I watched the youtube video, and even then it didn't always want to pump backwards. What happened then at Mono Creek one day was that the return valve decided to float into Lake Edison, sealing the fate of that Hyperflow (VVR garbage can).

                            I haven't used a filter in the Sierra since that day, but I did buy a Hiker Pro at REI last year with my dividend. I have not pumped an ounce of water with it, but it appears much more robust than the Hyperflow, and you don't hear any complaints from uses about the unit plugging up after just a few gallons. The assembly instructions are somewhat flawed, as it will not let you lock the hose to the pump if you use the coupling in the color the instructions tell you to use.

                            Weight? 11 ounces dry - so if I swap this for my Spot, my pack weight will stay about the same.

                            http://www.rei.com/product/720265/katadyn-hiker-pro-water-filter

                            Back in the 80s, I used a very basic filter, which was essentially a filter with a pump attached to the back of it, and you submerged the filter in the stream or lake. It worked well, never clogged over multiple JMTs, but eventually got replaced by much more complex units in the market. Here's a photo from 1988, a 40% of normal snow year, using it in Mono Creek where in 2010 the water was so deep and dangerous. Early July - with the current snow, this may be the highest the water will ever get in 2012, and low water means you probably will need to filter more

                            http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT1988/04_J_Muir_Wlderness/slides/JMT_1988__0265.jpg

                            The ultra light solution a lot of PCT hikers swear by is to bring a small bottle of chlorine bleach and drip it into a water bag, but chlorine doesn't kill giardia very well - see second answer post on this page quoting Canadian government sources: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0016xH
                          • Herb
                            My experience is the same as JD s. I generally do not treat, but am selective. I keep a Sierra cup in my lap pocket and dip in to springs and creeks as we
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                              My experience is the same as JD's. I generally do not treat, but am selective. I keep a Sierra cup in my lap pocket and dip in to springs and creeks as we hike. This allows me to generally carry less water, and enjoy ice cold spring water on the fly. At trusted water sources we also "camel up" by drinking extra.

                              We do take some chemical treatment to deal with situations where we need water and are concerned over cleanliness, such as areas where there is evidence of pack animal traffic or heavy hiker use. I note that while shallow standing lake water does not seem as clean as a flowing creek, the UV action of the sun purifies it and makes it one of the safest places to draw water.

                              Herb

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Gotta say I very rarely treat my water, but I am selective as to where I get it. As I recall, Peter speculated that he got sick from Sunrise Creek.
                              >
                              > I avoid drinking down stream from any popular camps, lakes or other popular areas. I pretty much stick to springs and other sources coming from less visited areas (which there are plenty to choose from).
                              >
                              > That system has worked for me for 40+ years; it may or may not work for others.
                              >
                              > JD
                              > Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                              > www.johndittli.com
                              >
                            • John Ladd
                              ... 1) If you carry chemical purification anyway and don t mind the taste (I don t) why not just treat routinely. If you mix the 2-part Aqua Mira into a third
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                                On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Herb <hstroh@...> wrote:
                                 

                                ... At trusted water sources we also "camel up" by drinking extra.

                                I agree with most of what Herb and others have said but have 2 comments

                                1) If you carry chemical purification anyway and don't mind the taste (I don't) why not just treat routinely.  If you mix the 2-part Aqua Mira into a third small bottle each morning, it is super-easy to just add 14 drops to each liter of water and then totally not have to worry.  I will occasionally drink it straight (the taste can be a treat) but usually just treat on the theory that a little effort removes the small hazard.

                                2) Most of the hiking community seems to believe in cameling up.  But an extra liter of water in your stomach (beyond the water your body needs in the next hour or so) weighs the same as a liter of water in your pack and your body will use the same energy to carry it whether in your stomach or in the pack.  Water in a bottle is more multi-use than water in your stomach because (1) you can ration it if it turns out to be a longer-than anticipated dry stretch; (2) if you are hiking with a friend, the more thirsty person can use it; (3) if you need to irrigate a cut from a fall, it's available to you; and (4) you avoid any risk of excess water toxicity, though admittedly most people who camel up don't do so to the point of causing a danger of toxicity.  I noticed that the Army's mountaineering training manual discourages over-drinking, though they don't explain why (beyond water toxicity).

                                John
                              • Barbara Karagosian
                                If I camel up I end up watering the bushes sooner rather than later. Barbara
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                                  If I camel up I end up watering the bushes sooner rather than later. 

                                  Barbara


                                  On Jan 3, 2012, at 4:02 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

                                   

                                  On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Herb <hstroh@...> wrote:

                                   

                                  ... At trusted water sources we also "camel up" by drinking extra.

                                  I agree with most of what Herb and others have said but have 2 comments

                                  1) If you carry chemical purification anyway and don't mind the taste (I don't) why not just treat routinely.  If you mix the 2-part Aqua Mira into a third small bottle each morning, it is super-easy to just add 14 drops to each liter of water and then totally not have to worry.  I will occasionally drink it straight (the taste can be a treat) but usually just treat on the theory that a little effort removes the small hazard.

                                  2) Most of the hiking community seems to believe in cameling up.  But an extra liter of water in your stomach (beyond the water your body needs in the next hour or so) weighs the same as a liter of water in your pack and your body will use the same energy to carry it whether in your stomach or in the pack.  Water in a bottle is more multi-use than water in your stomach because (1) you can ration it if it turns out to be a longer-than anticipated dry stretch; (2) if you are hiking with a friend, the more thirsty person can use it; (3) if you need to irrigate a cut from a fall, it's available to you; and (4) you avoid any risk of excess water toxicity, though admittedly most people who camel up don't do so to the point of causing a danger of toxicity.  I noticed that the Army's mountaineering training manual discourages over-drinking, though they don't explain why (beyond water toxicity).

                                  John

                                • John
                                  Herb, good point re: taking water off the surface of calm lakes, I ve just never been able to bring myself to do it (at least not along busy trails). Good
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                                    Herb, good point re: taking water off the surface of calm lakes, I've just never been able to bring myself to do it (at least not along busy trails).

                                    Good point John brings up "cameling vs bottling". In the Sierra I very rarely find it necessary to carry more than 24oz in my pack OR my stomach. There is for the most part, ample watering holes to dip from.

                                    Having said that, I'm also probably chronically dehydrated, which can/has lead to other short term and long term issues.

                                    If it doesn't snow this winter we may all being carrying water in more places than the JMT. BTW, I was up in TM today; 56 degrees F at 2:00.

                                    I'm thirsty...

                                    JD
                                    Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                    www.johndittli.com

                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Herb <hstroh@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > **
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > ... At trusted water sources we also "camel up" by drinking extra.
                                    > >
                                    > > I agree with most of what Herb and others have said but have 2 comments
                                    >
                                    > 1) If you carry chemical purification anyway and don't mind the taste (I
                                    > don't) why not just treat routinely. If you mix the 2-part Aqua Mira into
                                    > a third small bottle each morning, it is super-easy to just add 14 drops to
                                    > each liter of water and then totally not have to worry. I will
                                    > occasionally drink it straight (the taste can be a treat) but usually just
                                    > treat on the theory that a little effort removes the small hazard.
                                    >
                                    > 2) Most of the hiking community seems to believe in cameling up. But an
                                    > extra liter of water in your stomach (beyond the water your body needs in
                                    > the next hour or so) weighs the same as a liter of water in your pack and
                                    > your body will use the same energy to carry it whether in your stomach or
                                    > in the pack. Water in a bottle is more multi-use than water in your
                                    > stomach because (1) you can ration it if it turns out to be a longer-than
                                    > anticipated dry stretch; (2) if you are hiking with a friend, the more
                                    > thirsty person can use it; (3) if you need to irrigate a cut from a fall,
                                    > it's available to you; and (4) you avoid any risk of excess water toxicity,
                                    > though admittedly most people who camel up don't do so to the point of
                                    > causing a danger of toxicity. I noticed that the Army's mountaineering
                                    > training manual discourages over-drinking, though they don't explain why
                                    > (beyond water toxicity).
                                    >
                                    > John
                                    >
                                  • Ed Rodriguez
                                    Last year while on the JMT the only time I filter my water was when I camp out  near the lakes. I try to look for clean water source along the trail where
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Jan 3, 2012
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                                      Last year while on the JMT the only time I filter my water was when I camp out  near the lakes. I try to look for clean water source along the trail where there was no stock tracks or near by campsites. I was on the trail where there will allot of run off also, but if I would hike the trail where there was little run off in the creeks and streams I would take my filter 

                                      From: John <johndittli@...>
                                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 4:49 PM
                                      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: I'm seriously considering leaving my water filter at home next summer

                                       
                                      Herb, good point re: taking water off the surface of calm lakes, I've just never been able to bring myself to do it (at least not along busy trails).

                                      Good point John brings up "cameling vs bottling". In the Sierra I very rarely find it necessary to carry more than 24oz in my pack OR my stomach. There is for the most part, ample watering holes to dip from.

                                      Having said that, I'm also probably chronically dehydrated, which can/has lead to other short term and long term issues.

                                      If it doesn't snow this winter we may all being carrying water in more places than the JMT. BTW, I was up in TM today; 56 degrees F at 2:00.

                                      I'm thirsty...

                                      JD
                                      Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                      www.johndittli.com

                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Herb <hstroh@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > **
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > ... At trusted water sources we also "camel up" by drinking extra.
                                      > >
                                      > > I agree with most of what Herb and others have said but have 2 comments
                                      >
                                      > 1) If you carry chemical purification anyway and don't mind the taste (I
                                      > don't) why not just treat routinely. If you mix the 2-part Aqua Mira into
                                      > a third small bottle each morning, it is super-easy to just add 14 drops to
                                      > each liter of water and then totally not have to worry. I will
                                      > occasionally drink it straight (the taste can be a treat) but usually just
                                      > treat on the theory that a little effort removes the small hazard.
                                      >
                                      > 2) Most of the hiking community seems to believe in cameling up. But an
                                      > extra liter of water in your stomach (beyond the water your body needs in
                                      > the next hour or so) weighs the same as a liter of water in your pack and
                                      > your body will use the same energy to carry it whether in your stomach or
                                      > in the pack. Water in a bottle is more multi-use than water in your
                                      > stomach because (1) you can ration it if it turns out to be a longer-than
                                      > anticipated dry stretch; (2) if you are hiking with a friend, the more
                                      > thirsty person can use it; (3) if you need to irrigate a cut from a fall,
                                      > it's available to you; and (4) you avoid any risk of excess water toxicity,
                                      > though admittedly most people who camel up don't do so to the point of
                                      > causing a danger of toxicity. I noticed that the Army's mountaineering
                                      > training manual discourages over-drinking, though they don't explain why
                                      > (beyond water toxicity).
                                      >
                                      > John
                                      >



                                    • Herb
                                      John-- #1 I don t really care for the taste, so would prefer to drink untreated water if the opportunity is available. The Sierra poses the least risk of any
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Jan 4, 2012
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                                        John--

                                        #1 I don't really care for the taste, so would prefer to drink untreated water if the opportunity is available. The Sierra poses the least risk of any hiking area I frequent, so I enjoy the luxury.

                                        #2 While the weight may be the same the location of that weight is not. Lets face it, carrying weight on your back--even with the best most comfortable pack in the world--is unnatural. A liter weights about 2 1/4 pounds. I can feel a 2 1/4 pound addition to my pack; I don't notice any weight differential after drinking a liter of water. And that makes sense--the water is quickly disbursed throughout my body and is thus more efficiently carried.

                                        The other advantage is that most hikers probably do not drink enough liquids while hiking. Just drinking when you are thirsty may not be enough during vigorous exercise. While toxicity from too much water is a risk, I think far more hikers suffer from dehydration. Cameling may, in fact, help the chronically dehydrated hiker meet his/her water needs and improve hiking efficiency.

                                        It is true there is less water available for multi-use purposes. But with the exception of a longer dry stretch than anticipated, I generally I do not carry water for those purposes anyway.

                                        Herb

                                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Herb <hstroh@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > **
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > ... At trusted water sources we also "camel up" by drinking extra.
                                        > >
                                        > > I agree with most of what Herb and others have said but have 2 comments
                                        >
                                        > 1) If you carry chemical purification anyway and don't mind the taste (I
                                        > don't) why not just treat routinely. If you mix the 2-part Aqua Mira into
                                        > a third small bottle each morning, it is super-easy to just add 14 drops to
                                        > each liter of water and then totally not have to worry. I will
                                        > occasionally drink it straight (the taste can be a treat) but usually just
                                        > treat on the theory that a little effort removes the small hazard.
                                        >
                                        > 2) Most of the hiking community seems to believe in cameling up. But an
                                        > extra liter of water in your stomach (beyond the water your body needs in
                                        > the next hour or so) weighs the same as a liter of water in your pack and
                                        > your body will use the same energy to carry it whether in your stomach or
                                        > in the pack. Water in a bottle is more multi-use than water in your
                                        > stomach because (1) you can ration it if it turns out to be a longer-than
                                        > anticipated dry stretch; (2) if you are hiking with a friend, the more
                                        > thirsty person can use it; (3) if you need to irrigate a cut from a fall,
                                        > it's available to you; and (4) you avoid any risk of excess water toxicity,
                                        > though admittedly most people who camel up don't do so to the point of
                                        > causing a danger of toxicity. I noticed that the Army's mountaineering
                                        > training manual discourages over-drinking, though they don't explain why
                                        > (beyond water toxicity).
                                        >
                                        > John
                                        >
                                      • John Ladd
                                        Herb, as usual, does a good job of counterpoint on weight-related issues. But several things occur to me: 1) It may be hard to subjectively detect the impact
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Jan 5, 2012
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                                          Herb, as usual, does a good job of counterpoint on weight-related issues.

                                          But several things occur to me:

                                          1) It may be hard to subjectively detect the impact of carrying an extra 2.2 lbs of water in your body since the percent increment is so small (1-2%), while in a pack the percent increase (probably 10% in Herb's UL configuration and about 5% in mine) can be noticeable. But basic laws or physics apply to the human body. It takes energy to carry extra weight even if it is water in your stomach, bladder or tissues.  The Army has worked hard to quantify these things and they have found in repeated, careful studies that an extra pound of bodyweight is equivalent in energy requirements to an extra pound in a (well-balanced) backpack.

                                          2) Water in excess of the body's ability to use it is just excess weight.  I suspect that camelling up often encourages people to drink more water per day than they need. Herb seems to contemplate drinking a full liter of water at a time.  It strikes me as likely that half of that is probably just going to pass through the body and out via the bladder without providing any physiological benefit on the way. 

                                          3) I agree with Herb that weight distribution is important.  But, if anything, the extra pound or two of water you carry if you don't camel up can be helpful in this regard,  Just carry it forward of your center of gravity (e.g., old-school canteen placement on hipblet) or high and forward in a pack where a slight forward lean (which comes pretty naturally when balancing a pack) restores the front-back center of gravity.  Or carry it where I do, just forward of the collarbone in a bottle clipped to my shoulder harness.  

                                          4) I also agree with Herb that under-hydration a more common problem among hikers than over-hydration.  But the classic pee test (light yellow) works pretty well to tell you what you need.  I've learned that for me, under typical Sierra conditions, a liter of water will last 4 miles or more and water sources usually come up at least that often.  (I get bad leg cramps at night if I under-hydrate so I do prefer to err on the high side.)

                                          John Curran Ladd
                                          1616 Castro Street
                                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                          415-648-9279


                                          On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 8:42 AM, Herb <hstroh@...> wrote:
                                           

                                          John--

                                          #1 I don't really care for the taste, so would prefer to drink untreated water if the opportunity is available. The Sierra poses the least risk of any hiking area I frequent, so I enjoy the luxury.

                                          #2 While the weight may be the same the location of that weight is not. Lets face it, carrying weight on your back--even with the best most comfortable pack in the world--is unnatural. A liter weights about 2 1/4 pounds. I can feel a 2 1/4 pound addition to my pack; I don't notice any weight differential after drinking a liter of water. And that makes sense--the water is quickly disbursed throughout my body and is thus more efficiently carried.

                                          The other advantage is that most hikers probably do not drink enough liquids while hiking. Just drinking when you are thirsty may not be enough during vigorous exercise. While toxicity from too much water is a risk, I think far more hikers suffer from dehydration. Cameling may, in fact, help the chronically dehydrated hiker meet his/her water needs and improve hiking efficiency.

                                          It is true there is less water available for multi-use purposes. But with the exception of a longer dry stretch than anticipated, I generally I do not carry water for those purposes anyway.

                                          Herb


                                        • charliepolecat
                                          It s harder to recognise under-hydration (de-hydration) whilst hiking than it is when ultra-cycling. If you are short of fluid when cycling you ll notice it
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Jan 5, 2012
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                                            It's harder to recognise under-hydration (de-hydration) whilst hiking
                                            than it is when ultra-cycling. If you are short of fluid when cycling
                                            you'll notice it pretty quickly when your performance/energy craters -
                                            otherwise know as the 'bonk'.

                                            Although hydration is essential for life, I think you can get away with
                                            cutting back on water intake when hiking without extreme negative
                                            effects, and since you have to carry the extra fluid that your body
                                            cannot absorb in your bladder - and on your knees - it is probably wise
                                            to do so.

                                            There are some who propose training your body to not give in to water
                                            craving - I know I drink more when I am 'feeling' thirsty, which I
                                            acknowledge is not the same as 'being' thirsty. But other than the color
                                            of the pee test that John mentions, there are few ways for a hiker to
                                            know when he/she is taking in enough.

                                            I have basically given up on the camelbak and prefer to use clear
                                            bottles, where I can see the amount of water taken and and how much is
                                            left. As a cyclist, I stick fairly strictly to the 26 ounces per hour
                                            intake guidline, which seems to serve me well.

                                            Each person has to find out what their own bodies' water needs are with
                                            practice - no one can tell you how much you should drink.
                                          • robert shattuck
                                            and prefer to use clear bottles, where I can see the amount of water taken OR WHAT S IN THERE. I bring a filter and use it often, but primarily just in
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Jan 5, 2012
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                                              " and prefer to use clear bottles, where I can see the amount of water taken" 

                                              OR WHAT"S IN THERE.

                                              I bring a filter and use it often, but primarily just in lakes––streams I don't bother and I've never had a problem. I'd rather bring a filter (or whatever method you choose; aqua mira) into the mountains and, oh gosh, suffer all that weight, than bring something out of the mountains, like a virus or bacteria or some little critter floating around in my gut. 

                                              It's nice to have memories a few weeks after you're done, but not giardia or whatever. And I've often thought of bringing one of my lightweight aluminum bottles for water, but this year, I shared, on occasion, my friends dark bottle and felt a bit hesitant not being able to see my water in there. 

                                              Sure enough, at one point, while using my clear nalgene and scooping from a stream, I found not a bit of twig, or the usual dirt particle, but a tiny thing that looked like a snail and I was just happy enough to toss him in the bushes, not down my throat, and dunk my bottle again. 

                                              BOB
                                              http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




                                            • John
                                              LOL. I ve swallowed my share of native fauna! I too go with a bottle. As I think I ve mentioned before; why spend all that $ for light gear and then fill your
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Jan 5, 2012
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                                                LOL. I've swallowed my share of native fauna! I too go with a bottle. As I think I've mentioned before; "why spend all that $ for light gear and then fill your pack up with water"

                                                JD
                                                Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                                www.johndittli.com

                                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, robert shattuck <bobolonius@...> wrote:
                                                but a tiny thing that looked like a snail and I was just happy enough to toss him in the bushes, not down my throat, and dunk my bottle again.
                                                > BOB
                                                > http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480
                                                >
                                              • Steve
                                                I am in this camp as well , However when im hiking toward toilet paper mountain ( as we call it ) like up the san joaquin river thru MTR ,and then past
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Feb 10, 2012
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                                                  I am in this camp as well , However when im hiking toward toilet paper mountain ( as we call it ) like up the san joaquin river thru MTR ,and then past evolution junction , I will filter my water . However past that i draw everything from the springs coming into the river directly. Like John said I cant bring myself to draw directly out of the lake as Ive seen too many people doing things in that water> I was looking at the sawyer filter , real light ... im using that with the platypus bags
                                                  also light ... I carry a MSR dromedary bag for camp > I also did wonder what kind of water consumption you should drink and the 26 oz to 28 oz per hour is good not really any more than that , the better shape your in the less water youll need .. I usually carry a little water im my hydration bag and meter it into my water bottle ... I only fill my hydration bag up when I know its going to be dry and uphill for miles , but this is rare in the sierras... There is a hike in the trinities
                                                  to alpine lake that a 4000 climb in 4 miles and there is no water till the top and its hot, thats a 4 liter carry to the top , usually im sucking the last bit out when I hit the lake ..phew
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