[Cdt-l] Polar Pure

Bob Bankhead wandering_bob at comcast.net
Mon Mar 29 23:36:19 CDT 2010

Here's a trick to get rid of the taste and color imparted by using iodine (or chlorine): scrape a very tiny amount (less than 1 gram) of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) into the treated water. Shake. It forms a complex with the iodine (or chlorine) and instantly removes both color and flavor imparted by same from the treated water. Note that you will always get more vitamin C into your water than you really need.

You may have seen the 2 bottle iodine treatment sets at REI; that expensive 2nd bottle is powdered vitamin C. You can buy a bottle of 200 Vitamin C tablets for under a dollar at the grocery if you don't already have some at home. I prefer to carry the elongated solid tablets rather than the round ones as they are easier to safely shave with my knife, especially if my fingers are cold. I've tried grinding and powdering tablets at home, but the results were always too coarse, and the powdered form is susecptible to caking if it gets moist. Also a spill on the trail looses all whereas spilled tablets can be picked up and retrieved. Your choice.


1) Do not add the vitamin C until AFTER the iodine (or chlorine) has had the required contact time to do its job. 

2) When you refill your water container, fill and empty it 2 - 3 times to remove the unreacted vitamin C  BEFORE you treat new water. Failure to do so will result in the immediate deactivation of the iodine (or chlorine). 

That said, I switched to Aqua Mira years ago and have never gone back to iodine. Incidentally, the vitamin C trick does not work on Aqua Mira or any other Chlorine dioxide system. 

Wandering Bob

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