[Cdt-l] water treatment (New Mexico)

Scott Piddington sp2mtns at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 28 15:16:40 CST 2011

In the NM desert section I carried two 2-1/2 liter Platypus bladders with a drinking tube and a 1 liter cranberry juice bottle. At most water sources I would get 3 liters. I would treat 1 liter in the juice bottle and pour it into the Platy. Then a second treated liter would go into the Platy. A 3rd liter would wait in the bottle to be treated if or when the Platy water ran out as I walked. Sometimes I would cook with the 3rd liter and never treat it. Sometimes I got extra water in the 2nd Platy.

I used the Steri-PEN Adventurer. I carried no backup other that a second set of batteries at 1 ounce. None of the water sources were cloudy. Even the "green" water was actually clear. It just had green things growing on and in it. A nice photo of one of the most unpleasant looking sources I used can be seen in my postholer journal entry for 5/6/2010:
Happy hiking,

> From: Jim Boatwright <jimboatpct at gmail.com>
>To: Brett <blisterfree at yahoo.com> 
>Cc: cdt-l at backcountry.net 
>Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 3:25 PM
>Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] water treatment (New Mexico)
>I've been thinking of using the Steri-Pen with either Aqua Mira or bleach as a backup.  I've always used chemicals in the past but decided I would prefer drinking chemical free water this time.  I was concerned about using the Steri-Pen in NM, but it sounds like it will work just fine, especially if I supplement with Aqua Mira when the water is particularly cloudy.  
>A trick that 1/2 Ounce taught me:  Cut the top out of a 1.5 liter
    soda bottle and draw a line at 1 liter.  Use this along with the
    Steri-Pen to treat your water and then pour from this container into
    your other water bottles.  This way you eliminate the chance of
    getting untreated water on your bottle threads.  
>I'm glad this question was asked and appreciate the helpful
>On 12/28/2011 1:06 PM, Brett wrote: 
>>>So, hiking NM what would be the filter method of choice to avoid clogging
>>and disease?
>>Avoiding the burger joints in town oughta help. Or isn't
              this a discussion about arterial health?
>>Actually, I would just carry Aqua Mira out on the trail in
              New Mexico. Chlorine dioxide solution is safe, more
              effective than bleach or iodine, and contains no chlorine.
              And avoid the dirt tanks as much as possible. If forced to
              drink from a dirt tank, you can pre-filter it through a
              bandana, and then give it the full 14 drops per liter of
              A.M., waiting a good long while before drinking, and
              preferably exposing it to direct sunlight through a clear
              water bottle while you're waiting.
>>Even a filter would be incapable of removing all traces of
              silt from the worst sources. That which it did
              successfully remove will, at some point - possibly very
              soon - cause that filter to fail. Unless you're able to
              clean it. Pretty heavy, regardless.
>>Also, I wouldn't trust a filter to actually rid the worst
              sources of all contamination. The physical manifestation
              of a filter's clogging and failing may be only the first
              obvious sign that it's been failing your GI tract for some
>>The Steri-Pen can be a worthwhile alternative to Aqua
              Mira, but with a few caveats, namely it's battery-powered
              and otherwise fail-able technology, it's likely to perform
              worst when you need it most (again, the dirt tank water),
              and the UV bulb won't fit inside a standard liter-sized
              Platypus bottle opening.
>>- blisterfree
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