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  1. #21
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Oh good to know. I'll probably just get a not very insulating pad for now, since I'm probably gonna stick to warmer months to start off with.

    I definitely don't want to go above 25% of my body weight, that would not be pleasant... but I do like to drink water a lot. This leads to my next question: what do you do for water? I've heard of filters and pills. How much water do you carry at a time? On my 9 mile/7 hr hike last weekend I drank 3 litres... that is almost 7 lb, but I guess you only have that maximum for water at the beginning and it goes down from there.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  2. #22
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Oh good to know. I'll probably just get a not very insulating pad for now, since I'm probably gonna stick to warmer months to start off with.

    I definitely don't want to go above 25% of my body weight, that would not be pleasant... but I do like to drink water a lot. This leads to my next question: what do you do for water? I've heard of filters and pills. How much water do you carry at a time? On my 9 mile/7 hr hike last weekend I drank 3 litres... that is almost 7 lb, but I guess you only have that maximum for water at the beginning and it goes down from there.
    Just keep in mind that it's often 10-20 degrees cooler in the mountains.

    I do a wide range of things for water. If it's from a wilderness spring or small creek/stream with good flow, I often drink it without doing anything. Otherwise, I use chlorine dioxide tablets or a First Need filter/purifier. I only take the filter/purifier along if I expect difficulty finding good water sources or if my kids are along.

    The most likely pathogen in flowing water in US backpacking areas is protozoa, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Iodine isn't good for you, and it doesn't work on everything. Chlorine dioxide drops or tablets barely work on some of these, taking up 4 hours if water is near freezing, but filters easily remove them. Most filters don't remove viruses, but those generally aren't a problem in US backpacking areas. Anything which also removes viruses is called a purifier. Filters are the only thing which removes worm eggs, but those aren't generally a problem either. Boiling is very effective, but fairly inefficient. I've been thinking about trying a Steripen UV light sterilizer, which seems fairly lightweight and easy.



    Edit: Here's a good article on why it may not be necessary to treat water at all.

    Edit 2: I try to carry no more than 1 liter at a time, but might carry 2-3 liters if I'm hiking up to a higher elevation to camp where there aren't any water sources.

  3. #23
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    I've recently decided to start using a filter instead of not treating the water or using chemical treatment. The reason is that I'm concerned about the small risk of parasitic worm eggs in the water. These are only removed by filtering, or inactivated by boiling. The risk of worm eggs is small, but some worms can do bad things like migrate to the brain and eat brain tissue.

    One of the scariest is raccoon roundworm, which a majority of raccoons are infected with. The eggs are in their feces. Raccoons are often in and near streams where hikers get their water.

    Most filters don't remove viruses, but these aren't likely to be an issue in US backcountry areas.

    I now use this filter:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKWQjlq-uYA"].[/YOUTUBE]

  4. #24
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    I've recently decided to start using a filter instead of not treating the water or using chemical treatment. The reason is that I'm concerned about the small risk of parasitic worm eggs in the water. These are only removed by filtering, or inactivated by boiling. The risk of worm eggs is small, but some worms can do bad things like migrate to the brain and eat brain tissue.

    One of the scariest is raccoon roundworm, which a majority of raccoons are infected with. The eggs are in their feces. Raccoons are often in and near streams where hikers get their water.

    Most filters don't remove viruses, but these aren't likely to be an issue in US backcountry areas.

    I now use this filter:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKWQjlq-uYA"].[/YOUTUBE]

    I would be going along with the "let's pretend camp in the living room and drink non worm water from the fridge!!!"

  5. #25
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I would be going along with the "let's pretend camp in the living room and drink non worm water from the fridge!!!"
    I call that "extreme slackpacking."

    But would you have a campfire and filter the water?

    Is your living room more scenic than this?

  6. #26
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    I call that "extreme slackpacking."

    But would you have a campfire and filter the water?

    Is your living room more scenic than this?
    I have this new fangled invention called a "picture window". Combine that with a "backyard" that overlooks a small nature reserve area.... and voila! You have instant non-worm infested camping trip! I even have a fireplace I can roast marshmallows on!

    *tosses gauntlet back at your feet*

    Check.

    Your turn!

  7. #27
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I have this new fangled invention called a "picture window". Combine that with a "backyard" that overlooks a small nature reserve area.... and voila! You have instant non-worm infested camping trip! I even have a fireplace I can roast marshmallows on!

    *tosses gauntlet back at your feet*

    Check.

    Your turn!


    It's backpacking chess!

    My backyard overlooks a small nature reserve area too. Could it be the same one?

    • I can't feel the breeze indoors.
    • I don't hear as many night sounds indoors.
    • Indoors, I'm isolated from the weather and other aesthetic aspects of nature.
    • Water from wilderness springs and streams tastes much better than city water, and even most well water and bottled water. I am ze wateur connoisseur.


    Living for days with only minimal gear and food carried on the back and obtaining water directly from its natural source allows one to:

    • Exercise with variable intensity and ranges of motion not typically experienced on gym equipment or flat walking/running
    • Temporarily remove ourselves from modern society, culture, technology, and even people if desired
    • Encounter new experiences and challenges not encountered in everyday life
    • Refocus on the essentials of life
    • Understand the primitive ways of our ancestors and other cultures
    • See firsthand how all of life depends on nature and the Earth
    • Direct, personal interaction with nature teaches a respect for it in the same way which direct, personal interaction with another person enhances respect for that person

  8. #28
    Senior Member giegs's Avatar
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    Interesting filter... I've used an MSR MiniWorks for years... a bit bulky but very durable and fairly fast. They can be broken, but proper use and maintenance makes this a bit of a challenge. The smaller Katadyn filters are quite a bit faster, but the handle design is just poor... very easy to break from repeated use, especially when it's cold. If you're going with large groups or otherwise need a ton of filtered water, the Katadyn Expedition is the way to go. They're terrible to carry but are amazingly well built and easy to service in the field. I've seen more passive filter systems recently, but haven't had a chance to use any.

    Regarding pack weight: Carrying more than 2/3 of your body weight should definitely be avoided. Aside from being no fun at all, you can really hurt yourself hauling that much on rough terrain. Depending on what I'm doing, I almost always pack <1/3, generally closer to 1/6 all told. It's not impossible or always unreasonable to hump big loads, but you should use trekking poles and be really good at packing properly. I've had experiences where it was more worthwhile to pack 2 smaller loads than 1 big one because your speed is absolutely diminished with a ton of weight on your back. And remember the maxim that you'll always find a way to fill a bigger pack.

  9. #29
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    @giegs: Interesting to hear about the MSR MiniWorks. I haven't seen one. Just thinking about a pack 2/3 of my body weight hurts.

  10. #30
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    West Virginia's Cranberry Wilderness is a fun place to hike, partially because not many go there, and the trails aren't well-marked or maintained. One backpacker has apparently been in there since May 23rd of this year. Despite a large search which included cadaver dogs, no one knows where he is. I backpacked solo there last May (2010), and I hiked on some of the same trails he did.

    Here's a two-page article about the search.

    Some highlights:

    A note in his car specified he planned on coming out on May 27.

    Family members have told police that Camellitti, 56, is experienced in hiking and caving, and unaccompanied trips have not been out of the ordinary.
    One possibility is that he found an interesting cave to explore, and was lost or trapped in there. It's not a good idea to explore a cave solo.

    the search and rescue teams covered 100 miles of trails but found no signs of Camellitti.

    "Some of these trails are unmarked and washed out,"

    Martin described the Cranberry woods as "a treacherous area," recalling wreckage from an airplane that took more than a decade to recover.

    "It's a very densely wooded area. Because there are so many trees, even if we did use an aircraft to search, you wouldn't be able to spot anything," Martin said. "Options are very limited when dealing with something like this."

    The recent searches illustrated some potential problems, he said.

    "In some parts, the forest is so dense you can't see past the trail. So, if he's camping off-trail, we wouldn't know. One team reported a trail was so hard to walk on that they almost fell into the river. When we get a lot of rain, the river rises and it's dangerous,"
    He he... I know exactly the spot they're talking about! I almost fell 10 feet into the river too.

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