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In the past, I have gone backpacking with some fairly expensive, heavy water purification tools. But the more I read about water safety in California's Sierras (here and here), the less I think these high-tech solutions are necessary.

Can I just drop some iodine tablets into my CamelBak?

Will the tablets:

  1. react with the plastic bladder and destroy it?
  2. stain the plastic bladder dark purple?
  3. make the CamelBak taste like iodine permanently?
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up vote 9 down vote accepted
  1. nope
  2. yep (actually, yellow, not purple, thanks Clare)
  3. Not in my experience, but I use clarifiers which remove the flavor in the water.

Also to clarify from comments, we did this for years before we started carrying a filter and it never damaged our containers. The plastic probably gets more damage from the sunlight caught during hiking than from the iodine.

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2.) Ours is yellowed, and not dark purple, but yep-- it's stained for good. I should note, though, that it's just around the edges that it's really noticeable. No cracks or bad taste or smell, just some yellowing. – Clare Steen Sep 26 '12 at 23:56
Ah! Thank you. I was unable to tell from Russell's answer if this was from personal experience or if someone was just stating what they thought would be true. The first-hand experience is key. Thanks to both of you for the help. – theJollySin Sep 27 '12 at 0:37

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