Questions relating to obtaining, carrying, or purifying water for use during outdoor excursions.

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3
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1answer
59 views

How can I tell when water is contaminated with industrial chemicals without any special equipment?

With fracking, chemical spills, and all sorts of environmental nonsense on the rise, water quality can be compromised in some areas. How can I tell when it's not safe to consume even after filtering ...
6
votes
2answers
138 views

Do you need to purify all mountain water sources

I was just reading this question What is the safest way to purify water? Now I walk a lot in Snowdonia in North Wales and on occasion I drink from mountain streams. I've even camped next to mountain ...
5
votes
3answers
131 views

When to perform a filtering of the water?

Let's imagine I'm hiking and I find a water source - like a lake, a stream or a well, and I want to fill my water bottle with it. I have a bottle and a water filter. And a bandana. Since I can't ...
5
votes
4answers
353 views

How safe is drinking distilled water?

Are there any adverse effects of drinking distilled water (possibly obtained melting snow or using other survival techniques like a solar still)? Maybe dehydratation, diarrhea...? Some people even ...
6
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8answers
453 views

Carry a larger water bottle or a smaller water bottle for backpacking?

I'm debating between carrying a larger water bottle and a smaller one. A larger one means I'll have to stop less to filter water, but it means I'll be carrying more, at least for a period of time. ...
5
votes
3answers
582 views

Are water purification tablets safe?

There are a few questions regarding safety of water purification, one regarding expiration date, another regarding iodine, but I know that there are more than one types of water purficiation tablets. ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Is cold shock response a real danger, if someone is used to cold water?

Various sources (mostly TV stations, at least in my region) are constantly warning about the danger of cold shock response, if someone goes to water too quickly. But on the other hand, Bear Grylls ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

Is it safe to drink hot water? How hot can it be?

Many mountain hikers recommend drinking hot fluids, because they provide a lot of energy. According to the discussion "Does eating snow help dehydration?", the actual calorie gain is minimal, however ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

What style of camelback hydrating systems exist out there?

For an incoming trip, I am considering buying a camelback hydration system. There are two options available at my local preferred dealer, and I would like some advice on which one to choose. The main ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

How to clean the ceramic filter of a water pump?

We used a Katadyn Vario filter during our last hike in Scotland. It uses a ceramic filter when used in LONGER LIFE modus. The waters in Scotland however have a tendency to be brown (due to the peat ...
7
votes
2answers
127 views

How can I effectively conserve water?

Is there any way I can balance out drinking water when taking a trek, or simply taking a hike to one of the local peaks around here? Even if I come stocked, I tend to end up run out of water close to ...
14
votes
3answers
375 views

Washing dishes with seawater or freshwater?

When backpacking in a coastal region, you sometimes have access to both fresh water (e.g. a stream) and salt water (sea, bay, etc.). If you do not treat the water used for washing dishes, what are ...
11
votes
3answers
254 views

What is considered a water source, and why is it recommended to camp so far from them?

I've read one one of the US national forest or wilderness websites that when camping in the wild, one should camp at a certain distance from a water source. Should I understand a water source to mean ...
6
votes
2answers
164 views

What to do with old hydration bladders?

I have two old hydration bladders, both of which are no longer usable (in one the cap is broken, in the other the internal bag is ripped). Spare parts appear to be unavailable. Is there anything good ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to drink out of rusty thermos?

I've got a thermos for coffee and/or water storage that I use on hikes and for bike touring since it keeps things hot for hours. However, it seems like the inside is rusting a bit. Is this safe to ...
6
votes
2answers
336 views

What backwoods trick to get pure water produces the most safe water?

So I read this answer and I was wondering what contraption produce the most water when you don't have a water source? So what water trap produces the most water? Specifically, what should I do with my ...
12
votes
1answer
262 views

Will Iodine Tablets Ruin My CamelBak?

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
457 views

Soft or hard drinking bottle?

When choosing a water bottle for hiking, a very distinct choice I can make (amongst all the other types of materials and hardiness, size and so on) is weighing up whether to purchase a "hard" plastic ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Replacement tap for Coleman 5 gal. water carrier

We have couple Coleman 5 gal. water carriers. They are nice sturdy canisters, but they have major weak spot: their taps are of poor quality and easily broken — both ours are, and seems like a lot of ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Where can I find an iodine crystal water purification product?

For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Finding water in the dry wilderness

If I'm in the wilderness in a dry, hot climate without much vegetation and I'm running low on water, what land features and other potential signs can I look for to guide me to a drinkable water ...
12
votes
3answers
325 views

Formula for rough amount of water to carry on hike?

Is there a formula which can be used (I'm thinking one that gives amount of water needed factoring in time or distance covered and temperature) to roughly work out the amount of water that needs to be ...
8
votes
1answer
534 views

Is it a good Idea to drink grape sap if you have no clean water?

In spring, the grape vines are so full of watery sap that a cut from my pocket knife causes it to trickle out fairly fast, and it can be collected in a container. Someone told me that it is a good ...
10
votes
1answer
144 views

How to tell if water is likely to have cryptosporidium?

I often use CLO2 (for example this product) to treat drinking water when I’m backpacking and boiling is not convenient. The instructions for the product say that the dose should be tripled if the ...
9
votes
2answers
262 views

How much fuel to carry for melting snow?

I'm using a multi fuel stove (MSR Dragonfly) for a 10 day ski tour, how much fuel should I allow to provide sufficient water for cooking and drinking. Meals will be mostly dehydrated just-add-water ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

Do iodine water treatment tablets have negative effects?

I've heard that iodine water treatment tablets can have negative side effects. Is this true? If so, what are some healthier alternatives?
17
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6answers
5k views

How to keep water cold in hot weather?

When doing outdoor sports like hiking or biking I'll always take a lot of cold water with me. I love to drink cold water and I feel more refreshed compared to drinking warm or not-so-cold water. But ...
30
votes
10answers
2k views

How to carry water in freezing temperatures?

When backpacking in freezing weather, water in a canteen often turns to ice. I am looking for a canteen that Will not burst when the volume of water increases due to freezing Will make it possible, ...
14
votes
2answers
312 views

Where are good places to look for water sources when I have run out on a multi-day hike?

Luckily this has never happened to me, but even the most prepared hiker can often get themselves into difficulties if they run out of water. My question here is in your experience in remote arid ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How do you prevent mold in CamelBak hydration bladders?

When using a CamelBak (or other hydration bladder system), it is easy for mold to grow if the bladder is left sitting with water in it. What is the best way to avoid mold (or other nasties) growing ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I desalinate seawater?

I know I shouldn't drink seawater (because of the salt it contains), but how can I desalinate it?
31
votes
3answers
16k views

Is drinking urine safe?

We've all heard stories about how people saved their lives by drinking their urine. Is drinking urine safe when there are no other water sources available? Can I filter it with a water purifier?
20
votes
8answers
4k views

How much water should be carried while hiking in the desert?

I live in the Arizona desert, and during the summer, despite my best intentions, I always seem to end up doing some hiking in the summer heat. What is a good formula to figure out how much water I ...