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

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12
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a human survive in Saltstraumen or other whirlpool?

I am fascinated and afraid (at the same time) of whirlpools and water currents. I wonder if a average human could survive water currents or whirlpools or maybe even the Saltstraumen?
8
votes
4answers
229 views

What is the safest and most effective additive to keep drinking water from freezing?

I know that the antifreeze used in fresh water RV tanks is non-toxic and can protect to -50F. Thinking Sugar might be a good choice I posted the question How to calculate how much sugar to use as ...
7
votes
1answer
36 views

Allergic to Neoprene and need water shoes

Really hoping someone else may be able to help me. I am very allergic to neoprene and am looking for some shoes to wear in water and in the pool. Almost all the shoes have neoprene in them -- so ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

Unfreezing cached water bottles

Here's a scenario I was faced with recently. We do a climb that involves going up to a mountain hut and sleeping there the night before summit day. There is no snow at the hut to melt for drinking ...
4
votes
1answer
555 views

How to calculate how much sugar to use as antifreeze in drinking water?

Sea water does not freeze until about −2 °C (28 °F) if you add more salt you can lower the freeze point to -21°C. We know from How much sea water can I safely drink? that drinking salt water is not ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it safe to drink snow?

If it snows, is it safe to drink the water when it melts? What sickness can I get from snow? I am in Europe and would like to know for here, but other places would be interesting too.
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the most effective means of melting snow with body heat for drinking?

The related question Is it safe to drink snow? tells us that in addtion to then normal considerations for any wild water source, you also need to consider how the snow may tip your metabolism into ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
6
votes
1answer
505 views

How much sea water can I safely drink?

Anyone who has played in the ocean knows getting a little sea water in your mouth and swallowing it will not kill you. Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Ration or consume water?

In a situation where you don't know when you will find water again, is it better to ration the water you have over time (and ever increasing dehydration) or to drink it to quench thirst as soon as ...
7
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
752 views

How to freeze a water container without deforming it?

I like to take a frozen Nalgene bottle of water to my Bikram Yoga class. The problem is, every bottle I have used so far becomes deformed and, as can be seen in the picture below, the bottom bulges ...
12
votes
5answers
417 views

Why would I want a pressurized hydration pack?

I saw an ad today for a pressurized hydration pack. My first thought was "why?". I can't imagine a scenario would this would not lead to (a) more weight, or (b) greater risk of failure... neither of ...
7
votes
1answer
520 views

Rain soaked leather jacket- how to repair?

I have a genuine full grain 1.3 mm cow hide motorcycle jacket that was caught in rain. It wasn't a downpour but I was in the rain long enough for the jacket to be pretty wet, not just the surface. I ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Water filters - why sand and rocks?

Saw a video on youtube where some guy made a water filter out of a bottle, charcoal, sand and little rocks. He commented that since the charcoal is very porous it's great for filtering. Then, after ...
35
votes
11answers
7k 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, ...
44
votes
4answers
23k 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?
4
votes
1answer
311 views

How do I reliably diagnose my own dehydration? [duplicate]

Drinking too much (and wasting it) or insufficient water quantity can be dangerous. The current method that I am using to judge if I am doing it correctly is urine colour: clear white - if water is ...
7
votes
2answers
405 views

Advice on wild swimming in Ontario, Canada

I am pretty much a newbie when it comes to wild swimming, or swimming in rivers and lakes having only went once or twice. However, I'm an avid swimmer and have participated in several swimming ...
12
votes
4answers
521 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
142 views

How do I make sure my cliff-diving location is safe?

I like cliff-diving, but I am always scared that there might be a rock hidden in the water. If it is a popular spot, then I just trust that someone has already done the work, but what if I am going ...
11
votes
2answers
589 views

How to efficiently fill a bladder with water?

I normally use cheap, lightweight water bottles to carry my water when I'm hiking. However, sometimes I'm with people who use bladders such as a CamelBak, and I offer to go and fill water bottles, so ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Brown pot from boiling water

Lately, as I boil water in a steel pot, it is making the pots very dark brown, and the inner surface of the pots seems its changed to rough, scrubby. Can anyone help with this? Also, as I was ...
11
votes
1answer
396 views

Train yourself to need less water

I'm interested in doing multi-day hikes (i.e. backpacking) in the desert where water sources are not readily available, thus requiring one to carry in enough water for the duration of the trip. On ...
13
votes
6answers
10k views

Is it safe to drink out of a 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
696 views

How to stay hydrated with minimum water usage

A friend of mine asked a experienced long distance hiker, how to drink during such a hike. The answer was, drink 0.1l water per hour and then you are fine. Is this correct and can anyone add some ...
23
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
661 views

Is it possible to 'moisture trap' from trees while thru-hiking?

I'm toying with the idea of collecting water from tree leaf transpiration, while hiking: Obviously, vegetation with larger leaf surface area (and certain types) would be better than others. But is ...
21
votes
8answers
16k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
6k 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
286 views

How can I conserve water over long treks?

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Reusing the same water bottle for drinking tap water

Recently, I've started drinking more and more tap water instead of buying bottles all the time (which is usually absolutely no issue in Germany). I like to use a bottle for that not fill a glass all ...
7
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Where can I find public water tap for cleaning/bathing in the Netherlands?

We are wandering around Netherlands (on foot, hitch hiking, bicycle). We don't sleep in camping site, we put our tent anywhere "in the bush". We are use to travel on this way in Southern Europe but ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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. ...
10
votes
4answers
300 views

How to effectively dry/clean the inside of water bladders?

After using water bladder, how to dry it thoroughly besides simply pouring out the water content so any remnant of water inside it is cleanly eliminated?
20
votes
3answers
5k views

Can you boil an egg in dirty water?

I'm going on a one day hike, and I want to cook an egg whilst on it. I'd like to avoid carrying excess water, and the route goes past a couple of waterfalls and several streams, so there is no problem ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

What are some emergency water purification methods? [duplicate]

If you're lost in the wilderness (and you've foolishly left behind your handy dandy water purification tablets and water filter), what are some of the best and safest ways to purify water? What do you ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

How do you flavour your water on camping trips?

Always drinking pure water can be boring and tasteless, especially when you have to filtrate it or use sterilizer/purification tabs which might cause the water to taste really bad. What are easy ...
11
votes
2answers
5k 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?
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
731 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
202 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
2answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
856 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
169 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
8answers
880 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. ...
16
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...