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

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9
votes
1answer
80 views

Tiny crab/bug in Pacific NW; makes shell out of rocks/sticks. What is it?

We encountered these guys in a small inland (freshwater) creek in southern WA. There were hundreds, covering low flat rocks in the water; every one carrying a shell made out of either tiny rocks, or ...
20
votes
2answers
4k views

In a survival situation, should I drink unpurified water?

If I am in a survival situation, is there any reason I shouldn't drink the available water? I am aware of Giardia and cholera. Are these worthy concerns, or are there good enough cures available that ...
18
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the name of the water-boiling chemical bag?

There was an invention that allowed you to boil water by putting a bag of chemicals in a bowl with some water and/or food. I don't remember its name and I would like to use it while hiking. (other ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Does a life-straw replace my water while hiking?

Let's assume I hike in a region with a lot of streams, rivers and lakes (South-Germany etc.) not longer than for two days. Am I supposed to use a life-straw as my primary water-source or should it be ...
11
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 ...
20
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
659 views

Why are people so worried about Giardia?

Everyone I have ever been camping with seems to have an unwritten rule never to drink from streams no matter how clear they might seem, for fear of Giardia. I have also heard people telling about ...
9
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
13
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
292 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
42 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
209 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
668 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.
18
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views
14
votes
5answers
2k 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
180 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 source?...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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
585 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
1k 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 ...
36
votes
11answers
8k 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
24k 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
333 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
511 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
570 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
214 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
977 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
222 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
526 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
14k 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
728 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 ...
24
votes
9answers
13k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
3k 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
688 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
19k 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
298 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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. ...
11
votes
4answers
460 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
153 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 (...
12
votes
2answers
6k 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?