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Filter your water or not?

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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby freestone » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:56 am

I am a former user of the Zip stove and called the NPS about the fire and wood gathering restrictions above timberline. It is legal to operate the stove if the wood is gathered below treeline. Wildfire is normally not a concern above timberline.Wood gathering is prohibited because of the fragile relationship of decaying wood to the rest of the alpine ecosystem. Its also happens to be starkly beautiful and a wonderful reminder that only in the Sierra will you see the results of a lightning strike that happened way before our time! Ndwoods, I like your attitude about soap and TP and I am with you on that in spirit, but I am a lousy shot, so I don't think I will be trying the squirt bottle bidet concept anytime soon. During the height of the Giardia craze, I drank the water untreated on Lower Bear Creek. About a week after the trip I developed a tight feeling in my stomach, a sensation that I was already full after only a couple of bites of food. The Doctor treated it as if it were Giardia, but did not do any tests because, at that time it took two weeks to get the results and was expensive. The drug that was used is similar to Antibuse, which is given for the treatment of alcoholism. It was a two week regimen and no booze allowed. I now doubt that it was Giardia and I have since reverted back to drinking Sierra water untreated. My gut is well seasoned to California water, but in the Rockies, I could easily get sick by the local flora growing in those waters. IMO, it is E. coli that is the threat to water everywhere. Wagon train pioneers died from Cholera and E. coli dysentery, not arrows and bullets.



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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby Mike McGuire » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:47 pm

freestone wrote: My gut is well seasoned to California water, but in the Rockies, I could easily get sick by the local flora growing in those waters.


Beavers are endemic to the Rockies and giardia is endemic to beaver colonies, so there is a problem there. Fortunately there are not many beavers in the Sierra--residue of misguided attempts to establish them which mostly failed.

Mike
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby rlown » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:50 pm

Mike McGuire wrote:Fortunately there are not many beavers in the Sierra--residue of misguided attempts to establish them which mostly failed.


I'm pretty sure when i was up in the Hoover wilderness, there were active signs of beaver dams, etc.

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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby gary c. » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:07 pm

Beaver sightings on the Kern river are pretty common. Here is a picture I took of one last weekend.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby Mike McGuire » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:55 pm

Where abouts on the Kern did you see them? Are you sure it wasn't an otter or muskrat?

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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:30 pm

There is way to much traffic along the Kern River even if there were no beavers
to even consider it a safe water source.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby gary c. » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:42 pm

Mike McGuire wrote:Where abouts on the Kern did you see them? Are you sure it wasn't an otter or muskrat?

Mike

It was a beaver for sure. I had spooked him from the bank right next to me and he swam out into the current and he couldn't make any progress upstream because of the strong flow. Just as I was getting my camera on him he submerged and was then able to gain some distance before surfacing. Thats why he is so far away in the picture. We had backpacked into the special regs section above the Johnsondale bridge. He was just shy of the end of the river trail.

There are actually quite a few along the upper Kern. I see one about once a year and read regular reports of others seeing them on the Kern FF forum. One place that I know did have a resident beaver was right behind McNalleys along the river. I've seen it a couple times and have friends that have also seen him there.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:17 pm

For those that have seen beavers in areas you are backpacking, do you filter or treat because they are in the area, and their alleged link to Giardia or "beaver fever?"
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby Mike McGuire » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:58 pm

maverick wrote:There is way to much traffic along the Kern River even if there were no beavers
to even consider it a safe water source.


I don't think so. Last summer, middle of August, walking from the headwaters down to Golden Trout Creek over a four day period, saw a total of 6 people.

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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:16 pm

Hi Mike

Just because there was not a lot a people using using this corridor at the same
time that you were does not mean it is not a high usage route.
Because of the High Sierra Trail, Kern Hot Springs, and the entrance into SEKI
from Soda Springs makes this a high usage area by man and beast.
I have seen numerous backpacking groups(scouts), and pack animals coming thru
the area at same time.
In the 3 main backpacked months this area gets plenty of use, you were just lucky.
By the way do live near the Priory, I work there.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby Mike McGuire » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:52 pm

maverick wrote:Hi Mike

Just because there was not a lot a people using using this corridor at the same
time that you were does not mean it is not a high usage route.


Still don't think so--high usage compared to what? There just weren't the hard used campsites, the microtrash that shouldn't be left but is, the copious quantities of horseshit, all signs of high usage that just weren't there. That area is one of the most remote in the Sierra. For most people it's at least two days from any trailhead.

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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:45 pm

Granted it does not get the same usage as the JMT, but it still has the HST which
gets its fair share of backpackers hiking to Whitney from Crescent or to Kern Hot Springs.
We are talking about cutting the risk of getting Giardia here, right?
I have seen dung near the river, and have seen people wash off in the river.
I'll use a tributary stream or creek, which has no human or pack animal traffic above it
or around it, than use the Kern as a source of untreated water.
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