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Filter your water or not?

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Maybe?

Postby gg-man » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:24 pm

Went four years with no filtering or problems from drinking water directly from streams UNTIL an October trip south out of Sonora Pass. I followed the PCT down to Tilden Lake and then cross country out to 140 east of Sonora. Two weeks later Giardia hit. Still will not filter due to lack of any data proving it makes any difference. Now, however I know what the symptons are and I have meds ready to roll should it happen again.



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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby rlown » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:08 pm

gg-man wrote:Went four years with no filtering or problems from drinking water directly from streams UNTIL an October trip south out of Sonora Pass. I followed the PCT down to Tilden Lake and then cross country out to 140 east of Sonora. Two weeks later Giardia hit. Still will not filter due to lack of any data proving it makes any difference. Now, however I know what the symptons are and I have meds ready to roll should it happen again.


Um, you are the data. I've filtered forever (when they became available). Before that was Iodine tablets and boiling. I filter drinking water, and i boil cooking water.

I've never gotten it. Maybe, you can share your symptoms with others?

I trust my filter implicitly, and it doesn't weigh that much. And yes, washing is very important.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby Markr » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:52 pm

I am no expert on this but I and a number of my friends have had some experience. I remember when it first appeared in the Southern Sierra one of our wilderness rangers had to be flown out due to severe dehydration. A number of my friends have had acute cases. What they describe isn't pleasant. I have been careful and have avoided it, to my knowledge. My dog was tested for it and found to be infected. He had to be treated. Apparently dogs only get it once though.

Other people I know never treat their water and don't appear to get it. But - you can have it without knowing it. I forget the term, but it is the opposite of acute. It lives in you in a relatively mild form. A friend of mine tells a story about his time in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer. He was tested for it by the local doctor who was amazed to find that my friend wasn't carrying it. It seems that pretty much everyone living in the Ecuadoran countryside carries Giardia.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby DAVELA » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:25 am

i got giardia from a creek used by cattle in utah.I drank from a bottle that i had filled for non drinking uses.I was on the crapper at the ranger station within 12hrs and sat there for 90 mins emptying my guts.Very gross.
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby markskor » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:12 am

Impossible that was Giardia...something bad indeed but not Giardia. Symptoms take 10 - 14 days to develop from that particular pest...not 12 hours.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Filter your water or not?

Postby fishmonger » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:22 am

3 hikers, three Muir Trails, no filter, nobody got sick.

drink smart, bring a few pills for those moments when you are not sure about the quality. I used that stuff once when the water came out of a lake with no apparently flow of water (Sawmill Pass, the big lake) in late season. In early season there is fresh water everywhere, plus, guardia has to be re-introduced each spring, so even less chance to hit a bad batch of water that is potent enough to cause problems, plus, most of us are immune to that bug anyway. More likely to get it in the public pool.

go for the side streams above trails where you know there's no trail above, and if that is not possible, go for the biggest and fastest moving body of water, because even if there is giardia, it gets dilluted enough that the concentration of cysts won't cause any harm.

If you're still worried, carry a filter. They aren't that heavy and the peace of mind may be worth it. I just got tired of these flimsy and expensive contraptions and now don't even own one any longer.

nothing better than doing this when it's hot:

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