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Water carrier?

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Re: Water carrier?

Postby rlown » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:24 pm

bcrowell wrote:I think we should go hiking together! You can carry an extra 14 lb, which will be my entire pack, and I won't have to carry anything :-)


Yeah.. Didn't wanna get too far off topic. Too much clothes, food and fuel in my pack that didn't get used. Extra Peet's coffee as well coming out, like half a pound. The extra rod and reel wasn't used either, at least not by me.

Still, we were by a lake and the water was easy to come by. I still like the water carrier/gravity filter concept.

oldranger wrote:All in our get together except Tehipite Tom (doesn't fish but we like him anyway) carried in about a ton of z-rays which were not used.

... No wonder you drug your sorry a-- up the hill so slowly. :D

Mike
Um, no wonder. Only used one Z-Ray out of 30, and that was more to scare the smaller fish away. And Mike, I bet you zipped out down the trail not having to carry out your 1 lb of Z-Rays..



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Re: Water carrier?

Postby oldranger » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:49 am

yeah I couldn't figure out why my pack was so light!

m
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Water carrier?

Postby huts » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:23 am

bcrowell wrote:I guess this is an example of ultralight style versus non-UL style. Personally I wouldn't want to carry something like this in a region like the Sierra where water is so plentiful. I normally carry two half-liter bottles when solo, and I've never felt the need for more capacity.

Take the example where you want to make coffee in the morning for a group. Let's say there are four of you, you're camped a quarter mile from water, and there is no water left in camp as you're all getting out of your sleeping bags in the morning. The solution that would occur to me would be to round up a pile of water bottles from the various people, throw them all in a pack or a stuff sack, and deputize someone to go and bring back water in them. Within 15 minutes, you've got water.

The REI water carrier is 6 oz, and to me that's a heck of a lot of weight. There's an looong list of 6-ounce items I could bring on a hike. Individually, they could all have some utility, but by the time I was done putting them all in, I'd have a 40-lb pack.


The water carrier I use has a weight measured in grams, not ounces. I just can't remember where I bought it. The base weight of my pack is under 20 lbs.

I filter my drinking water (yes, I know, the filter is not "ultralite" but I CAN'T STAND the taste of treated water and I can't risk a parasite infection) so only filtered water goes in my bottles. So "rounding up" the water bottles is not an answer for me.

I like to encourage a water carrier because so many of the lake and stream side camps in the Sierra are beaten to death. :soapbox:

On a recent trip every other member of the group was pleased to have the use of my water carrier right in camp even though the stream was not far away.
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camping away from water; pack weight and style

Postby bcrowell » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:54 am

huts wrote:I like to encourage a water carrier because so many of the lake and stream side camps in the Sierra are beaten to death.

On a recent trip every other member of the group was pleased to have the use of my water carrier right in camp even though the stream was not far away.

I totally agree about over-impacted camping areas near water. Other advantages of not sleeping near water: fewer mosquitoes, better solitude. OTOH, once a popular area is established and beaten down to compacted dirt, you might actually get better LNT by camping there than by pioneering a less previously impacted area farther from water.

One possibility that some people advocate is to make a habit of eating dinner in the afternoon, then hiking some more before stopping for the night. One advantage is that your dinner odors will not lure nuisance animals to the same place where you're sleeping. But an additional advantage is that you can have dinner near a convenient water source, while getting the advantages of not sleeping near water. It eliminates the need to carry large amounts of water for cooking.

huts wrote:I filter my water (yes, I know, the filter is not "ultralite" but I CAN'T STAND the taste of treated water and I can't risk a parasite infection) so only filtered water goes in my bottles. So "rounding up" the water bottles is not an answer for me.

One thing I'm still not clear on is what advantage a special-purpose water carrier would have over a collection of water bottles thrown into a stuff sack. Does this have something to do with the logistics of using a filter? I've never used a filter, so I'm not familiar with the practical issues of how you really use one.

The risk of getting giardia from drinking water in the Sierra is an urban folktale. More info here: http://www.lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html (I still treat my water when it comes from a relatively untrustworthy source in the Sierra, such as a lake, simply because treating it is cheap and easy, and there are conceivable risks from a variety of other microorganisms besides giardia.) Hand-to-mouth contamination is the significant cause of backpacker's diarrhea, including backpacker's diarrhea resulting from giardia.

I hope my comments about pack weight didn't come off as smug or mean-spirited. It's just a matter of style, and everybody hikes their own hike. For anyone who feels that their pack weight is too high and wants to cut down, what I would recommend is to post a list of your weighed gear on backpackinglight.com in the gear section and ask for comments. Some of the suggestions you get may be ones that you don't want to use, but I can almost guarantee you that you'll get some that will make you say, "Wow, I wish I'd known about this before." Personally, I find it really liberating to have a 13-lb base weight. Going up hills feels like flying, and while I'm hiking I have my attention on the natural beauty around me rather than on the pain inflicted by a heavy pack. I remember how I used to put my pack back on after a lunch break and feel the pain from my sore hips when I cinched the belly band back up. I just thought that was the way backpacking had to be. With an ultralight pack, I no longer experience any of that.
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Re: Water carrier?

Postby huts » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:10 pm

^^^Yes, your comments about pack weight do come off as "smug".

If you have not used a filter perhaps attempting to advise those of us who do is out of your arena. I am a cancer survivor. My small intestine is messed up. I can still backpack and I am often solo. I was just in an area that is grazed by cattle. A parasite or other infection would likely land me in the hospital for 5 or more days with an NG tube. Do you know what that is?

The "logistics" of using a filter.......I have only met up with one group of woman who used filtered water to cook and clean with. My morning tea or my dinner is not made with filtered water as the water is boiled. I put only filtered water in my bottles. Unfiltered water is in the water bag or the cooking pot.

Your "urban folktale" label is not quite correct. There are many places in the back country that have come up with large enough quantities of cysts to be of a concern. There are many that are perfectly safe. Not every one will know the difference. I can understand why the recommendation is to treat or filter the water. Your article does discuss standing vs moving water but I think your advice may be a little irresponsible. And the "urban"........where do you live? I can see the Sierra out my window as I sit at my computer. I doubt that anyone would call this spot on the highway "urban" yet most everyone around here carries water when they are hiking/riding/hunting etc. I would also like to point out that the statement in the article that there is a water source about every two miles may be true in some areas in some years but is, once again, perhaps giving people incorrect information.

Varying health concerns may require hikers to carry water just to insure their ability to stay in the wilderness and I am concerned that there are many assumptions being made in that article which could endanger the well being of some hikers in some areas. I hope readers can use their critical thinking skills but I would not count on it.

I have been backpacking in the Sierra for 40 years. I will on occasion drink unfiltered water. I almost always carry a liter, sometimes more if I know there is a dry stretch. Dehydration is a big problem for me (messed up intestines again) and I will carry the weight if it means I can be in the wilderness rather than the hospital......

As to my "pioneering" an unused area.........sand, rock, no fire. I challenge you to find where I have been. And, I am not understanding your "OTOH" or the "LNT". Oh, I have been collecting information for the Forest Service for the past two summers on the condition of campsites in the wilderness. Many campsites are not legal because of the proximity to water yet they continue to be used. I am not going to add to that just because someone else has been there before me.

My base weight is under 20 lbs, the exact weight depends on which sleeping bag I carry and whether I can use the Ursack or need to (aaarrrggghhh) carry a bear canister.

So to close here is one of the acronyms I DO know. YMMV. In any case I would be very cautious about handing out advice concerning water safety and availability to strangers other than pointing out the next available water on the route.

Happy Trails, OK? And leave the preaching to the pulpit......
p.s. I had to laugh at the statement in your article about San Francisco having more giardia than the water in the Sierra. Ummmmm, do you know where the water in San Francisco comes from?
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Re: Water carrier?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:31 pm

I've been using filters and will continue to do so, especially in the parks and heavily used wilderness areas (anyone carry a full testing kit? that's even heavier than a filter, you betcha). I like gravity filters - they are a water carrier, shower, and filter bag. My companions very much appreciate the shower feature when I get around to using it. :thumbsup: They have appreciated the ease of use and ability to visit water once per campsite to the point that many have gotten gravity setups themselves. I carry two 2 liter platys for water storage (one of them is a hydration bladder), and have needed them! Sometimes there will be a stretch of hot dry trail and you just need to be prepared - like yesterday, coming out of Pate to White Wolf, hotter than a frypan on the granite and only one creek running - the rest all dry as a bone. (As usual the named creek was the one with water, the others all gone dry are nameless but shown on the map.) My other large water carrier... is my pack cover. It holds more gallons than I can carry and comes in handy when I come across a fire ring in the wilderness full of still glowing embers :mad:

My filter is a ULA Amigo Pro (no longer in production). I am splicing a Cleanstream filter into the line instead of continuing to use the Hiker Pro element. The filter bag holds about a gallon and a half. Since my weight cutting has happened primarily so I can take the necessities and some niceties without breaking my back, I find the filter a Good Thing at 9.8 oz post-Cleanstream mod (including the shower head =D> ) and carry it with clean hair and a happy smile. (My pack weight for three days - 25 lbs, including fishing gear.) Potable Aqua never did leave my hair feeling clean enough....
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Re: Water carrier?

Postby bcrowell » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:52 pm

huts wrote:I can still backpack and I am often solo. I was just in an area that is grazed by cattle. A parasite or other infection would likely land me in the hospital for 5 or more days with an NG tube.

My article specifically warns against drinking untreated water from areas grazed by cattle.

huts wrote:Your "urban folktale" label is not quite correct. There are many places in the back country that have come up with large enough quantities of cysts to be of a concern.

I have never stated that all backcountry water has negligible quantities of cysts. I gave references to the best scientific field work that I knew of. If you know of field work from the Sierra that shows quantities of cysts sufficient to cause disease, I would be very grateful if you could tell me about it.

huts wrote:I would also like to point out that the statement in the article that there is a water source about every two miles may be true in some areas in some years but is, once again, perhaps giving people incorrect information.

There is no such statement in the article. What the article says is this: "In moderate summer weather in the Sierra, on a trail where streams are no more than a few miles apart, there is theoretically no reason to carry any water from point to point."

huts wrote:And, I am not understanding your "OTOH" or the "LNT".

OTOH stands for "on the other hand." LNT means "leave no trace."

huts wrote: I had to laugh at the statement in your article about San Francisco having more giardia than the water in the Sierra. Ummmmm, do you know where the water in San Francisco comes from?

As stated in the article, the source for that statement is the following scientific paper: Robert L. Rockwell, Sierra Nature Notes, Volume 2, January 2002, http://web.archive.org/web/200510260308 ... iardia.htm
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Re: Water carrier?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:37 pm

huts wrote: I had to laugh at the statement in your article about San Francisco having more giardia than the water in the Sierra. Ummmmm, do you know where the water in San Francisco comes from?

As stated in the article, the source for that statement is the following scientific paper: Robert L. Rockwell, Sierra Nature Notes, Volume 2, January 2002, http://web.archive.org/web/200510260308 ... iardia.htm[/quote]

Which only proves that one should not rely on a single article for proof positive.

huts is referring to the fact that a whole lot of the water for SF comes from Hetch Hetchy, a Sierra source. In Yosemite, where giardia and plenty of bacteria have been found in many of the main waterways.
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Re: Water carrier?

Postby huts » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:06 am

sorry, don't have the time to mess with all the quote stuff.....
But I want to say that calling something an "urban folktale" really comes across as 1) a general statement that could be applied to almost all back country water and 2) sounds an awful lot like poking fun at those who for whatever reason choose to take a precaution that you might choose not to take.

I wrote:
.......statement in the article that there is a water source about every two miles.....

bcrowell wrote:
There is no such statement in the article. What the article says is this: "In moderate summer weather in the Sierra, on a trail where streams are no more than a few miles apart, .......

Huh???????????

I carry a filter and a water bag, you don't. You don't mind the taste of treated water and I can't tolerate it. So what? The concern I have is that an inexperienced person may generalize and become ill from untreated water and/or run out of water on a long dry stretch of trail because they believe that there is water "no more that a few miles" away.
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