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Clorox Bleach to purify water on a long hike

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Clorox Bleach to purify water on a long hike

Postby Hetchy » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:34 pm

Clorox bleach contains 6% Sodium Hypochlorite :puke: . I know this.
:nod: I also know it can be used to purify water for emergency use. :D To my surprise a number of Pacific Crest Trail Thru hikers have used it "successfully" (Did not die or get sick) for over 700 miles worth of the So-cal PCT. Warner Springs Monty is one such fellow.. (the guy with the 5 lb 5 oz base weight on his last PCT thru hike). Dang Peer pressure! I am scratchin' to git mine below 11 pounds.. but anyways back to the bleach thing.
The idea is very attractive because at the dilution ratio of 1 drop to a pint of water (8 drops to a gallon) that means my little 2 ounce dropper bottle would be enough to purify approx 125 gallons(Yes, I counted each and every drop till the 2 ounce container was 1/10th empty then extroplated the rest).
That is subjective, of course, to the size of the drops that my little bottle produces and that is the other problem I have. (Among many :retard: )
In fact some of the proponents say if they don't smell or taste the chorine after the solution has sat for 20 minutes they "dose" it again.
This all seems risky but the idea itself is on the Clorox website. Though their stated intention is emergency use not long distance backpacking.
Does anyone have any experience with the "Clorox" method?
I have tried drinking a pint "purified" in this way and it ain't bad. This could mean a 10 ounce weight savings! :eek:
Any ideas?
Yes, as you can tell I have "OUNCE MADNESS". :confused: I got it real bad.
I was just about to cross drill my trekking poles to lighten them up but then just chucked them out instead.. 100% weight savings!
I know some of you have knowledge about this stuff cause when I brought up the dog biscuit as trail snack idea I was hit with a full on statistical analysis. But my coat is so shiny.. anyways. I appreciate any advice even if it just.. you gonna die hiker trash! Thanks! Hetchy :paranoid:
I am sick.. Help. :retard:
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Re: Clorox Bleach to purify water on a long hike

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:41 pm

I actually used the clorox method when i was 16-26. It worked for me. I would trade off for Iodine if i was scared of what i was drinking from (maybe the taste of Iodine convinced me everything was dead.)

Still, i don't like the taste, but you almost need to taste something to know it's working. Just not too much.

Russ
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Re: Clorox Bleach to purify water on a long hike

Postby trav867 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:43 pm

My dad was a guide in CO in the 70's, and he's always said a drop or two of bleach in a bottle of water is all the filtering you need.

As far as the trekking poles, I'd say their weight should be factored differently than dead weight being carried on your back. I've read that using poles will take about 20% of the load off your feet and give it to your arms. I'm sure that figure varies with the weight of your pack, but even if its only 10%, going the distance of the PCT it adds up to a lot of stress off your feet and legs.
Also, because you're carrying the weight in your hands, and the poles spend a lot of their time in contact with the ground, they really don't weigh their true mass. I'd argue that trekking poles are actually a negative weight piece of gear.
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Re: Clorox Bleach to purify water on a long hike

Postby copeg » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:54 pm

Ounce madness indeed! I haven't used chlorine directly, but I have used aqua mira which is chlorine based. For a few trips the smell didn't bother me. Then, the smell reminded me of my previous trips :) . Then finally, I couldn't stand the smell :puke: To top it off, the smell stuck to my water bottle for quite a while regardless if I purified or not (I noticed things like crystal light did seem to 'renew' my bottle back to its original smelling state). For the pct, I think you need to also consider some of your water sources. I've seen a few and will say from my point of view a filter might be worth the weight :puke: (although trail angels sometimes come to the rescue at the right time, although I wouldn't guarantee it)...perhaps consider balancing filters and treatments in your re-supplies.
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Re: Clorox Bleach to purify water on a long hike

Postby Hetchy » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:28 am

Thanks for the replies all!
I think the clorox gets the nod. :nod:
Also, trailblazer. Good thought there about the filter as well. I got to thinking :-k about the Aqua Mira Frontier Pro (modified for weight!) might yet have a place in the pack for particularly "nasty" :puke: cowpatty water sources.
It is an additional 2 oz(3oz wet) but I have hooked it inline with my 2 liter platy hoser. It might be nice to be able to drink immediately using the tiny filter and treat the reserve 6 liters with the clorox.
I managed to get the Frontier Pro down to 2oz by stripping off all the "pretty" orange rubber grip stuff, the cap, and pickup tube as well.
Ya know what? It still filters water just as well. :D Though it is not as sexy looking. :unibrow:
The only reason For the chlorine :puke: is the limited capacity of the frontier pro (50gallons Manufacturers rating) as it now weighs the same as my little vial of clorox bleach. :puke:
Yes, this is what happens when you are an out of work plumber use to working 10 hours a day.. you sit around moiling over gear weights! The upside is I have been able to train at will! :thumbsup:
Thanks again everyone! I knew y'all would know. :D
Now, I will have to pick another piece of gear to fret over!
My God! Is it April Yet?!
P.S. I am so stoked I can use smilies again! :bear: Can you tell? \:D/
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