Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => General Outdoor Stuff & Camping Equipment => Topic started by: PyramidBlaster on February 07, 2018, 05:55:49 PM

Title: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: PyramidBlaster on February 07, 2018, 05:55:49 PM
This is how people die. Or wish they were dead, I guess...

https://slate.com/technology/2018/02/filtering-stream-water-or-fresh-water-is-medically-unnecessary.html

And, of course, there's already a rebuttal in Outside magazine:

https://www.outsideonline.com/2279401/actually-slate-you-really-should-filter-your-water

Sure. I get where they're coming from, but I bet the idiot who wrote this article didn't get a rabid case of Giardiasis thirty miles into the backcountry, without a cell signal. (Perhaps someone should correct this situation, to provide some much-needed perspective....) :banghead: :willynilly:
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: Jalco on February 07, 2018, 06:05:24 PM
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...
Better safe than sorry...
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: Homer Wilson on February 07, 2018, 06:10:32 PM
I hike, have fun, and then have to go back to work.  I don't have time to recover from a waterborne illness.  My sawyer filter weighs nothing and cost $20.  That's a very low cost insurance policy. 

Also, in BB, we often can't, as the author put it, "choos[e] selectively among water sources and drinking from them directly".  Here's me filtering water in the Chisos.  Would this scummy pool be one of the select sources the author would drink from?  Most assuredly not.  But it was my only source.  (Ok there were some even scummier ponds)  So I filter.
(https://i.imgur.com/4ecLa9N.jpg)

I do think he probably has a point that #2 hygene may be where the camper can be most vulnerable to disease.
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: elhombre on February 07, 2018, 07:33:07 PM
I would bet that if the "No-filter water" author watched the family of javalina roll around having a gay old time cooling and watering themselves in a spring in the Fresno drainage that we were blessed to watch, he would have a different opinion.  They chased and squealed after each other for 15 minutes.  I didn't see a one of them wash their feet before jumping in and rolling around in the mud/ water hole.

This "far whiter, wealthier, and better educated" backpacker will continue to treat my water.

What was the purpose of the article?  Was the author so much smarter than us that he had to write an article making fun of backpackers that filter water?  Or is it he's pissed off that he can't afford a "$99.95" filter and must impune us moron "whiter, wealthier, and better educated" backpackers?

I'm going to guess he thinks he's just that much more smarter.   :o
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: Al on February 07, 2018, 08:28:55 PM
I especially appreciate having filtered the water when walking upstream afterwards to find an animal lying dead and rotting in the water.  I have a friend that drank unpurified water in New Mexico and got Giordia.  Not to be wished upon your worst enemy.
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: dprather on February 07, 2018, 08:35:09 PM
I have seen dead critters in streams
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: House Made of Dawn on February 07, 2018, 09:21:11 PM
I contracted giardiasis just once. Very, very, very unpleasant. I don't ever want to do that again. And I've gotten the garden-variety backcountry "squirts" many times (even once on my last cross-park attempt, but didn't figure ya'll wanted to hear about that). That's why I always include immodium in my kit.

On my very first backpacking trip up into the Chisos (during a general hantavirus scare in the southwest US) I was filtering water out of a steel tub near the corral when a dead rat floated up to surface. That was a bit unnerving. A few years later, I was backpacking in Carlsbad Caverns NP, counting on a steel cattle tank in the backcountry for the next day's water. When I approached the tank and looked over the rim, I found the forward remains of a dead cow in it (not sure how that came to be). Took a bit of willpower to filter water out of that one.

I think I'll stick with filters and pills and give a pass on the joys of unpurified water.
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: nuggetf5 on February 07, 2018, 09:49:28 PM
Ah, the Slate crowd. I sense decaf soy chai lattes, neck beards, flannel shirts, stocking caps (indoors only, thank you) and electric cars, with homes in places like San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Austin (you didn't think you were getting off did you?), maybe Brooklyn (Greenpoint and Williamsburg only, please, no pretenders from Flatbush) all teetering on every word. But that's just the smart-ass in me.

This essay online I stole sort of sums up my thoughts. YMMV.

So why do I hate Slate so much?

I think it's the sense-- perceived or real--that all of these thought-provoking, well-written, and easily-digestible articles are authored by people my age or younger who all purport to have the wisdom of ten thousand Yodas, when their tender years render such wisdom a nullity. The sanctimony and all-around unctuous tone of the headlines say it all.


And to think, that added unnecessary pack weight--maybe 1/10 of an ounce-- of water purification tablets I take on my hikes in BB and elsewhere. Yea, think I'll keep carrying those.
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: Quatro on February 07, 2018, 09:51:54 PM
Seat belts.  Another waste of time and energy based on the odds.
Title: Re: No need to filter water in the backcountry... Because 'Slate' magazine says so
Post by: House Made of Dawn on February 07, 2018, 10:07:49 PM

I do think he probably has a point that #2 hygene may be where the camper can be most vulnerable to disease.


Yep. No argument there. One careless mistake can ruin a trip...or a month.