water purification

water purification

It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re hik­ing in your local area or if you have trav­elled hun­dreds of miles to check out a new hik­ing trail; either way, you need to know about the dan­ger­ous bac­te­ria that could be liv­ing in the water.

Some of the most com­mon water pathogens and bac­te­ria are E.coli, Sal­mo­nel­la, Pro­to­zoan cysts, and virus­es includ­ing hepati­tis A. Most of these bac­te­ria can live off human waste, includ­ing food, soap suds, and sweat, so they can be dif­fi­cult to avoid—but you will def­i­nite­ly want to try and avoid them, as they can cause nau­sea, sick­ness, cramps and seri­ous infection.

Thank­ful­ly you can make water safe for drink­ing by using a water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem. A water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem will kill bac­te­ria, Pro­to­zoa and virus­es such as polio and hepati­tis A, as well as neu­tral­is­ing any dirt.

If you want to find the per­fect water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem for you, here are some of the most pop­u­lar options for you to choose from.

Boil­ing The Water
Boil­ing water is one of the most pop­u­lar types of water purification—it’s cheap, easy, and effec­tive. Boil­ing water will kill off the path­o­gen­ic organ­isms and you only need a pan and some form of fire, but it’s impor­tant to boil the water for at least 5 min­utes to ensure that all the pathogens and bac­te­ria have died.

Iodine Based Water Treatments
Iodine based water treat­ments are also a very pop­u­lar option as they’re fair­ly easy to use, and they tend to be the most effec­tive way to kill all pathogens. How­ev­er it’s worth not­ing that the treat­ment should be left for a while to work prop­er­ly, and you should avoid this option if you’re preg­nant or have thy­roid prob­lems. The treat­ment also makes the water taste a lit­tle strange!

Water Neu­tral­is­ing Tablets
If you used an iodine based treat­ment you may also want to use water neu­tral­is­ing tablets. The tablets must be used with anoth­er fil­tra­tion method, such as a water purifi­ca­tion liq­uid or an iodine based treat­ment, and the tablet will help to remove the taste of iodine from the water. This makes the water taste much bet­ter (but they’re not essential).

Water Purifi­ca­tion Liquid
Water purifi­ca­tion liq­uid is often used by campers, as you can add the liq­uid to a tank of drink­ing water to kill bac­te­ria. This option is very cheap, as nor­mal­ly one 250ml bot­tle can be used to treat over 600 litres of water—impressive! This is per­fect for campers, but not ter­ri­bly effi­cient for back­pack­ers and hik­ers as it means car­ry­ing a large quan­ti­ty of water around with you as you hike.

Water Purifi­ca­tion Tablets
Water purifi­ca­tion tablets are a great option for hik­ers as they’re easy to pack and they don’t take up much room, and one tablet can puri­fy around 25 litres of water. This means that one pack of tablets will be more than enough for a week-long trip, so you may want to con­sid­er this option if you like to go on long hikes.

You can also buy spe­cif­ic tablets for cer­tain areas, such as tables that can specif­i­cal­ly remove chlo­rine from the water.

A Water Fil­ter Unit
A water fil­ter unit’s anoth­er pop­u­lar water purifi­ca­tion option that’s often used by hik­ers and campers. The unit’s sim­ply a fil­ter bot­tle that you can use to fil­ter water in a mat­ter of min­utes. This is a great option as it’s fair­ly easy to car­ry and it can puri­fy water for your whole trip, but it’s impor­tant to be aware of how big the bot­tle should be.

If you’re hik­ing alone you will only need a small bot­tle, but if you’re hik­ing with friends or fam­i­ly you will ide­al­ly need a bot­tle with a 10 litre capac­i­ty. This may be too heavy to car­ry around with you, so if you’re trav­el­ling in a group you may want to con­sid­er anoth­er water purifi­ca­tion option.

aanThe soft crunch of dirt under your well-worn pair of hik­ing boots, orangey rays of sun­light on your face and shoul­ders, as you make your way through a thick canopy of green­ery. For hik­ers, this is their image of bliss. Putting foot to earth is not only a retreat for them, but it’s also a way of life. They social­ize with oth­er hik­ers. Plan week­end adven­tures and, often, skip the gym for a steep and scenic trail. But what’s so great about this seem­ing­ly hip­pie pas­time? I mean, it’s just walk­ing uphill, right?

Wrong. Hik­ing makes life bet­ter. Peri­od. And here’s why:

The Art of Au Naturale
Now don’t go get­ting too excit­ed. We’re not talk­ing about naked hik­ing here, though that would be inter­est­ing. There is an art to hik­ing; one that asks the par­tic­i­pant to prover­bial­ly strip them­selves naked as they move about the land. Most hik­ers car­ry very few mate­r­i­al pos­ses­sions on the trails and often emp­ty their hearts and minds of bur­dens as they amble. This nat­ur­al take on well-being, devoid of work­out machines, yoga mats, or self-help audio­books, is a stripped bare approach that can lead to a sound mind and an even sounder (yep, that’s gram­mat­i­cal­ly cor­rect) body.

zthCom­mu­ni­ty Amongst the Trees (Robin Hood/Sherwood For­est Style)
Hik­ers may seem like a lone­ly breed but they are, in fact, quite the con­trary. Most hik­ers have an eccen­tric and tight-knit group of hik­ing friends who share the trails with them. Whether they are vent­ing about their work-week, lament­ing a stress­ful rela­tion­ship, or just shar­ing their lat­est joys, hik­ers hit the trails to gos­sip and build com­mu­ni­ty with their band of mer­ry friends.

Earth Child
In a syn­thet­ic world full of iPhones, lap­tops, sky­scrap­ers, and jeg­gings (yeah, jeans that are also leggings…they exist), hik­ing is an escape from the mad­ness of moder­ni­ty. Many hik­ers hit the trails to recon­nect with the earth and renew their appre­ci­a­tion for nature. Most hik­ers are also Eco-activists, prac­tic­ing Leave No Trace and vol­un­teer­ing for trail restorations.

So, if you’ve found your­self zen-less late­ly, hit a trail, bring a friend, and expe­ri­ence the deep peace that can be found when you put foot to earth.

Spring is in the Rock­ies and over the com­ing months, most of the snow­pack will recede from jagged peaks to leave jut­ting rock faces and rolling moun­tain trails.

Thou­sands of hik­ers will hit the hills to tack­le some of the 88 tow­er­ing 14ers (and hun­dreds of 13ers and small­er moun­tains) in the con­tigu­ous Unit­ed States. While the vast major­i­ty of these hik­ers will have noth­ing but won­der­ful mem­o­ries, sore legs and great pic­tures from their climbs, a few will run into rough weath­er, rock fall, and oth­er obsta­cles that put their par­ty at risk. Some won’t make it home.

A few pieces of impor­tant equip­ment can mean the dif­fer­ence between an uncom­fort­able day and a seri­ous­ly bad sit­u­a­tion. Make sure to car­ry these manda­to­ry pieces of gear on every sum­mit bid in the Rock­ies. Many climbs will require more equip­ment, but this basic list should get most climbers through basic one-day sum­mer sum­mit hikes. Be sure to research your route before leav­ing home and pack appropriately.

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Pack
You will need a back­pack. A small day­pack should do the trick for most routes, just be sure it is com­fort­able and remem­ber you have to car­ry every­thing you pack, so stick to the basics.

Water­proof shell
It doesn’t mat­ter if the weath­er calls for sun­shine all day long, you need a water­proof (or at least high­ly resis­tant) shell. Even moun­tain run­ners are required to car­ry tiny, pack­able shells dur­ing ultra-marathons in the Rocky Moun­tains. For most peo­ple, a light water­proof breath­able shell is the best choice.

Fleece or insu­lat­ing layer
The amount of insu­la­tion need­ed in the moun­tains varies dra­mat­i­cal­ly through the sea­sons, but be sure to bring at least one light fleece or oth­er insu­lat­ing lay­ers per per­son for sud­den tem­per­a­ture drops even in the summer.

Gloves
Thin, light­weight gloves can be a bless­ing when an after­noon storm drops the tem­per­a­ture by 30 degrees in min­utes and they take up near­ly no room in a pack.

Hat or Buff
Real­ly you should have two, one with a brim for sun and anoth­er for warmth. Choose syn­thet­ic mate­ri­als and light but warm designs.

Syn­thet­ic base layer
Leave the cot­ton tee shirt in the clos­et. When dress­ing for a 14er, choose a syn­thet­ic base lay­er designed to dry quick­ly. Meri­no wool is a favorite of many out­door enthu­si­asts as are blends of nylon and poly­ester made by out­door companies.

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Water
Don’t even think of head­ing into the moun­tains with­out water. Yes, it’s heavy. You don’t need much, but just 12 to 16 ounces will make your day much more enjoy­able and could be crit­i­cal in the event of an emer­gency. Plan accord­ing to your route and make sure to car­ry enough.

Food
Most 14er’s that can be climbed in one day don’t require exten­sive food pack­ing, how­ev­er, a nice lunch makes a climb a lot more fun and keeps ener­gy lev­els high. Pack high-ener­gy foods like PB & J sand­wich­es, ener­gy bars, dried fruit, and can­dy bars. Don’t wor­ry about count­ing calo­ries, you’ll need all you can get!

Watch
It is impor­tant to get off the moun­tain before after­noon storms. Keep track of the time to main­tain a safe trip.

Knife or multitool
Nev­er leave a trail­head with­out one. Moun­tains are no different.

Sun­screen
This one can be easy to for­get dur­ing pre-dawn starts, so be sure to pack sun­screen and apply it through the day. At high alti­tude, the sun burns even on cloudy days.

Hik­ing pants/nylon shorts
Syn­thet­ic mate­ri­als will dry quick­ly in brief rain show­ers and be less like­ly to lead to hypothermia.

Head­lamp
Many climbers begin before sun­rise when a head­lamp is def­i­nite­ly need­ed. Even if you plan to climb entire­ly dur­ing the day a head­lamp can be a life-saver in an emer­gency late in the day.

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Sun­glass­es
A day on the moun­tains with­out sun­glass­es can be real­ly mis­er­able. Don’t leave home with­out them.

Maps
Many peaks have well-worn trails to the sum­mit, but maps are still impor­tant in route find­ing when trails con­verge. Car­ry small maps of your route and know how to read them.

Com­pass
Espe­cial­ly on remote moun­tain tops, get­ting turned around hap­pens. A com­pass is a cheap, easy way to un-con­fuse your­self and save a lot of mis­ery. Pack one on any trip to the wilder­ness. It’s small, light and can save your life.

Duct Tape
This is the one tool that can fix just about any­thing. Bring about 5 feet worth wrapped around a small dow­el or rolled onto itself. You just nev­er know what will need fixing.

TP
Because nature calls.

Trash Bag
Because it’s nature and we want to leave it that way. Prac­tice leave-no-trace hik­ing prac­tices and pick up after yourself.

Night hike in a group

If you’ve ever had a hike extend into the evening—whether by choice or because of poor planning—you know that it’s com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from hik­ing dur­ing the day. You’ll hear new sounds and see new few things that may be awe­some. But a trip can eas­i­ly be ruined if you’re not ful­ly pre­pared. So here are some things to keep in mind for a safe night hike:

Go in a group
The say­ing is true: you’re safer in num­bers. Not only will hav­ing friends keep you from being mis­er­able in the dark, but it’ll also be much more dif­fi­cult for some crazy wild ani­mal to turn you into a meal. The more folks around, the more like­ly you’ll fall in luck with safe­ty gear, com­mu­ni­ca­tion devices, and just good folks who can help in a seri­ous sit­u­a­tion. Above all, make sure of one thing; if you’re hik­ing in bears ter­ri­to­ry, bring one friend who is slow­er than you. Just kidding.

Bring plen­ty of lights
This might seem like a giv­en, but it might be a good idea to pack some lights on your night hike, so—you know—you can see where you’re going. Flash­lights are great, but head­lights are even bet­ter. It’s always a good idea to bring a lighter and some tin­der (in case the foliage is wet — nap­kins or paper works great) so you can make a torch in case your light starts to flick­er. On a moon­less night, being stuck in the dark can be a scary thing.

headlight etiquette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prac­tice head­light etiquette
Part of the fun of night hik­ing is see­ing things dif­fer­ent­ly in the dark. But flip­ping on a light will ruin your (and who­ev­er you’re with) night vision for a few min­utes, which is incred­i­bly frus­trat­ing because it takes time to get back. Work out a sys­tem with your group. But also remem­ber: safe­ty is much more impor­tant than being polite. So flip on a light if you need it.

Be mind­ful of the wildlife
Know what hap­pens when you use flash pho­tog­ra­phy on an owl? With­out being an owl, it’s impos­si­ble to real­ly know, although it’s prob­a­bly some­thing sim­i­lar to star­ing at the sun with binoculars.

Pack extra batteries
There are few things scari­er on an evening hike than being out in the mid­dle of nowhere and hav­ing your lights die when you need them. So bring extra bat­ter­ies. You nev­er know when you might need them.

trail you know

Dress for the weather
This is some­thing you ought to do for every hike, whether day or night, but be sure to check the weath­er ahead of time and dress appro­pri­ate­ly. You’ll want to be ready for any adverse weath­er, like rain, because it might not only ruin your hike if you’re not, but it can also be dangerous.

Pack food and water
Even though it’s like­ly cool­er at night where you’re hik­ing, it’s still impor­tant to stay hydrat­ed. Keep some snacks for the good ole blood sug­ar and remem­ber to bring your trash with you when you leave. Be aware that food smells can attract ani­mals so keep your snacks nice and simple.

Choose a trail you know
Night time isn’t exact­ly the time to explore the back­coun­try. Instead, trek a trail you’re famil­iar with. Besides, it’s awe­some to see how dif­fer­ent things look with­out the sun to illu­mi­nate your surroundings.