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.

©istockphoto/Martin DimitrovWe all know how impor­tant it is to stay hydrat­ed when we’re work­ing hard—but it’s espe­cial­ly vital in winter’s cold, dry air. Check out these sim­ple tips for keep­ing your body hap­py and healthy dur­ing all of your moun­tain exploits.

Choose The Right Ves­sel (Or Two)
When you’re pack­ing for your next adven­ture, don’t assume that one size fits all when it comes to water bot­tles. There are a vari­ety of fac­tors to con­sid­er. How often will you be able to refill your water sup­plies? Will you be drink­ing on the go, or stop­ping to sip along­side the trail? What kinds of tem­per­a­tures will you be in? Will you want warm bev­er­ages or cool liq­uids, or some com­bi­na­tion of both? How con­cerned are you about weight? To per­fect your sys­tem, con­sid­er some com­bi­na­tion of water bot­tles, insu­lat­ed mugs/thermoses, hydra­tion blad­ders, and reser­voirs. Just be sure to clean them thor­ough­ly when you’re done, and let dry com­plete­ly between uses.

Sip Con­sis­tent­ly
Experts agree that chug­ging isn’t effec­tive; to stay well-hydrat­ed, the best approach is to sip small amounts of liq­uid slow­ly and con­sis­tent­ly through­out the day. And you don’t have to lim­it your­self to water: soup, oral rehy­drat­ing solu­tions (like Gatorade, which con­tain elec­trolytes), juice, herbal teas, and car­bon­at­ed soda water are all great ways to get more flu­ids into your sys­tem. Just be care­ful with ener­gy drinks, caf­feinat­ed tea, cof­fee, and alco­hol, which are all diuretics—meaning they’ll make you pee out more flu­id that you’re gain­ing. Healthy bod­ies can usu­al­ly get salt and oth­er impor­tant nutri­ents from nor­mal food, but if you want to use elec­trolyte replace­ments, be sure to test them out before any big adventures.

Watch For Signs of Dehydration 
Most peo­ple know that check­ing the col­or of your urine is a good indi­ca­tor of dehydration—clear or light yel­low is fine, but any­thing dark yel­low or orange is a warn­ing sign. But there are oth­er symp­toms to watch for, too. A headache, mus­cle cramps, dry skin or chapped lips, light­head­ed­ness, or inex­plic­a­bly low ener­gy can all point toward a lack of mois­ture in your body. Still won­der­ing? Try this test: light­ly pinch the skin on the back of your hand, then release. Hydrat­ed skin will smooth out imme­di­ate­ly, while dehy­drat­ed skin will take longer to return to normal.

Con­sid­er Cold and Altitude
The air tends to be extra dry at alti­tude, mak­ing it sur­pris­ing­ly easy to get dehy­drat­ed quick­ly. Breath­ing cold air can mask symp­toms of thirst, mak­ing it hard­er to remem­ber to sip liq­uids con­sis­tent­ly. And when your body feels cold, it’s hard to talk your­self into chug­ging ice-cold water. It’s the per­fect storm—and it’s dou­bly dan­ger­ous because the symp­toms of mild dehy­dra­tion are very sim­i­lar to those of Acute Moun­tain Sick­ness, or AMS, which can hap­pen any­where above 8,000 feet. AMS isn’t imme­di­ate­ly dan­ger­ous, but fail­ure to rec­og­nize the symp­toms can lead to increased alti­tude issues, includ­ed high alti­tude pul­monary ede­ma (HAPE) and high alti­tude cere­bral ede­ma (HACE), which are both life-threat­en­ing illnesses.


©istockphoto/thinair28It’s only the begin­ning of 2016. The snow is deep. But when that snow melts in a few months, it will come flow­ing into the rivers and rush its way out to sea. Now’s the time to use those long win­ter nights to plan some pad­dle trips. From white­wa­ter to flat water, to play­ing in Poseidon’s den, here are some places to dip a pad­dle in the com­ing year.

 Green Riv­er, Utah
Still­wa­ter Canyon, despite the still water, is far from bor­ing. It winds through 60 miles of inde­scrib­able rock for­ma­tions in Canyon­lands Nation­al Park. Dip your blade in Utah’s Green Riv­er and pad­dle past its con­flu­ence with the mighty Col­orado. Still­wa­ter can be many things: a pleas­ant relaxed pad­dle, a way of access­ing dif­fi­cult-to-reach back­pack­ing routes into the maze dis­trict, a photographer’s par­adise, and a side-hike and rock-scram­ble Olympics.

Put in: Min­er­al Bot­tom (Green River)
Take out: Span­ish Bot­tom (Col­orado Riv­er) via jetboat
Per­mits: Required but usu­al­ly easy to get. Plan­ning the shut­tle is the tricky part.
The Pad­dler: Suit­able for begin­ners as long as you avoid upriv­er winds.

Nuchatlitz Inlet, British Columbia
One sec­tion of the end­less immen­si­ty of British Columbia’s coast, Nuchatlitz Inlet, is a series of islands and inlets on the north end of Noot­ka Island. The dif­fi­cul­ty of get­ting there means you won’t have crowds on the many islands that offer spec­tac­u­lar camp­ing and great pad­dling (con­di­tions per­mit­ting) for expe­ri­enced sea pad­dlers. Adorable sea otters float in big rafts (they were rein­tro­duced to this sec­tion of the B.C. coast years ago). Spend as long as you can explor­ing the intri­cate rocky coastline.

Put in: Lit­tle Espinosa Inlet, accessed via rough log­ging roads across Van­cou­ver Island.
Take out: Same, or the small down of Zeballos
Per­mits: None
The Pad­dler: Out­er coast routes require ocean pad­dling skills, nav­i­ga­tion and good judge­ment. Inter­me­di­ate pad­dlers should stick to the exten­sive glacial inlets that are more pro­tect­ed from ocean swell, but can still be quite windy.

The Colum­bia River
Fol­low Lewis and Clark—and the route of a water molecule—from the Colum­bia Gorge 144 miles to the Pacif­ic Ocean. Start in the cliffs of the Colum­bia Gorge, pad­dle through the urban metrop­o­lis of Port­land and the island refuges of the wide low­er riv­er. Then start to feel the sea’s influ­ence, end­ing at either Astoria’s salty piers or the cliffs of Cape Disappointment.

Put in: Hamil­ton Island near Bon­neville Dam
Take out: Either the West Moor­ing Basin in Asto­ria, Fort Clat­sop in War­ran­ton, OR or Fort Can­by, WA
Per­mits: None
The Pad­dler: Able to han­dle con­sid­er­able mileage and fick­le con­di­tions, espe­cial­ly in sum­mer when west winds can pick up.

The Salmon River
Pad­dlers flock to The Mid­dle Fork of Idaho’s Salmon Riv­er, but the Main Salmon, just below, packs its own charm: deep canyons through the wilder­ness, old home­steads and great camp­ing. You’ll pad­dle across a chunk of the largest con­tigu­ous wilder­ness in the low­er 48, and it will feel like you’re away from the world. The rapids, scenery and an added hot spring are a potent combo.

Put in: Corn Creek, Idaho
Take out: Vine­gar Creek
Per­mits: Lot­tery from June 20 to Sep­tem­ber 7.
The Pad­dler: Able to nav­i­gate class 4 rapids in a wilder­ness environment.

Three Arch Rocks, Oregon
Three Arch Rocks—a short dis­tance off Oregon’s Cape Meares—is one of the most stun­ning places to pad­dle on earth. Mas­sive cliffs and arch­es to pad­dle through, sea caves, pel­i­cans and water­falls cas­cad­ing into the sea line between Ocean­side, Maxwell Point and Cape Mear­es. It doesn’t get much more dramatic—or exposed to the full brunt of the Pacific—than this.

Put in: Ocean­side, Oregon
Take out: The same
Per­mits: Kayak­ing with­in 500 feet of Three Arch Rocks is closed dur­ing the sum­mer months to pro­tect marine life. Maxwell Point to Cape Mear­es is open year-round.
The Pad­dler: Skilled ocean pad­dlers in good con­di­tions only.

The Grand Canyon
The short­est pos­si­ble trip on the Grand Canyon winds 225 miles through some of the most famous and spec­tac­u­lar land­scapes on earth. It’s a jour­ney that’s often life chang­ing: mas­sive rapids, bil­lion-year-old rocks, an infi­nite set of trea­sures to be dis­cov­ered down each side canyon and a deep dive into riv­er time, where the rest of the world falls away amidst evenings watch­ing light play on the canyon walls. A lot of plan­ning, skill-build­ing, and group effort goes into this trip. You won’t for­get it any time soon.

Put in: Lee’s Fer­ry, Arizona
Take out: Dia­mond Creek
Per­mits: Year-round weight­ed lot­tery, and very hard to come by.
The Pad­dler: Knows what they’re get­ting into. The names Crys­tal, Lava Falls, Horn Creek and Gran­ite are leg­endary for a rea­son. The water’s mas­sive, and you’re in a very, very remote place.

Your Back Yard
It’s not all dream­ing about the ide­al pad­dling trips in dra­mat­ic land­scapes. Love for mov­ing water and the skills to nav­i­gate it are built on what­ev­er water you have near­by, even when you can only get in your boat for a few hours.

Put in: The clos­est you can find.
Take Out: The same.
Per­mits: Nope
The Pad­dler: You

SUP Newbie Chronicles- 5 Ways to Store Your BoardYour stand-up pad­dle board is built to with­stand the rig­ors of pad­dling in the heat of a bright sum­mer day and in the midst of rough waters. What it’s not made for is being stored dur­ing the off sea­son in any­thing even close­ly resem­bling those con­di­tions. Whether you live in a tem­per­ate, trop­i­cal or polar cli­mate, you’ve got to store your board prop­er­ly to ensure that it stays in tip-top con­di­tion. In order to do so, you’ll want to keep your board out of direct sun­light, away from water and out of the way. Here are some tips and rec­om­men­da­tions for stor­ing your board so it’s good to go for years to come.

If you have a garage or stor­age unit
If you’ve already got a roof under which your stand-up pad­dle board can rest, use it! Sim­ply invest in an insu­lat­ed board bag, remove the fin from your ful­ly-dried board and ensure that it’s secured in such a way that it won’t fall down and get dinged. The most impor­tant rule for stor­ing your SUP is to keep it away from heat, wind and water.

If you love the way your board looks
So you think your board’s the pret­ti­est thing on the block; store it in your home. Real­ly, if you’ve got the space in your house or apart­ment, this is the ide­al spot to store it because the tem­per­a­ture is reg­u­lat­ed. Some com­pa­nies make dis­play racks for SUP boards, many of which are beau­ti­ful in their own right. Invest in a wood or met­al dis­play rack and place your SUP in a loca­tion that makes sense, like an already-ocean-themed guest room.

If you want easy stor­age and accessibility
If you want easy storage and accessibilityWhether you’re stor­ing one or mul­ti­ple boards, a ceil­ing rack will pro­vide good cov­er. It’ll also get your board up and out of the way, with easy access if you’ll be stor­ing it there full time. A ceil­ing-mount­ed rack can be placed out­side if you’ve got your board cov­ered with a bag or sock, to keep it out of the ele­ments. I use a ceil­ing rack attached to the car­port next to my house. This makes it excep­tion­al­ly easy to move the SUP from its ceil­ing rack to the rack of my car when I want to take it out.

If you pre­fer to strap your SUP up
If you don’t like the look or idea of mount­ing a rack, you might pre­fer the strap stor­age method for keep­ing your SUP safe and sound. This is a less com­mon method of stor­age, so options are more lim­it­ed. How­ev­er, if you type “SUP strap stor­age” into Google, you’ll find a few good options for pur­chas­ing this method of stor­age for your beloved SUP. Most straps will be mount­ed to a wall or ceil­ing, and will hold your board out of the ele­ments as well as any oth­er method, with a dis­tinct look.

If you do any­thing, don’t do this
You may feel tempt­ed to store your board in the plas­tic bub­ble wrap it came in since it’s there, it’s pro­tec­tive and it’s free. Don’t do it! Bub­ble wrap is often made of polyurethane resin and has a ten­den­cy to stick to sur­faces (like an epoxy board) if stuck for a long time. Maybe you don’t use your board for a sum­mer or you get injured — who knows. Espe­cial­ly if your board will see sun­light. Per­haps the most well-stat­ed rea­son is this: “The bub­bles are like minia­ture mag­ni­fy­ing glass­es, focus­ing the heat on your board.”