Friday, June 25, 2010

Cool, clear, clean water.

Backroads Product:  Katadyn Base Camp Water Filter

Cool, clear, clean water is important in the backroads.

For the first ten years of my career as a Forester, I actually spent most of my days in the woods.  I drank water straight from the streams then and never got sick.  

I have friends that drank from streams and got so sick they thought they were going to die!!  Worse yet, it made them very sensitive to any bugs that might be present in the water.  They were forced to filter water for the rest of their days.

Now in retirement, I on occasion still drink untreated water from a stream.  However, the joy is gone as I feel like I am playing at a roulette table in Vegas.  Sooner or later I am going to lose.

Even a perfect system for delivering water is subject to contamination without constant monitoring and cleaning.  I did quit using the storage tank in my tent camper for drinking water.  It was too difficult to keep sterile.  Even hauling water in containers is subject to contamination.

So when in backroad areas I tend to buy drinking water in two gallon containers from the nearest grocery store.  I haul water in containers for showering and washing dishes or fill from clear, cold streams.

In areas where I spend a long time away from stores, I borrow tricks from my backpacking days.  I use a water filter.  I have used pump water filters and those were enough to make me bag it.  I confess that I have used my pump water filter more traveling in areas of the world where water treatment is suspect than in the backcountry of America.

So here is my water filter of choice.  It is gravity fed.  No more pumping until your arms fall off!!  Notice that it is light enough to pack in a backpack.

One of the major complaints about ALL water filters is that they can clog and need to be cleaned regularly.  I just carry an extra filter so that I can clean the clogged filter when I want to do it.  Think about it.  Anytime a water filter clogs is probably a bad time!  So here is the link for the replacement filter:  Katadyn Hiker PRO Replacement Cartridge.

The price of the replacement filter is half the price of the base camp model.  But remember the filter is the expensive part.  The rest is just a waterproof bag and plastic hose.

The backroads are one of the joys of living in this country.  But you do have to be healthy to enjoy them.  So use the filter.  Don't play the tables.

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