Water Filters

12 messages
25/05/2010 at 22:32
I,ve just completed a ten day walk from Applecross to Pitlochry
crosscountry with one food pickup. In that time I only saw two dead
deer,both through broken legs.I saw no evidence of dead frogs etc. through foul water.My travel tap filter was never used,so much for all the stories that appeared previously.In my opinion the Highland water was as good as ever so don,t be over concerned if you are going into the Highlands. Cheers Waldo.
25/05/2010 at 22:40

But you've had a long time to raise your immunity

People claim there's cryptosporidium in all Dartmoor water - I must be immune!  Just choose sensible places to take water from I think.

Thinking about a filter for 'country and coastal' walking though - saves carrying it

25/05/2010 at 23:18
You,re right there Mole,I would,nt drink without some form of
sterilising other than in the mountains. Country and coast must be the worst. Cheers Waldo
26/05/2010 at 11:13
Question on Skye should I need a filter? Travel tap I'm thinking. Trotternish ridge and quirang down to Elgol via Loch Coriusk if everything goes to plan. How clean are Skye's burns?
26/05/2010 at 12:33

Skye should be as clear as its near possible to get but of course avoid stagnant water or near any proper farmland. Never use any form of steriliser but I think my immunity to water borne bugs was given a childhood megaboost by constant playing in the stream that ran around the back of our house. Which was down stream from a slaughter yard which dumped carcasses into the water ! Yes, indeed, how proud we were when we finished building 'Dead Cow Island' from all the bones we pulled up from the steam bed, often with flesh still clinging to them.

Oh, there were also several direct domestic sewage outflow pipes and a drainage channel from a fishmongers all running into the same stream. One summer we found a bag of sh*t (literally) washed up onto the stream bank and spent a few happy hours dropping rocks onto it from the top of a wall. Who needs a Wii ?

26/05/2010 at 13:00

lol! Things were a lot dirtier in the old days, none of this sterilising hand washes or alcohol gel. Never got ill back then. I remember cow shit flinging fights followed by lunch with at best a begrudging dip of the hands in a stream. Exposure to bugs creates resistance to some of them. IIRC the rule was x feet of free flowing stream would kill anything. Used to drink from streams just below where people crossed and everything. Why am I so bothered about it now?

Still, I'm wondering if BPL-UK can deliver an eliminator in 24 hours. I've turned chicken with mountain water these days. IIRC an magazine did an article where they tested the streams in the grid(s) containing a well known wild camping spot and found giardia or god knows what that could ruin your day. I could be wrong but they once got pages sponsored by manufacturers and Katahdin does appear very prominant in their reviews for this type of product. I'm cynical but not saying there is any link.

I wonder if there is any effect similar to those scare stories of those computer super viruses that seems to increase AV sales then come to nothing? I mean if we did a survey among backpackers and estimated how many days of backpacking are effected by dodgy water sources what percentage would it be? I mean how much is down to the water and how much is down to the fact the hands have not been washed? Hygiene is probably more a factor in stomach bugs on trips than the water. Certainly in UK hilly areas. I mean surely common sense is used, checking upstream, fast flowing streams, inlets to lakes not outlets, etc.

26/05/2010 at 18:55

Personal reports such as "I've never had any trouble drinking from streams", etc. can only ever be anecdotal, and do not constitute any sort of epidemiological study.  You also encounter anecdotal reports of people getting ill from drinking only a tiny amount of water.

I'd suggest it's best left to the individual to decide for themselves whether they need to, or want to filter water.  You have to balance the small risk of getting ill, and the potential consequences, against the weight and faff of filtering.  A modern filter doesn't weigh that much, though.


> Who needs a Wii ?

I would have thought that needing a wee would have been the least of your problems...

27/05/2010 at 00:04

I'm  sure a simple anecdotal evidence is not a true scientific study but a researcher in the field who knows what they are about could design a questionaire based survey to determine the incidence of people getting ill in the hills and the likely source. I wouldn't profess myself to have any idea how to go about it as that is not my field. It won't do anything about the consequences though which can be serious. I would also be curious to know the extent of serious illness in the hills. I'm not talking about a bit of the squits but serious cases involving medical as opposed to self treatment.

You're right that it is better to prevent than treat. Its not the weight that matters neither water treatment should be considered like a FAK as something in your kit whether or not you use it. I have used the aquamira stuff once a mates travel tap once another mates Katahdin once and my steripen on one trip and one overnighter (after which it failed. I have not been ill despite drinking from sources in the hills without treatment. Anecdotal or not it has been my experience. However in a fit of gear freakery I have an inline filter from BPL-UK / drink-safe on order. Should get it tomorrow in time for a week of water filtering.

27/05/2010 at 12:39
captain paranoia wrote (see)

Huh?  Post got truncated for some reason,  possibly because it interpreted parentheses as some form of formatting.

What I meant to say was the I noted the Waldo had said highland water was safe in his opinion, rather than stating it as fact.  Expressions of opinion being perfectly valid. 

27/05/2010 at 13:00
Time to go wrote (see)
Question on Skye should I need a filter? Travel tap I'm thinking. Trotternish ridge and quirang down to Elgol via Loch Coriusk if everything goes to plan. How clean are Skye's burns?

Skye's streams are beautiful to drink from; the taps in many houses and pubs - and the Glenbrittle Youth Hostel - are fed directly from them, so you'll probably end up drinking stream water anyway.  

27/05/2010 at 13:22

but the streams feeding the pubs and houses are known, reliable sources.  is the one you're drinking from such a source? probably but...

is habitation where it is because of geographical reasons or water supply reasons or both?

27/05/2010 at 23:04
Parky,your last question re. habitation position etc. has always intrigued me. Many times when I have come across a Bothy or ruined cottage in the hills, always adjacent to a stream or good water I ask myself those questions.I think as you say both have to be right.I also think back to the person searching for just this type of spot in the hills and then starting to build. Cheers Waldo.
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