The Science of Water

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saxonaxe

Nomad
Sep 29, 2018
261
349
76
Pembrokeshire
(as far as I could see) no-one has pointed out the fairly obvious, but oh so easy to forget: you need to keep track of your "untreated" and "clean" water containers.

It's a very good point Sara, although perhaps it's so basic that people omitted to mention it.

Guess which are my clean water containers and which are unfiltered...:biggrin:

 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,155
2,144
S. Lanarkshire
Y'see, that's neat, but what if someone just has nalgene bottles, and in different colours. It's blooming hard to tell some of those colours apart in the half gloom of a hurried set up kind of late on, iimmc ?

M
 

saxonaxe

Nomad
Sep 29, 2018
261
349
76
Pembrokeshire
Toddy !! Your Mothering instinct just showed through...:laugh: :laugh:

My view is, if someone can't sort out their personal admin, they shouldn't be in the woods playing with axes and sharp knives..

I know, I'm a cynical 'ol git...:laugh:.

My other method is, if I'm not using the steel bottles but instead an issue type water bottle containing safe water, I make sure that I mark it.
In this case with a thick red rubber band. I can see it in the daylight and in the dark I can feel the band...sort of cheapo Braille trick.

.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,985
1,540
W.Sussex
Y'see, that's neat, but what if someone just has nalgene bottles, and in different colours. It's blooming hard to tell some of those colours apart in the half gloom of a hurried set up kind of late on, iimmc ?

M

Glow in the dark for wee, clear for drinking water. Simple :)
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,155
2,144
S. Lanarkshire
Toddy !! Your Mothering instinct just showed through...:laugh: :laugh:

My view is, if someone can't sort out their personal admin, they shouldn't be in the woods playing with axes and sharp knives..

I know, I'm a cynical 'ol git...:laugh:.

My other method is, if I'm not using the steel bottles but instead an issue type water bottle containing safe water, I make sure that I mark it.
In this case with a thick red rubber band. I can see it in the daylight and in the dark I can feel the band...sort of cheapo Braille trick.

I admit that I use tape because I can feel it around the bottle.
However, joking aside I know someone who relied on the different colour of the bottle....and he kept a third one for a midnight piddle in his hammock.
Aye, indeed; apparently it's easy to get them mixed up :rolleyes:
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,706
1,651
McBride, BC
I'm always much more comfortable to haul village water (2-liter bottles, 5 gal cans) if and when I can.
It's all snowfield melt water run through an enormous filter system and a typical chlorination treatment.
I can see the source from my kitchen.

I've used mountain stream water quite often. You're hiking through a wild life bathroom.
Always best boiled, even on a hot day.
You need a good memory for how long ago the high pasture grazing leases were used!

All the same, I should invest in a treatment system.
 

Ascobis

Forager
Nov 3, 2017
128
69
Wisconsin, USA
Very important point to consider for anyone in the Welsh hills, where always seems to be a dead sheep a little bit further upstream!
Lumpy bits are common everywhere. Decades ago, before Crypto and chemicals, I heard that running oxygenated streams took care of most of the boggie bits from natural sources. Decades. I carry filters and tablets now.

Humor: A Gatorade bottle works for collection. Just don't buy it on the way out of town and drink it that afternoon. Diminishing (increasing?) returns in the wee hours.

@Toddy: Sunshine on a clear bottle is great. One is advised to do some research on which plastics pass UV well.
@Joel_m: Extremophiles abound, but they aren't looking to us for a happy habitat. 165C nails most enterics and sufficient* boiling nails the rest. *Sufficient not being readily available in any bushcraft outing that lacks a lab autoclave. Teeny bubbles at the bottom of a canteen cup heated by burning twigs do not meet the requirements. BTDT, learned from it.
@OP, if you're still here: Thanks

A link from this side of the pond: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/water-disinfection.
I keep this link for its mention of alum: http://www.gcrg.org/bqr/7-4/water.htm
I had another good one from the UN but can't find it. Ask Google.
 
Chris,

Don't say the E-book word :D

We started on writing an E-book over on the dark side since we had a lot of similar articles. I think it sits at about 650 pages now and a few thousand photos - it grows at an alarming rate. One day we really must give it a good tidy up and put it out for public sale.

It is an idea though. I love a good book but I often find them scant on real step by step guides - perhaps there is a niche there for a well illustrated practical manual that teaches how to do it.

Hmmmm

Red

Great article BR, a very enjoyable read all around, and very nicely put together. Living in a city in a rain forest with a huge river running through the middle of it, safe drinking water is something I spend a bit of time thinking about, and lately I have been looking into some of the new portable purification systems and have a few of them. Lots to consider in choosing, thanks for a great article on the subject. As for the book, we've been involved in more than one book over the years, I have a few cool e-books I enjoy reading from years ago. One of the reasons I prefer writing articles on knowledge and skills over doing videos is that my articles are written in document form, easy to compile and consolidate and have my printer print them off in batches for me to save for later dates. When I can get permission I do the same with some articles and pieces by my favorite authors as well.
 
Jul 30, 2020
7
5
67
Chester, UK
Cracking article, I personally use a MSR Miniworks filter and back up by either chemical and or boiling especially when on a 72 hr fishing session in a wood at the side of one of our club lakes where humping gallons of water is not real an option for an old git like me. I also have various back up filters I keep in my van.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,357
577
Vantaa, Finland
Being curious as there are an awful lot of springs in Finland and most of them are marked on map so finding clean and cold drinking water is not difficult. How is it with springs in the UK?

I like the info here as I have never really trekked in an area where water purification would be necessary.
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,083
1,096
Bedfordshire
Do you mean, are there springs in the UK? Or do you mean, are the springs in the UK safe to drink without treatment?

I have encountered one real spring, in a steep hillside outside Bath, where the rock is limestone. Maybe one could have drunk it untreated, but I would not have wanted to try. There wasn't much in the way of agriculture or industry above. I think in the UK we are more used to our environment being rather spoiled, so it is easier to believe all water needs treating than to believe that the source in front of us is safe.

Another place where water appeared to come out of the ground, and all the locals called it a spring, was water that had drained agricultural land, flowed through a number of overgrown ditches, disappeared under ground before reappearing 60 yards later from a hidden ceramic pipe. Definitely wouldn't have trusted that!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,143
3,310
Mid Wales
We have a number of natural springs in the hills around here; there are no water sources above them and I drink from them untreated regularly. I always have done in the welsh hills if I'm high enough up. We're also on our own private borehole and the water is pumped up 100m - it is the cleanest tasting clearest water you will find and totally untreated; I cannot drink tap water from towns and cities - the taste is disgusting.
 

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