Monday, January 12, 2009

Safe water in the wilds

If you can find the source of water in the mountains or hills, where it actually bubbles out of the ground, you are usually safe in drinking it. If you are downstream from other animals and humans, it is best to boil water for 10-20 minutes or distill it. As a last case option, 2% iodine solution can be used. Add five drops to a quart of clear water or 10 drops to dirty water.
The fact that natives may assert a water source is pure could indicate they have built up a degree of immunity. To their systems, the water is not tainted (polluted). Even the loneliest wild stream can be infected with Tularemia (commonly called rabbit fever) by wild animals such as muskrats and beavers. Tularemia can also be carried by meadow mice, ground hogs (woodchucks), ground squirrels, tree squirrels, beavers, coyotes, opossums, sheep, and various game birds
Polluted water can be sterilized by adding hot stones to the water in the filter. The water will soon boil becoming sterile and safe drink.

1 comment:

Brahma said...

Reminds me of something I've wondered before: If the natives built up a resistance, that means it can be done--a man can build up a resistance to questionable water. So the question is, how long does it take to immunize yourself to a water source? Is it like a vaccination, just one-time diarrhea and you're OK to drink it after that? Has there been any study/experiments with this?

Also, here's a link on why it's a myth that you have to boil water for "10-20 minutes."