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  1. #1
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    Default Your Honest & Humble Opinion @ filtering H2O

    Looking for those of you with hands on experience that have hiked the JMT. Do you filter the water? What I've researched is that most do not? Are there enough tumbling streams to stick your bottles under, verses a lake that horses/animals walk into?
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I used Aqua Mira.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

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  3. #3

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    I hiked it in September of last year and it was especially dry (and very dusty). Most of my water came from lakes which I most definitely treated (aqua mira and pre-filtered, where necessary, with my bandana).
    Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time -- Steven Wright

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    Some streams come out of lakes. How are you going to tell the difference? Supposedly horses don't carry any pathogens we need to worry about. It's those 2 legged animals that are our biggest threat. I used Aqua Mira, but that's because I didn't have a Sawyer Squeeze filter yet. I wish I already had a Sawyer Squeeze.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    There's a pink algae that grows in the snow which I was told will make you sick. I saw a few spots of the pink algae and didn't drink water running off of theses areas, so I don't know whether the pink algae threat is real or a not-urban myth.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  6. #6

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    Purifying your water is necessary. And the lightest, cheapest, easiest way to do this is by using iodine tablets.

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    Katadyn Hiker Pro filter for me. Unless it is from a spring at the source, I filter all water. This is one area where i make a concession to carry the heavier weight option. It is much more convenient for me to filter as much water as I want whenever I want it and to have it immediately available. I often use water bladders rather than one liter water bottles, and both steripen and chemical treatment are designed for use with a specific batch size of a liter or less, while filtering is not. Plus, with chemical treatment, there is the time element of waiting for the water to be ready for use. The other benefit of filtering is that it takes out the silt and crunchies more readily and more effectively than with other treatment options.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by wornoutboots View Post
    Looking for those of you with hands on experience that have hiked the JMT. Do you filter the water? What I've researched is that most do not? Are there enough tumbling streams to stick your bottles under, verses a lake that horses/animals walk into?
    I've used a few different methods. In 2009 I just drank the water raw, but was careful with my water selection. In 2011 I used a Steripen to purify, and a 1 micron piece of biodiesel filter to get out the nasties. Last year in 2012 I used Aqua Mira after my Steripen stopped working. I also had the 1 micron piece of biodiesel filter with me. I'll be using Aqua Mira / biodiesel filter again this year.

    I got the idea for the biodiesel filter from djbarryiii's YouTube channel.

  9. #9
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    On my JMT thru-hike, I used my Hiker Pro filter 95% of the time. I had Aquamira as a backup (used it a few times). Three or four times, I took water from springs at their source w/o treating whatsoever. The buddy I hiked with used AM about 90% of the time and 10% w/o treating.

  10. #10
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    Iodine for me... it's lightweight and effective, and with the taste-neutralizing tablets, it tastes great. http://www.rei.com/product/406032/po...alizer-tablets

    I met a hiker on the trail who was told he didn't need to purify his water, and ended up with a serious Giardia infection.

  11. #11

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    The problem is those nice running streams you talk about are also used by all kinds of animals for their water source too. They dont know that its not good practice to go the bathroom at the same time. So you're always rollin the dice when you dont filter, treat, or uv.

    You feelin' lucky ?

  12. #12
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    I hiked the JMT last Sept and used my Steripen less than 50% of the time. If the water was flowing I did not treat it.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

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    There are only a few places on the JMT that I would even think of treating. Avoid drinkiking untreated water in areas with high human and stock use. Early season there is water everywhere. Later it can get a bit dry in places. My don't treat water advice is much different in areas just outside the National Parks where grazing is allowed. I got deadly sick from drinking untreated water late season near Sonora Pass. South of Whitney also have grazing areas.

    Suggest reading this. http://www.modbee.com/2010/05/08/115...s-streams.html

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    So many opinions on this subject as well as others. With this item, as with many other items, it boils down to how important the item is to justify the weight to you. Some seek the lightest item that fully fits all recommendations. Some find a super light weight item and say good enough. Some take the seat belt attitude (I haven't crashed yet) and don't take the item. I have had the Giardia and I am not getting it again. There have been many studies on the effectiveness of iodine, bleach, etc. I would encourage you to look at those studies and take whatever risk you feel comfortable with.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  15. #15
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    I haven’t done the JMT yet, but I’ll be using my normal method of pre-filtering and a Steripen. I’ll be using a biodiesel filter for pre-filtering. Read about that on BPL, and I’ll be trying it out on my next section hike prior to hitting the JMT. Should be easier to use than coffee filters.

  16. #16
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    When I hiked through there in June, I mostly didn't treat where water was flowing off of (yes, not pink) snow. When I hiked the JMT proper this past September, my wife and I did treat.

    When asking a question of who did and didn't treat on a given hike, it's unlikely that really useful information will result. Short of doing a proper experiment, the small random data points you're likely to get aren't IMO helpful. Even if you just asked for those that got giardia-like symptoms --- and at least speculate that they contracted them from time spent on the JMT --- often people still don't really know what made them sick, they can only guess. It's certainly not always just from drinking untreated water.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

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    I think I'll go with Aqua Mira, since most water will be taken from fast flowing streams, vs my MSR pump which I prefer when hiking near lakes or slow moving water sources. Thanks for the answers
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  18. #18

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    I've hiked the JMT 4 times. Never treated the water there.
    My humble opinion is that the more we hike, and the more we travel, the more our bodies get used to different bacteria.
    I remember getting sick once on the AT in '95 and once in Nepal in '88 or maybe it was '91.
    Since then, I don't treat the water in either place and haven't been sick again.
    Too each his own.
    I live in Asia now and don't treat the water that I find in the jungle when I hike here either.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wornoutboots View Post
    I think I'll go with Aqua Mira, since most water will be taken from fast flowing streams, vs my MSR pump which I prefer when hiking near lakes or slow moving water sources. Thanks for the answers
    Just make sure your fast flowing stream isn't coming from a lake.

  20. #20
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    Oh yeah, I forgot to throw my opinion in here. Without actually testing the water to see if it has any nasties in it no one can't really know if it's safe to drink untreated. So it just depends on what kind of risk you want to take. For me the Steripen, extra batteries, biodiesel pre-filter and some backup Aqua Mira still only weighs around 10 oz...carrying 10 extra oz for me is worth not taking that risk.

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