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First Night Out: Treat Water

Learn how to treat water in the backcountry.
Contest_DSCN0268_TreatWater_445x260.jpgSmart Start: Treat Water (Photo by Peter Skalla)

Start Smart
Treat Water

» Choose a method
Backcountry lakes and streams could contain bacteria and other microorganisms. Your happy-gut options:

Boiling Kills everything
Pros Easy; cheap; requires no special equipment
Cons Wastes fuel

Chlorine dioxide Kills everything
Pros Ultralight; cheap; easy
Cons Takes 30 minutes to kill Giardia and four hours to neutralize cryptosporidium; affects taste

Filter Kills bacteria and protozoa
Pros Fast (1 to 3 liters per minute); no funny taste
ConBulky; pricey; can require field maintenance

Ultraviolet light Kills everything
Pros Fast; light; no taste
Cons Pricey; requires batteries

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