May 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm #1258588
After reading Ben's advice I am going to be taking a frontier pro and chlorine in a dropper. What I dont know is how much chlorine I should bring with me?
I was thinking 2 micro drop plus bottles of chlorine.
How much do I need and any suggestions for the container?May 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm #1606520
@chrismorganLocale: Southern Oregon
The frontier pro is a great option – I just picked a few up on sale ($4 a piece!), and there really are no drawbacks that I can find for a trip like the JMT. On my JMT hike I used aqua mira exclusively, and by day 5 I was quite envious of the guy who had the FP.
The FP with a 2 or 3L Platy Bigzip is a great combination.
The FP and boiling should cover pretty much everything you would need to filter, so for backup I would just buy 12 or 24 micropur tabs – no messing with a dropper. You can also pick these up at MTR or VVR if you run out.
CMMay 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm #1606521
How many days do you plan to be on the trail?
How many liters or quarts of water per day do you expect to treat this way? You may not be counting the amount that you boil for cooking.
How much chlorine bleach do you expect to use per liter or quart?
Do the math and add 50% for emergencies. Bleach is cheap, and some drops of it aren't that heavy.
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm #1606522
"The frontier pro is a great option – I just picked a few up on sale ($4 a piece!)"
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm #1606540
That is my issue. I read a post from Ben Tang who said 4-6 drops per quart.
I am not sure how much water I can expect to consume while doing the trail. The trip will be 16 days including the day we step foot on the trail and the day we get back in the car.
The BPL dropper bottles hold 130 drops and with 6 drops per liter that would purify ~22 liters. I have done the math but I simply dont know how much water I will be consuming.
I am pretty sure 3 dropper bottles full would be more than enough but I cant be sure.May 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm #1606544
I've only done shorter stretches of the JMT, so I can't say. Your 16 days is neither the fastest in the world, nor is it just loafing along. Until you get a better water estimate in mind, why don't you use one gallon per day (above what you boil for cooking)? I've used that figure in other places. If you go in early season, it will be cooler weather and slightly less need for water. If you go in late season, it will be cooler weather and fewer streams to get good water from. If I had to make a wild guess about my own water consumption, it would be 2 to 3 quarts per day, outside of boiled water. But that is just me.
Since you can't guess about your water consumption, I will offer one suggestion. Dose your water with some Gatorade powder or similar electrolyte/energy drink, but don't make it full strength. Some people drink only straight water in large quantities, and then they are heading off the trail to visit a bush every 45 minutes. That's OK, but it is a little unnecessary. If you get some electrolytes into the water, your body's muscle tissues will tend to retain the water longer, and you end up drinking less water and visiting fewer bushes. If you overdo that, your urine will become bright yellow and will be infrequent, which is a sign of dehydration.
If you are experienced enough to be doing the JMT, you should probably have a handle on your expected water consumption before you leave home.
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm #1606558
The only area of my experience that is lacking is high altitude hiking.
I hike all my local mountains frequently but have only been up to the sierras to hike mount whitney in the winter.May 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm #1606560
To be safe I am going to account for 3 BPL droppers of chlorine.
6 drops per quart
4 quarts per day
3 BPL droppers=390 dropsMay 5, 2010 at 2:53 pm #1606567
Yes, the air is certainly dryer when you get above timberline. Plus, of course, you are sun-exposed more, and that will drain water out of you as well.
OTOH, once your body has adapted to high altitudes, it can operate there quite nicely on only a moderate amount of fluid.
I left Whitney Portal one time and consumed only 8 ounces of Gatorade getting to the summit.
Also, your water usage will be unpredictable if you are using Diamox for altitude. I suspect that few backpackers use it for JMT altitudes, but I know some that sure do. With Diamox, your water intake and urine output tends to run high for 2-3 days until your body reaches a new water balance point, and then it gets normal.
I was on a very high mountain trip one time, and the rest of the group was taking Diamox, but not me. Their water intake got all squirrelly for a few days, and they thought that they were getting sick. Then a water crisis hit us, and there was insufficient water for cooking or drinking. I don't think that it phased me. Everybody is different.
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm #1606572
Now that I think about it I would prefer to have one 1/2 or 1 fluid ounce capacity bottle for the bleach rather than 3 miniature bottles.
Do you guys know of any good sources to buy bottles like these that can store chlorine?May 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm #1606575
For a 15 day JMT hike I used less than 30 Aqua Mira tablets and no filter. Basically I treated all water in the Merced River drainage and within 10 miles of trailheads where the stream might have crossed a trail or in heavy use areas. Beyond that I used one tablet to treat two quarts every night. In hindsight I probably could have treated far less.
Articles by Robert Rockwell of Ridgecrest (self published), and Robert Derlet, MD, of UC Davis (WEM Journal), and Thomas Welch, MD (WEM Journal) convinced me that the Sierra water is generally pretty safe. The hands of your camp mates reaching into your gorp bag on the other hand… Watch Out!
Rockwell's article is here:
Derlet's and Welch's articles are publised in the Journal of the Wilderness Medical Society
http://www.WEMJounal.orgMay 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm #1606578
@chrisfolLocale: Denver, Coloado
-REI carries some 1 fluid oz and up bottles.
-Gossamear Gear and MLD sell 0.35oz bottles.May 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm #1606581
I can't tell you about Orange County. Where I live, there are "Japanese dollar stores" called Daiso. They tend to have all sorts of plastic travel bottles of 2-3 ounces, and they run down into small ones of 1/2-ounce. I think REI sells some tiny Nalgene bottles at around 1 ounce.
Keep in mind that all bleach drops are not the same volume.
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm #1606583
@doorknobLocale: West of what you think is west
I carry a gravity filter. Last summer on my JMT trip I never used it. I am doing the trail again this summer, and don't plan on using it, but i will carry it just in case I feel it is needed.May 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm #1606589
"I carry a gravity filter. Last summer on my JMT trip I never used it. I am doing the trail again this summer, and don't plan on using it, but i will carry it just in case I feel it is needed."
What makes up that feeling? How do you decide?
Some people decide on the basis of seeing horses on the trail.
Some gravity filters will get a fair job done, but then some don't. Benjamin's combo of bleach+filter will get more done. Still, you have to decide.
I've given up trying to carry a water quality analysis lab along with me on the trail.
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm #1606592
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
I thought that 4-6 per L sounded heavy to me and looked here:
2 drops, 4 if cloudy. Most of the water along the JMT is pretty clear.May 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm #1606609
That would mean
That makes the .25 ounce bottle well within safety.
What do you all think? The .12 volume bottles or the .25 volume bottles. It would be nice if I could use the same bottles for bleach, dr. bronners, and deet.May 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm #1606615
"It would be nice if I could use the same bottles for bleach, dr. bronners, and deet."
Now you are asking for trouble. If you confuse the DEET and bleach… yikes.
On the rare occasions when I have matching bottles for liquids, I try to use the wildest and ugliest colored labels on them to ward off a catastrophe.
–B.G.–May 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm #1606616
They would have different colored caps and markings. I am just wondering about size.May 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm #1606619
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
I'll be on the JMT this summer too (hopefully getting a permit for a July 28 start-date) and I'm still working out my filtering/purifying system. I have a Frontier Pro and will probably take it plus either micropur tabs or chlorine bleach drops.
Anyway, if you are looking for small dropper bottles, you could pick up a few Ocean Park saline spray bottles, like this:
They are available pretty much at any drug store, in various sizes. Orange top too is easy to see.
Edit: er, just Ocean, not Ocean Park.May 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm #1606628
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
We used Chlorine Dioxide tablets last year along with a Steripen Journey. The Journey is nice to use when you want to drink at the source. I wouldn't rely on it as the only source as it tended to be sensitive to cold.
I have been using Chlorine Dioxide for some time now but am considering the method Benjamin Tang uses. We used only chlorine for years in the Sierras with no known illnesses. Also, we would use 4 drops per liter max. Couple that with the Frontier Pro and you have a pretty decent system. Cheaper too.May 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm #1606732
@doorknobLocale: West of what you think is west
There have been numerous previous postings on the water quality in the Sierra. I am careful of where I take my water. In the 40+ years I have backpacked there I have never had an issue, doesn't mean it won't happen, just a risk I am willing to take.
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