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Re: water filters

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:25 pm

We could take a vote....number of SPers having been raped by hillbillys vs having contracted Giardia. Yes, I've consumed unfiltered water.....but I've also driven without my seatbelt on and waled down stairs with an open knife....just because the odds are slim doesn't mean taking a simple step that doesn't require any time isn't a wise decision. Just because you don't mind a 20 mile backcountry hike with diarrhea running down your leg doesn't mean those of us who filter water are wrong.
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Re: water filters

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:32 pm

Don't worry everyone, the odds of being mauled by a grizzly are pretty slim! You are now cleared by Chad to run around in Yellowstone in a flank steak leisure suit while making distressed elk calls.
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Re: water filters

Postby fedak » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:52 pm

> Just because you don't mind a 20 mile backcountry hike with diarrhea running down your leg doesn't mean those of us who filter water are wrong.

Giardia usually has a 1-3 week incubation period. If it hits you while you are still out, it probably isn't Giardia.
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Re: water filters

Postby WyomingSummits » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:05 am

fedak wrote:> Just because you don't mind a 20 mile backcountry hike with diarrhea running down your leg doesn't mean those of us who filter water are wrong.

Giardia usually has a 1-3 week incubation period. If it hits you while you are still out, it probably isn't Giardia.


Yeah, which means if you're out one weekend and drink bad water, if you're out again 2 weeks later , good luck with that....I don't know about you, but I get out more frequently than once a month. :) Plus, if you get Giardia, it can last a LONG time. Just not worth it considering there's a 40 second fix.
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Re: water filters

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:09 am

WyomingSummits wrote:We could take a vote....number of SPers having been raped by hillbillys vs having contracted Giardia. Yes, I've consumed unfiltered water.....but I've also driven without my seatbelt on and waled down stairs with an open knife....just because the odds are slim doesn't mean taking a simple step that doesn't require any time isn't a wise decision. Just because you don't mind a 20 mile backcountry hike with diarrhea running down your leg doesn't mean those of us who filter water are wrong.

And also you are missing a key point. Just because you get sick doesn't automatically mean it is Giardia from a particular souce in the Sierra. You have no way of knowing. She thought it was contaminated water, but it is much more likely the ranger mentioned in the OP got sick from poor bathroom hygiene than from brushing her teeth!

Do you know of ANY study that shows high levels of pathogens in the Sierra? Would you filter water that came out of the sink in Tuolumne Meadows?

It amazes me when I see someone going through extra steps to drink water yet the same individuals often won't bother to use 0.25 ounces of sanitary gel after spending too many minutes squatting over a six inch hole in the woods. And then they immediately brush their teeth.
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Re: water filters

Postby asmrz » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:28 am

I get it. The West LA water is total crap, full of Giardia and other deadly stuff. I have been totally discusting SOB for years, I caused my two episodes myself. It could not be anything else, let alone Giardia in the Sierra. There is no such a thing. It was propably some fecal matter that caused me to lose 10 lbs in three days and required some pretty serious rehydration process in the doctor's office, twice. The Flagyl was great too, very tasty.

The only thing, when we get sick to our stomachs, it has little to do with a bacteria like Giardia. It has to do with common bacteria and the sysmptoms are fairly mild. Only if you had Giardia, you will know what I'm talking about, a serious bout that must be treated. My sugestion is, prevention is easy and no studies would affect me. I don't need studies, I had Giardia and don't ever want it again. BTW I will not get it again, I have treated my mountain water ever since mid 90s.
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Re: water filters

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:45 am

Giardia can come from:

Poor hygiene and fecal contamination
Food contaminated by food handlers
Changing a baby's diapers
City reservoirs and water storage and delivery systems
Water contaminated by animals especially beavers and muskrats
Exposure to children or other groups that may have poor hygiene practices
Anal sex or other anal play especially mouth to anal action
Contact with anyone who may have been exposed to these groups, as it is common to become a carrier and never develop symptoms

All I'm saying is you can't be certain what the source was unless you test and find giardia in the source.
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Re: water filters

Postby asmrz » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:50 am

I will add one more source: Contaminated water in the outdoors, in my case, the Sierra Nevada. It happened to a few of us over the years. Take your pick but treat your water. That's the only way to prevent it.
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Re: water filters

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:53 am

Fair enough. But in my case it just doesn't make sense to bother with the filter. I'm much more likely to get it from the anal play.
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Re: water filters

Postby fedak » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:58 am

Here's the original 2003 Rockwell paper:
http://www.ridgenet.net/~rockwell/Giardia.pdf
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Re: water filters

Postby Montana Matt » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:27 am

mrchad9 wrote:Fair enough. But in my case it just doesn't make sense to bother with the filter. I'm much more likely to get it from the anal play.

Chad, I thought we were going to keep that a secret?
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Re: water filters

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:32 am

Concentration Comment
~1000 Typical swimming pool contamination
~100 Giardiasis is plausible
~10 Minimum needed to contract giardiasis
~1 Some wilderness water outside California
0.12 Some San Francisco water
0.108 Worst Sierra Nevada water
0.030 Some Los Angeles Aqueduct water
0.013 Mt. Whitney at Trail Camp
0.003 Mt. Whitney at Whitney Portal

Well that would explain why I didn't get it on my last trip to Lone Pine.
The highest concentration of Giardia cysts was 0.108 per liter of water in Susie Lake, south of Lake Tahoe. The next highest was 0.037 per liter near Long Lake, southwest of Bishop. Samples taken in the Mt. Whitney area varied from 0 (most sites) to 0.013 (Lone Pine Creek at Trail Camp) per liter. The concentration was 0.003 per liter in Lone Pine Creek at Whitney Portal.
Recall that San Francisco water can contain a concentration approaching 0.12 cysts per liter, a figure now seen to be higher than that measured anywhere in the Sierra.

Also the report indicates that giardia cannot survive for more than a day frozen, thus it is highly improbable anyone has ever gotten it from water running out from under a snowbank.

Cat is out of the bag Matt!
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Re: water filters

Postby sierraman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:43 am

Seems there is general agreement giardia is rare in Yosemite rather than prevalent, as the young rangerette issuing my wilderness permit so earnestly believed. Obtaining that permit was doubly painful, since I actually had to listen to her lecture twice. Another backpacker ahead of me in the permit line got the same spiel. Even though I was just 5 feet away, she apparently felt duty bound to repeat her giardia lecture again to me personally - just in case I wasn't paying attention the first time, I guess.
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Re: water filters

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:49 am

sierraman wrote:Obtaining that permit

Therein lies the fix. It is the Yosemite permitting process specifically that prompted me to make an effort to be able to go super light at times on an overnight, so all my gear can fit into a daypack. I've now got my overnight pack down to 10.5-14 pounds depending on the trip (without food) and haven't bothered with the permit there in about three years.
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Re: water filters

Postby JHH60 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:26 am

Giardia isn't the only nasty thing that can be found in contaminated water, so arguing about whether you should treat water based only on whether giardia cysts may be present is a like saying you don't have to wear a condom if you think your sex partner is most likely HIV negative.

When I was 17 and on a month-long Outward Bound course in the Colorado Sawatch Range, I and several other students got sick as dogs during the four day "solo" portion of the course. Nobody had been sick in the two weeks before so it probably wasn't something contagious like norovirus, and it wasn't from food contamination, since you don't eat for the four days you're on solo. We didn't filter or treat our water during the course (since high altitude Rocky Mountain water is so clean and Outward Bound students at that time carried minimal gear). The common element we later figured out was that those of us who got sick were all doing our solos along a particular stream, and one of the Course instructors noticed that a rancher had driven a herd of stock upstream from us early in the four day solo. It's possible we got giardia from a contaminated source the previous week, or some other, quicker acting water borne pathogen had come from the cows, since the symptoms were a bit different from what I've read about giardia. The symptoms only lasted a week, and included fever and nausea in addition to copious diarrhea. Nothing like not being able to eat, lying sick in the open in a sleeping bag (we had no tents and used tarps when it rained), shitting 12+ times a day for week, and having to wipe your already raw ass with leaves, pine cones or smooth rocks (No TP on OB ). I think being gang raped by Chad''s hillbillies would probably have been less painful. I have since decided that a bottle of iodine tablets - or a filter if I'm not going light - is small price to pay weight-wise to reduce the risk of going through that hell again.
Last edited by JHH60 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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