This BLOG is going to get you back into the water…LOL…not literally, but as summer closes and the winds of fall start to blow in cooler temps, you may think that\’s when you don\’t have to worry about water intake any longer. But that\’s when monitoring your H2O levels is super critical! You know me… \”Water is Life\’s Blood!\” I am often surprised when I am out guiding a Day or Weekend Hike, how dehydrated people get, and more so that they never bring enough water with them, even after I have sent them a packing list.
I am equally stunned at how ill-prepared folks are that if they were out in the wild and their water supply had run out, how many people have no clue how to properly process water for safe consumption? Now I am not saying we all have to be like Billie from the movie \”Predator\” and drink from a water vine, although they are a viable and nutritious option, not to mention refreshing too! It\’s easy to stay on top of this issue with the right gear and backup plan.
A lot of folks show up with water hydration bags like a Camelbak, which are great, but once they run out and you need to fill up from a creek, what\’s your plan for ensuring safe drinking water? We used them a lot in the Military, and they were very convenient for hydrating on the move, but I always found trying to refill them and throwing in the correct number of water purification tabs a pain in the ass.
Since I have been out of the Military and find myself full-time in the wilderness more so than in a concrete jungle, I have adapted my ways of thinking. I use a 2 Bottle System that I start with fresh filtered water filled to the brim in two water bottles I always carry. I use one Filter Water Bottle System, and my fave is The GeoPress from Grayl!
I have used others in my time, like Lifestraw and Puritii, but Grayls GeoPress made much more sense once exposed. It purifies water by simply pulling it apart, filling the outer shell with suspect water, and using the inner section of the bottle to press down, pushing that water through the attached filter and purifying the water for consumption. You drink as normal, close the cap, and off you go.
The great thing about this system, besides reminding me of a French coffee press (C\’mon…everyone knows I am a coffee junkie! LOL!), is that I can do this and then refill up my backup 2nd Water bottle, a stainless-steel bottle (*Now make sure it\’s a single-walled container, not a double walled insulated one!), and repeat that process. I have two full water bottles of purified fresh drinking water in less than a few minutes, and I am back on the move. It\’s an efficient and easy system anyone can do.
Now, I know someone is saying, \”Well, why don\’t you carry two of those same water bottles from Grayl? And that\’s a great question, and if you chose to carry two Grayls, you would not be wrong—double the purification process. However, I carry a backup filter with me for my Grayl. I like having my Stainless-Steel Water Bottle with me as a Backup because it\’s a constant water purifier in that if I need to, I can always boil water right inside of it.
It\’s the #1 way to ensure purified drinking water on that planet, and you never have to worry about this \”Old Faithful\” method needing a replacement filter or anything. I have a set with an excellent large Stainless-Steel Cup that nicely slides over the bottom of my water bottle, making it easy to store. It also has a metal cooking sleeve that slides over the cup for easy storage. I place the cup lid and metal cup grabber in the outer pouch of my carry pouch and 2 Bottles of Water Purification Tablets as a Back Up to the Backup.
Now the thing to remember about boiling water is there are a lot of misconceptions about the time of boil. You hear it all from 5 minutes to the more common 10 minutes. I am not saying boiling at those times won\’t work, but it may be overkill, and you\’re evaporating some good drinking water into the air. I always say, \”Big bubbles, little troubles!\” So, get it to a rolling boil for at least one minute. Add one minute for every thousand feet after 5,000 feet above sea level, up to 10 minutes. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and most bacteria and pathogens are killed at 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Boiling water takes time, is a process, and can be a pain in the neck, but it will save your life. Even in the coldest places on Earth, you need to stay hydrated, and even though it might not be refreshing to drink hot water, you must stay alive.
So, as the better weather starts to FALL upon us, the leaves are changing, and you\’re heading out to take it all in. Remember to pack appropriately and bring along a proper hydration set up so that you are good to go and can stay hydrated while you are out there. And should something go wrong and you are in an emergency, you will have the one asset covered that will keep you in the game….WATER!!!