Staying hydrated is paramount for wilderness recreation. The human body can last a few weeks without food but only a few days without water. Moreover, more water is needed when taking part in strenuous physical activity. That is why any plan for outdoor recreation like hiking, camping and backpacking should include how you and your loved ones will obtain adequate drinking water.
Adequate drinking water is rare when you are miles from civilization. Water from sources like lakes, streams, and creeks are not typically suitable for drinking because of the presence of waterborne microorganisms that cause illness in humans. Consequently, water obtained from these sources needs to be treated before drinking.
There are three main ways to treat water to make it drinkable:
“Calcium Hypochlorite” is one of the best chemical disinfectants for water, much better than household bleach. It destroys a variety of disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, yeast, fungus, spores, and viruses and is much more stable than liquid chlorine.
Using granular Calcium Hypochlorite to disinfect water is a two-step process. “Mix only in a Plastic or Glass container, NOT METAL!!”
Be sure to ration the dry granular calcium hypochlorite, since once it is made into a liquid solution, it will begin to degrade and eventually become useless as a disinfectant. This means you should make your liquid chlorine solution in small batches, enough for just a few weeks at a time.
An advantage of using calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water is that a little goes a very long way. A 1-pound bag of calcium hypochlorite in granular form will treat up to 10,000 gallons of drinking water.
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