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Aquamira Amount on PCT
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Flagyl on 03/05/2010 13:52:33 MST Print View

Flagyl is a prescription drug, at least in the U.S. In some third-world countries, you can buy this OTC.

I have some doubt that a physician will give you a prescription unless you have symptoms that are confirmed by a lab test. If you had symptoms once before on the PCT, then a physician might possibly give you a prescription before you went out on a second trip.

Most people would elect to treat their raw water appropriately and then never have to worry about this.

The first time I saw the drug used on a woman, she was given two choices. Either she remains in camp for at least four days taking the normal dose, or else she could take all four days worth in a single day. She chose the one day emergency treatment. So, for the next 24 hours, she only moved from the tent to the latrine and back. After 24 hours, she was completely free of the Giardia bugs, but had lost weight from diarrhea. For the next several days, she was so dehydrated and weak that she needed assistance to hike. Her appetite was gone, but she needed to "stay on the trail." So, she drank Gatorade for those days. It gave her enough water and calories that she could hike slowly and stay alive. After those first days, she slowly started eating tea and thin soups, and her appetite still wasn't normal one week later. Your gut normally has some benign flora, and that gets wiped out by the treatment, and it takes a while before that gets restored.
--B.G.--

Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: Upping MicroPur tablet efficiency on 03/05/2010 14:06:00 MST Print View

Eric-- Which model takes two AA batteries? I can't seem to find one that does.

There is a new Traveller mini that is 3.6 oz, but still takes the CR23 batteries.

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Treatment on 03/05/2010 14:08:43 MST Print View

Thanks for the clarification. Looks like I will just have to be extra careful or deal with the consequences.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Flagyl on 03/05/2010 14:25:02 MST Print View

"I have some doubt that a physician will give you a prescription unless you have symptoms that are confirmed by a lab test. If you had symptoms once before on the PCT, then a physician might possibly give you a prescription before you went out on a second trip."

Actually numerous people on the PCT had gotten prescriptions from their doctors just in case (wish I had). It was usually their primary care doctor who they had been using for several years, not just walking in to an office and asking for drugs. I recommend it if you can get it. If not for you, someone else will likely need it. The drug itself is cheap <$10 even without insurance.

I also recommend carrying a couple tabs of immodium. The second time symptoms hit I had a 12 mi walk to get into town. No way I could have made it without something to plug me up. It still ranks as some of the worst hours of my life.

And yes much better to treat your water. The first time I got g was because I bought into the stories that said it was so unlikely to get it from water rather than other hikers. The second time was because I was using a uv Muv that failed and I had to drink something.

I now carry a drip filter and a small dropper bottle of bleach as a backup. The weight of the drip filter (about 4 oz) is much less than the weight of carrying an extra liter (or even .5L) of water while waiting for the AM/bleach to work.

Edited by nschmald on 03/05/2010 14:28:57 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
AA battery SteriPen on 03/05/2010 14:35:53 MST Print View

Jennifer,

Their Classic and the just introduced Traveler both use FOUR AA batteries.(!) Maybe that's too heavy for you - it is for my taste. I thought they had one with just two AA batteries.

Get one of the ones W/ the CR 123 batteries and buy the lithium version. I guess most drugstores and supermarkets have CR 123 batterie of some sort.

Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: AA battery SteriPen on 03/05/2010 14:41:37 MST Print View

Thanks Eric. I do have the Adventurer that takes the 2 CR-123 batteries, but I would have jumped on a 2-AA model!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Nia, I agree on 03/05/2010 14:57:18 MST Print View

Yes, if you suddenly confront some strange physician and demand a prescription for Flagyl, it is likely that he will refuse. On the other hand, if you ask your regular physician, and if you support your request with some medical literature references or statistics and explain the situation, you will stand a better chance. Also, it is possible that the physician will want to prescribe some other drug that is not as powerful.

My personal physician knows that I am not a "druggie" and he knows that I am not a complete fool about this stuff. If he doesn't know which way to decide, he refers me to the Travel Clinic of the same health center, because they have more experience on this subject.

Yes, my standard protocol when in a third-world country is much deeper than when I am out along the PCT. If I feel the first urge of a serious GI problem, I take Pepto-Bismol tablets, maybe one or two. If the urge becomes more demanding, then I take Immodium. If that doesn't clear it, then I break out the Bactrim or Cipro. Note that each drug has its own minor side effects.

It's more likely along the PCT that a mild case of something is triggered by poor cleanliness with your eating gear. It wouldn't shock me a bit to hear of somebody getting "full blown" Giardia [pun intended].

What would be really neat to know... is there something slightly different in your GI tract, and that explains why you got Giardia when the next hiker didn't. I can understand if you had failures in your water treatment system. But, wouldn't it be interesting if it was determined that you had something that could have been detected by a lab test? Like, you had been eating Food Item X, and that is better for Giardia bugs to survive. That's just a wild theory. The Giardia cyst is a tough little thing.
--B.G.--

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/05/2010 15:18:51 MST Print View

My doctor has been awesome at letting me know what I need for my first aid kit, and making sure I have the anti-biotics and anti-parasites I might need.

These drugs are harsh on the body, they don't suffer from abuse like pain killers, which she won't give me pre-emptively.

Ryan Longmire
(longmire) - MLife

Locale: Tejas
Re: Re: Treatment on 03/05/2010 15:23:28 MST Print View

Ben,

Thanks! I think I might experiment with a quick disconnect between the bladder and Frontier Pro. This would hopefully allow for easy bladder refilling and leaving the Frontier Pro semi-permanently attached to the shoulder strap.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Treatment on 03/05/2010 16:07:52 MST Print View

I am going to suggest with aquamira you don't need a filter.

Now we get to how to scoop out water in shallow places. Wire mesh is single use item, and coffee filters cost you weight, you need more than one, and are a disposable item.

What I do is use my driking cup, cooking pot, or whatever I bring. My filter is my bandana. Of course you need to worry if left over crud is hidding in your scooper. If a pot cleaning/boiling with water will fix that. Or you can slosh around the newly treated water and then pour it back into the water bottle.

I have never done a PCT thru hike, but have done some 6 month trips and have hiked most sections of the PCT. I think you are over-thinking this (I am not ignoring the potential bad things that are happening). If I were going to leave for a PCT thru hike next month, I would simply rely on aquamira in tablets or chemical form. I would concentrate my efforts on other planning activities for the trip.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/05/2010 16:09:23 MST Print View

Yes, most physicians are reluctant to prescribe painkillers unless they know you very well, and they know what you are doing. There are far too many people who troll various physicians until they get what they want as a recreational pharmaceutical.

Or, even if you intended to reserve it for a serious pain problem out on the trail, some people will still manage to mis-use it or sell it.

Every time that I was departing for a third-world country, I got mine. The physician would play "Twenty Questions" to see if I knew what I was asking for, and I always seemed to pass.

--B.G.--

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
aquamira on pct. on 03/05/2010 16:13:23 MST Print View

"If I were going to leave for a PCT thru hike next month, I would simply rely on aquamira in tablets or chemical form. I would concentrate my efforts on other planning activities for the trip."


A big +1 to that. I'd get a 2L Platy bladdes and three 1L Aquafina bottles, some Aquamira tablets and liquid, and call that part of my planning done.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
bowel to hand to mouth on 03/05/2010 16:53:46 MST Print View

can bacteria go from your bowel, to your hand, to your mouth?

it seems like if you're already infected, it owuldn't matter

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Re: bowel to hand to mouth on 03/05/2010 16:59:16 MST Print View

I don't know the answer to this question, but I still don't want to eat excrement (BPL blocks all other terms it appears) :P

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: bowel to hand to mouth on 03/05/2010 17:30:29 MST Print View

> can bacteria go from your bowel, to your hand, to your mouth?
Absolutely yes.

> it seems like if you're already infected, it owuldn't matter
Misunderstanding. The presence of bacteria such as E coli in your LOWER intestines is NOT the same as having the bacteria in your stomach or upper intestines. There is no backflow inside your intestines and stomach for VERY good reason!

Washing your hands with soap and water is so obvious, yet so ignored away from home. Mummy isn't there to supervise ...

Cheers

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
excrement on 03/05/2010 17:44:35 MST Print View

I HATE how many words BPL blocks. At least I can still say douchebag!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: excrement on 03/05/2010 17:55:35 MST Print View

Mummy... Brandon said a bad word....

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: excrement on 03/05/2010 18:40:49 MST Print View

"At least I can still say douchebag!"

Not for long. The potty patrol will be along presently to wash your mouth out. ;}

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/05/2010 18:53:15 MST Print View

"BPL blocks all other terms it appears"
Oh crap, that is too bad.
Franco
He who does not share food on the trail

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Wait... on 03/05/2010 20:44:12 MST Print View

So you can say crap but not f3c3s?