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Dry year on the JMT?
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Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Dry year on the JMT? on 05/22/2013 19:49:03 MDT Print View

Coming over from Idaho, I do have a question about planning for water treatment this year on the JMT...
With a low snow year, lots of hikers, I am curious about how veteran Sierra hikers go about treating water (or not) or what your drinking protocol entails. I'm used to not treating water, and two years ago on the SHR, I didn't even bring anything to treat it with. But there was snow everywhere, and water was everywhere. This year, I'm bringing my son, and as any father knows, feeling a bit cautious where he is concerned...
Feedback please!

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
filter on 05/22/2013 20:05:01 MDT Print View

WE use a filter. Works fine, and that way we don't have to worry. Water is cold and tastes great.

The tablets are lighter, and work as well, but they take more time, and affect the taste of the water.

Steripen works...but it may not last long enough for a longer trip. I think it works best for maybe 3-4 days...

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Dry year on the JMT? on 05/22/2013 20:29:23 MDT Print View

First of all, normally you need to figure the risks. I figure that the primary risk is from Giardia lamblia, so I take precautions against it, and I do not go after any virus, bacteria, or whatever. Friends of mine have gotten sick from untreated water.

So, I use a simple gravity filter with one raw water 2L Platypus, the filter, and then one clean water 2L Platypus, with some extra tubes. Then, if any sort of troubles would develop that would ruin the filter process, I carry some chemicals as well, and that is normally some chlorine dioxide liquids.

The one clean water Platypus can also serve as my extra water tank along the trail to augment my Gatorade bottle of water.

I have some thin cord attached to the raw water Platypus so that the whole thing can be hung up on a tree branch while it works.


Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
thanks Bob on 05/22/2013 20:43:21 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob, I was leaning in that direction. I have a small Frontier Pro that is still unused, and with som AM drops, could put together a nice concise system. Appreciate the feedback!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: thanks Bob on 05/22/2013 20:59:02 MDT Print View

Steve, yes, that is about right. I used the Frontier Pro filter for several years. Then all of a sudden I lost it somewhere in my equipment room, so I had to replace it with a Gravityworks filter.

The things that can screw you up are big air bubbles inside the filter that can temporarily block flow, or a leaky Platypus, or a deer that decides to chew on the tube.

Oh, and the one hassle is if you can't get your Platypus low enough in the water to fill it. You can use a cup. The Platypus wants to collapse when it is underwater, so filling it underneath a small waterfall or cascade works best.


John Vogel

Locale: East Bay
Sawyer on 05/22/2013 21:02:29 MDT Print View

I have found the sawyer squeeze works best for me. For solo I just take a couple of recycled aquafina bottles and drink/pour direct from them. When my son comes along we use the bags to filter into clean bottles. The system is cheap, light, and should last a long time while filtering just about anything


Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Dry year on 05/22/2013 21:35:42 MDT Print View

Steve, due to the much higher traffic on the JMT than the SHR I would recommend water treatment. Personally I use aqua mira but it is mostly personal preference. Even in a dry year there is plenty of water. Last year was very dry and there was water available even in late October. I usually load up on a liter or so at the last lake or major creek before a pass but you usually don't have to wait too long form the next source to pass by.