Do you believe

It’s possible that you can take small drinks from streams, and then eventually tolerate the water’s microfauna? Obviously polluted water wouldn’t work this way, but I’ve been drinking straight out of clear stream that I’m sure run through acres and acres of habitat before I drink it. Haven’t gotten sick. Lucky and stupid, or lucky and on to something?

I was backpacking with seven dudes on a bachelor party a month ago. We had four experienced backpackers, and three of us has water filters. They all three broke, and it if weren’t for the fact that Corey and I had the same filter, and a functioning one between us, our camping trip would have been over. And we both had sweet-ass Katadin filters.
His filter blew, and my pump lost pressure, if it weren’t for dumb luck, we would have to leave early, and had to beg for water on the trail, as we were in Hoosier national forest, known for things like the hilly hundred bike race…

So that is what got me stop worrying and learn to love Giardia? No seriously, am I a moron or what? I’ve been pretty good about the paleo thing (had been good, until my mom started making pork chops and gravy, chicken and gravy, you get the point).

I can’t help but dip into that cold fresh taste as I walk the streams, where there is still forest (in the right-of-ways).

I do believe that a person can get their system to be accustomed to “live” water. We got our drinking water from a creek at our house for 15 years nobody got sick from it. That creek had fish in it and went through an area that had cattle grazing.

However, one of the big causes of sickness and death in third world countries is diarhea and dysentery.

I’ve had giardia that I got at a Rainbow gathering about 25 years ago. Very nasty. I thought I was gonna die, seriously. I don’t believe a body can get accustomed to things like that. It lives on inside you for years giving you recurring episodes.

So what things should I look for while camping, and drinking stream water? Luckily in indiana, were not huge on livestock, except some pig CAFO’s up north, but there aren’t any forests up there to speak of anyway to camp in.

I have been getting by on drinking water from what I can see as running through healthy forests, for a long time.

I have learned through Paul Stamets the various ways in which fungi clease the water of organisms and heavy metals, so I figure if I’m finding lots of fungi in the swales and creeks, that the fungi are protecting me.

I didn’t know that about giardia, makes me want to research it more. So, I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m drinking all my water straight from mother earth’s trickle, but with my broken water filter, and no money, I’m tempted to give it a shot. I won’t mind boiling most of my water now while it’s starting to get cold, but it’s just not refreshing, you know?

Is becoming accustomed to water more about the specific place, or if you get accustomed, can you roam around? I’m thinking same, general, dense Eastern Woodlands, stream to stream, not Indiana to Lousiana (which, I’m more afraid of because of the countries runoff).

Well ideally I look for the place where it comes out of the ground. I used to do survey work for the Forest Service which would involve staying out for up to a week at a time. No way to carry enough water from home and I don’t think those little filter pump things were readily available to the public then. I didn’t know anyone who had one. Whenever I saw a place where a spring was coming out of the ground I filled up my bottles.
Other than that, like you said I would look for a small stream flowing through fairly undisturbed riparian areas with a lot of tumbling over rocks action.
Other than that I think it gets riskier and riskier.

I grew up in the midwest but haven’t lived there for over 30 years now. I don’t know what the forest is like back there. I can only speak from my experience out in the NW. US and B.C.

well, I would sya the main difference is the lack of springs, being that the water table is constantly being pumped (sure as hell can’t drink treated water, or the rivers the ‘treated’ water is dumped into), and the lack of serious elevation. That’s a good idea, to watch for water that tumbles over many rocks, without getting too technical, you will probably have a set of organisms that aren’t of the bottom feeding variety, which can do some nasty things, but moss-lichen-mycelial complexes indiscriminately off of microorganisms, where the mycelium is digesting and delivering nutrients, you have rich moss and lichens.

Not to say there aren’t springs, but towns are built around artesian wells and the like, anymore.

SO I’ll start adding water entries into my diary, and maybe I’ll have more to report as I learn. Thanks for the sage reminders and tips, you got me thinking in the right direction!