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Thread: Are water filters good enough in the UK?

  1. #21
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    The OP actually said: 'My question is, in the UK (somewhere like Dartmoor) do you really need to worry about viruses?'. So it's not exclusive to Dartmoor...

    It's interesting, this one, always gets very emotive responses, like stoves and red tents.. What the OP will make of it I don't know! I assume he'll be a little confused now?

    A point: I reckon onmany trips, it's almost impossible to be sure you never come into contact with bugs of some sort. For instance,I got giardia in Morocco probablythrough food or drink or the glasses or plates it was in or on, when we were invited into someone's home. By using untreated water, one exposes oneself to bugs, building up a resistance to them. I mentioned this on heresome months ago, the water module we had at uni and the brilliant lecturer we hadwho'd spent 2 years on VSO in Africa somewhere. He decided to treat nothing (on the above basis), was ill for a while, then his immune system kicked in and he was fine from then on. This is the philosophy I use, to some extent...

  2. #22
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    I would hazard a guess that a lot of these old farm supplies link to an underground spring often why the farm was located there in the first place and is being untouched. Not likely to being skimmed off some stream.

    Seem to recall Black Sail YHA had one of these set ups but has some filtration now.

  3. #23
    ‹bermensch cathyjc's Avatar
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    Perhaps I should mention that Scotland is home for me, and 'abroad' might include England .

  4. #24
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    Cathy - you're lucky! I'm beginning to get edgy on my trip 'abroad' tomorrow - into the wilds of Wales...

  5. #25
    ‹bermensch cathyjc's Avatar
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    Employing "Common sense" would be my advice. Go with what you feel is best. None of us will be there with you.

    Yes, I am lucky to live in Scotland - but it's an open country and there's nothing to stop you coming to live here too . I am English - I just 'saw the light'

  6. #26
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    Always common sense... Scotland is my '2nd home' - managed 4 trips last year, two so far this year. It's been that since my first trip, when I was 16, to Mull. A long time ago, but I was hooked then, still am. But we digress!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob dixon 3 View Post

    The OP actually said: 'My question is, in the UK (somewhere like Dartmoor) do you really need to worry about viruses?'. So it's not exclusive to Dartmoor...

    It's interesting, this one, always gets very emotive responses, like stoves and red tents.. What the OP will make of it I don't know! I assume he'll be a little confused now?

    A point: I reckon onmany trips, it's almost impossible to be sure you never come into contact with bugs of some sort. For instance,I got giardia in Morocco probablythrough food or drink or the glasses or plates it was in or on, when we were invited into someone's home. By using untreated water, one exposes oneself to bugs, building up a resistance to them. I mentioned this on heresome months ago, the water module we had at uni and the brilliant lecturer we hadwho'd spent 2 years on VSO in Africa somewhere. He decided to treat nothing (on the above basis), was ill for a while, then his immune system kicked in and he was fine from then on. This is the philosophy I use, to some extent...
    Mannnnnnnnnn really don't want to get into nit picking, but in the first post the op did say

    "So I've been looking into what to do about water while wild camping on Dartmoor"

    Doesn't really matter though as even IF we take water from the same stream and just happen to take it from the exact same spot, you could come away fine, someone an hour later could be very ill.

    As i say there are no guarantees.

    We're all adults here so as long as we have enough info to make a informed choice then there is no wrong way.

    The bee in my bonnet is when folks slap about generalisations as though they're gospel.

    People do things on a daily basis that are far far riskier, many times most will get away with it, i don't think that getting away with overrides the risks though.

    As another example i've done over 200mph on a public road on a motorbike, i didn't die and i wasn't injured, it still doesn't change the fact that it's dangerous though.

    As i say the risk of getting seriously ill by drinking water straight from a upland stream is very small, it is still a gamble though.

    My health is very important to me, it's important to me when i'm hiking as i don't get much of a chance to do it nowdays, when i do it's usually after a financial and time (away from loved ones) outlay

    When i return my health is important as i need to work to continue putting food on the table, taking a week off due to illness is not really an option, never mind months worth of illness from some nasties caught by drinking contaminated water.

    So for me personally £20 for a filter and a couple of mins to filter 2 litres far far outweighs any possible risks, no matter how small.

  8. #28
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    Hum... I'm not sure anyone above slapped generalisations around as though they're gospel? Aren't people just saying what they do, what works for them? Each to their own, etc etc. The OPasked for advice - and he certainly got it!

    I do find it interesting, different people's take on the subject.Maybe I - and others with similarapproaches -willcome unstuck one day? We'll see.

    FWIW, I do have a filter - got it for Kyrgyzstan 2 years ago. Was glad of it then - but it didn't stop me getting pretty ill after eating in a restaurant in Bishkek. Which, I suppose, might reinforce my views on toughening up one's constitution?

  9. #29
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    As with a lot of things "It depends." Issues on weekend bimbles are different to a multi day week trip where if sick expense and hassle are greater- especially abroad

    From my marathoning days I recall that excessive exercise, which you would get on a long distance walk, reduces the immune system.

    On the Appalachian Trail it is not unknown for thru-hikers to use their own cutlery in restaurants,or avoid them.

    Walking guru Ray Jardine said he suffered gut problems until early in his hikes he took to sipping untreated water, a little each day, to accustom his immune system.

    As said in a previous post it is all anecdotal and I chip in only to put the alternative view that some people treat all the time.

  10. #30
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Yep. Not only waterbourne infections to beware of but too agricultural run off from fields to guard against. Get out to the really wild places though and water is pretty unpolluted in most instances. Or you could just boil your water to be on the total safe side of course.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  11. #31
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    I got ill once though as I forgot the golden rule myself of checking upstream before taking water on board one hot summer day. Got ill as there was later found to be a dead sheep carcase not two to three minutes walk away upstream above me. I learned my lesson from that one.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  12. #32
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    Yes Trevor.I thought the animal carcase upstream advice was a myth. However on my Cape Wrath Trail trip on two separate occasions I came across a dead stag up the stream.

    As an aside I thought of sawing off some antler for making a knife handle or something. I only had one of those ring saw things but boy is antler hard- I gave up after a while.

  13. #33
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Never heard of that carcase upstream myth thingy there you mention SD. It is still taught as standard on most survival outdoors courses I know of to this day I believe. But I will check that out with my friend who is an ex army instructor.

    Lol! Yes antler bone sure is a hard substance, which is probably why it was used in Neolithic mines even deep underground, we know from very many separate archaeological finds Europe wide.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  14. #34
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    I have contacted the great outdoors survival guru Chris Caine from Chris Caine survival, who is a respected expert authority on these things, and was trained by the master instructor himself, the great John Lofty Wiseman of SAS Survival Handbook fame.

    http://chriscainesurvival.com/

    I am sure Chris can tell us if this infection through carcase in water stuff is a myth issue or something real we still need to guard against whilst out in the wilds.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  15. #35
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    I have seen dead animals upstream too. At least 2 occasions after drinking it untreated downstream . I wasn't ill. shrug.

    Without analysis we are all guilty of unsubstantiated conjecture. but those of us who drink untreated water and aren't ill , can truthfully state the water didn't make us ill . Those folk who claim the water has made them ill are just guessing of the source of illness without having had the water tested and themselves .That's the logic. bacterial illness could just as easily come from a companions poor hygiene .

  16. #36
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    We've been through this many times... Do what you're happy with...

    The 'campsites and hotels use untreated supplies, so it must be alright' argument misses the point that these are long-established water sources that have proven not to cause illness. Every time they are used they are 'tested'. They are known quantities. Natural water sources picked at random in the wild have no such established history; they are unknown quantities.

  17. #37
    ‹bermensch Trevor DC Gamble's Avatar
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    Yes Mole, it has to be said that is probably more than likely right. Some folk like myself do tend to be more prone to water troubles than others, tummy bugs if you like. I guess it is down to the individual constitution as well, how well you are at the time, and how good generally your immune system is of course. I keep on meeting folks that have a cast iron gut, who never get ill like me, if say they eat off of dirty cutlery. I know though that I have to be careful, so always ask for a change of cutlery if I see old food marks on it.
    Trevor DC Gamble

  18. #38
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    Nothing to worry about at all. Do what you think is right. Others anecdotal evidence is useless as you are not them and you are not drinking from exactly the same places as they are and your "system" is different to theirs.

    You don't need to worry about a nasty car accident so you don't need a seatbelt or airbag; but they only have to work once.

    Filters are low cost solutions. Use one, no worry at all. Don't and maybe you might wish you wearing that seatbelt.

  19. #39
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    C.P. I agree with you re hotel etc water supplies argument - in that hotel water supplies dont cause illness (normally) in the same way treated water supplies dont cause illness normally.

    Just (trying) to make the point thatto those who say they never drink untreated water because untreated water makes you ill make a ill-founded generalization.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoF View Post
    C.P. I agree with you re hotel etc water supplies argument - in that hotel water supplies dont cause illness (normally) in the same way treated water supplies dont cause illness normally.

    Just (trying) to make the point thatto those who say they never drink untreated water because untreated water makes you ill make a ill-founded generalization.
    Bit confused, are you saying that drinking untreated water cannot under any circumstances make you ill?

    If you are that seems like a very silly thing to say.

    If you're not then how can you say that it's a "ill-founded generalization" that drinking untreated water cannot make you ill

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