Is It Risky to Drink Water from Natural Springs?
Make Sure Water is Safe to Drink When Hiking and Camping
Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, natural water can be contaminated, either with artificial contaminants, as fertilizers used in the fields, or by human or animal activity.
The ingestion of contaminated water can alter our body, contracting diseases such as typhoid, cholera or dysentery as well as other disorders generated by parasites that we can contract when drinking it. It is clear that developing a health problem while hiking is not very convenient and will overshadow the hike. Therefore it is fundamental always to purify the water that we drink. For that, there are different ways to do it.
Boiling water to drink
- It is recommended to boil the water for at least 5 to 10 minutes (it is best to take 20 minutes). When the water reaches its boiling point 212 °F (100º C), all the bacteria die or are inactivated.
- In extreme cases of survival, one way to purify any liquid and rescue only the water it contains is to boil the liquid and distill the steam in another container where pure water is obtained, without the danger of bacteria or the concentration of salts and dangerous minerals. That means you can also distill seawater. Remember that the water provided by the distillation is logically distilled water, so it is best to enrich it with a pinch of salt or mix it with juice.
- Good advice to follow after boiling the water is to transfer it repeatedly from one container to another to aerate it. This gives it a good taste.
At the campsite, always watch for signs posted that indicate the water is not safe to drink. If the water pipes are purple, the water is not safe to drink.
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