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Old 02-02-2018, 04:25 PM   #10
montcalm
Mobster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 953
I really don't know what started the whole craze. It wasn't that long ago that people didn't filter water, like my father's generation. I don't think they were obsessive boilers either but I don't know for sure. Pretty sure people just didn't worry about it.

Guessing there must have been some outbreak, or some mass marketing by those that created the water filters, or a bit of both, but I don't know. It seems even those who lived through the transition have no idea.

When I started backpacking, it was just something you did, I suppose because they said you should in Backpacker magazine. But at the same time we just washed our pots in streams without soap, so I'm not sure we were really avoiding any risk.

I only have one data point of a person who doesn't filter water, and it's likely the same person who was mentioned earlier, and as far as I know, he's never been sick. He probably wouldn't continue the practice if he had been. Only drinking from sources that "look" good is said to be not a good practice, but it's worked for him. Ideally if you can find a spring, you have little to worry about, but not everyone is going to go hunting and digging up springs. With a filter, I just dunk into any lake, stream or puddle without a second thought. Often when canoe camping, the water you were just paddling on is the easiest source. But that is probably the most susceptible to pollution seen as how a large portion of those clear streams, and peoples lawns, etc are running off into it. There are certain lakes I would not drink from, but mostly due to algae, not any worry of Giardia. It's the smell and taste.
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