Water: what will and won't you drink?

Dos Perros

Member
Jul 1, 2015
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"In my country you could ride for days and see no ground water. I have lapped filthy water from a hoofprint. And was glad to have it."


"If I ever meet one of you Texas waddies who says he never drank water out of a horse track I think I'd shake his hand and give him a Daniel Webster cigar."


"You do not believe it?"


"Oh, I believe it, the first twenty thousand times I heard it. Maybe. Maybe it is true. Maybe lapping water off the ground is Ranger policy."




Well, I'll be the first to admit I don't have the cajones to "lap water from a hoofprint." After all, there have been some major technological advancements since Rooster Cogburn and Ranger Labeouf were chasing Ned Pepper and his gang through the territory. Assuming you were using a Katadyn filter, or something similar, where would you take water? And what's off limits?

Cattle ponds? Elk wallows? Please, do tell.
 

Againstthewind

Very Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
973
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Upton, WY
Good stuff. :) It depends on the size of the cattle pond. If there is crap all the way around, no thanks, there has got to be something better. Family has some pretty good size ones that have in-flow and out canals. Those I wouldn't mind doing with a filter, but the puddles are off limits. Elk wallows the same, the urine smell is a real turn off for me, I guess I haven't ever been that desperate. Even with a filter I definitely prefer some current running through the source. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but the diarrhea that comes with that desperate move is not so much fun.
 
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micropterus79

Active Member
Jun 19, 2014
220
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San Tan Valley, AZ
Cool post! When I got my MSR ceramic filter, it was one of the latest and best filters (this was around 15 yrs ago) and I just had to see...was fishing up on Glade Park in W. Colorado and found a large elk wallow. Cleared the muck of the surface and followed the directions. Filled my Nalgene about a quarter full of the water and drank it. Tasted a little off but never got sick. Could have been the filter or just dumb luck.

If I was lost somewhere out here in the AZ desert, I would drink whatever I had access to knowing that I wouldn't be more than a day's walk back to some sort of civilization and I could get water-borne illness treatments. If I figured I would have to be more than a few days out, I would spend the time to try to figure or find a more reliable and clean source.
 

Umpqua Hunter

Veteran member
May 26, 2011
3,563
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56
North Umpqua, Oregon
On last year's Colorado elk hunt, my wife and I found a TINY spring that was right in a moo cow wallow, with a pile of cows hanging in it. We drove the cows off, I made a little mud dam around it and had about 2" of fall to capture water that I ran through a Sawyer filter. We had been out of water for hours and it tasted great.
 

Againstthewind

Very Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
973
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Upton, WY
Filters are awesome, its just psychological barrier for me. I have talked myself into getting carsick before. Haven't pushed that far into the Llano or whereever he went like ole' Rooster either.
 
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WY ME

Very Active Member
Feb 4, 2014
537
28
Wyoming
While hunting mtn goats for five days we drank water out of a puddle on top of a mountain in AK that was covered with goat tracks. We just hoped the goats hadn't pissed in it. What's a filter?
 

drifli

Member
Jun 7, 2015
62
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Tahoe, Yosemite,
I have used my filter for over fifteen years. with today's technology I don't think twice about where I'm getting my water, as long as I don't have to cary a whole bunch with me. The filter has been one of my biggest weight saving items since I know I can get water and there is no need to pack a whole bunch with me all day.
 

CrossCreeks

Veteran member
Mar 6, 2014
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Dover, Tennessee
Filters are awesome, its just psychological barrier for me. I have talked myself into getting carsick before. Haven't pushed that far into the Llano or whereever he went like ole' Rooster either.
If I even think the water supply could be an issue I will have a filter system, I have drank lake and pond water put it never did me much good because I was always worried about what I was swallowing. It's a mind thing with me too, if I drink dirty water I would blame every illness I had for the next year on the water !
 

25contender

Veteran member
Mar 20, 2013
1,633
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I use a Katadyn hiker pro for water where I hunt now but in areas where water is scarce or a iffy proposition I carry a SteriPEN. The Steripen will kill viruses.
Do you guys run those options that protect against viruses?
 
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micropterus79

Active Member
Jun 19, 2014
220
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San Tan Valley, AZ
I use a Katadyn hiker pro for water where I hunt now but in areas where water is scarce or a iffy proposition I carry a SteriPEN. The Steripen will kill viruses.
Nice contender; didn't know those existed (the SteriPEN). Very cool piece of technology. Enough UV light will kill anthing.
 
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HeartElk1

Active Member
Mar 30, 2011
193
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About 30 years ago, a friend, my brother, and I made a 3 hour hike up a mountain that involved some sketchy scrambling in shale cliffs. My buddy didn't want to come down the same way so we hiked all the way over the backside of the mountain then all the way around. It turned into an all-day thing and of course we had no water. My friend found a hoof print (I guessed cow; he guessed elk). It was way to yellow and murky for me, but he went for it. I was thirsty, but he had giardia for a little over a week. I still give him a hard time about it.
 

JMSZ

Active Member
Sep 5, 2012
378
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I don't think there is a filter small enough for viruses; they are magnitudes smaller than cells (even bacterial cells are many times larger).

As far as I know, only way to kill viruses in water is to boil it (denature the proteins).
Sawyer used to make a filter that is supposed to be able to remove viruses, it's made for places like Middle-of-Nowhere Africa and cost a good bit more than their standard filter.

It seems to have disappeared from their website, though.
 

trkytrack2

Active Member
Sep 13, 2011
270
0
Sterling, Colorado
Sit the only water hole in five miles with a herd of cattle all around while your antelope hunting and watch every cow wade into the pool and piss and crap in it while they drink the water. That will sure enough make you wish you had lugged a barrel of fresh tap water with you. Filter or no filter.....no thanks.
 

WY ME

Very Active Member
Feb 4, 2014
537
28
Wyoming
I've never owned or used a filter before but I'll take a look at the steripen. That sounds like a good piece of technology. Most wastewater facilities in the USA have gone to UV for disinfection abandoning Chlorine for various reasons. The steripen might be something to pack in my suitcase the next time I go overseas.