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Reply #5: Actually, the water is not usually the problem [View All]

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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-05 12:52 PM
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5. Actually, the water is not usually the problem
Poor personal hygiene is the real cause of most post-hike illnesses. Always wash your hands with soap (do NOT use soap in natural water sources, for personal or dish washing, and rinse dishes far from lakes/creeks) after elimination and before handling food or utensils. Make certain that your colleagues do likewise. If you want to be ultra-safe, then don't let anyone else prepare or handle your food. I always carry a container of hand sanitizer like Purell which I use after bathroom breaks and a regular intervals otherwise (it also doubles as an emergency fire starter).

I really don't think you have to worry about boiling wash water, unless you are in an area where the water is known to be contaminated. I assume you are car-camping to be carrying all that drinking water, so I imagine you'll be in a well-used area, but even so al little caution about where you get water should keep you safe.
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