Mountain Streams "Dangerous" to drink from? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 09-08-2008   #1
 
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Eagle County, Colorado
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Mountain Streams "Dangerous" to drink from?

Ok, so we've all heard it, don't sip from those pristine looking streams, they are full of all kinds of horrible bacteria, giardia, etc.

I've also heard that this is grossly exagerated. I was at my in-laws family cabin here in Eagle county that was passed down over the years and they literally had a gravity fed water line in a little creek that fed the house's water supply. They said they drank it unfiltered, unboiled for years, and my father in law loves to go sip out of the stream.

I've also heard that it is possible to develop a resistance to giardia, etc. And I've read that most streams have less giardia than some municipal supplies in big cities. So, what is the deal, can I drink from a crystal clear stream in an uninhabited area and not get sick?

Can you develop a resistance to natural water? How do animals and cavemen not have constant giardia shits? WTF?

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Old 09-08-2008   #2
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Everyone has a different idea- usually based on whether or not they've had Giardia:

See this thread:

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...hlight=giardia
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Old 09-08-2008   #3
 
Cisco, Utah
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Yes you can drink from any stream without getting giardia... you just want to make sure there are no bloated rotting deer, beaver, goat (etc) carcusses upstream of you. As for developing resistances the best example is the Vulture. Most advanced immune system on the planet. Follow a few of them around, climb inside the same things that they do, in a dozen generations or so you will have evolved, should you and your generations survive. Eau du Vie!!!
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Old 09-08-2008   #4
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i drank a whole bunch of water from a spring the other day, it was at like 12,500' and there was nothing but 300' of scree slope above it, i felt it was pretty safe....tasted damn good too
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Old 09-08-2008   #5
 
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Ahhhh the days ol when I thought the "beaver fever" was something to do with being twitterpated as Walt Disney put it... Ignorance was bliss till the projectile vomiting and projectile shits started... 7 rolls of toilet paper and a seemingly perpetual hurl later. I knew that the beaver fever was not something to be trifled with....
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Old 09-08-2008   #6
 
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Quite a bit of backpacking and moutaineering literature states that alpine water contains less "shit critters" than municipal water supplies.
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Old 09-09-2008   #7
 
Evergreen, Colorado
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I accidentally drank some water at flood stage on a river and got the dirty G.

After five days I almost sent a friend to the pet store to buy a soft white rabbit to wipe with, as my anus was so raw.

I had to guard every fart for the next six weeks for fear I would shit my pants.

I dont care how good the water tastes I am not gunna do it.
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Old 09-09-2008   #8
 
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I had my one-and-only experience with Giardia courtesy of the Town of Vail municipal water supply in the late '70s. It was springtime, and those of us who didn't have the budget to escape to Mexico for mud season got to enjoy bloating, cramping, farting and crapping. By the time the summer golfers arrived it was all better. It was a locals-only experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteLightning View Post
Ok, so we've all heard it, don't sip from those pristine looking streams, they are full of all kinds of horrible bacteria, giardia, etc.

I've also heard that this is grossly exagerated. I was at my in-laws family cabin here in Eagle county that was passed down over the years and they literally had a gravity fed water line in a little creek that fed the house's water supply. They said they drank it unfiltered, unboiled for years, and my father in law loves to go sip out of the stream.

I've also heard that it is possible to develop a resistance to giardia, etc. And I've read that most streams have less giardia than some municipal supplies in big cities. So, what is the deal, can I drink from a crystal clear stream in an uninhabited area and not get sick?

Can you develop a resistance to natural water? How do animals and cavemen not have constant giardia shits? WTF?
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Old 09-09-2008   #9
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I lived at a ranch above Aspen Highlands, The water was contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria. Needles to say, we bought our water at the store.

I traveled alot for a while and have been through a couple filter bottles. I have the Katadyn Exstream. I use it all the time in the hills.
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Old 09-09-2008   #10
 
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whether or not giardia colonizes your gut depends on the ability of the natural flora in your gut to deal with the intruder. It also depends of the concentration of giardia in the water which you accidentally inhaled. I don't think people can develope a giardia tolerance. I could be wrong.

Kent
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteLightning View Post
Ok, so we've all heard it, don't sip from those pristine looking streams, they are full of all kinds of horrible bacteria, giardia, etc.

I've also heard that this is grossly exagerated. I was at my in-laws family cabin here in Eagle county that was passed down over the years and they literally had a gravity fed water line in a little creek that fed the house's water supply. They said they drank it unfiltered, unboiled for years, and my father in law loves to go sip out of the stream.

I've also heard that it is possible to develop a resistance to giardia, etc. And I've read that most streams have less giardia than some municipal supplies in big cities. So, what is the deal, can I drink from a crystal clear stream in an uninhabited area and not get sick?

Can you develop a resistance to natural water? How do animals and cavemen not have constant giardia shits? WTF?
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