What Hikers Should Know About Toxic Algae Blooms

You may or may not have heard of toxic algae blooms. If you have, it may have been something related to local beaches, including warnings not to swim or harvest any shellfish. But these potentially deadly occurrences affect inland fresh water as well, including sources used by hikers for drinking. In 2022, Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers may have been sickened by toxic cyanobacterial blooms. So how can you tell if a water source has been rendered dangerous by algae? And if it has, what, if anything, can you do about it? What are Toxic Algae Blooms? Also called blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are found in salt, fresh and brackish water. These simple, plantlike organisms aren’t always toxic, but under certain conditions, including abnormally warm weather or pollution, they can grow out…

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MSR Water Products & Treatment Systems Guide

Perhaps nothing is more important to a good time outdoors than having a handy supply of fresh, clean water. In fact, MSR’s very first stove—the Model 9—was built explicitly to improve the hydration, and thus the performance, of high-altitude mountaineers. No matter what your goals are, we know that hydration is a key element in reaching them. Over the years, MSR has built the most comprehensive and reliable assortment of water treatment and storage products available. From ultralight and portable solutions for trail ultras to basecamp and emergency purifiers for demanding high-capacity needs, we’ve got you covered. However, with many options come many choices, and that’s why you’re here. So let’s dive in with a comprehensive overview of what each water filter and water purifier was built for, so you…

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Water 101: Clean Water Solutions to Prepare for Emergencies

Water is our most important resource, but you never know when a disaster could compromise your local water supply. While the novel coronavirus has not been detected in drinking water supplies, according to the World Health Organization, many of you have reached out about emergency water filter options as you build out your disaster kits. We’ve put together the information you need on some clean water solutions to help ensure you have access to water that’s safe to drink during all kinds of emergencies. Clean Water Threats When drinking water is contaminated in municipal or developed areas, the immediate threat to human health is the introduction of waterborne pathogens—microscopic disease-causing bugs. These include bacteria, protozoa and viruses, all of which are normally removed by the city treatment center long before…

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Boiling Snow & Filtering Water in the Alpine

A successful adventure in the alpine requires many working parts. Number one is most certainly stoke! However, there are other aspects that are just as important. When planning a trip that takes you into a remote mountain environment and away from civilization, it is important to know how to take care of yourself in the event something does not go as planned. Familiarity with the 10 Essentials is critical, and of those 10, understanding how to find and prepare safe drinking water is of utmost importance. It’s not just about finding a water source (from ice or a stream)—knowing the steps to follow to prepare water efficiently and effectively is essential. There are important aspects to consider, such as your environment, specific equipment to use and the overall preparation for…

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