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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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, 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 can choose…

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In Terms of Backcountry Water Treatment, When is Water Considered Safe to Drink?

Brown, silty streams, tea-colored rivulets, even clear, ice-cold lakes—any backcountry water source can serve up a cocktail of contaminants. But not everything that’s present in an undeveloped water source is necessarily harmful, and only some things pose an immediate threat to your health. In fact, it’s impractical and unnecessary to remove everything, all the time. So in terms of backcountry water treatment, when is water considered safe to drink? First, what’s commonly in backcountry water? The types of contaminants that make water “dirty” depend a lot on that source’s surrounding environment. But most contaminants can be placed into these categories: Microorganisms- Simply put: tiny bugs or germs. Microbes are the primary focus of treatment devices because of their immediate and potentially serious risk to your health. The pathogenic ones include…

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