Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic Bus.

Here you can discuss anything relating to Alaska and this story.
GoNorth
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby GoNorth » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:14 pm

Jedidiah wrote: Once you run out of water just use water purification tablets like the ones offered by Portable Aqua Plus.


I've never been to Alaska (so far ;) ) but read about the water stuff already several times. It really seems to be different from the very north of Europe, where you can drink almost any running water directly.
What happens if you do that in Alaska? I mean, for example, if you drink some water from one of these rivers on the Stampede trail? It just makes me think that Chris probably didn't have enough of these tablets towards the end of his stay, so at some point he had to drink the water untreated, even though he might have boiled a part of it. Anyway, couldn't this also have contributed to the deterioration of his physical condition?

ellisd
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby ellisd » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:33 am

when krakauer made it to the bus the first time and was writing about what he saw that belonged to chris, i'm almost sure he listed water purification tablets as one of the items that was still there.

**edit**... But you make a good and valid point GoNorth, if he drank untreated water in a weakened state, the effects could have been horrendous on top of what else he was going through.

SteveSalmon
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby SteveSalmon » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:52 am

~SS
Last edited by SteveSalmon on Thu May 03, 2012 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobenns
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby bobenns » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:04 am

Growing up in Northern Ontario I was taught that it was safe to drink any water that was running on the ground , other than the local river which was badly polluted in those days by a huge pulp and paper mill. If we were to drink standing water we were to treat it with one drop of chlorine bleach per cup. This was widely taught in organizations such as scouts and cadets as well as simply being very common knowledge. We also loved to eat snow, but again not downwind from the mill and never eat yellow snow.

I too am curious if there is a particular reason why people are warned not to drink the surface water in Alaska. Is it fear of Beaver Fever?

Beaver fever (Giardia) can be very nasty but is not really all that common in my experience. I hove only ever known one person who got it and he drank water for over a year from a river populated by beavers (idiot)
There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself.

SteveSalmon
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby SteveSalmon » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:07 am

~SS
Last edited by SteveSalmon on Thu May 03, 2012 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GoNorth
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby GoNorth » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:56 am

ellisd wrote:when krakauer made it to the bus the first time and was writing about what he saw that belonged to chris, i'm almost sure he listed water purification tablets as one of the items that was still there.



I remember that, too, but probably he didn't have enough of them for such a long time, as he had not planned to stay that long.

SteveSalmon wrote:Dont forget, Chris spent how long in the cave next to an ocean? Im willing to bet he knew how to get water for himself even from the salt water.


That's a very good point. Thanks for mentioning. I had never thought about how he managed to drink water in that cave.

erikhalfacre
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby erikhalfacre » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:06 pm

When it comes to water, I've always just used a filter everywhere I go in Alaska. A small filter, like the MSR Hyperflow, is a great choice. It pumps super fast and it's only shortcoming is that it does not have a charcoal element (which improves the taste of the water.) Then again, neither do tablets, and most of the water tastes pretty good if your selective and don't just pump straight out of a swamp sink hole... though you could and it would be plenty safe enough.

The trail is criss crossed with streams virtually the entire way. I don't think you ever hike for more than an hour or two without crossing a stream and usually more like every fifteen minutes. In out group, one girl insisted on bringing TWO GALLONS of water in milk jugs just in case we didn't run across enough along the way. Each of those jugs weighs eight pounds, so she had sixteen additional pounds of water in her already overloaded pack. By comparison, the MSR hyperflow only weighs less than a pound. I took two Nalgene bottles, one that I kept topped off and drank from while hiking and one that I carried empty. When it was time to cook I would fill both so I had one to cook from and one to drink from.

Also, just to clarify after reading that guys comment about European streams. Most running water in Alaska is plenty clean as well once you get up into the mountains. When I was younger and dumber back in highschool I never had a filter and I drank straight from mountain streams all the time and never got sick from it. Along the Stampede Trail though there is a lot of swamp, and you can smell a fair amount of rotting vegetation and even see some of the nastiness in the water. Even the Sushana has kind of an orange color to it. Most of the streams you cross are not nearly as quick moving as what were depicted in the movie, with the exception of the Teklanika and the Savage they're actually quite slow. You could probably drink straight out of the Savage or the Teklanika if you wanted to, but I wouldn't reccomend it. For one it would taste kind of gritty, they're both gray with glacial silt.

moving on though

One thing I would say no one should go out there without is a dry bag, big enough to hold most everything in your pack. The trail is super soggy, and the chances of you falling over in water are pretty high. If that happens you want to have a pack full of dry clothes and a dry sleeping bag. This is one area I wouldn't skimp either. Though a Hefty bag might be adequate, it also might tear or the top might not be sealed well enough. Get an actual dry bag, even if it's one from a military surplus store.
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Jedidiah
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby Jedidiah » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:28 pm

Did anyone say Duck tape??! I took a roll of RED Duck Tape w/ me on my 2010 trip. You know what they say about duck tape... fixes anything!

erikhalfacre
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby erikhalfacre » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:18 am

I thought they said "If it can't be duct, it must be..."
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whoami
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Re: Helpful Advice And What You'll Need To Get To The Magic

Postby whoami » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:04 pm

Hi Steve,

In 2010 I found your post with all the advices really helpful. I was supposed to make to the Bus on 2010, then I postponed to 2011, and now I finally bought my flight tickets to Alaska on September 2012.

I came back to this forum to research again on all your helpful advices and I'm sad to see that you erased all your posts. Did you keep a copy of it anywhere else over the internet?

Thanks!


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