Mt. Rainier is now wearing a new coat of snow and the high country is making the transition to winter. Days are short, the rain is arriving and it is time to look ahead to ski season. This is a good time to reflect on this year’s outings. What worked well? What didn’t?
Comfort light delivered for me this season. Good, light weight equipment continues to open opportunities. My wife and I are backpacking again, without me as the mule. I am able to do grab and go trips to support climbs requiring a base camp. Bake a load of Logan bread. Take a quick shopping trip and I am off. With less gear, packing is quicker. In the past even overnight trips seemed to have packing drama. Continue reading →
We really did drink right out of streams, decades ago. When the general practice of purifying drinking water started, we used iodine tablets or boiling. The arrival of pumped filters was revolutionary. Now many more choices of water purification are available, at much lighter trail weights.
As I focused on reducing my load, I switched from a pumped filter to Aqua Mira. This is a two part chlorine dioxide water purification system. You add the prescribed number of drops from vial A and vial B to a mixing cup. You wait 5 minutes for the mixture to turn yellow and then add it to your water. In 30 minutes the water is safe to drink, unless the water is really cold. It is effective and low cost. Two full bottles, with mixing cup weigh 3 oz. and cost under $15. It will last for a season or more – 30 gallons. You can save even more weight by buying two very small dropper bottles to carry instead the full sized ones. I used this system for a season, but didn’t like the counting of drops, especially when treating 3 quart batches and then sitting around for 5 minutes for the mixture to activate.
I found an equivalent product in tablet form, now sold as MSR Aquatabs. One very small tablet will purify up to 2 quarts of clean water. Continue reading →