Monday, July 16, 2012

Steri Pen

One big problem with back country bike packing is having a supply of potable water.  A camping cyclist must always literally weigh the advantages and disadvantages of carrying lots of water.

Anyone who has suffered with water-borne parasites will never want to experience that malady again.  In the past, I've had Giardia twice and the cure is almost as bad as the infestation.  The prescription is to injest an evil - tasting insecticide and then follows a number of scat examinations.  Not fun!

Yes, you need water.  But at 2 1/2 pounds per liter.....

A great solution to this problem is a device called a Steri-Pen.  Mine is a battery operated, handheld ultraviolet light that in 90 seconds will turn spring fed water, lake or stream water into a safe and useable commodity.
In use at night

Last year on our annual bikepacking trip, my fine cycling companions Roy and Perry found a clear, sparkling spring just off the rail trail and since it was near our campsite at Lafferty, we not only had all the water we wanted for our camp that night but as we passed it in the morning on our way to Grand Forks, we were able to stock up on its crystal clear water.  90 seconds of Steri-Pen use per bottle and we were able to keep ourselves hydrated in fine fashion.

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