Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tour Divide - Stuff That Worked - Hydration

On a wilderness trip like the Tour Divide, water is essential. I had a multiply redundant system for carrying and purifying water. While the whole thing worked great and I never ran out of water and I never got sick, on future trips I'll use what I've learned to streamline my kit.

I described my modified Ergon BD2 pack here and while the pack did the job of distributing the weight of the load brilliantly, the zipper on my pack did fail part way through the race. Ergon has since redesigned their pack to fix the problem. On the trail I used a stuff sack and some parachute cord to work around the broken zipper and now that I'm home I've grafted an old REI hydration pack onto the Ergon frame. The resulting pack has the great Ergon comfort and a certain sense of turtle style.


The Sawyer Inline Water Filter worked perfectly. I never had to back flush the filter and the flow through the filter was fine. I'd estimate that about 80% of the water I drank came through that filter. It's been a damp year on the Divide and I was able to find clear running streams in Canada, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

I used a bottle to dip into the streams and pour the water into the pack. The final bottle of water I'd put on my bike and I'd purify that final bottle using my SteriPEN. The SteriPEN also worked perfectly. I used UltraLast Green Solar 2 AA Chargers to keep the NiMH AA batteries charged up for my various gadgets, including the SteriPEN. I never used the Chlorine Dioxide MicroPur Tablets but on future trips I may opt to travel lighter and just use the Sawyer filter, leave the SteriPEN at home and take a few MicroPur Tablets as an ultralight back-up.
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