On my last post, I mentioned using a drop of bleach to treat sifted puddle water in an emergency. I feel guilty; I don’t carry bleach and have only met one or two hikers that do. Iodine tablets could be used, and I always pack a tiny bottle of them. The problem is that water purification systems that rely on pumping through a filter, don’t work well, if at all, in a shallow puddle. So, if you’ve run out of water, or are injured, and desperately need it, you could drain puddle water through a bandana or sock, and then apply treatment such as iodine tablets, halazone, Aqua Mira, etc., or boil the water.
The only water treatment system I’ve used for the last eight years is, Aqua Mira, shown in the picture. Sold in outdoor stores, just use the mixing cap provided, and follow the instructions. Most hikers use pump systems, but they weigh more, take up more room in a pack, and they can clog.
A neat emergency item to have, especially on a group camping trip, is a small, self-powered AM/FM, NOAA Weather Radio. The Eton radio pictured is endorsed by the American Red Cross, and combines a flashlight, solar power, and USB cell phone charger. Do I carry this radio when I hike alone? Not usually, although I should. I’m too conscious of pack weight and take the chance I won’t need it. For any type of group hike, I do recommend it. Someone should pack one to keep up on NOAA weather information. The hand-crank you see in the picture is used to charge a cell phone.
Hi – Great post, thank you. Another piece of safety gear that my wife and I carry when we hike and mountain bike and horseback ride and ATV and cross-country ski is the SPOT Personal Tracker made by SPOT LLC. It is a compact survival equipment device weighing 209 grams = 7.37 oz = 0.461 pounds. It is a combination GPS receiver and emergency transmitter. The unit receives GPS signals from the GPS satellites just like a normal GPS unit, but has no readout of your position. Instead, when you have an emergency (or just want to let your friends and family know you’re ok), you turn the unit on, and allow it to acquire your GPS location. It will then transmit an emergency or status message along with your exact GPS position to another satellite to initiate rescue operations. or simply to send a pre-arranged message by email/SMS to up to 10 of your friends and family. The email will also include a link to Google Maps showing your exact location on the map. It costs about $100 plus an annual subscription of another $100.
This unit can mobilize emergency rescue teams to your exact location anywhere on Earth at any time of day as long as you have a clear view of the sky.
My wife and I were in a bad ATV accident a few years ago. Her pelvis was fractured in 3 places. And we were out of cell phone range. Fortunately, our upside down ATV functioned ok when I righted it, and I was able to drive it to within cell phone range – leaving her lying on the ground all alone miles away. We have carried a SPOT unit with us ever since. She’s now fully recovered and back on the hiking trails almost daily at 69 years old.
See: my blog at http://thenatureofhikingDOTcom/survival-equipment/.html for more details and a video on the SPOT (ps, I’m not selling them or making a commission)
Thanks for the info.