Hiking Safely #3

Survival for hikers, backpackers, and campersSurvival for thru-hikers and backpackers

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NONA for outdoors survival

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.

Published by Ray Anderson

Hiker and writer. Have hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, The Long Trail (Vermont), and some of the Continental Divide Trail. My trail name is "HAMLET." Have written three hiking novels (thrillers). The first one, "THE TRAIL," was traditionally published in 2015. My second hiking thriller, "SIERRA," released Oct 2016. Book three in my AWOL hiking-thriller series, "THE DIVIDE" releases from Turner Publishing 8/18/2020. www.RayKAnderson.com

2 thoughts on “Hiking Safely #3

  1. Good stuff! It always comes down to weight, though. I’ve carried my phone for trips less then a week. On airplane mode it lasts fine & I even have music & games I can use occasionally.

    I think another consideration is the isolation factor. If the chances of seeing another hiker are very low, you have to be prepared to self rescue. Not that I want to be a burden on another hiker, but if I break a leg & can’t walk, a passing hiker could carry a message out or call in rescue on a well traveled trail, but in more remote areas, my wits & supplies are all I have.

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