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.