In a move that I honestly wouldn’t have predicted Lester, a local kid known for his many allergies and “sensitivities” has decided that he’s going to go on a three month hiking trip this summer. The reason that it’s kind of hard to believe is that this kid is allergic to just about anything you can name. He’s also extremely sensitive to changes in the water. He can’t even drink the water in a town 30 miles away without getting sick because of the differences between that water and what he’s accustomed to here in Nutjob Hills. It’s no big deal to most people but to him it’s the same as drinking contaminated water out of a ditch near a chemical plant. He’s that sensitive to changes and anytime he goes anywhere he is guaranteed to be owned by Montezuma’s revenge at the very least.
You see, even the most pure drinking water around still has a low level of bacteria and viral organisms in it. No water system purifies 100%. Instead they manage to remove most of the impurities and microorganisms which makes it safe to drink. The reason people have problems with Montezuma’s revenge when they travel is the water, while still safe, does not have the same levels of the same microorganisms in it and they aren’t *quite* compatible with the particular flavor that the traveller carries in their own intestinal tract. That difference causes anything from mild nausea to full on diharrea until the body adapts to the local water.
Most people handle this pretty well and in fact don’t actually get seriously sick from it at all. Lester on the other hand is far from being most people. The only water he can drink that isn’t from the local water system is distilled water because distillation removes everything that isn’t water.
That’s the problem with Lester’s proposed hiking trip. Three months in the wilderness, living off the land, is going to be a problem because there’s no way he can cart enough distilled water along with him for the whole time and distilling his own isn’t going to happen because in that situation it would be far too time consuming to be worthwhile.
This would be why I wasn’t surprised when he asked me if I knew of or could find out about a way for him to be able to purify water on the go. Having heard about his summer plans last week I knew it was only a matter of time because he’s been talking about it and asking everybody he knows about inexpensive portable ways of purifiying water.
So because I knew this was coming I took a little time to do a bit of homework and learn something about portable water purification systems. When he came around I had an answer for him. It was the Steripen Adventurer Opti. It’s a compact, portable water purifier that uses Ultraviolet light to eliminate more than 99.9% of the bacteria, protozoa and viruses in water which are the cause of water borne illneses.
Now I know that sounds a bit far fetched at first so I did some more reading and it turns out to be true. Back in 1996 the EPA recognized UV light as a legitimate means of purification. As UV light is absorbed by microbes it prevents the cell enzymes from being able to read the DNA. This makes it impossible for them to reproduce which means they can’t make you sick.
Not only that but it also doubles as a LED flashlight. The only thing I would suggest is to replace the non-rechargeable batteries that come with it with some that can be recharged and get a solar powered or even hand cranked charger to keep ’em powered up.
With something like this, even Lester could spend the summer hiking through the woods, living off the land without having to worry about getting sick from drinking the wrong water.
[tags]hiking, water, montezuma’s revenge, diharrea, water filter, purifying water, water purification system, pure water, microbes, bacteria, viruses, foriegn water, tech, nutjob hills[/tags]