It is quite true that many hunting trips are basically weekend adventures, some hunters enjoy going on a real expedition compete with guide, horses for getting into the backcountry, and several days of camping out. Actually, whether or not you are able to actually target the game you wanted to, the whole experience is still one that you will treasure. That is, unless you spend it doubled up from cramping and running to the bushes every five minutes from acute diarrhea.
A Vital Piece of Equipment
The first thing you will be thinking about packing when preparing for your hunting trip will be your weapon and ammunition, regardless of whether you will be bow or gun hunting. After that you will have to pack adequate clothing, a quality sleeping bag, a first aid kit, and food. Even if you are going to be depending on a guide, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.
One thing you should not neglect to include is a portable water filter. Those mountain freshets or deep woods springs can be contaminated with a number of unpleasant organisms that can make you extremely sick. Salmonella, E. coli, amoebae, protozoans, and other assorted pathogens can ruin your journey, and all can be deposited by animals in their feces and urine.
A clear as crystal stream is no guarantee of purity as these little creatures are microscopic in size. The only way to guarantee that you will not become sick from the water is to take a water purifier along.
- Bottle water filters are one of the easiest ways to provide safe, pure water. Light in weight and easy to use, you need simply fill the bottle with water and then squeeze out a pure, refreshing drink. As these filters will provide about 100 gallons of water before the filter element is saturated, this should surely be enough for a hunting trip.
- There are a number of camping water filters that will provide not only you, but other members of your group with safe water. Some of these will require that you fill a bag with water then let gravity pull the water through a filter while others will need pumping.
- Those who plan to spend time away from base camp during the day might want to use a water filter straw for convenience. Depending on the make, these straws will filter between 25 and 100 gallons of water.
International Hunting Trips
While it is quite possible to get ill from drinking the groundwater in the United States or Canada, those who leave these two havens of civilization will find themselves contending with some of the heavy hitters of the pathogen world. Journeys to Africa, Central and South America, and Asia for hunting opportunities will have to be scrupulous in providing themselves with safe water to drink. These regions have all the pathogens present in North America along with several other potentially deadly illnesses. And, because of the low water quality generally in these areas, there will be a greater chance of acquiring a major illness unless you take precautions. Not only should you provide yourself with a high quality water filter, but you should also provide backup protection. An extra filter and/or water purification tablets can help keep you from coming down with some of the endemic pathogens found overseas:
- Cholera is still a much-feared illness and causes massive diarrhea and vomiting. Dehydration death can occur within a few hours if the condition is untreated.
- Typhoid is also found in much of the less developed world. This disease not only causes vomiting and diarrhea or constipation, but also high fever and delirium. Typhoid can make a person ill for up to one month.
Don’t let your much-anticipated hunting trip be ruined by illness, a bit of foresight and the purchase of a good water filter can make the difference between disaster and success.