Avventura Outdoors - Live Life Outdoors

Camp Skills: Boil Water for Safe Consumption


We all know the dangers of beaver fever (giardiasis), right?

Drinking water from a stream, or worse, a stagnant lake, can mean big trouble for your digestive tract. In fact, it can be quite a serious affliction — doubly so if you can't get to medical attention quickly. At best, it'll ruin your trip.

Modern water purification tablets have come a long way since those awful iodine tablets, and filters work well too — but what if you are all out of tablets, you don't have a filter and you need safe water? You boil it. Here's how to do it right:

• Scoop up a small amount of water and bring it to a boil in your pot. Swirl it around to disinfect the pot, then pour it out.

• Fill the pot up with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once it's boiling rapidly, it's disinfected.

• Pour out a little bit of the water to disinfect the rim of the pot.

• Fill water bottles — but don't refill the bottle you used to collect the contaminated water!

• Allow it to cool (duh).

• Drink! The water will be flat from this process, however, you can put a little life back into it by shaking it up. Or toss in some Gatorade powder. Whatever works for you!