Monday, July 9, 2007

Aquamira Filter/Bottle and Chlorine Dioxide Review

This is the second season I have been using Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide drops in combination with the Aquamira water bottle filtration system. This system is very light weight and extremely effective.

The drops basically kill everything in the water. However, it takes 4 hours to kill Crypto. This is one reason I use the filter system in combination. The filter will get rid of Crypto, and many other things including metals, pesticides, etc... It also gets rid of the chlorine from the drops.

The drops also kill viruses, which the filter cannot get rid of. I feel the combination of the drops and filter system is one of the best systems on the market.

There are several reason's I prefer a bottle over using a bag while backpacking. One issue I have is that I never know how much water is left in the bag without taking it out of my pack, which is a pain in the neck. A bottle is much easier to fill than a bag too. I have not come across a decent filter system for use with a bag, other than the larger bulky styles sold at REI.

I am considering getting a Steripen, or MIOX for next season. That is if I can come up with some extra cash. I am leaning more towards the Steripen because it kills everything in just a couple of minutes, whereas the MIOX takes 4 hours to kill Crypto. The Steripen may eliminate the need to carry a filter. However, it will not get rid of pollutants, metals, pesticides, etc... Thus, carrying a filter may still be a good idea.

By the way, I have the 22oz. bottle and the 32oz. bottle. The 32oz. bottle seems to leak around the top. I have to use it more to determine if the top was just on too loose, or it is truly a poor seal. However, I don't have any issues with leaks in the 22oz. bottles.

I like the Aquamira water bottle filter system and the Chlorine Dioxide drops. I highly recommend them for anyone looking for a great water treatment system, which is also light weight.

White Oak Canyon - Shenandoah

I finally had the opportunity to hike White Oak Canyon in Shenandoah National Park this past weekend. Unfortunately, we were only able to hike to the first waterfall because we got on the trail very late. Also, we had two young children with us; ages 3 and 5. The people who attended the hike were: Nick, Z, Brooke and myself.

Overall this was a great hike, and had some beautiful scenery. However, if you are going with younger children, be prepared to carry them, for a little while, on the way back. Z, 3.5 years old, did a great job and hiked 90% of the time on his own. I had to carry him up a few hills as he was getting exhausted. He carried a small backpack with his water.

Brooke fell and cut her knee, so I bandaged it up for her, and she was as good as new. She did not complain at all about being tired, or not having fun. She was smiling during the entire hike. She was asking many questions, and was identifying plants. Z was also doing a great job identifying plants.

We saw several deer, in several different locations, during our hike. The deer in the park do not spook easily, and will walk right up to you; within about 3 feet. Z got a little nervous when a deer approached us. He turned and ran, then came over to me, and latched onto my leg. It was absolutely adorable.

Here is a great informational for the White Oak hike:
White Oak Canyon

Monday, July 2, 2007

2x4 Hammock Stand Stake

The ground seems to cause the stake, which holds the hammock stand up, to act as somewhat of a lever. My mission is to find a way to minimize, or disburse the forces on the stake by creating some sort of top plate, or something.

I am playing around with different types, sizes, and shapes of stakes to see as well.