My Water Systems

by Jean on March 15, 2013

Do you have your (1) water filtration system and (2) your water purification method ready for the GC Rim to Rim hike?

In the past 2 years, there have been significant water problems in the Grand Canyon.  There is only one pipe that supplies water through the canyon, and it is really old and recently unreliable.  In 2011 it burst on hiking day 1 when we were in the area of Phantom Ranch, and we were barely able to get out before water ran out.  In 2012 a large section of pipe burst which made cross canyon hiking impossible, and shut down all the water in the canyon for several days.

It is now mandatory for all hikers to have the gear to be able to filter muddy stream water, and then purify the filtered water.  You need systems that will let you filter and purify enough water to fill your backpack bladders and spare bottles, in order to hike away from the water source and get out of the canyon.  Creek water is only found at the bottom of the canyon, and in wet years also in several small places on the Bright Angel Trail between the river and Indian Gardens.

I hike with an Aquamira filtration bottle, with a spare filter.  My purification method is a SteriPen adventurer, which zaps the bugs with light.   To be double extra safe, I take a couple of old fashion purification pills.

While I always hope we will find clean and available water in the Grand Canyon, you just can’t bet your life on it!

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