I have a plastic water bottle that I use to take water for lunch.  It’s just some generic water bottle from some store.  Nothing special.

I hadn’t taken a lunch to work in about week, so it stayed closed up and empty in my plastic grocery bag that I use as a lunch sack.  Yesterday, I decided to take a lunch.  Mainly because there was some left over veggie chili from the Frito pies the night before that Jodi put in a bowl for me.  I retrieved my lunch sack and took the water bottle out to fill it up.  I unscrewed the cap and naturally smelled inside to see if it was ok.  It had that old stagnant water smell and I kind of wrinkled my nose.

“Throw that away and use something else,” she said as she went reaching for an insulated stainless steel container that weighs just an ounce or two short of a metric ton.  I’m all about weight savings in my lunch sack.  Seriously.  I really dislike carrying a heavy lunch sack.  Plus, it’s just a plastic grocery bag.  Those things can let go at any time; especially when they are used over and over and over again.

“Nah,” I said as I reached into the under sink cabinet for the bleach.

I proceeded to pour about a 1/4 teaspoon into the bottle along with a little fresh water.  I put the cap back on and shook it up real good for about a minute.  Roughly the amount of time that you shake a paint can, you know.  Then I rinsed it out and proceeded to refill it.

“That’s not safe,” she said.

I proceeded to pull up this post and show her what I would have to be drinking on a thru-hike:  https://andrewskurka.com/2018/backcountry-water-unpurified-safety-questions/

Of course, I have purchased a water filter and will carry some type of chemical treatment (chlorine dioxide most likely).

“It will be fine,” I told her.

Later that day I get a text message . . .

“I’m not feeling so good.  I’ve had intestinal issues and thrown up.  I’m worried about you and that water bottle.”

Ironically, I had NO gut distress.

Looks my disinfection method worked perfectly.

Published On: 2018 April 13

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