carrying water

It was slightly cooler today due to overcast (77F instead of 81F) so I thought I might carry some water up from the creek. Unless I am forgetting something, this is my first attempt to harvest surface water.

going down

I took two Homer buckets with me so I’d be balanced on the way back. I didn’t bring a dipper of any kind so I figured I might get a couple gallons in each one. 2+2=4. Turns out I could get a bit more than 2.5 gallons on a dip, so 2.5 gal + 2.5 gal = 5.

As I approached the creekside I realized I did have a dipper; one of the buckets could fill the other.

  1. use 1st bucket to fill 2nd to full (5 gallons)
  2. dip 1st bucket again (2.5)
  3. equalize water levels by pouring from #2 into #1

The gross haul creekside was about 7.75 gallons.

heading back up to camp

Carrying the water back up a steep and rocky trail at 10k’ was intense. I stopped many times to let my heart rate settle and swat at mosquitos.



I tried to pre-filter with coffee filters but they quickly clogged. So I pre-pre-filtered by running the water through paper towels in a colander to catch the “bigger” silt particles and bugs. That worked well; I could then get about a gallon of water through a coffee filter before it clogged from silt too small to see.


I doped the filtered water with a teaspoon of laundry bleach. I carry unscented bleach so it can have this dual use. EPA guidelines say ~.75 teaspoon for this volume of water, so I’m a little over but I’m not going to be drinking it so flavor is not an issue. I measured it with a repurposed shotglass thingy I found in a thrift store; it is graduated in ml, oz, TBS, and tsp. It lives in my laundry kit.

If I were going to drink this water I’d also run it through the ceramic filter as mentioned earlier.


I wanted to keep this water in a container with a spigot, so I decanted water in one of the aquatainers into the main freshwater tank then labeled it WASHING ONLY. I transferred the quasi-filtered and treated water into the 7-gallon container. It was very near full, so I will call the net haul a scant 7 gallons.


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