View Full Version : safe water
a quick question. Boiling water is perhaps the best known way of making water safe (I usually use a Katadyn mini filter) but something that occcured to me was the time taken boiling water to make it safe, does that include the time for cooking a food in that water? ie if I were to boil up rice, for example, would I have to boil the water first to make sure it is safe or use the rice cooking time as part of the "safe" boiling time?
Just a question that occured to me, if so it would reduce boiling and cooking time, use less fuel etc etc. hope this makes sense.....
Paul in theory thats a fine idea - however I wouldnt recommend it in pratice.
Firstly many cists and protozoa etc are quite resiliant to boiling and adding food particles for them to cling to might mean not all of them die. This is one reason we filter water before boiling - to remove suspended matter.
Secondly if boiling water with food (and bringing water to a rolling boil as needed to purify it) you would destroy most of the goodness of your food. Thinking as a survivor this isnt a desirable course of action.
Thirdly if boiling water with your food you then negate having spare 'clean' water for washing up afterwards etc - remember all water used for anything involved in eating and drinking should be boiled and clean.
Finally remember your water is only as clean as the vessel you keep it in.
But if you have the means you could steam your food while boiling your water.
Hope that helped a little - having had dysentry or one of its nasty cousins once I can not push the point home enough - always err on the side of caution where waters concerned.
Another thing to consider is that anything that you add to water reduces its boiling point, so it will kill less nasties because its not getting as hot. This reduction of boiling point can also be bought about by altitude (reduced atmospheric pressure being the cause here). If treating water by boiling the hotter the better!
thanks both. Looks like i'll be carrying around the filter for a while yet then. Worth thinking about though.
Gary's point about particles making it harder to kill the bugs and beasties is a good one which doesn't just apply to boiling.
Chemical purification times should be extended too if there's much particulate junk in the water.
dont forget you can use charcoal from your fire to assist with filtering your water