Half Dome – Yosemite Musings
Hydration is the key to a safe Half Dome hike. Really. If you get dehydrated you may bonk. The easiest and quickest way treat water is with a pump. There are about 5 different manufacturers. Your water filter pump is good for about 200 gallons. Geez, think you will ever drink that much before the plastic vaporizes? ?? If you take care of it, it will last a lonnnng time. My pump is a Katadyn Pro Hiker. Most good filter pumps today are designed to protect you against Giardia and Crytosporidium. These are the 2 most prevalent buggers in Yosemite and most USA waters. Viruses are stopped only by water “purifiers” (like the First Need brand) or UV light (like the Steripen). But viruses are rare in the United States – like polio. So most manufacturers don’t bother with the rigorous EPA testing and documentation required. When I return home from a Yosemite trip I clean my filter per the manufacturer’s instructions. I get a plastic milk carton, cut a hole big enough for my intake to fit in and fill it with tap water. Then I put a tablespoon of bleach in (Clorox) and stir. I put the intake into the jug and the outlet above the water line, so I can pump the dilute solution in a circuit for about 10 minutes. The bleach will kill any hitchhiking critters you brought back. Then I take apart my filter and let it all air dry for a day or 2. If the mesh filter needs attention I softly brush it clean with a gentle toothbrush. Assemble it all back and you’re ready to go.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.” – The Munchins
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com