Category Archives: Water

Long Term Water Treatment Methods

long term water treatmentMike wants to know more about long term water treatment methods.  Mike will be participating in my upcoming Intro to Backpacking event at Hariman State Park with Hudson Valley Hikers. Mike asks:

What’s the best long-term method of water filtration? E.g. Trump leads us into nuclear war, city water will be undrinkable for 5 years and you can no longer buy whatever filtration straw, tablet, etc, and we all retreat to the woods for survival…

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Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

Aquamira 1 Oz Set
Aquamira 1 Oz Set

For the past year, I have only been using two methods to treat drinking water while backpacking. When in camp, I boil the water that I will use for cooking or making hot drinks.  When on the trail, I use Aquamira Water Treatment drops.  Aquamira has many benefits over other treatment methods.  They are fast, easy, lightweight, reliable, and scalable. Continue reading Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

Backpacking Water Strategy

I used to use Poland Springs bottles to store water while hiking, but now I use Fiji Bottles.
Stopping for a drink from one of my 1.5 Liter Poland Springs bottles on a rainy day.

Today we will discuss a simple backpacking water strategy for staying hydrated.  According to studies, up to 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration. Many of the signs of dehydration are overlooked or attributed to other causes. These include fatigue, headaches, dry/itchy skin or eyes, or dizziness.  Proper hydration is critical for every system in the body. Water is necessary for carrying nutrients, regulating temperature, flushing toxins, purging digestive waste, and much more.  When we’re exerting ourselves on hot days in the woods, it is all the more important to have a sound backpacking water strategy. Continue reading Backpacking Water Strategy

Thruhike Advice

rainwear for hiking and backpacking
Demonstrating Equinox Silnylon Backpacking Poncho

In a few weeks, I’ll be running another one of my very popular Intro to Backpacking seminars at Harriman State Park.  I ran my first seminars at Harriman State Park in November and December of 2015. Among the attendees was a very enthusiastic young lady who now goes by the trail name “Kremlin.”  Kremlin was having a rough time fitting into civilized life and was looking for something more exiting to do. She asked me if I thought she should go on a thruhike, and I said “do it!” She started her hike from Katahdin after 6 months of preparation and finished just around Thanksgiving of 2016. Recently she referred a friend to me to get some thruhike advice of his own. Continue reading Thruhike Advice

Water Treatment

Water Treatment
Platypus Water Bladders

In a few weeks I’m going to be hosting an “Intro to Backpacking” Seminar at Harriman State Park.  I’m hosting this event via the Meetup Group “Hudson Valley Hikers.”  Meetup events tend to get a lot of RSVP’s, but also a lot of No-Shows. In order to vet people out before giving them a spot at the seminar, I’ve asked them to email me questions about backpacking.  Some of them are pretty good and I’ll be sharing the answers via a series of posts called “Ask CampingJay.” This post will discuss Water Treatment Methods. Continue reading Water Treatment

The Rule of Threes

Several years ago, I went on a guided backpacking trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with A Walk in the Woods.  I had a great time and learned a lot.  One of the most important lessons I took away from that trip was “The Rule of Threes.”  This simple rule has become the cornerstone of my philosophy for lightweight backpacking and enjoying the outdoors safely. Continue reading The Rule of Threes

Learn How to Melt Snow for Water

CampingJay demonstrates how to melt snow for water.
Melting snow while on a short winter day hike. Disregard the unfrozen lake behind me.

Backpacking in the winter is a lot of fun, but presents a lot of challenges.  Its cold.  Trails are tough to follow.  Fire wood is buried in snow.  One of the things I actually find easier about backpacking in the winter is finding water.  In the summer, I often have to walk some distance from camp to find water in a spring or stream.  In the winter, however, there is water everywhere.  This article is about how to melt snow for water, which is actually pretty easy.

Continue reading Learn How to Melt Snow for Water

Fiji Water Bottles for Hiking

I used to use Poland Springs water bottles for hiking, but now I use Fiji Bottles.
Stopping for a drink from one of my 1.5 Liter Poland Springs bottles on a rainy day.

Many people in the ultra-light backpacking community use plastic soda, water, or Gatorade bottles to carry water while hiking.  For a long time, my choice for water storage was the 1.5 Liter Poland Springs Bottle, but I have recently switched to the 1.5 Fiji Bottle.  I find that the large square Fiji Water Bottles fit better in my side pockets, won’t roll away, and have a lower center of gravity than the old Poland Springs bottle of equal volume.  Continue reading Fiji Water Bottles for Hiking

Delaware Tubing and the 10 Essentials

10 Essentials: Navigation, Sun Protection, Insulation, Illumination, First-Aid, Fire Kit, Repair Kit, Nutrition, Hydration, and Shelter
Click to watch video.


This weekend my friends and I camped out at Stokes State Forest in New Jersey, and then went for a 9 mile float down the near by Delaware River.  The weather was great, and wild-life was plentiful, including several bald eagles.

In this video, I discuss some essentials for remaining safe in the outdoors.  These are 10 items that you should always have with you when venturing into the wilderness, no matter how short of a journey you are planning.

Continue reading Delaware Tubing and the 10 Essentials