Ugly observation

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ADGibson
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Ugly observation

Post by ADGibson »

OK. I have to ask to see if anyone has the same problem.

Every time I or any of the people I go backpacking with develop diarrhea after the first day or so. I tend to be a little more resistant to it but it happens every time. It does not appear to be tied to water because I filter and treat any water we get. We also don't get any other symptoms of any water borne creatures. The food we take we eat at home regularly so it should be the diet.

Any ideas? I'm stumped. I don't want to take Immodium because then I may not be able to go for days.

:oops:

Now I'm embarrassed....
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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert »

just a thought but how well do you rinse the cookware after washing it? Soap tends to have that effect on people when consumed, so theres the possibility that theres soap left in the pots and pans, after all its more difficult to wash dishes in the backcountry.
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jmangum
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Post by jmangum »

I only had that experience once. I agree with Matt - make sure you rinse your dishes. In addition - you need to be real careful that you don't get dehyderated. Take the Immodium.
"You know, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't work."
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HikerInGilbert
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Post by HikerInGilbert »

jmangum wrote:I only had that experience once. I agree with Matt - make sure you rinse your dishes. In addition - you need to be real careful that you don't get dehyderated. Take the Immodium.
I was going to say the same thing. One of the top causes of dehydration is diarrhea. What kinds of foods are you taking? Sounds like you need to concentrate more on bulk fibre.
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ADGibson
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Post by ADGibson »

I usually take a variety of foods. Lipton pastas, MRE entrees and Freeze dried foods. I have tested them all out at home with no real problem. At least none that Beano won't fix. :D
It could be the cookware but I'm pretty careful about that too.

I guess the Immodium is the way to go. I hope I can go on another trip this summer. I hate to go solo though.
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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert »

Are you using the chemical heaters for your MREs. If so, contamination of the food from the chemical may be to blame.

This may take some aback but I don't use soap at all for camp dishwashing. Just water and some steel wool or a piece of foil. As long as you get to the dishes right away cleaning is a cinch and no soap contamination or disposal to worry about.
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joebartels
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Re: Ugly observation

Post by joebartels »

DoFear wrote:The food we take we eat at home regularly so it should be the diet.
food gets seriously dangerous when it's out of temp for over four hours
needs to be under 41 degrees or over 160 to be completely safe

Though I doubt your talking about meats, cheeses etc. Probably more along the lines of noodles, dried foods etc.
So unless you're saving leftovers or really slow eaters :lol: there shouldn't be a problem.

I doubt it's cooking gear related. It's most likely simple hand washing before & after cooking or using the facilities.
The problem with soap is you need lots of warm running water to be completely effective.
I recommend the no-water solution... alcohol based hand gels.
If you know a pharmaceutical rep you might be lucky. Sometimes they have samples :D

also to be sure we cover all the bases...
what kind of water filter do you use
&
what's your exact process for treating water
- joe
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Sredfield
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Post by Sredfield »

Have you cleaned your filter with a diluted bleach solution? I do that after or before a trip, have never had a problem with water.

I'd like to do a piece for an outdoors magazine on this. Set up a lab, or take samples, at a trail head and do a thorough analysis of people's water. I wonder just how effective all this water treatment really is.
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Nighthiker
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Post by Nighthiker »

What about your canteens, hydration pack etc. Have you cleaned and disinfected these items ?
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ADGibson
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Post by ADGibson »

I use an MSR filter and chem treat with bleach , two drops per liter is what is recommended. I have used this before camping with no problem. I only use the Nalgene bottles. They are all sterilized before we go. I would assume that if it were something to do with the cookware I would get the same thing when car camping since I do the same thing.

I wonder if the heat and ONLY drinking water could attribute to it. I tend to drink to much soda at home.
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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert »

Its possible that the people you are traveling with just have weak stomachs anyway and the stress of hiking and the sudden change of diet doesn't sit well. Of course, that usually has the opposite effect.
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Daryl
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Post by Daryl »

What is in your hiking flask?
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Snick33
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Post by Snick33 »

When I go into a mode of drinking a lot of water because of heavy sweating it has, on occasion caused that problem. I tend to forget to drink small amounts frequently, and end up gulping too much water.
Mother nature seems to like humans, and not just because they taste like chicken
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MaryPhyl
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Re: Ugly observation

Post by MaryPhyl »

In response to DoFear's reply:

I'm stumped. The only other thing I can think of is perhaps in fear of not drinking enough water y'all might be drinking too much?
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ADGibson
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Post by ADGibson »

I was thinking about adding something else like a power drink to my outdoor diet. Maybe even something with caffeine. I'm just not sure if those will help. I do drink only water when I am backpacking.
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Durden
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Post by Durden »

Nighthiker wrote:What about your canteens, hydration pack etc. Have you cleaned and disinfected these items ?
I was thinking the same thing, maybe some sort of bacteria in the hydration pack.
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arizonaheat
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Post by arizonaheat »

Maryphyl I think you could be right.

It would be highly unlikely that all people in the group would have bacteria lingering in their hydration packs that would cause these symptons.

I find it quite perplexing that the entire group would suffer the same symptoms, usually what would bother some would not phase others.

All I could suggest is take preventive measures and figure it out through the process of elimination. Don't change everything you do all at once just change one thing at a time until you figure it out.

It could also be that is just how your body reacts when it is away from home. Do you suffer the same consequence when you go on vacation or out of town somewhere or just when you are in the great outdoors?
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Nighthiker
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Post by Nighthiker »

Did all of you eat at the same place ?
jk
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pfredricks
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diarrhea cha cha cha

Post by pfredricks »

I bounced this question off one of the attending docs, and we had quite a conversation about this.

FIrst question is....
Are you going more times per day?
If you are going 1-2 times per day but are just having loose stools, then the cause is likely a change in diet.
SOlution would be to eat more similarly to the way you do at home and also attempt to have some caffeine intake. Caffeine could make a difference.

If you are going more times per day, like 10 times/day, it may be something else.
pathogens require a resevoir, means of transmission, and a host. In other words.....
So, where are the bugs coming from, how are they passing, and who are they passing too, should help you track the problem. If you use a disinfectant, ten minutes of continuous bleach solution contact is necessary for effective disinfection.

Many time when one person gets sick, so do the others , sometime for psychological reasons rather than physiological, so dont rule that out.

As a final note and I almost hate to mention it..... excellent handwashing is very important. And just as important is the alcohol based waterless hand sanitizer-which is more effective at killing the bad stuff than the handwashing, believe it or not.
Expecially check the hands of the person filtering water and cooking your food (seriously). With all that wiping, I hate to say it---but, you know.........Other than that, an electrolyte sport drink would almost be essential.
Hope that helps
"I'd feel better if we had some crampons. Oh, what the hell, let's go for it..." — Common climbing last words.
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ADGibson
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Post by ADGibson »

I agree. I think it has to do with the change in diet and increased activity level. The day after I'm home we are fine so I'm ruling out the possibility of any water borne nasties. We would be having these symptoms for at least a few days after we were infected probably longer. I think some type of caffeine would help out. I have to experiment. See what I can come up with. Thanks a lot for all the ideas. I hope I get to go out before the winter sets in. Family things have kept me at home unfortunately.

Keep your fingers crossed for my family and I.
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