Re: [gardeners] OT: Living in the Woods

Michael & Bambi Cantrell (
Fri, 15 Jan 1999 12:24:55 -0500

>When I was a child, a thousand years ago, I was
>>always told it was safe to drink out of a free-flowing mountain stream.
>>Not any more.  Margaret L
>That was the case in my childhood as well, even at Girl Scout/Guides camp;
>I can remember drinking out of mountain streams, lovely tasting
>water....and that's only 40-50 years ago.  I'm not as aged as Margaret. :)

That was just because not as many people knew about giardia, etc then.
Giardia can live anywhere animals can get to the water, even if by just
flying over it, whether it's running water or not.  Many hikers have gotten
sick from drinking untreated water in pristine settings.

This isn't to say that you will always get it, and I have drunk out of many
fast flowing streams also, and never gotten it.  Of course stagnant water
is more dangerous.  Giardia is as natural as the streams and mountains,
etc. and is not necessarily due to the influence of man.

Be safe and try to take your water with you, or some way to treat the water.
Giardia is also endemic in some areas, and the people there build up the
ability to tolerate the conditions.  It's been so long since I've taken the
class, I can't remember if it's passed on to the children from the mothers,
or if the children have to build their own resistance to it---although I
that the children have to build their own resistance as it is a parasite,
not a bacteria.  These areas probably have a high infant mortality rate.

Coastal Carolina