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Old 03-07-2013, 01:30 AM   #1
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Bathing in lakes and streams

(Mod's notes: These posts were moved from an unrelated thread to their own thread)

By the way my uncle used to live in a cabin that had no running water or electricity. He used a gen set for power when needed and had a little underground spring tapped for water. For a bath he went down to the creek with organic soaps and washed in the little waterfall there. He lived here year round in the winter in Maryland by choice. After about 2 yrs he moved out. Point is in a clean river it cam count in a muddy or not so clean lake it might not. I am willing to count pools as baths when camping.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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Hey, Native Americans bathed in lakes and streams for thousands of years and it worked for them. Only when the Europeans came to this land did they carry their diseases that the natives did not have an immunity to that wiped out entire villages. Bath away!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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Hey, Native Americans bathed in lakes and streams for thousands of years and it worked for them. Only when the Europeans came to this land did they carry their diseases that the natives did not have an immunity to that wiped out entire villages. Bath away!
This was also before the industrial revolution, and the chemical processes for everything now.

Between all the pollutants/chemicals in the air, rain,......... discharges from factories and sewers.....runoffs from fields/pastures loaded with chemical fertilizers.........it's not the same water our predecessors used.

Getting back on topic though, I say to the OP...if it works for you, go for it.

I also when reading the topic title, started thinking this was going to be a story similar to Robin Williams in the movie "RV". LOL
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #4
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Neither is the water we drink. There has always been giardiasis and utter unpleasant stuff in the water. Our ancestor's were hardened to it and died young. Things are MUCH better now, except for the residual chlorine which you can remove at the faucet.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Regarding the bathing in streams and rivers discussion. We used to backpack a lot and I'm comfortable with bathing in some streams and rivers and bigger lakes. Note the word "some". While flowing water may look pure, it can still be contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and other contaminants and it really depends on the area. I think that more remote locales at high elevations are much cleaner than populated areas for the obvious reasons.

Still, have to watch out for animals, though, which can give you a nice case of giardiasis. And, not every parasite needs to be ingested to get at you and there are nastier things than giardia. Just for fun -here's a handy Field & Stream handout
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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Probably
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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We have a vacation house on the upper Suwannee River in north Florida. During the summer I often substitute a swim in the river for a shower, sometimes using a little homemade soap.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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Always drink or bathe upstream from the herd. Always.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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My take: If you would swim in it, bath in it!!!
Come on in, the water's fine.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #11
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We have a vacation house on the upper Suwannee River in north Florida. During the summer I often substitute a swim in the river for a shower, sometimes using a little homemade soap.
That's a beautiful area and you can find the springs that run down the river and let the cool water run over you in the summer. I can't remember the campground but it was rustic and really nice. That was 20 years ago tho.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #12
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While swimming and possibly even rinsing the dirt off you in a stream or lake is acceptible, bathing with soap is not, IMO. As an avid backpacker, you never put anything into a stream that isn't already there naturally. Bathing on a trail, means getting water in a pan or pack basin, and bathing away from any body of water, if using soap of any kind. While there are "natural" soaps, I still don't believe in polluting the habitat. Firm believer in "leave no trace".
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:36 PM   #13
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Come down to my neck of the woods for a bath! This is what you might find in our Florida lakes and rivers
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:34 PM   #14
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Come down to my neck of the woods for a bath! This is what you might find in our Florida lakes and rivers
Yep, I don't swim in the lakes and rivers down here.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:19 AM   #15
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No thank you to bathing in lakes/streams....I'll just deal with a wipe own, great chance I won't contract anything!



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Old 03-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #16
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Still, have to watch out for animals, though, ...
Canoe caming on the Middle Fork Salmon River, we stopped at a series of hot pools cascading down a gentle cliff, each pool was hotter as we went up. After a half hour of soaking, I climbed to the top to find the source of the steaming water. What I found was a fairly stewed goat lying dead in the stream.

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:31 AM   #17
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Canoe caming on the Middle Fork Salmon River, we stopped at a series of hot pools cascading down a gentle cliff, each pool was hotter as we went up. After a half hour of soaking, I climbed to the top to find the source of the steaming water. What I found was a fairly stewed goat lying dead in the stream.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #18
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When backpacking I drink the water from lakes and streams.

I never put anything into the water that I am unwilling to drink.
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