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January 17th 2010
Published: January 18th 2010
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I've got a pile of potential trip items to sort through this evening, clothing air drying nearby, and a liter of water being treated with chlorine dioxide tablets so I can find out how that tastes. I'm aiming for a greener trip, which means, among other things, decreasing the number of plastic bottles I use. In Cambodia, a lot of plastic waste is burned, which is quite toxic, but the tap water is not potable. Potential solution for people who can't boil water: Iodine or sodium dioxide tablets. Iodine is quicker but tastes terrible. Vitamin C (like Emergen-C, for example) not only improves the taste but causes the iodine to precipitate out. Others on my tour are using iodine, but I've opted for sodium dioxide for noble empirical reasons and selfish personal reasons--Emergen-C has sugar, and if it the water is vile, that's 2 packets, and why waste the carbohydrates? The online nutritional information I've found doesn't match the information on the products I looked at. I'm trying the diet lemon-lime (1 gram of sugar per packet, perhaps) on this trip. Iodine also makes your bottle stink; I'll see if chlorine dioxide does, too.

Four hours later: The water is drinkable, though ever so slightly green, ever so slightly salty, and a little bitter on follow-through. A packet of Emergen-C renders it reasonably palatable. I'll let the rest of the liter sit overnight with the lid off to see that takes care of it without adding sweet stuff.


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