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Water Filter on Camino Portuguese?

MaidinBham

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
Sorry if this question has been asked before. I tried to use search function - maybe not doing it correctly or I need new lappy, or new web browser!
On my Camino Frances in the mountains I became very ill - spent 3 days off the trail, and several days after with poor appetite. I think it was from bacterial contamination of water, possibly from fuente So with upcoming Caminho Portuguese I am wondering if I should bring a water filter - I have this one in mind, or maybe one of the Sawyer brand.......
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006QF3TW4/?tag=casaivar02-20

It weighs 2oz
I generally do not like tap water or bottled water. I really don't even like to use a straw, but I will on those occasions I think it maybe necessary. Do they have water fountains on Camino Portuguese, and how likely are they to be contaminated? Really I think the suspected well on the CF was just one isolated incident. The effervescent electrolyte replacement recommended by Pharmacist (name?) really helped.
I know it's only 2oz, but all this stuff in my head about what I will need, keeps adding up.
Thanks for your invaluable advice

Janice
 
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koilife

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
"Flec to min" was probably the electrolyte replacement you had. It was the most common that I saw in the farmacias along the CF.

The LifeStraw, and most other lightweight filter options, work just fine for your common bacteria (crypto, giardia) but are too course to filter out viruses, dissolved chemicals, salts, metals, taste, etc. However, at only 2 oz, it's a small weight penalty if you will use it regularly and if it will help you feel comfortable about your trip. That being said, I don't think it is a necessity. If the fountains along a pilgrimage route were marked potable (or the Portuguese equivalent) but really weren't, reported issues would be a norm on this forum instead of the exception.

If you don't like tap water or bottled water, then fountains are all you are left with. And, if you don't trust fountains, you'll do a lot of sucking on that LifeStraw. Given your reticence for tap and bottled water, I'm curious how you stay hydrated back in Delaware, unless you use something like an RO system at home and carry extra with you to work, etc.

Yes, it's possible your intestinal bout was from water-borne bacteria from a fountain, but it could also have been food-borne, poor hygiene practice, etc. Some studies suggest that the major cause of wilderness-acquired diarrhea is actually poor hygiene practice, with water-borne bacteria as a real but minority cause. Poor hygiene could also have been by a person with whom you shook hands, or who prepared your bocadilla, or even the doorknob out of the bathroom. Personally, I would carry an extra 2 oz of hand sanitizer before I'd carry the filter, but I'm not the one walking in your shoes.
 

Introibo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
I walked from Porto to SdC in late September last year and drank prodigious amounts
of water from fountains along the way. All of it was fine.
When I walked in Spain the only bad experience I had was with water from a fountain
just before the top of O'Cebreiro. It tasted fines as it came fresh out of the fountain, but
when drinking the remainder in my bottle some hours later tasted foul ? No ill effects though
thankfully
 

MaidinBham

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
@koilife, Thanks for your input. I will look further on forum - perhaps on CP forum to see whether water fountains are common on Portugues trails.
I do not use RO - hopefully I will be long gone before the planets water supply becomes so contaminated that we need to use these. I use carbon filtration at home, and away from home.
One of the reasons I suspected bacterial water contamination was because of short incubation period, and other reasons, but of course I can not know for certain.
Soap and water for hand washing is best (sing Happy Birthday to yourself, to ensure correct number of seconds) as hand sanitizer is not effective against C-diff - especially the virulent or resistant strains.

Buen Camino
Janice
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
@koilife, Thanks for your input. I will look further on forum - perhaps on CP forum to see whether water fountains are common on Portugues trails.
I do not use RO - hopefully I will be long gone before the planets water supply becomes so contaminated that we need to use these. I use carbon filtration at home, and away from home.
One of the reasons I suspected bacterial water contamination was because of short incubation period, and other reasons, but of course I can not know for certain.
Soap and water for hand washing is best (sing Happy Birthday to yourself, to ensure correct number of seconds) as hand sanitizer is not effective against C-diff - especially the virulent or resistant strains.

Buen Camino
Janice
If you buy Brierly's latest edition of the Portuguese Camino you will see on his maps where fountains can be found. Very useful feature in my opinion for a travel guide to have.
 
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MaidinBham

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
If you buy Brierly's latest edition of the Portuguese Camino you will see on his maps where fountains can be found. Very useful feature in my opinion for a travel guide to have.
Thanks for reminding me - I will take a look. I know I used JB guide on my CF and had forgotten.
Unfortunately though JB guide does not have coastal route Lisbon to Porto, Caminho do Mar.
Janice
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I thought there were very few fountains on the Portuguese as compared to the CF. But I refilled in bars and on occasion asked locals for a refill from their house. All were happy to oblige.
 

MaidinBham

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
I thought there were very few fountains on the Portuguese as compared to the CF. But I refilled in bars and on occasion asked locals for a refill from their house. All were happy to oblige.

I shall have no worries, as long as I don't ask local for aqua caliente! :)
The Espanol's are wonderful hospitable people, and I so look forward to experiencing the same on CP.
 

Leigh J Christensen

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning to walk April/May 2016
Sorry if this question has been asked before. I tried to use search function - maybe not doing it correctly or I need new lappy, or new web browser!
On my Camino Frances in the mountains I became very ill - spent 3 days off the trail, and several days after with poor appetite. I think it was from bacterial contamination of water, possibly from fuente So with upcoming Caminho Portuguese I am wondering if I should bring a water filter - I have this one in mind, or maybe one of the Sawyer brand.......
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006QF3TW4/?tag=casaivar02-20

It weighs 2oz
I generally do not like tap water or bottled water. I really don't even like to use a straw, but I will on those occasions I think it maybe necessary. Do they have water fountains on Camino Portuguese, and how likely are they to be contaminated? Really I think the suspected well on the CF was just one isolated incident. The effervescent electrolyte replacement recommended by Pharmacist (name?) really helped.
I know it's only 2oz, but all this stuff in my head about what I will need, keeps adding up.
Thanks for your invaluable advice

Janice
I have the straw, and can vouch for it's effectiveness, but I wound up resorting to iodine tabs as they were just easier and faster to use when filling my hydration pack. They also take up little to no space compared to the straw. You will need to clean the straw as well. I've read that getting water is no issue, that there are lots of public fountains (gag) But what happened to you is exactly what I was concerned about and will definitely be taking iodine tabs with me as well as electrolyte tabs. Better safe than sorry.
 

MaidinBham

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
I have the straw, and can vouch for it's effectiveness, but I wound up resorting to iodine tabs as they were just easier and faster to use when filling my hydration pack. They also take up little to no space compared to the straw. You will need to clean the straw as well. I've read that getting water is no issue, that there are lots of public fountains (gag) But what happened to you is exactly what I was concerned about and will definitely be taking iodine tabs with me as well as electrolyte tabs. Better safe than sorry.

Thanks Leigh - I will take a look at iodine tabs. I am leaning toward Sawyer 32oz bottle with built in lifetime filter - I need this anyway.
The water supply including water fountains in Spain is very safe. Water fountains, mostly, have signs indicating whether water is potable or not. The taste of the water is very good especially at water fountains, and away from big cities. Often you will see lines of local people at the fuente's filling containers.
I became ill crossing a mountain pass, maybe I made a mistake and drank from non potable fuente, maybe it wasn't the water, maybe it was berries from the Berry Lady. I was fortunate I had enough leeway to account for 3 days off the trail, I stayed in very nice hotel in a wonderful town. But was ill for several more days even after initial symptoms.
The beer looks nice - I'll have a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA please!
Buen Camino

Janice
 
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mrellw

New Member
Past OR future Camino
1340
Sorry if this question has been asked before. I tried to use search function - maybe not doing it correctly or I need new lappy, or new web browser!
On my Camino Frances in the mountains I became very ill - spent 3 days off the trail, and several days after with poor appetite. I think it was from bacterial contamination of water, possibly from fuente So with upcoming Caminho Portuguese I am wondering if I should bring a water filter - I have this one in mind, or maybe one of the Sawyer brand.......
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006QF3TW4/?tag=casaivar02-20

It weighs 2oz
I generally do not like tap water or bottled water. I really don't even like to use a straw, but I will on those occasions I think it maybe necessary. Do they have water fountains on Camino Portuguese, and how likely are they to be contaminated? Really I think the suspected well on the CF was just one isolated incident. The effervescent electrolyte replacement recommended by Pharmacist (name?) really helped.
I know it's only 2oz, but all this stuff in my head about what I will need, keeps adding up.
Thanks for your invaluable advice

Janice
In late September of last year, I travelled from Porto to SdC and drank copious amounts of water from fountains along the way. Everything was fine.
The one terrible experience I had walking in Spain was drinking water from a fountain near the peak of O'Cebreiro. It tasted good right out of the fountain, but when I drank the rest of my bottle several hours later, it tasted foul? Thankfully, there have been no negative consequences.
 

jcat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
I've tested out a lot of water filters over the years and luckily all have prevented me from getting sick while on camping trips.

The hard bottles with the integrated filters work well, but I just find them to be a bit heavy. I have the LifeStraw bottle / filter version and I have found lighter options.

I can suggest the Katadyn filter and 1.0L collapsible bottle. Very light and folds up nicely when not in use.
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
While the information in this thread may still be pertinent, it is more than 5 years old.. .
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
Old thread, and my two cents is that on over 180 days of different Camino routes I drank tap and fountain water every day. Never got sick from it, and why would I? You don't need to bring a water purifier. If you're not convinced, do like they did in ancient times. Drink only wine lol.
 

mrellw

New Member
Past OR future Camino
1340
In late September of last year, I travelled from Porto to SdC and drank copious amounts of water from fountains along the way. Everything was fine.
The one terrible experience I had walking in Spain was drinking water from a fountain near the peak of O'Cebreiro. It tasted good right out of the fountain, but when I drank the rest of my bottle several hours later, it tasted foul? Thankfully, there have been no negative consequences.
Old topic, and my two cents is that I drank tap and fountain water every day for nearly 180 days on various Camino routes. Why would I become sick from it if I never got sick from it? There's no need to bring a water filter with you. If you're still not convinced, do as the ancients did.
 
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