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#126810 - 03/09/08 01:23 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: Doug_Ritter]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Doug - Thanks for the clarification and insurance suggestions!

As I mentioned to Pete, I am looking at the Sawyer water purifier - specifically the SP 135 kit ($113) and the SP 155 kit ($145) for the niece. Claimed 3,000 gallon filter life is probably accurate enough if backwash maintenance is done - I used industrial-sized versions of this sort of filter in the 1993 floods to send water directly to hospital mains (using RAW river water intake) - we post-chlorinated a tiny bit so the water qual guys had something to test for (but it was completely unnecessary except for "shelf life"). The plants came from down under IIRC, but the filters were the same type (but BIG).

The head loss across the filters was minimal, so I believe Sawyer's claims of ease of sipping vs others that require squeezing the bottle to build pressure - and I note they use a polycarbonate bottle, which means no squeeze.

I downloaded the BIG video and watched it off-line.




It appears to me that these do NOT use an activated carbon element, so there would be no chemical removal/reduction capability; not sure that would be very important in Bolivia.

Do you have any info / reviews / user opinions you can point me at?

I think Sawyer should send you (or Pete) some of the filters and purifiers to review...



#126815 - 03/09/08 02:04 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: AyersTG]
Doug_Ritter Offline


Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1982
I've got some samples of the Sawyer. They do draw easily compared to others. As always, the problem is that we cannot affordably test to see how truly effective they are. Forced to take their word for it in most cases.

I always take filter life with a very large grain of salt. The advantage is that in most cases where it's not wilderness use, they aren't going to silt up much, so they tend to last longer that usual.
Doug Ritter
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation

#126816 - 03/09/08 02:05 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: Doug_Ritter

One thing I didn't notice anyone mentioning is insurance. Most regular medical won't cover out of country. I also strongly suggest you consider medical evacuation insurance as well. This can break the bank if it's required.

International travel health insurance is highly recommended. My daughter was visiting Fiji in early February and while swimming suffered a deep puncture wound in her foot. A long story short, she spent 4 days in a Fijian hospital (which was free, socialized medicine) but the infection was so severe that she ended up in a hospital in Christchurch, NZ. She endured two surgeries and a skin graft. Twelve days @ $600 a pop plus surgeries would have bankrupted her.

Fortuneately she had purchased the special international health/travel insurance which will cover most of the expense. It included evacuation insurance.

Another suggestion is to make sure your daughter contacts the embassy or nearest consulate. It's important that the embassy know where she will be and how to contact her. For US citizens this can be done online before one leaves or at the embassy or consulate. Dept. of State The US consular officer in Auckland called my daughter in the hospital to check on her progress, sent her reading material, and generally helped ease this father's concerns.

I'll try to get her to post the whole story and pretty pictures (think Blast's finger times 10) after she gets home this week.
In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

#126840 - 03/09/08 02:06 PM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: Andy]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Andy - Thank you. Hope your daughter recovers fully. I won't say I look forward to reading more about this incident, but if she writes it up, I will read it to learn from.



#126935 - 03/10/08 06:41 PM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: AyersTG]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Here are a few other items I thought of after my original post;

Feminine hygiene products
Sewing kit
If she wears eyeglasses or contacts, extras of both including contact lens cleaning solution, eyeglass repair kit and copy of her lens prescription
Duct tape, zip ties and some mid-weight wire for repairs
Cell phone – depending upon her carrier, she may be able to have international coverage. Cell phones have gained huge popularity in many South American countries and it not uncommon to find cell phone use in even some remote areas, since it is easier to install cell phone towers then run landlines. Even if she is unable to use the cell phone while in Bolivia, she can call home while at the airport both coming and going

Packing note: For international travel, most airlines will allow two check-in bags weighing no more then 70lbs, so your niece should have plenty of packing room. She should use both bags (even if she is not hauling 70 lbs of clothing) and divide up her clothing/toiletries between the two, so that if one is lost she still has the other bag (and carry-on) with several complete sets of clothing. My daughter and I generally share one check-in bag for our clothing and use the other 3 for medical/firefighting equipment/supplies. In our carry-on we always include at least 3 days worth of clothing, that way if our check-in luggage is lost or delayed, we always have enough cloths to wear (4 sets - we wear one and have 3 as back-up) and have enough to be able to wash and dry as needed.

I tend to carry more water purifying devices then might normally be needed, as I tend to be the “go-to-person” for everything and anything the team may need, so I have redundant items for key needs. Interestingly, despite traveling with 2-4 doctors and a ton of medical supplies, they almost always come to me for medication and treatment within the team. Practicing medicine in these remote areas is much more like rural or street medicine; many of these doctors practice within hospitals or practices where supplies, equipment and lab tests are readily available. Out in the rural towns and isolated villages, they must depend much more upon their diagnostic skills as opposed to lab tests, etc, which can be challenging.

I would really suggest the MIOX, in addition to using to biologically purify the water, the concentrated solution can be used as a surface disinfect (toilet seats, plates, cups, eating utensils, etc.) and in the diluted form, I would have no hesitation to use to clean cuts and abrasions.


#126973 - 03/11/08 01:06 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: paramedicpete]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Agreed - thanks. Most of that was on my (mental) list for her, but now it's written down. No contacts, thank goodness (or glasses).

I have to check on the cell phone - I think one of my acquaintances / classmate may have been who did their cell network / infrastructure - if not, he will probably know about it anyway. I think he sold his company and retired, but it was fairly recently.

Good to go on the MIOX - your advice on that is golden as far as I am concerned. I think the way I see that is I will LOAN her mine ("Oh, honey, our niece REALLY needs to use this on her trip and you know how strapped she is for $ - I only bought it for her...")

That is, after I buy mine... and the good thing is, CR123 batteries are already one of our standard cells in my household. "See, it even uses the SAME batteries as our sooperdooper flashlights..."

My DW is so on to me... good thing for me she tolerates my wierdnesses so well. (And she DID buy me a new tent for Christmas.) Hey - she and I can try out the MIOX in July backpacking in the Collegiate Range!

Passing this on. My sister and her daughter (the traveler) are very grateful for the information I've forwarded from you, Alan, and Doug.

Many Thanks,


#126982 - 03/11/08 02:21 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: AyersTG]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
You don’t normally think about it, but reading this thread makes you realize just how well we live in The USA compared to many parts of the World.

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#126986 - 03/11/08 05:30 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: BobS]
ame Offline

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
How about a hammock?

Can be used for sleeping in, or set up on the flat as a mosquito net:



#127051 - 03/11/08 11:47 PM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: ame]
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Thank you. I thought about this sort of thing (net), but for her trip it's perhaps overkill. At some point she simply cannot lug too much gear.

I am suggesting she bring and use something like a Cocoon Travel sheet, treated with permethrin, for at least her overnights away from the host family. If it turns out that netting is advisable for some or all of her visit, I suspect she can easily purchase one in-country.

See http://www.designsalt.com/index.asp

Also available at http://www.campmor.com

IMHO, an Egyptian Cotton or Silk-Cotton rectangular Travel sheet (or 2), treated with permethrin, would be a great item to pack and use on the trip. Ripstop Silk would be nice, too, but costs more.

Natural color seems to be a good bet.

I have not yet seen the suggested packing list so for now I have no idea if a sleeping bag will be needed for some portions of her visit. The sleeping sheet would be useful and a nice comfort item in all situations, I think. Stuffs very small and weighs very little.


#127083 - 03/12/08 03:15 AM Re: Niece to spend time in Bolivia this fall [Re: AyersTG]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
For the needles and sutures, etc, if she is traveling with friends, they NEED to know about this stuff, why, and where it is. If she's unconscious, she can't tell the medical personnel anything.

Treating water: she could probably explain it away as allergy to something, or medication, couldn't she?

She needs to know how to contact the American Consulate, not just the other way around.

I wouldn't want to be wearing open-toed shoes or sandals.


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