In Praise of Springs

When I’m home, I pretty much take water for granted. It’s always available, cold and on ice if desired. But it’s a different story on the trail, especially during the 80+ degree days of this past week. I’ve been drinking 3-4 liters/day, and I’ve been nearly continuously anticipating the next source of water. Which brings me to the subject of this blog post, springs. Pennsylvania is blessed with some lovely little springs. Rain water percolates through the soil, further through bedrock fractures, and then emanates at sharp breaks in slope. When I see a trail sign  pointing to a spring, I can’t wait. Sometimes there’s a pipe, but not always. The water is cool,  clear, and sometimes there’s a gurgling sound as it discharges. I typically, guzzle an entire liter immediately (filter first is the recommendation). Then I fill my water bottles. Sadly, I move on down the trail, anticipating the next spring. A couple of days ago, I filled my bottles at a tap in a hiker hostel where I was staying. Later, I took a drink. Yuck, chlorine. Get me to the next spring.

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Comments 4

  • Griz326 : May 4th

    Commercially-available bottled water is undrinkable for anyone drinking from a well or cistern in the Rockies. I consider most filtering devices suspect even though I’ve only experienced one failure; and I didn’t get sick. If I’m not confident drinking directly from the water source, I boil it. If I can’t do that, then iodine tablets add flavor 😉

  • Dave Hoos : May 5th

    Doug, I was looking for you yesterday, I did a shorer hike on the AT, Minsi Mt, only 5 miles. It is on the PA side of the Delaware Water Gap.

  • Scott Bradley : May 5th

    Hi Doug,

    I ran the Bear Mountain Trail Half Marathon yesterday which utilized some of the Appalachian Trail. Near Peekskill. Thought of you and the challenges you face ahead….steep climbs and descends. Keep on keeping on.

  • Rushmore : May 5th

    Yes, the lovely filtered spring water—so satisfying!



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