You will learn that the area surrounding water filter selection is confusing and is clouded with deceiving marketing claims. That is why it is important to use a scientific approach in making these choices and the CDC does a great job.
The CDC reports that there are two types of these filters , "absolute 1 micron" filters and "nominal 1 micron" filters. In light of this you will learn that not all filters that are supposed to remove objects 1 micron or larger from water are the same. The absolute 1 micron filter will more consistently remove Cryptosporidium than a nominal filter. Some nominal 1 micron filters will allow 20% to 30% of 1 micron particles (like Cryptosporidium) to pass through.
According to the CDC, "...filters that have been tested and certified should have wording on their labels indicating that they have been listed and labeled to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 or Standard 58 for cyst removal or cyst reduction by an ANSI-accredited certification organization. To find out if a particular filter is certified to remove Cryptosporidium, you can look for "NSF 53" or "NSF 58" plus the words "cyst reduction" or "cyst removal" on the product label information. If you chose to use a non-certified product, select those technologies more likely to reduce Cryptosporidium, including filters with reverse osmosis and those that have an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller." Further details are available in the CDC publications, A Guide to Water Filters and Drinking Water Treatment Methods for Backcountry and Travel Use
You need to be very cautious about accepting any type of backpacking filter that claims to remove viruses. I have not been able to find any conclusive testings that were controlled studies of actually removing a virus. There are studies that show no viruses present but provide no data as to whether any viruses were present to begin with or of what pathology.
Consider never limiting your water disinfecting to filtering only but always use a chemical as prescribed to completely disinfect drinking water where boiling is not possible.
Having been deployed to numerous presidentially declared major disasters has given me some insight into what you might consider important in a time of crisis. The one thing I would tell everyone to have is the Ready Pack. That includes every member of your family including your pets. This is the reason why. The Ready Pack can serve as a sheltering-in-a-place cache, a drive-out or bug-out bag or a walk-out pack whenever the gas runs out or the road ends.
A Ready Pack is going to be designed for the geographical environment in which it will be needed, such as a Gulf Coast pack versus a Canadian border pack. There are many kinds of survival packs for a variety of responses. It may be a full dress stand alone pack or a companion pack to a full dress or a customized child's pack or a necessity pack for a pet. A Survival Instructor we studied under was the head of a state Search and Rescue Branch. He stated that he had six Ready Packs. Each for a different type of search and seasonally adjusted accordingly. His survival and that of the lost or injured person depended on those Ready Packs.
What makes our Ready Pack structure different is that it is tailored after a little known community, the thru-hikers of the Triple Crown Trails (Appalachian Trail 2,167 miles; Continental Divide Trail 3,100 miles; The Pacific Crest Trail 2,650 miles). These individuals traverse these trails hiking from beginning to end in one continuous journey. They are the civilian experts in wilderness long distance hiking and survival. We have studied and gleaned all that we can from these experts. We are not thru-hikers of these trails, however, we have section hiked all three from their trail heads, trail end and in between.
It is important to remember that if all you have is a pillow case, a bottle of water and a can of pork n beans; you have your first generation Ready Pack. We are currently on our fifth generation Ready Pack. We suggest that you build it over time as finances allow. You can utilize birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries as vehicles to build depth into your Ready Pack.
Over the years God has repeatedly drawn me to the Triple Crown hiking trails. I feel God has revealed an analogy through these isolated wilderness avenues. This analogy is a picture of a wilderness journey we are about to walk in America. It will provide the necessary lessons we will need for survival in the days ahead. Let us begin understanding how to live in readiness, with minimal material requirements, by exploring the struggles of making a successful thru-hike on one of these Triple Crown wilderness trails. Thru-hikers are individuals who hike the entire trail on one continuous journey, covering thousands of miles. They are the civilian experts in long distance hiking and wilderness survival. Our journey will be navigating thru the perilous times soon to come to pass in America.
These trails are not in the mainstream thinking of leisure America. The Triple Crown Trails consist of the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Each of these three trails tracks north and south, traversing along one of our nation’s three major mountain ranges. They wind through the most rugged terrain in our country. “As these mountainous trails represent the natural divisions of our nation from the east to the west, just so our country will soon become a nation divided in conflict.” I don’t want to frighten you. I want to inspire you to see the need to get physically hard, to downsize your life, to train without fainting, to fast the conveniences that weaken us (start walking) and to start thinking outside the box of peace and safety.
Consider the analogy of the Appalachian Trail which is the eastern most covering 2,167 miles, beginning at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ending on Mt. Katahdin in Maine. This trail is the shortest in distance but some believe it is the hardest because the stony ground makes it necessary to watch carefully where you place your foot to avoid stumbling and possible injury. Something of interest is the fact that the Appalachian Trail treks through the east coast population corridor. Could it be that the Lord is drawing a picture of urban America that will soon become a wilderness environment? Trail life is about discipline. It means you ration food while you protect your food sack. You must be on the alert for hidden dangers. You pace yourself and deal with any injuries because there is no advanced medical care.
Consider the analogy as it relates to the Continental Divide Trail which begins in Southern New Mexico and ends in Glacier National Park, Canada. This trail completely divides the nation and stretches the longest at about 3,100 miles. The Continental Divide, itself, is a water shed division. It is a place of separation, a dividing of the waters, and a critical place of direction where destiny is written in the heavenlies. It is the high place of hard choices. That is to say, as our nation becomes completely divided, we will have to make some very hard decisions. I have found it easier to make the hard decisions by choice, ahead of time, rather than to wait to be forced by circumstances to adjust.
Consider The Pacific Crest Trail analogy which starts along the border of California adjacent to Mexico and ends along the state of Washington’s border with Canada. It is the western most trail tracking 2,650 miles. The west coast corridor seems to be the easiest to walk but herein lies great deception. The thru-hike window is shorter therefore you must cover more ground quickly. Not only can you burn out physically but emotionally as well because it is isolated and extremely lonely. Could the analogy be the Lord revealing that lies and deception will vex our souls and drain us of our will to survive?
Nights on any trail can bring uneasiness, a sense of your own mortality, a sense of being the desire of a demonic, fearless predator. Your movie-instilled sense of being the ‘can't lose anti-hero’ quickly slides into silent prayers asking God for your protection. You struggle to sleep but it never comes because your heart aches for the light of day and its safety. In the not too distant future you may well remember these words about the trail.
Our analogy lies between hiking a literal wilderness trail and the reality that we stand on the threshold of eternity. As we stand on this threshold, we are no longer blind to the dimension on the other side, but now we see clearly and are active participants in its eternal unfolding. A successful thru-hike of God’s maturation program requires our cooperation and willingness to endure the hardships of this step by step journey.
We’ve turned our churches into entertainment centers with scripted sermons and drama presentations on expensive sound stages. They leave no room for the Holy Spirit to speak into the hearts and needs of God’s people. We are drowning in the Americanized Gospel of self-centered, soulish expectations. We want to be entertained and hear what we want to hear. We think that God’s richness is in the amenities of this life, which we strive to obtain, but fail to realize that true richness lies in Christ-like character. Jesus learned, though he was a Son, obedience by the things which he suffered.
Unless we provide understanding through the whole counsel of God, that tragic things do happen to good Christians, we open the door to disappointment and confusion about the character of God which can cause many to fall away. When the money machine and successful me programs don’t work, people internalize it and question God, “…is something wrong with me or maybe this whole thing is a joke.”
The Triple Crown trails promise no illusions, as I have experienced, they are the greatest equalizers in the world. Trail life demands everyone carry their own load with very human limitations. It is the trail of hard knocks where money cannot buy your way home. You must walk it out, enduring the elements of real life, with the prize of eternal life at trail’s end. As my sister once said, “Each person must do his own praying. We can’t expect someone else to do it for us. God will talk to the simplest person if that person makes time to listen.” We cannot outsource our relationship with God to a pastor or other Christians. Each of us must carry the responsibility for our own relationship.
In these corridors of wilderness existence, I feel God is revealing things you might need to consider for yourself and each of your family members. There is a new standard of living coming to America and it is way below the poverty line. There are no luxuries in a backpack because weight becomes the limiting factor for what you can carry.
In a world where allegedly hydrogen bombs are being tested by rogue nations, it might be wisdom to understand the difference between a fusion hydrogen bomb and a fission atomic bomb. In simple terms the temperature of the atomic bomb approaches the surface temperature of the sun, while a hydrogen bomb exceeds the core temperature of the sun or is hundreds of times more destructive than a fission bomb. The significance of this is that the hydrogen bomb vaporizes everything.
Two thousand years ago it was prophesied that such an event would occur. How could anyone foresee that such power would be unleashed to accomplish this. God spoke the end from the beginning. The atomic detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki created a phenomenon never before experienced on earth. It was the vaporizing of the blood from all living creatures and humans being. Being superheated, it shot straight into the upper regions of atmosphere where it was frozen instantly. This formed hail stones mingled with blood and radioactive soot. As it returned to the earth and it melted to form what was called, "black rain."
The Bible says (Rev. 8:7-12) that there will be hail mingled with blood. Have you ever wondered how the sea could be turned to blood? Consider that in the same passage it says that a third part of all living creatures and humans are killed, vaporized by nuclear bombs; then with the melting of the hailstones comes blood releasing its radioactive death into the waterways and the seas.
Just so, you see the setting of the stage as rogue nations begin their journey into the world of hydrogen bomb detonations.
An important question I have received numerous times is, "Should I be buying gold as a safeguard against a financial collapse?" I have prayed about this repeatedly and can say I have never been given a leading to purchase precious metals. That is my spiritual answer. However, history has another lesson from the 1933 Presidential Executive Order 6102 signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The law required the exchange of all privately owned gold, except a small amount about $100.00 in collectible coins and gold notes, to be redeemed by the Federal Reserve. Jewelers, artists, dentists, etc. were given very limited exemptions. There was a $10,000 dollar fine (about $183,000 today) and or up to five to ten years in prison for failing to comply. The alleged primary reason was that the Federal Reserve (an international cartel of private bankers) required a 40% backing of gold which constrained its ability to increase the money supply.
As many nations have been repatriating their gold, which was once kept in our country, there is a clear indication that the day will come when the exchange of our currency through the central banks will not suffice in acquiring products we need from other nations. Once this occurs and demands are made upon our government to provide precious metals for purchase of needed commodities, where do you think they will turn to get the gold needed?
There are no simple answers to the complex issues we will soon face together. I would ask you to consider the Grain-Dollar. The Bible says that roughly, 1 pound of grain will cost a day's wages in the future, Rev. 6:6. We have always said, "Get cash ahead," you will need it and no one can live without grains.
Since 2002, Steve has been warning our nation that it will again enter into another Great Civil War and that it will be one of Lawlessness vs Civil Order.