Going into the outdoors for some recreational activities such as camping and hiking can be a great experience. However if one does not take the appropriate precautions their trip can turn from a dream into a nightmare in an instant. One of these includes ensuing that you have clean soft water during your trip.
Why is Hard Water Harmful?
Hard water isn’t harmful in the short term for human health but if the water contains high amounts of fluoride then it could discolor your teeth in the long term. In addition to this hard water forms scum and makes it difficult for soap to lather therefore making washing almost impossible and increasing the chances of your clothes splotching.
How Do I Tell If Water In the Outdoors Is Hard?
Most of the water you will encounter in the outdoors will most likely be groundwater which has ultimately acquired ions of metals such as magnesium and potassium by dissolving them from surrounding soil and rock. You can buy a test kit and measure the amount of hardness in the water which is calibrated as ‘grains per gallon’. If the water tests at 1 GPG then it is soft water, if it tests anything above 7 GPG then the water is hard water and if it tests anything above that then you have encountered very hard water.
Picking a Water Softener
Water softeners come in many a breed (see reviews at watersoftenerguy.com) but the most effective are the ion exchange softeners which wok on the principal of adding salt (sodium chloride) to the water which is then used to exchange the magnesium and potassium ions. The next step is to establish how much water you need to be softened per day. An average home uses an average 100 gallons of water a day and thus requires a 27,000 grain range water softener. Any water softener around this range should provide enough water for an entire family’s use. Lastly one needs to ensure that their water softener is portable as it will be used in the outdoors.
Water softeners are relatively easy to install if one has some basic plumbing and electrical skills. The packaging will provide a step by step guide on how to install your respective water softener to your water supply and it should be easy to follow. One can also rely on online tutorials if the provided manual is not easy to use. Finally you can request the attendant at the retailer where you are acquiring your water softener to pre-install it for you.
Water softeners usually contain electrical elements that are sensitive to the harsh weather conditions of the outdoors. In this regard one should ensure that;
1. The water softener is insulated or buried underground if you are staying in cold weather. This will prevent the water inside the softener from freezing and damaging the entire unit.
2. The water softener is kept in some form of protective housing to prevent it from damage from external elements such as rain, wind and excessive sunshine.
Please note that some portable water softener will require a rechargeable battery to operate. One should ensure they have adequate charging facilities to cope with this.