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Is it okay to drink melted snow?

I'm staying up at the Big Water Yurt in Millcreek Canyon in the first week of December and was wondering if it is safe to drink snow melt?

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Probably OK, but it depends.  Usually fresh fallen snow is free of contamination,,,,,,,,,,,, but may become polluted once on the ground.  I have consumed snow melt without consequences many times, but that is no guarantee for the future.

To be really sure of germ free water, melt snow and bring it to a boil, then cool.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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Probably OK, but it depends.  Usually fresh fallen snow is free of contamination,,,,,,,,,,,, but may become polluted once on the ground.  I have consumed snow melt without consequences many times, but that is no guarantee for the future.

To be really sure of germ free water, melt snow and bring it to a boil, then cool.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Awesome thanks!!

 

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1. Avoid yellow snow 😉

2. If you're going to melt snow to make drinking/cooking water, start with some water from your drinking bottle then apply heat slowly and gradually. Otherwise you can "burn" the snow, resulting in water that has a distinct smokey, burned taste.

...Wanderer


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Sweet, thanks for the tip!!!

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Watch out for old snow that may have algae growing in it, like with a red tint. And of course avoid yellow snow 🙂

Snow starts as essentially distilled water, so it can be a little bland and tasteless.  Other than that, with the above caveats, it's fine to drink.

Retired medical technologist and engineer
REI member since 1978
Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

When ever I drank melted snow over a couple days, it irritated my throat and I sounded horse, even though my throat didn't hurt. Given the choice, I prefer to filter water from a stream even if I have to break through ice.

aka "Boonerelli"


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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