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ERIC Number: EJ863529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Giardia Myth-Buster: How Hearsay and Anecdotal Evidence Has Created a False Industry Standard
Schlimmer, Erik
Journal of the Wilderness Education Association, v21 n1 2009
There are many things outdoor educators agree on. For example, a warm meal feels great at the end of the day. Cotton fabrics take forever to dry in the field and should thus be avoided. Most small groups generate less impact than large groups do. Mosquitoes and black flies come straight from hell. And, all backcountry water must be treated due to the presence of Giardia, a protozoan that has infested water sources throughout the United States, causing the debilitating gastrointestinal illness giardiasis. Now, there is no denying hot meals are soothing, cotton kills, good things come in small packages, and camping during bug season is cruel and unusual punishment. But, has Giardia really infested water sources? Ask this question to nearly any outdoor educator and one will receive a harried, "Oh, yes it has!" However, to this question the author calmly answers, "No, it has not." The author teaches a curriculum that embraces drinking straight from the source. In this article, he provides supporting evidence for not treating backcountry water which breaks down into five logical, myth-busting arguments that will encourage educators to rewrite unproven curriculum.
Wilderness Education Association. 900 East 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405. Tel: 812-855-4095; Fax: 812-855-8697; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States