So if you read my last post, which talks about my awesome adventure traversing the Grand Canyon, you may remember my awesome water filter issues we had on the second day:

Broken Filter

Yes, that water filter has definitely seen better days.  Once our water filter broke in the middle of the Grand Canyon we tried scooping up silty water and letting it sit over night in a Nalgene. Our thought process was let gravity due its trick, and all the sediment would fall nicely to the bottom, and then we could skim off the top and boil for clean, non silty drinking water!

It was a great idea in theory but the water was so silty, that not nearly enough silt sank to the bottom by the time we woke up for drinking. This was a huge dilemma.

A nice user on Reddit who commented on my post for my Grand Canyon Article, mentioned they were going to do a similar trip and would bring along something called Alum for filtration purposes.  I was intrigued so I gave it a google, and thus stumbled upon Flocculation:

In colloid chemistry, flocculation refers to the process by which fine particulates are caused to clump together into a floc. The floc may then float to the top of the liquid (creaming), settle to the bottom of the liquid (sedimentation), or be readily filtered from the liquid.

Hmmm, science can help you filter your water while you are backpacking! I was still curios and found this nifty YouTube video that can explain this a little further:

As you can see a little bit of Alum could have saved the day for me and my buddy while hiking along the silty Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Next camping trip, I am definitely packing some Alum for the trip!