I was trying to figure out where to put questions about using equipment typically focused on the Great Outdoors in urban settings - although focusing on situations where the "urban" setting is heavily degraded, as in a natural disaster. (see below, I'm hoping to draw a distinction between this and apocalyptic scenarios.)

I could phrase the meat of my questions potentially forcing it into a wilderness equivalent, but it's awkward and there are likely urban nuances that would get lost in translation.

For meta, I'm not asking for answers to the following, but whether that type of question is appropriate for the main site. As an example of my interest, I'm thinking about using hiking water treatments on local urban water supplies after an earthquake. In the wilderness, I'm worried about a relatively low concentration of upstream poop. In a disaster, it's hard to tell if my local lake is receiving the contents of a broken sewer line so concentrations may be higher. Is the wilderness solution sufficient? Use more iodine + filter? Or... Would pool contents contain anything particularly questionable that a hiking filter wouldn't take out?

There is some tangential coverage of this meta question in context of apocalyptic conditions, but I think what I'm after is more tightly focused to the mainline purpose of TGO. I'm not trying to build a water filter from scratch, I'm trying to pull out my hiking equipment bin and say "Hmm, what can I use for the next 14 days til better options are in place?"

There's also a topic about the "gear" or "gadget" tag that this almost strays into. An unintended consequence of my type of question becomes "Can I use a tent pole for < insert silly purpose. >"

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    I think yes. Some of our backpacking equipment comes in handy during long power outages, although we have never had to purify water, because we keep an emergency supply. If you choose to ask this question, one consideration is how well the backpacking filter would handle water heavy in particulates, i.e., just plain dirt.
    – ab2
    Aug 13, 2017 at 18:48
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    I am also voting to close as duplicate. The question Liam includes in his comments leads to outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/urbex which is I beleive the answer to the question. Aug 14, 2017 at 14:44
  • I can see your point - there's reasonably close parallel in that these are urban environments now treated as compromised... However, urbex seems to be focused on typically uninhabitable abandoned areas vs. currently populated but recently degraded situations. For my examples, I'd (personally) never try a hiking filter on water from the locations described in the tag: "Typical subjects of urban exploration are abandoned military (e.g old bunkers) or industrial complexes both in urban areas and at more remote places." (and thanks for the input, whichever way we go!) Aug 14, 2017 at 18:06
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    I'll take this as a "Yes, you're broadly on topic" and won't stress too much about the tagging - kinda splitting hares there. (or hairs, but figured the rabbits were more on topic.) Aug 14, 2017 at 22:24
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    And now, after finally writing up my question (and then deleting it) - my search abilities finally recover and lead me to: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/7/… Aug 14, 2017 at 22:57


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