Is melted snow or stream water safer for drinking?

Is it safer to drink melted snow or water from a stream?
—The Editors
Santa Fe, New Mexico

When out on a winter survival course, or just cold-weather camping, we opt for boiling water that we've hauled out of a frozen lake or river. If that's not an option, then we will melt snow--but it is time intensive, especially for a large group.

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