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Water Filtration Methods
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Kyle Berkompas
(vantoast) - F

Locale: West
Water Filtration Methods on 02/06/2008 19:53:32 MST Print View

Hey guys,
I'm goin on a trip soon to the Ozarks with some buddies and I'm looking for a good way to purify my water.

In the past I've tried both Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide. I dont really like the taste of either of these and was considering just buying a filter, like the MSR Sweetwater.

Does anyone have any recommendations on filtration systems?

What do you guys use?

Thanks a bunch,

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Water Filtration Methods on 02/06/2008 21:03:43 MST Print View

Generalizing a bit, I see five factors in making water safe to drink:

1. viruses
2. bacteria
3. protozoa (crypto, etc.)
4. water clarity
5. water taste

UL methods like a prefilter + chemicals (Micropur) can take care of 1-3. Out in the moutainous west, streams are usually pretty clear and good tasting.

But river water can get pretty brown -- esp. after a rain. I would want to use a filter or purifier.

A pump filter like MSR Sweetwater can take care of #2-5. Viruses are supposedly not a problem unless the water source is frequented by animals/humans.

If you are concerned about all five factors, then get a pump purifier -- such as the First Need purifier.

Edited by ben2world on 02/06/2008 21:12:37 MST.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Water clarity and taste... on 02/06/2008 21:23:42 MST Print View

I like the way you layed those 5 points out Ben.

Kyle, a lot of what you decide to use will depend on where you are going. I went on a hike and decided against all my obsessive UL tendencies and brought my Katadyn Hiker Pro filter as well as Chlorine Dioxide. Turns out there was a massive rain storm a couple days earlier and the water was so brown you couldn't see through it. The springs were few and far between, and if it weren't for the filter, we would have been drinking mud. Clean mud, but still mud.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Water Filtration Methods... on 02/07/2008 00:48:59 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 01/22/2013 00:19:04 MST.

Ronald Cordell

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
water Filtration on 02/07/2008 08:17:55 MST Print View

I have the Katadyn Hiker Pro filter also. Here in the Southeast water has been few and far between, and is usually not a stream but a small spring that's just a puddle. Having a way to pump and filter the water is a necessity.

Tim Heckel
(ThinAir) - M

Locale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
UV on 02/07/2008 08:41:31 MST Print View

Don't forget the UltraViolet treatment options like Steripen.

Mark Mendell
(mmendell) - M

Locale: Midwest
ULA Amigo Pro Gravity Filter on 02/07/2008 08:52:28 MST Print View

Unless you absolutely need to pump your water, I like this filter. Lighter, easier, and cheaper than the MSR filter. It's especially great if you are filtering for more than one person.

I spent money on an MSR pump, and, hopefully, will never use it again!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Inline Filter on 02/07/2008 18:47:52 MST Print View

I use an inline filter (I believe it is Seychelle, but I'm not certain). The sawyer inline filter is also pretty good. There is a thread about it here: I use the "dirty platy - sip and go method". I have a platypus which I fill with "contaminated water" when I pass by a stream or lake. I then attach the filter, turn it upside down and drink. I then empty out the water. If I pass enough streams, I never carry water (obviously, be careful and do some research). My wife isn't too fond of the method, so she takes a clean platypus, I fill my dirty one, attach a hose connecting the two, turn mine upside down and let it drip. You may have to burp it, but it works well. I drilled a couple holes in the tail end of my platypus and attached some cord so I could turn it upside down. The filter weighs 4 oz. or so (don't have the numbers handy) but may weigh less (on average) than using treatment if it means that you carry less water.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: ULA Amigo Pro Gravity Filter on 02/07/2008 20:44:26 MST Print View

I bought one but have not had a chance to use it. How long does it take to filter a quart of water? Thanks!

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Re: Water Filtration Methods on 02/09/2008 16:13:37 MST Print View

I use a home-made filter. Look in the MYOG forum on about page 5 for Light and Easy Water Filtration for the Lazy Backpacker.

I think you'll like it.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Water purification on 02/09/2008 17:46:24 MST Print View

Ummmm.....I have a Steri Pen, Sawyer in-line, Aqua Mira Frontier Pro, and Chlorine Dioxide and oohhhhhhh I forgot a Katadyn Hiker Pro. Yep obsesive over water treatment. In-lines work great and I use the two platy drip method in camp. On the trail I just scoop and go. The Steri Pen works great but during bright days it is hard to see the light to stop. Also I noticed that glacier melt water with a high mineral content taste's kinda funny. The Frontier Pro seems cool, add the cholrine dioxide first and then filter and you have great tasting water. Thanks to Ben's insight on the Frontier Pro I did a re-think and came up with this combo. Lightwieght and safe. I have not used my filter in 3 years. My wife doesn't like chlorine dioxide so that is out. She likes the Steri Pen but hates not knowing when it is ready on bright days. I am thinking about buying that new MSR pump when it is available in a month or two. At 7 ounces I feel that is about as light a filter you will see. I will say this though, nothing beats cold, clean mountain water of The Sierra's!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Obsessive on 02/09/2008 18:21:54 MST Print View


Thanks for posting... now at least I know I'm not the only obsessive one around here! Let's see, I've owned the following at one time or another:

1. Steripen
2. Seychelle in-line filter
3. Sawyer in-line purifier
4. MSR Sweetwater filter
5. First Need purifier
6. Potable Aqua Plus iodine and taste neutralizer
7. Aqua Mira chlorine dioxide liquid
8. Micropur chlorine dioxide solid

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Obsessive on 02/09/2008 18:25:33 MST Print View

Maybe there is a support group for us out there somewhere!

Well I should throw in my Sechelle, my old Sweetwater that died a vicious death....

It's just like trying to find that perfect backpack. I am always in search of the perfect water treatment that is light AND convenient

Edited by kennyhel77 on 02/09/2008 18:26:09 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Obsessive on 02/09/2008 18:43:41 MST Print View

Unfortunately, I am beyond support groups. :(


Edited by ben2world on 02/09/2008 18:45:34 MST.

Patrick Coulson
(pcoulson) - F

Locale: No California
Water filtration... on 02/10/2008 00:50:03 MST Print View

I have the following

MSR Sweetwater: I like it but a little slow
MSR Miox: Ultra lite. Kills every thing but can add a little chlorine taste to you water. Also does not filer so need a clean source.
and Steripen: Very light as well. Adds no taste but also not good in cloudy water.

I definitely want to get the MSR Hyperflow when it comes out. Supposed to do 2.5+ liters a min. I will use it to filter my water and then the miox to kill all bacteria. Probably overkill. I even take the miox when I travel.

One last note Sweetwater and Hyperflow are not good for winter. Freezing can crack the filters rendering them useless.

Kyle Berkompas
(vantoast) - F

Locale: West
New MSR Filter on 02/11/2008 11:33:58 MST Print View

Yeah that new hyperflow looks pretty sweet. If only they had a student discount...

Thanks for all the replies. I guess I just need to decide between all these options. I don't want something as awkward as the Amigo Pro but I want something that doesn't make my water taste like chlorine or iodine. I think actually might just buck up and get that Hyperflow.


Robert Kay
(ksaccounts) - F
Using the Seychelle in-line filter on 02/13/2008 12:37:23 MST Print View

I've been using the Seychelle in-line filter with great results for four years. I carry two 2 Liter Platypus bags with two 3-4 foot lengths of plastic tubing and mouth piece/shut off valves. I keep one "raw" water tube and one "raw" water bag empty in my pack. I use the "clean" water bag and tube with a mouth piece/shutoff valve while I'm hiking.

I installed hanging grommets on the end of the "raw" water bladder and also on the end of the "clean" water bag. When I stop for the night, I fill the raw water bag with whatever water is available, hang it in a tree or bush, hookup the Seychelle in-line filter and flow the water by gravity into the clean water bag. NO PUMPING! It takes about 10-15 minutes to fill a 2 liter bag. Then I add Aqua Mira to the clean water and hang it up with one of the tubes and a valve with the mouthpiece removed. This is my source of easy access drinking and cooking water for the evening. I then refill the raw water bag, add Aqua Mira, hang it with an extra valve. This becomes a source of easy access wash water for hands, face, spork, etc. You can even take a "Navy" shower using the hanging bag. Total weight with two tubes, two valves, two Platypus bags, Seychelle in-line filter, small vials of Aqua Mira, and an ultra light tote bag is 16-17 ounces.

I usually do my water making duty when I first stop for the night. By the time I've set up camp, the drinking water bag is full. In the AM, I top it off and I'm good to go. I keep the filter system at the top of my pack or in an outside pouch so I can top off again while taking a trail break by a water source along the route. While I'm having a snack, gravity does the work. NO PUMPING!

I like the system because it's cheaper, lighter, and easier to use than the pump systems. Plus, by using the two bag system one can be very careful about not contaminating the primary drinking water parts. I mark the "raw" water bag, valve, and tube with a magic marker so I don't mix them up.

The biggest drawback to the Seychelle in-line filter is that one has little indication when the filter is no longer effective. The only indication I've observed is reduced flow. Since the filter case is black plastic, not clear plastic, you can't see the filter media. I've used the same filter for an entire hiking season with no problems. However, I'm nearly always filtering clean high mountain stream and lake water. To be on the safe side, I use a new filter every year. I've been fitering about 80-100 liters per season.

Bob "Eggy" Kay

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Water Filtration on 02/13/2008 23:23:17 MST Print View

For decades I blithely drank from stream and lake without a problem while growing up in Montana . Then the word Giardia started poping up so I thought to be on the safe side I should try Potable Aqua. Gave up on it though because it tasted terrible. Then I tried a mechanical filter but gave up on that , too, because it was cumbersom. Nowadays I just use a Bota From Boulder bottle; it has a small, replaceable, internal filter cartridge and removes most critters except viruses. It serves my purposes well while in the high country of the Rockies or Cascades as it is light, compact and easy to use: just fill up the bottle and sip. But if I were going to a Third World country I would probably go back to a mechanical filter.

David ripley
(Argyle) - F

Locale: NC
water filtration methods on 02/15/2008 14:16:24 MST Print View

I use the MSR MIOX for larger quanities of water (1 liter +) i pour the water through a coffee filter so i get all the big particles out of it. The miox is great for quanity but for smaller amounts i like the sweet water. you don't have to wait the 4 hours suggested time like with the miox.

Thomas Roberts
(tr) - F

Locale: Southern California
Water Treatment on 02/15/2008 20:46:16 MST Print View

I have been using a Goghlan's Water Filter and Pump for almost 30 years and have never had any problems.