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Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Journey on 11/11/2009 11:11:39 MST Print View

" found it does not work when it is cold outside or the water is real cold."

How cold was it, and how cold was the water? My buddies worked with ambient temps down to 40 and water that was cold enough that it hurt when I waded through the knee deep water (don't know how cold it was).

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Steripen... on 11/11/2009 12:59:53 MST Print View

"Dan - Protozoa are not uncommon in North America."

AquaTabs kill most Protozoa including Giardia, which I believe is the most significant concern. They just don't kill 100% of crypto when it's in the oocyst stage. From my reading, cypto is not considered a common protozoa in N. America.

"The fact that the Steripen kills the organisms in minutes allows me to carry .5 to 1 liter of water in my pack and refill frequently whenever I want. Your 2 liters of water means that you are carrying a couple of extra pounds of water while trying to save a few ounces of weight by carrying chemicals. Unless there is a shortage of water in your area, I don't see how the chemicals are reducing your pack weight?"

I carry two liters of water because I think that is a good amount to have where I hike. Not because I need it for my preferred water treatment method. If I thought carrying 1 liter was fine, then I would just fill my PlatyBottles with 1/2 liter each and still drink one while the other treats. A pint of water is plenty for 1/2 hour. I don't carry extra water because of the chemicals.

Edited by dandydan on 11/11/2009 13:00:47 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: steripen on 11/11/2009 13:11:23 MST Print View

"If you are using chemicals, chlorine dioxide is superior to aquatabs. Aquatabs chlorinate the water, Aquamira or other chloride dioxide products oxidize the water (they do not chlorinate) this is more effective AND tastes better."

Aquamira is more expensive, heavier and requires you to sit and wait for 5 minutes while it reacts before you can administer it. If you're worried about crypto then sure, bring Aquamira, but otherwise I don't see why anyone would want to go through this hassle for a possible tiny improvement in taste. The 5 minute wait is a major con IMO.

Edited by dandydan on 11/11/2009 13:44:03 MST.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Cold Weather on 11/11/2009 15:07:18 MST Print View


I don't know how cold it was but we had a few nights with frost if that is any indication. Never had a thermometer to look at. If I left the Steripen Journey out in my pack, or just out, it did not seem to work under those conditions. I made it a point to put it in a pocket when we left camp in the early AM to heat it up a bit.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Cold Weather on 11/11/2009 15:10:14 MST Print View

"If I left the Steripen Journey out in my pack, or just out, it did not seem to work under those conditions."

I'd bet the batteries are the problem. Cold batteries don't provide much electricity.

douglas girling
(dgirling) - F

Locale: Adirondacks
Steripen on 11/11/2009 15:11:23 MST Print View


True, Aquamira does require mixing - and that is a pain.
Klear water is a chlorine dioxide treatment that does not require mixing (I think available on BPL store) and Micropur MP1 treatment tabs also chlorine dioxide. I prefer the latter, these are my chemical treatment of choice - individually foil wrapped - so they stay fresh until you need them.

Re streipen I use the adventurer and this has worked well. No first hand experience with the journey. The older blue and white model works well too - it's just a bit bulky


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Micropur MP1 treatment tabs on 11/11/2009 15:32:53 MST Print View

The Micropur MP1 treatment tabs do seem like a nice way to go. Seems like pretty much the same deal as AquaTabs (ie. price, weight, hassle) but they have the added bonus of killing crypto.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Steripen on 11/11/2009 17:38:02 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/27/2015 17:01:57 MDT.

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Charcoal mini-filters on 11/11/2009 18:47:01 MST Print View

>>Ken -

>> You can get little charcoal filters that fit inside a large mouth Nalgene to go along with, to handle funky flavors.<<

Where can I get one of these?<<

Ditto this question, and another: would the filters fit something lighter that has a smaller mouth than a nalgene?

On my earlier post I forgot to add the carry less water (and weight) aspect of the steripen. When I'm using it I find myself commonly carrying 2-4 lbs less water weight, which I consider a lot, considering my shelter/bag/pack weighs in around 5 lbs.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
charcoal filter on 11/11/2009 20:05:15 MST Print View

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Klearwater vs. Aquamira on 11/12/2009 00:21:34 MST Print View

Why does anyone use Aquamira over Klearwater? As far as I can tell, the only difference is that Klearwater can be dripped into the water right away, whereas Aquamira requires you to mix two different liquids and then wait 5 min before you put it in your water. I gotta be missing something...

douglas girling
(dgirling) - F

Locale: Adirondacks
steripen on 11/12/2009 04:51:24 MST Print View

It's probably a case of Aquamira being much more readily available - you can pick it up just about anywhere. It's a little harder to find Klear Water and furthermore a lot less people know about it. Klear Water may have a little less of a shelf life once it has been opened (This is just an assumption) as it has already been "activated" so to speak - but an open bottle will still last over a year, longer if you keep it in the fridge.
Bottom line I'm sure if more people knew about the se alternative products they would more likely use should try mixing Aquamira in the pouring rain, an exercise in frustration.

I use the chemical treatments infrequently (my primary method is the steripen) and that's why I prefer the Micropur tabs (which are more expensive) but I can just keep them in my pack indefinitely and not worry about them.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Thx on 11/12/2009 10:00:49 MST Print View

Thx. That makes sense. I'll give Micropur and/or Klear Water a try soon.

Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
treatments on 11/12/2009 11:38:57 MST Print View

I will look into the Micropur and Klear Water too... maybe they'll have one of the two at the local REI when I stop in there today. On a side note... I will be receiving my Golite Peak tomorrow, and in a new thread will post some pics.

Jeff Patrick
(callmeammo) - F

Locale: Sacramento
charcoal filter. on 11/12/2009 12:36:05 MST Print View

Do they make a charcoal filter for wide mouth collapsible bottles?

I want to be able to filter water as it goes into the widemouth. Then take off the filter and use a steripen and transfer that to my small mouth hydration bladder. (This would all be so much easier if steripen would make a tall and skinny model).

I've looked into the coffee filters but I'm thinking something homemade that would force the water to flow through the charcoal might be more efficient.

Would this work?

Possible Charcoal Filter for wide mouths

Edited by callmeammo on 11/12/2009 13:14:12 MST.

Jesse McKinney
(jessemckinney) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Less water weight on 11/13/2009 20:49:54 MST Print View

I have to add my two cents on carrying less water weight with the Steripen. On my last AT section I took Aquamira to save weight. It was a pain to treat which forced me to treat it in larger batches and carry a lot more water. This ended up being one of the heaviest things I carried. A liter of water weighs more than my backpack or my quilt.

I kept finding myself walking past water sources which weren't on the AT maps with a liter or more of water in my pack. All of my weight saving measures were pretty much circumvented by carrying more water.

If I was hiking in the desert it would make perfect sense, but on the Appalachian Trail it downright stank. I'll definitely be taking my Steripen on my next trip and carrying half of the water weight.

I figure by carrying a liter less water around all the time I can cut a kilo (2.2 pounds US) off of my pack weight. With around an 11 kilo (25 pounds US) skin-out wight for my fair weather 4-season set-up, that's almost a 10% drop in weight for the extra ~57 grams (2 ounce US) I will carry for my SteriPEN Adventurer.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cold Weather on 11/14/2009 14:18:26 MST Print View

> If I left the Steripen Journey out in my pack, or just out, it did not seem to work under those conditions.

Cold batteries.


Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Steripen on 11/14/2009 14:59:30 MST Print View

I used my Steripen Journey successfully in temperatures down around 20F. I simply kept it inside a stuff sack of clothing next to me in my hammock overnight, and in my jacket or pants pocket during the day.

One thing I like about the Journey is that the handle has a tapered rubber-like end that will fit perfectly in a Platypus bladder mouth. I can simply fill the bladder, insert the Journey into the mouth, and turn the bladder upside down and gently shake to treat the water. The way the end is made, water does not leak out.

One thing to consider if using chemicals and wanting to treat for crypto, is that ALL chemicals can actually take up to 4 hours to work on crypto. The 30 minute time is for bacteria, viruses, and guardia.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Reliability on 11/14/2009 15:40:22 MST Print View

I've met a lot of people on the trail who swear by the Steripen. I must say, it is a great concept, however, I've seen a significant number of trail journal entries speaking to unreliability. Before everyone who's never had a problem chimes in, that's not the definition of reliability. The ratio of those who've had a problem to those who haven't is a better measure, and by that scale, a Steriipen doesn't have a great track record. Batteries are another consideration.

I currentl chemically treat my water for viruses and filter for protozoans (and to remove the virus killing chemicals after they've done their job. I'm seriously considering the Sawyer viral (0.02 micron) filter. No chemicals, no batteries and the manufacturer claims a 1 million gallon life expectancy. I've been using the Sawyer 0.1 micron filter with no problems for two years. The 0.02 micron filter would let me ditch the virus chemicals and the charcoal filter that extracts them. The initial price is higher than the Steripen, but no batteries and high reliability would seem to make the Sawyer a better value.

Edited by herman666 on 11/14/2009 15:47:21 MST.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Cold temps and the Steripen on 11/14/2009 16:29:20 MST Print View

When I first got it I had trouble with my Steripen near freezing temps. But like Pamela I started just tucking it somewhere near me overnight and stuck it in my pocket to warm it up before using and have not had a failure since. Nice piece of kit once I figured that out.

Happy Trails,