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Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter
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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 02/01/2010 13:44:39 MST Print View


It's hard to fill up a narrow-mouth, collapsible water bottle like Platypus at shallow water sources. Also, filling up often disturbs the water, stirring up particulates into one murky mess.


Make a simple, light and compact water scoop with integrated pre-filter.

Materials Needed

1. Sacrifice an old 1L Platypus water bottle
2. Platypus "push-pull" cap
3. mesh coffee filter ***

*** Cheaper option -- buy this at Wally World for $2 and cut out the piece of mesh filter within.

Putting It Together

1. Cut out a round piece of mesh just a tad bigger all around than the opening of the push-pull cap -- and insert into the cap as shown in photo below.

2. Cut out the bottom of your old Platy -- as shown in photo below.

3. Screw the push-pull cap on.

That's it! You're done!

Using It

1. With cap screwed on and in closed position, scoop a bottle full of water.

2. Position your receiving water bottle below -- then pull open the push-pull cap. Water will very quickly drain through the mesh pre-filter into your receiving water bottle -- and be free of any visible sediment or debris.

3. Treat your water with chemicals or Steripen as desired.

After use, I give the water scoop a quick wipe, then put my small bottle of chlorine inside, roll it all up and stuff into my pack's side pocket.

Edited by ben2world on 04/10/2013 19:13:32 MDT.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Nice on 02/01/2010 14:00:27 MST Print View

Good solution Ben. I hate trying to fill the platy in shallow water.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 02/01/2010 14:11:01 MST Print View

An alternative that may require no additional gear is:
1. Use ziploc to fill up container.
2. Use headnet to prefilter if needed.

I've only rarely had to use a ziploc to fill up from a shallow water source and even more rarely had to prefilter.

Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 02/01/2010 14:32:04 MST Print View

This method works great. We SteriPen-treated the water right in the Platty and the nice treated, and sediment free, water drained quickly into our water bottles.

The only thing was that Platy push-pull cap, it's so tough to pull, some of the water would spill out while trying to pull it open to transfer to the water bottle.

I was thinking that it would loosen up over time, but no such luck.

john griffith

Locale: Southeast U.S.
Pre-filter on 02/02/2010 07:00:20 MST Print View

I have some old platys lying around because they are so darn hard to fill when the water source is shallow. Not to mention how hard it is to get the inside of the bottle dry once I get it home and wash it out. This is an awesome solution. Most of us have probably gotten our share of "protein and minerals" from somewhat shaky water sources over the years. While I like to thoroughly chew my food, I can't say I feel the same way about my water. This is excellent!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 02/02/2010 18:11:31 MST Print View

Everyone -- thanks for your comments -- glad to be of help. :)

Mr. Shannon:

Yes, if you rarely encounter shallow water sources with muddy bottoms, then it makes perfect sense to use a ziploc bag. Why not -- esp. if you already have one or two at hand?

But for those who deal with shallow/muddy water sources more regularly -- there's something to be said about using just one plastic piece over and over again -- versus throwing away bags after every couple of uses (or trips). Also, I think the integrated prefilter is just nice to have -- works well with no weight and no hassle in the field. But as they say, definitely YMMV.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
coffee filter vs fuel filter on 05/06/2011 21:49:48 MDT Print View

ben- thanks for posting this as I'm soon to pull the trigger on a steripen :) is the fuel filter as effective mesh as the coffee filter?



Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: coffee filter vs fuel filter on 05/06/2011 22:00:34 MDT Print View

See the thread below for a seal-a-meal coffee filter holder/pre-filter:

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
clever on 05/06/2011 22:12:17 MDT Print View

^ very clever :)

Justin R
(5150Bronco) - F

Locale: Bay Area, Ca.
lightest bottle. on 06/21/2011 16:23:16 MDT Print View

All very great stuff here. Thanks.

I am wondering about the lightest bottle, say for a situation where you need to lower a bottle into water source.

What is the lightest bottle?

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
great idea on 06/21/2011 18:41:12 MDT Print View

Good use of an old platy.

John - to dry the inside of a platy and all tubing - buy a $5 aquarium pump and run the air hose into whatever you need to dry. The positive air flow dries it fast.

I read this in a thread on here a while back and it works great.



(jpovs) - F

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 06/21/2011 19:41:56 MDT Print View


Edited by jpovs on 02/02/2015 09:38:42 MST.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 06/22/2011 13:04:53 MDT Print View

Anyone know how much the push-pull cap weighs? If that fuel filter weighs 14 grams, would it be lighter to cut off the top (maybe heavier?) part of the platypus and not use the push-pull cap, but instead just scoop and pour through the fuel filter into the receiving water bottle? Or just not use the platypus at all and use a ziploc or something else you might already have to scoop? I can't imagaine it would make too much of a difference either way, just thinking out loud before sacrificing a platypus.

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Don't kill a good platty on 06/22/2011 13:50:47 MDT Print View

I wouldn't kill a functional Platty for this use. I'm using a fuel filter funnel and my cook pot to scoop and treat. You can cut off the top or bottom of a PET water bottle or something for about the same weight as the platty. It really depends on your situation. I know a 1L platty is only $8, so if you don't need it, I guess cut it.

In my area there is always deep creeks so I don't really need a flat scoop, and therefore would not kill a platty.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 06/22/2011 13:57:52 MDT Print View

"just thinking out loud before sacrificing a platypus."

Sacrifice it. At midnight. With lots of candles.

I wear a Montbell mesh hat with mesh neck drape. The mesh neck drape does double duty as my filter. I use a 2L platy with the top cut off (and with the 1L line still visible) as my water scoop. Scoop the water, treat with my Steripen, pour into my water bottle through the mesh neck drape. Drink.

Easy, quick, light.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 06/22/2011 14:09:32 MDT Print View

I don't know, man. That sounds like a fire hazard to me. I was only planning on using 4 strategically placed candles.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter on 06/22/2011 19:17:32 MDT Print View

Doug- seeing your a steripen user, need to ask you a question- your filtering out the bigger stuff after you use your steripen, I'm more concerned w/ pre-filtering before using the steripen to insure it's effectiveness, clear water- which is the majority of water I deal w/ shouldn't pose any problems, but what about turbid, silty water or the like? is there a way it can it be effectively pre-filtered w/ a cut-off platy?

thanks in advance


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter - Mike on 06/22/2011 19:42:02 MDT Print View

Hey Mike!

I can't really answer your question because I haven't encountered any silty, turbid water - the vast majority of my water is from nice flowing streams. If I thought I'd encounter such water, I might bring along one of those paper coffee filters and a second cut off platy though (unless you carry a water bottle that your steripen can fit in, then you don't need the extra platy).

Perhaps others will have a better answer! Sorry I couldn't be more help.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Simple Water Scoop and Pre-Filter - Mike on 06/22/2011 19:48:35 MDT Print View

A lot of times the silt is too fine to filter out effectively

If you fill a big water bottle, and let it sit for a few hours or over night the silt will settle so you can take clear water from the top. Just don't jostle it or all the silt will go back up into the water.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
pre-filter on 06/22/2011 20:04:19 MDT Print View

thanks gents :) the vast majority of the water I use is very clear so 95%+ of the time shouldn't be a problem. I've just read that turbid/silty water can render the steripen less than effective and wanted to have my bases covered- I will continue to carry some Micropur tabs as a backup- so in those instances where the water is too silty for the steripen I can just tab the water if need be

I tentatively have a trip planned to Peru next year and evidently the Amazon water has a very fine silt in it (that renders many filters inoperable in short order) so I still may have to come up w/ a work around