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Aquamira Amount on PCT
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Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/04/2010 22:47:45 MST Print View

Hey there-
Getting ready to order my aquamira for the PCT this spring. How many 3oz packages should I order for the whole trip? Says each purify 30 gal, so I thought about 1gal/day time approx. 135 days I would need 5 of them, correct? Do most people drink 1 gal/day on the PCT? Also, seems like Zpacks is the cheapest place to get it at 10.95 each- anyone seen it for cheaper? Thanks so much!
Evan

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/04/2010 22:58:15 MST Print View

Evan:

Get the tablets. They're a lot lighter -- more potent -- and they do away completely with the need to count drops, mix, and wait out the 5-min. before you even pour and treat. The tablet packages are easy to tear (no tools) and the tablets are easy to break into halves to treat 16oz water bottles (if need be).

Will you be relying exclusively on chemical treatment?

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Benjamin on 03/04/2010 23:02:27 MST Print View

I also think the tablets are a lot easier but my math shows they are a lot more expensive too. Pretty tight on funds here. I thought the droppers would be a good compromise between the weight (not anything like a filter) and the price. I was planning on using mini dropper bottles for the solution, 5-7 days worth carry, and another little dropper to pre-mix some of the solution.
I was going to use chemicals as my main treatment option. I have used iodine extensively but this is probably healthier. Suggestions? I'll re-do the math on the tablets in a sec...
Evan

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Math on 03/04/2010 23:06:46 MST Print View

Benjamin,
Just redid the math. For a 5 month hike at 1gal/day the drops would cost 55 USD and the tablets would cost 350 USD. Yikes! I do see the weight savings however I could spend 180 USD and cut my pack weight from 47oz to 23oz or less, cheaper if I can find a good used pack for the PCT. Little rant there, sorry. What do you suggest for treatment in a budget?
Evan

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Aquamira on the PCT on 03/04/2010 23:09:41 MST Print View

The only down size of the tablets is the 4 hour wait time-- Were the liquid Aquamira takes only 20 minutes total-- The tablets are liter but you have to wait longer-- Who has 4 hrs to kill on a long hike.

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
weight on 03/04/2010 23:11:40 MST Print View

Benjamin,
Calculated the weight of the tablets and drops- if I take 6 days of tablets would be .7oz or a little over .1oz/day. 3oz of drops would last 30 days at 1gal/day or exactly .1oz/day. Seems to me that the weight savings would only be for a 1-2 day hike, no? If I would have to carry the tablets for 30 days or the aquamira for 30 days, or even the tablets for 6 and repackage the drops for 6 they would weight the same, correct?
Evan

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Tablets vs. Drops on 03/04/2010 23:13:51 MST Print View

Seems like for the PCT the drops are the way to go- 6.36 times cheaper, 1/20th the wait time, and for equal or even lesser weight assuming amounts carried and/or repackaging?
Back to the original question...would 3oz really be good for 30 days on the PCT?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: IMPORTANT Clarifications on 03/04/2010 23:20:53 MST Print View

Evan and Jay:

Read the instructions of your seemingly cheaper and faster Aquamira drops. Notice that they mention ONLY treatment against bacteria. There's absolutely no mentioning of any protozoa (cysts, giardia, crypto. etc.)!!

Why? Because the chlorine dioxide concentration in liquid form is not sufficiently potent and the EPA forbids AQ from mentioning anything about protozoa!

A few years ago, Micropur came out with higher concentration chlorine dioxide in tablets. Those are allowed to mention treatment against protozoa:

o 15 minutes treatment against bacteria (same as liquids)
o 30 minutes to 4 hours for treatment against protozoa (longer for colder water)

IMO, if the water is near freezing -- then the long treatment time is almost a false sense of security simply because few of us will wait that long (unless it's an overnight treatment). BUT, you should know that the liquid form doesn't even have this level of security -- real or not!

I had personally talked about this with Aquamira rep. I was told that the liquid form could match the potency of the tablet form to treat protozoa as well -- by quadrupling the dosage!! Now, do the math...

For me, I use a combination of UL filter and chemicals as follows:

1. First treat with chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses -- 5 drops per quart -- 20 minutes wait time.

2. Second, suck water through a light and compact AquaMira Frontier Pro filter (2oz weight) -- to block the bigger and harder to kill protozoa -- and also to clarify water and improve water taste (i.e. completely eliminate any chlorine taste).

And since I rely on the filter to block protozoa, all I need are the el cheapo household chlorine -- and not the expensive chlorine dioxide tablets -- which take too long to do their job anyway.

Finally, and you may already know this -- AquaMira itself now sells chlorine dioxide in the more potent tablet form as well. If protozoa are a concern -- and they are in more and more water sources -- then the cheap/fast liquid form that's only good against bacteria is not the full answer -- unless you quadruple the dosage per the AquaMira rep. I talked to.

Edited by ben2world on 03/04/2010 23:25:06 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: IMPORTANT Clarifications on 03/04/2010 23:28:01 MST Print View

Ben,
Not that I don't trust your system or statements (I ask out of curiosity and lack of knowledge on the subject), but is 5 drops of chlorine (bleach?) per quart completely effective against bacteria and viruses? Does it depend on water clarity and/or temperature?

What do you do in camp when you need a few cups of clean water to heat up for rehydrating meals?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
chlorine on 03/04/2010 23:29:44 MST Print View

By "household chlorine" you mean household bleach.

--B.G.--

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/04/2010 23:30:03 MST Print View

NVM

Edited by dharmabumpkin on 03/04/2010 23:33:46 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: IMPORTANT Clarifications on 03/04/2010 23:33:25 MST Print View

Travis:

Yup. I've checked different websites (Red Cross, etc.) and the ranges are 4-6 drops of household chlorine. That's it. As for wait times, I've read anywhere between 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I usually wait 20 minutes -- sometimes longer.

Chlorine will kill all bacteria and viruses -- 20 to 30 minutes even in near-freezing water. But chlorine won't kill all protozoa -- esp. not the bigger ones with 'hard' shells are impervious to chlorine (unless you up the dosage to "undrinkable") -- and hard to kill even with chlorine dioxide -- which explains the 30min. to 4 hr. wait time. And the colder the water temp, the longer it takes.

EDIT: Bob -- yes, household chlorine such as unscented Clorox. Get a store brand at a 99Cent store and you can get a whole gallon for a buck -- practically a lifetime's worth! Compare that to chlorine dioxide makes the latter super expensive!! Never mind the long wait time.

Edited by ben2world on 03/04/2010 23:37:28 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/04/2010 23:35:18 MST Print View

Brandon:

No, not true at all. Read your MSR Sweetwater drops instructions! The drops are not meant to work by themselves but need to be paired with the filter! Why?

Same as what I wrote up above -- the chemical drops kill the small (easier to kill) stuff like bacteria and viruses. The filter is used to block the bigger (harder to kill) stuff -- like protozoa!

EDIT: I see Brandon just removed the content of his post.

Edited by ben2world on 03/04/2010 23:35:54 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: IMPORTANT Clarifications on 03/04/2010 23:37:20 MST Print View

Thanks Ben.

How's the flow rate when hooked up to say, a Platypus Hoser, and you're drinking on the go? I assume its lessened, but how much?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Travis on 03/04/2010 23:37:54 MST Print View

If I were out along the JMT, then I have a pretty good idea about the risks in raw water. Giardia lamblia is the primary risk that I am concerned about. Not bacteria. Not virus. Not tropical bugs. The kill temperature for Giardia is 175 F. Therefore, assuming that you are at some normal trail elevation, just getting the water hotter than 175 F will get the job done. Obviously, getting it to boiling is a little better. Heating all of this water consumes fuel, but you may be heating it anyway.

Now, if I moved into a new environment, I would have to study up on my water risks there. I might use my gravity filter, or iodine, or Aqua Mira, or some combination thereof.
--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: IMPORTANT Clarifications on 03/04/2010 23:39:12 MST Print View

Travis:

Using a Platy drinking tube, sucking straight versus sucking through the AquaMira Frontier Pro filter -- the difference in sucking effort is only slightly noticeable! I had no trouble at all on my hike up Mt. Whitney.

Edited by ben2world on 03/04/2010 23:48:25 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Bob on 03/04/2010 23:43:17 MST Print View

"Giardia lamblia is the primary risk that I am concerned about. Not bacteria. Not virus. Not tropical bugs. "

Bob -- given the above, I would use one of the two options below:

Option 1. If using chemicals only, then I would go for the AM tablets (ABSOLUTELY NOT the liquids) -- and realistically wait out the treatment time.

Option 2. If combined with a filter -- then I would not waste my money on Aquamira tablets at all. No need. Use household bleach to kill bacteria and viruses (if present) -- and let the filter do its job blocking out the much bigger protozoa.

I prefer using chemicals first -- then using filter to block protozoa and remove the traces and taste of the chemicals (chlorine).

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Bob on 03/04/2010 23:46:50 MST Print View

Bob and Ben,
Thanks for the info! Now time to rethink things.....again.....

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Aquamira Amount on PCT on 03/04/2010 23:52:00 MST Print View

Just throwing it out there but..
According to this article the chances of a backpacker getting giardia are akin to a swimmer getting bitten by a shark.
http://www.getoutdoors.com/goblog/index.php?/archives/22-Giardia-Risks-May-Be-Overblown!-Comparable-to-Being-Eaten-By-A-Shark.html

According to this post, and from what I hear on the trail, aside from the overblown risk of getting giardia, many people can carry it without showing symptoms.

Just remember to use Purell!

Edited by dharmabumpkin on 03/04/2010 23:54:41 MST.

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Treatment on 03/04/2010 23:58:22 MST Print View

Benjamin,
Thanks for the info. I didnt know all that about aquamira! I will look up that 2oz filter you use too. Do you have to replace it occasionally? Ever have it fail? I have never used a filter before. Was just assuming that the tablets and drops have th same potency, thanks for enlightening me!
Continuing the research...
Evan