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Hydration and water sources
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Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Hydration and water sources on 04/07/2005 23:25:25 MDT Print View

I have read Ray Jardine’s theories on water; where we should stay well hydrated at the rate of “one quart per hour”. While I think that might be somewhat exaggerated, I do agree we need to remain hydrated. I also believe in today’s world, everything within a 100 mile radius of a large metropolis (over 1,000,000) has a greater chance of pollution than in more remote locations.
I am concerned with our sources for water while on a trek. I am a firm believer of passing all my water through a filter of some sort. I don’t like to have to boil the water as that can use up more fuel than I would normally like. I would rather be safe than positioned at the porcelain god not knowing to kneel or sit.
Depending on the situation, I will use an MSR Water Works, a Katadyn Hiker, or a gravity filter using platypus bags with both a Sweetwater Siltstoper pre-filter (5 microns) and a Seychelle In-Line (2 microns) filter. The Sweetwater is primarily to increase the life of the Seychelle. I really like the gravity filter rig, as I can setup camp and get things ready while nature does my filtering work. I also add Aqua Mira to the final product.
So far I have not had any adverse affects, but I suspect that is because I have been what some call overly cautious.
I have had wonderful water from high mountain creeks, streams and lakes. I worry more about larger rivers that pass farmland. The water flow is usually good, but much of it is murky so judging the source can become questionable. What about contaminates from septic runoff, livestock and insecticides upstream? Forget about stagnate water. I wouldn’t go near that source unless my life depended on it. I’d rather make a water still! Am I being paranoid? How do you deal with those? I would like to know what this group thinks.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Water filter on 04/07/2005 23:47:20 MDT Print View

Very nice setup (the inline filter one). It happens to be the same setup I use, except that I chemically treat the water BEFORE it goes through the filter. This way I get rid of the chlorine taste for a truly pure taste. I also use a Platypus Big Zip 4 as the top of my gravity filter--that way when I'm hiking it becomes my main hydration pack.

My course of action is to fill the Big Zip, add the Aqua Mira, put it back in my bag, and keep hiking, sipping as I go. At camp I fill other bottles for camp use by hanging the big zip on a branch or my hiking poles, letting gravity do the filtering instead of suction from my mouth. This way I don't wait around for gravity to purify everything while in hiking mode.

Lastly, I add a Platypus shower attachment to the Big Zip. For a truly extravagant splurge I will boil 1L of water and add it to 3L of treated water in the bag for a toasty shower, even in overcast conditions where the sun won't warm the water on a rock.

It's not the absolute lightest setup, but I find it the most convenient, versatile, and trustworthy for the weight.

Edited by jcarter1 on 04/07/2005 23:48:40 MDT.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Ultimate lite water purifications system on 04/08/2005 05:28:03 MDT Print View

I use this system:

Filtering with a small homemade debris/mud filter (0.1oz) into a 1 liter Nalgene cantene adding AquaMira or even lighter Katadyn MP1 tablet.

The original Nalgene cap is exchanged with a push-pull cap and a McNett filter (1.5 oz) is inserted between.!
This filter takes all bad taste and is a backup if one run out of chemical treatment. The McNett filter uses an activated carbon labyrinth filter to remove pathogens 2 microns or larger including giardia, cryptosporidium and large bacteria like E.Coli. The filter also reduces many waterborne chemicals including lead and chlorine. (the E-coli bacteria are present near farming and septictank etc.)

If going superultraxtremlylite you could use the strawfilter after chemicaltreatment (or alone if you run out of chemicals)It will take the most likely like giardia, cryptosporidium and large bacteria like E.Coli. The filter also reduces many waterborne chemicals including lead and chlorine

Edited by skaarup on 04/08/2005 05:34:02 MDT.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Katadyn MP1 smarter than AquaMira.?! on 04/08/2005 06:06:21 MDT Print View

I think the new Katadyn MP1 purification tablets are a smarter choise than AquaMira.!

30 tablets weight 0.71 oz including the foil. (Should be kept in foil until use.!)

Based on Clorine Dioxine like Aquamira.

Ready right out the foil.! No mix, mix cap to be lost.

If for a weekend or 3 days just bring
the tablets you need.

Lighter, easier, smarter but more expensive.

(Anyway included some tablets in your survival kit.)

Edited by skaarup on 04/08/2005 18:23:57 MDT.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
McNett filters on 04/08/2005 06:13:11 MDT Print View

Hi Poul.

Thanks. What you actually say is that McNett are not right in saying that their carbon filters take out cysts and larger bacterias (they name E-coli a large one).!?

How big (small) are cyst like giardia, cryptosporidium.??

Anyway the carbon does take out bad taste like the clorine, old mud taste etc.
So i still think that a 3 stage treatment is optimal.
1. bandana/coffe filter take debris larger particles.
2. chemical, kills all the living nasty ones.
3. carbon filter remove chemicals and bad taste.

The trick is to make such a system convenient and light.

Edited by skaarup on 04/08/2005 06:29:24 MDT.

Timothy Chauran
(TimChauran) - F
Katadyn wait time on 04/08/2005 06:34:03 MDT Print View

While the Katadyn tablets seem more convenient, they also require a 4-hour wait time to be completely effective against water-borne bacteria -- seems like a long time to lug water down the trail before you can drink it....

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Re: Katadyn MP1 wait time on 04/08/2005 06:58:42 MDT Print View

Its the same as the AqauaMira.

Bacteria only take 15 minutes.

Its just because MP1 has an EPA approvement. They demand the longest time to be instructed. With dirty cold water you should also have a longer contact time with AquaMira.

Official contact time

Official contact time

let stand for 15 minutes. If water is very cold, cloudy, or if cryptosporidium is suspected, let stand for 30 minutes or more and use double dosis. (14 + 14 drops)!

So I think MP1 is just smarter.

Edited by skaarup on 04/08/2005 07:10:06 MDT.

Jason Smith
(JasonS) - MLife

Locale: Northeast
Aquamira vs Aquastar on 04/08/2005 09:13:41 MDT Print View

I have been trying to figure out which would be lighter, and was wondering if anyone saw any problems with my calculations.

I have heard advice that the average individual drink 1 liter ever 2 hours while hiking. Sounds like Dr. Jordan advises more but for now this will suffice for my calculations, and it only shifts the calculations more in favor of using the aquastar.
Water weights around 35 ozs per liter. Wait time for Aquamira is 30 minutes. Thus I need to carry enough water to last me those 30 minutes. So 2 hours divided by 30 minutes = 1/4. 1/4 of 35 ozs is 8.75 ozs of water required of extra water.

Aquamira system
2 Nalgene 1.5 liter cantenes 4.5 ozs
Aquamira repackaged 1.1 oz
Excess water 1/4 liter 8.75 ozs
Total weight 14.35 ozs

Aquastar system
1 Nalgene 1.5 liter cantene 2.25 ozs
Aquastar 8.5 ozs
Total weight 10.75 ozs

It seems to me that if you plan to obtain water either at the beginning or end of each day then the aquamira weighs less, but if you obtain water along the way on trail then the aquastar weighs less.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
water purification on 04/10/2005 02:46:29 MDT Print View

>Am I being paranoid? How do you deal with those? I would like to know what this group thinks.

The good old days--when we carried our Sierra cups and drank from every little stream we passed and never worried about carrying or disinfecting water--are gone. The Jardines drink way more water in the field than I ever will, but I just can't bring myself to drink raw water any more. My brother-in-law still suffers from a bad bout of something (giardiasis?) many years after the original attack. And since I'm also providing water for my 3- and 1-year-old kids, I'd hate even more to have something affect them.

The simple solution for me is that since we mostly day-hike in Hawaii, I carry 3-5 liters of water for the day. My base pack weight is about 15 pounds, plus 10+ pounds of water and food and 20-30 pounds of kid. But soon I'll be backpacking again and I won't be able to carry enough water. We have a nasty bug here in Hawaii that causes leptospirosis, which kills several people every year. The bacterium can wiggle through a 0.2u filter, so even a good water filter isn't sufficient. I carry Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablets in case we run short, along with a McNett 2u straw filter to stop Crypto and Giardia (no way I can wait 4 hours for iodine or chlorine to get the cysts).

I tried a Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablet by just dropping it in my 1 liter Nalgene. After 20 minutes I tasted it; it was nasty and burned slightly. I wasn't impressed. However, a few months ago I used a tablet on the trail, and after 40 minutes of hiking, the water tasted like...plain water! Evidently the sloshing made a big difference compared to just sitting on the counter.

The chlorine (or iodine) still only gets the bacteria and viruses, leaving cysts (unless you wait for hours). The straw filter works fine for just me, but doesn't cut it for the kids or for camp water. I'm loathe to carry a filter (my Katadyn Pocket isn't exactly a lightweight) so I'm considering a completely different solution.

The Hydro-Photon SteriPEN UV-C water purifier ($150) weighs 6.5-8oz including batteries. I thought that would be the best solution, since it weighs less than any 0.2u water filter, but then I saw the AquaStar UV-C water purifier ($100) . Weight is 3.1oz including (alkaline) batteries, not including the required wide-mouth bottle (e.g., Nalgene). The UV-C light messes up the DNA in living organisms, which means it kills or deactivates viruses, bacteria, protozoans and cysts. It does so quickly: one liter in one minute, or thereabouts. That means you can stop at a stream, zap a liter, and starting drinking it right away.

I haven't bought one yet, but either of these would seem to be the best solution for my needs. Since I usually carry a widemouth bottle for backpacking anyway, the AquaStar is certainly the lighter option. Prefiltering mucky water is required; the water must be clear for effective purification.

One problem with the UV-C purification, unlike chlorine or iodine, is that it doesn't purify the water in the bottle threads or hose. So if you're paranoid enough to worry about that, then you need to work out some way of filling the bottle without getting the threads wet, or wipe the threads dry before transferring the purified water out of the bottle.

I'd like to know if anybody on BPL has experience with a UV-C water purifier. I plan to buy one soon.

Thomas Laepple
(tlaepple) - F
UV purifier + solar cells on 04/11/2005 15:03:37 MDT Print View

After your post I looked up the UV water purifier (AquaStar UV-C water purifier). Looks really interesting.

For long trips it should be easy to use a light solar cell/ rechargable battery combo.
On the web page they write the machine needs 1min/1liter 6Watt, 6Volt.

Using a thin flexible solar cell:
2xMPT6-150 (4.8V 100mA) 0.2oz

+ a LIPOLY 2 cell battery pack
e.g. 2 Cell 7.4V, 340 mAh Li-Poly Battery, 0.8oz

+ an easy charging circuit, one would have a 1 ounce power solution which
could filter 40-60 liter of water on a sunny day and still 8-12 liter water on a heavy overcast day + the battery would have a reserve for 20l water filtering (night filtering)

In the moment I don't have time to put the things together but this should be a very light solution for long trips

Best regards

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
5.9 oz solarpowerstation on 04/11/2005 18:15:21 MDT Print View

this complete solarpowerpackage at 5.9 oz including LiOn-batt could drive the Aquastar directly.!!

It has in build in LiOn battery which can deliver 4.5 to 12 volt at 1 amp.
So the Aquastar without internal batteries would work directly from the Solio.

The Solio could also charge your flashlights-batteries-mobilphones, camera-PDA-MP3 etc.

Edited by skaarup on 04/13/2005 10:46:50 MDT.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Re: Aquastar - Douglas on 04/11/2005 19:04:13 MDT Print View

Hi Douglas

Thats where the straw from McNett could be handy. Drinking directly from the bottle.

Water thats boiled for food, would not be a concern.

----- original mesg:
One problem with the UV-C purification is that it doesn't purify the water in the bottle threads or hose.

jeremy wo
(jwucd) - F
re: aquamira v. aquastar on 04/11/2005 22:04:31 MDT Print View

How about:
Katadyn Exstream XR = 8oz
Platypus 2L = 1.3oz

Downside=limited flow, slight taste to water? (I don't have great taste buds, but it's much better than aquamira).

Upside=no wait time, no batteries, no repackaging, or mixing.

There are lighter ways, and higher flow ways, but this is very simple and requires no waiting around, but still filters (1 micron) and purifies.

If you're cooking, you don't have to worry anyway because you'll be boiling the water, so the low flow rate isn't a big deal to me (it's still way faster than pumping or waiting for chemicals).

Jason Smith
(JasonS) - MLife

Locale: Northeast
Aquamira vs Aquastar on 04/11/2005 23:05:20 MDT Print View

Actually currently using just the XR system. Rigged it up so that it would accept a Nalgene hydration tube by pulling off the cap on the end. The flow isnt really a problem this way as a am constanly drinking. Problem for myself with this system is the following water storage. Your use of a secondary water storage might take care of this. However, I also like to use nalgene bottles to hold hot water to drop the minimum temperature for my bag.

I used to think someone should rig one of there filters up as an inline system. Maybe, I should put more thought into the system. Just it does not seem that much better than the aquastar.

jeremy wo
(jwucd) - F
Aquastar on 04/12/2005 00:08:07 MDT Print View

Yeah, Aquastar seems pretty cool. But I worry about any treatment method that loses efficency when treating cold or "cloudy" water. I guess prefiltering with a shirt or coffee filter isn't a big deal, but most of the time when I'm hiking the water is snow runoff and in the 35-40 degree range (I was hiking in Denali last summer and was told all running water in the park is below 40 degrees).

Aquastar says: The AquaStar is designed to shut off if the water is too cold to effectively dose. Below 35°F (2°C), the UV tube becomes very inefficient at generating UV-C. Warm the water up above 40°F (4°C) and try again.

Heat the water up? If I'm going to that time and effort I'll just use ligher, cheaper chemicals, or the Exstream.

Edited by jwucd on 04/12/2005 00:08:42 MDT.

Steve Smith
(bardsandwarriors) - F

Locale: Wales
Solar Disinfection (Sodis) on 04/13/2005 04:42:04 MDT Print View

I've found an interesting and learned article on methods of purification. It includes the UV method - scroll down to 'Solar Disinfection (Sodis)' near the bottom:

PS. Here is a more detailed article, with practical tips:

Edited by bardsandwarriors on 04/13/2005 04:45:46 MDT.

D Apron
(ultradave) - F
water purification on 04/20/2005 15:49:29 MDT Print View

After reading your discussion of filtering all water I have a few thoughts.
I have oonly used granulated chlorine.
Nothing else. I never get sick. I am sure that statment will haunt me someday, but until it does I am sticking by it. Ofcaurse, as a precaution, I go high up creek, springs, etc. to gather water.
I am more concerned about farm and mining contaminates than virouses & germs.
Arsenic and radon are sinister.
Has anyone figured out an effective way to remove silt?
Coffee filters are not working for me in the extreem situations.
Overnight settlement helps a lot, but I do not always have that much time.

Edited by ultradave on 04/20/2005 15:59:08 MDT.

(sanderson) - F
Water Belt on 04/27/2005 22:16:47 MDT Print View

Has anyone out there ever heard of something I would call a “water belt”? I have been diligently reducing my pack weight. My dry weight is now 16 pounds. With food, fuel and a normal amount of water, one to two liters, I’m usually at 22 pounds. The problem occurs when I’m in areas with little water and I need to carry enough water for 24 hours or more. When I add 10 pounds of water to my light-weight pack, it is miserable, and it probably isn’t good for the pack either. I’ve been looking for some kind of light-weight hydration system, preferably a hip-belt that would replace my regular belt. The belt would contain a bladder that would hold a gallon or so of water, or just be a hip belt if I were in a wet area. This would save my soldiers, back, pack and give me a lower center of gravity. It seems so simple that there should be one out there, but I haven’t been able to find one. If there isn’t such a thing, and someone wants to invent one, I’ll share the royalties. ;)

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Water Belt on 05/01/2005 22:29:12 MDT Print View

Making a Hip Belt/Water Belt would be easy. What may not be as easy is carrying the extra 5 pounds for your 2 liters of water around your waist. I will assume you are using one of those light weight type of packs that also have no real support built into them. Your hip belt connected to the pack and shoulder straps will also pull on your shoulders.

The good part of this idea is that if you are using and internal frame pack with real support or an external frame pack it may not be as bad. The 1 Lt Platypus Hoser at 6" by 11" and the 1 Lt Platpus Big Zip at 6" by 12" could be worked into a Hip Belt. If you used two of these they would wrap around your waist with an openning to remove and/or fill them toward the middle of your back, or something like that.

I have made a paper pattern for a prototype and might have some time next weekend to make one to test out. I will use 2 of the Platypus 1 Lt Big Zip with a drink tube attached to it. I also will attach it to one of my light weight external frames and see how it works.

Edited by bfornshell on 05/01/2005 22:30:42 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
silt filter on 05/02/2005 01:48:26 MDT Print View

have you tried this Silt Filter for sale by BPL (click here)?

Edited by pj on 05/02/2005 01:56:16 MDT.