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Hydration and water sources
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(sanderson) - F
Water-belt on 05/06/2005 21:26:19 MDT Print View

Bill. Thanks for your interest in my water-belt idea. I can’t wait to hear, or see, what you come up with. The pack I am now using is an Osprey Aether 45, which doesn’t really have a frame. Just a stiff piece of foam running up your back. I line the inside of the pack with my sleeping pad to give the pack some body.

Paul. I know that a gallon of water sounds horrible to pack around, especially for a lightweight’er, but if you are hiking long days at high elevations and only come to a waterhole every 24 hours or so, you need at least a gallon. At least I do. That’s exactly why I’m looking for a way to carry it on my hips and not in my pack.

I was hoping someone knew of a manufacturer that made a water-belt that would replace the hip belt on many lightweight packs. But in reality the whole pack would probably need to be designed around such a belt, to really make it work well. If the belt were hollow and expandable, it wouldn’t add too much weight when empty, for days when water was plentiful.

Anyway, thanks for the ideas and the discussion. How’s it going Bill?

Edited by sanderson on 05/06/2005 21:27:33 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Water Belt on 05/08/2005 15:29:53 MDT Print View

I spent Monday morning till Thursday afternoon in the hospital. All the tissue, a lot of lymph nods and digging was sent off to be checked for active cancer. Everything was negitive so the chemo and radiation treatments has killed all my cancer. However, Tuesday morning I could not swallow anything by mouth. No food or water. I had a feeding tube installed into me before my treatment started last November and I never needed to use it. I have wanted that thing out of me for months. It was suggested that I needed to wait until all clean-up surgery was over as you never know what might happen. I didn't fight that but still hated that thing with a passion. That is until this last Tuesday morning. The Doctors came in early to see me and tell me that they thought everything went really well. Then breakfast came and I could not eat or drink anything. My ENT nurse came in all happy for me and when she stopped talking I anounced that I could not swallow anything and needed all the other stuff to use my feeding tube. She is a really great person and nurse. She turned so fast to No-Nonesence Nurse. She just said "I will be back soon" and left the room. In a very short time I had a bag of food and the part of the tubing that connects to my mini-botton connector. For the rest of my stay I got all my water and food through my feeding tube. These things are really easy to use and I did it all myself once I had the stuff. I have everything at home if I ever needed it. Well the plactic bag used for the food was a 1200ml 2mil plastic bag with a nice large mouth opening. They are a one-day use thing for feeding. I saved all my empties and will test one for a water bag.

Onto the water belt. I think carring 2 liters of water in 1 liter bags that will slip into the hip belt isn't going to be hard to do. The comfort of this to the person carring it will be determined a lot by the pack system being used. For one of my external frame/packs the extra 2 liters of water or 4.5 pounds +/- should not be a big deal.

There are better internal pack systems coming on the market every year and I almost bought one last month. I still might but will wait for a sale. If you have to carry a lot of water it is going to be heavy no matter what pack type you use.

I think I can make something that will work with one of my external frames and become its hip belt eaiser than something with a internal frame pack on the market that I know anything about. What ever I make will use a drinking tube from one of the hip belt bags. With 2 liters of water on my hip and 2 - 3liter bags in each of 2 side mesh pockets I can carry 8 liters of water using my current pack. That gives me a little over 2 Gal of water.

See pictures and lets talk.

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Edited by bfornshell on 05/08/2005 16:15:53 MDT.

(sanderson) - F
Water Belt on 05/18/2005 09:33:30 MDT Print View

Bill, Sorry about the slow response. I clicked the place on the Forum that says “Follow this Thread”, but for some reason didn’t get an email saying you had responded. I was surfing around on the site this morning and just noticed your reply.

It looks like you are making great headway on the water belt idea! It looks like the bags fit nicely on the sides, which would put them out of the way of most everything. I live in bear country and carry bear-spray on one side, but I can find a different spot for that easy enough. I also like the hydration tube, but I wonder if it is possible to suck the water up that much elevation?? I’m at work now (don’t worry, it’s my own business, so I’m not stealing anyone’s time), but when I get home tonight I will try sucking water up a hydration tube from hip height. I think a tube a few inches long would be ok, too. That way you could use it to fill a drinking bottle or transfer to a pan.

How tough are these bags? Are you thinking they would be replaced often or are they tough enough to last a season or two? Do you think this would work on a lightweight pack? My pack doesn’t really have a frame, just a foam sheet at your back.

I’m glad to hear that you cancer treatment is working. You will be back out on the trail in no time.


Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Water Belt on 05/21/2005 07:43:27 MDT Print View

I filled up the 1 Liter Platpus held it sideways at my waist and was able to suck water from the tube with no problem. This was with the bag full. It might be necessary to push against the side of the bag as the bag gets empty.

I received the sample small feeding tube bags (500ml). The size of the smaller bag would make it eaiser to use in the side pocket of a small size pack like the G6 or a home made clone of about the same size. (I am making a pack of about the same size as the G6 but mine will have side and back mesh pockets) I will try to modify the tube on one of the bags to make it easier to drink from.

How long do I think one of these feeding bags will last as a water bag? Good question. The bags are made of 2mil thick plastic. With reasonable care I would guess a long time but I would always have a second water container with me. These bags only carry a 1/2 liter and that isn't much water. The size of the bag just makes it a nice size for a side pocket on a small pack bag. Like any ultra-light piece of gear you would need to be careful with it. Once I work out a drinking tube modification I will start carrying one on my daily walks and see how it holds up.

The weight of the 1200ml bag with 8 feet of tubing is 2.4oz. It is 6.5" wide and 13" long.

The weight of the 500ml bag with 8 feet of tubing is 2.26oz. It is 4.25" wide and 13" long.

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Edited by bfornshell on 05/21/2005 08:24:56 MDT.

Wayne Packer
(deathvalleydog) - F
Re: Solar Disinfection (Sodis) on 05/21/2005 21:38:46 MDT Print View

The SODIS link you provided is incredibly interesting. There is one problem with this "technology" though. Nobody makes a profit and us gearfreaks are left with...what? - nothing to do except watch the sun bake a bottle of water?
This should be discussed though because it's a great solution for desert travel. Carol C. or anyone else have any comments on this?

(sanderson) - F
Water Belt on 05/22/2005 11:49:38 MDT Print View

Bill. I also tried sucking water through a hydration tube, from waist height, and had no problem. Even with a nearly empty bag. I don’t see a problem with using 500ml or 1200ml bags; it would just take more of them. Could a belt be designed to have mesh pockets all the way around, allowing a person to insert two, four or six 500ml bags, as needed?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Water Belt on 05/22/2005 14:36:50 MDT Print View

I think adding more than two bags to the hip belt becomes a factor of your waist size. Using the feed bags for water at 14" long each, 3 would require a 42" waist. I don't want this to sound silly but my waist size is 34". I will not ask yours.

I have looked back at all the Platypus bags and they have 6 that might work. They are
5" x 7.5 = .5L - Platy Bottle - .7oz
6" x 10" = 1L - Platy Bottle - .8oz
6" x 11" =1L - Platy Reservoirs - .8oz
6" x 16" = 2L - Platy Reservoirs - 1oz
6" x 12" =1L - Big Zip II - 3.5oz - come with tube
6.25" x 17" = 2L - Big Zip II - 4oz - come with tube

A water bottle that is 16" long is pushing it for me I think. The Platypus in the picture is the 1L 6" x 12" Big Zip with the drinking tube attached.

I have a "last year's" Big Zip 1.8L - 7.5" x 13" ($12.00) and they came without the drinking tube. It has a small style cap on one corner. The design is more squared off on the ends but would work with a slight change to the end shape of the current hip belt pattern. It weighs 1.6oz and can have a drinking tube accessory attached to it. The Big Zip opening makes these bottles a little heaiver than the ones with a small cap. For ease of filling the small extra weight might be worth it.

I had forgot about this "last years" Platypus water bag as it stays in a side pocket of my pack. This one would seem to give you more water with 2 bags and fit along the sides of the hip belt. With one drinking tube accessory you could swap it from bottle to bottle. I will call the place I got this bag from and see if they still have any in stock. I will aslo ask if they come in other sizes.

You can buy mesh that should work for a hip belt. I think a light weight grosgrain sewn on the edges for support would be a good idea though.

Edited by bfornshell on 06/02/2005 21:22:39 MDT.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Silt filter on 05/25/2005 13:16:48 MDT Print View

I've tried the Silt Filter, but the attachments are too small for standard hose sizes (say, a hose connecting it to the Seychelle filter). All I can think of is clamping it down with a metal clamp, but I worry about the leak factor. Any suggestions?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
silt filter & hose clamps on 05/25/2005 16:24:27 MDT Print View

Let me think a bit on this. There should be a simple method other than hose clamps. I'm sure someone else already has developed a good method for connecting these filters. Perhaps they'll be kind enough to share their solution.

Perhaps an automotive parts place will have adapters and couplings to connect them together. There's typically a fair number of vacuum hoses associated with many automobile engines which require such adapters or couplings.

Being a shade tree mechanic for many years, I can tell you that hose clamps should work really well for preventing leaks.

They are used to secure hoses in automobile cooling systems that acheive a pressure of ~15psi above atmospheric pressure. Your system will not experience these types of pressures, so I would think that leaks are less likely. However, in an automobile, these hoses usually fit quite snugly to begin with, even before clamping. [NOTE: Please be sure to read the next post. Dylan does a much better job explaining, a bit more specifically & clearly, the point that I was trying to get across here, but failed to explain adequately.]

We're talking about water here, so why not give it a try? Just test it locally on a day hike before counting on its performance during a more serious hike. No harm will result if a leak does occur.

Now you also have me curious. I have both of these filters, but have yet to put together a gravity feed filtration system. Perhaps I'll raise its priority a bit & then I can report what worked for me.

Edited by pj on 05/26/2005 05:38:49 MDT.

Dylan Skola
(phageghost) - F

Locale: Southern California
Hose size reduction on 05/25/2005 17:32:52 MDT Print View

In my experience, clamping down a too-large hose on a too-small fitting is likely to be an excercise in frustration, since no matter how hard you crank down on the clamp, the excess hose wall will still "pouch out." And unless the tubing is extremely soft, that pouch will form a little channel for water to escape.

If the fitting is about 1/2 the diameter of the hose, you can try to find a piece of tubing that just nests inside the hose (i.e. its O.D. is equal to the I.D. of the hose) (use rubbing alchohol to lubricate), and stick your fitting into that, then clamp the whole shebang. Sounds janky but usually works like a charm.

There are lightweight plastic hose-barb to hose-barb adapters that could adapt down to the right size tubing, use them at work all the time, but not sure where to find retail. Vacuum hose fittings I would imagine to be metal.

Finally, for hose clamps, zip-ties or the small metal automotive clamps that use pliers to attach (NOT the worm-screw types) might work, but using a 6 ft gravity feed you're only talking ~ 2.5 psi, which means that if the hose is sized and attached properly, as Paul said, you might not need them. At least until the (presumably) vinyl tubing gets stretched out by the fitting.

Sorry to be so verbose, but this is subject that has occupied an inordinate amount of my attention (mostly involuntarily) over the last few years.

Edited by phageghost on 05/25/2005 17:34:51 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
re: hose size reduction on 05/25/2005 18:27:26 MDT Print View


Many thanks for the helpful info. I really appreciated your input. Some really good ideas on the matter.

Jeremy Best
(ultralitejer) - F
UV Purifiers on 05/29/2005 18:07:46 MDT Print View

To answer the question, "What is the lightest and quickest way to purify water?" Well in my research, the Steripen is the lightest and quickest as it weighs 5.75 oz with Lithium Batteries. It will treat up to 140 16oz bottles of water and each in 45 seconds. The tip will fit into any platy bottle, can be used in a pot or any other open container, and can purify up to 32oz in 90 seconds. With these to combos your purification system would weigh less than 7 oz., nearly half the weight of the lightest filters.


(sanderson) - F
Water Belt on 06/02/2005 21:09:41 MDT Print View

Well, thanks for not asking, but my waist size is also 34”. I see your point about the limited space for the bladders. I guess to get to the capacity I am looking for I will need some kind of bag or bags that have more depth. Then they would probably need some baffles to keep from sloshing with every step.

Like most of my good ideas, they don’t seem so good after studying the implications and complications. Thanks for the help and the discussion.

Re: water purification on 07/01/2005 00:45:36 MDT Print View

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.

Sounds like a fatal flaw to me unless you do have a way of filling the bottole without getting the threads wet. Wiping won't sterilize the cap or threads. You also need a way of sterilizing the threads and cap should they get wet--they will.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: water purification on 07/01/2005 02:51:16 MDT Print View

not sure why this is a problem. what particularly are you thinking of? i'd like to learn something from you.

right now, if i'm us UV-C, i 1) fill the bottle; 2) then use a small scrap of pack towel for drying the outside & threads - this is the sole purpose of this piece of towel in my kit; 3) use the Steri-pen; 4) put the bottle top on.

my bottle caps seal tight & so water on the outside from filling (i.e. the threads) does not mix with water in the bottle.

proof of this is that if i fill a bottle at home. dry off the outside. & place the bottle upside down on the kitchen counter-top, 24hrs later no water has leaked out of my bottle onto the counter top. if the pressure of the column of water in the inverted bottle can't force the water out, then water on the threads can't really get in.

however, it's a good idea to dry the threads of both the bottle & cap off first as added insurance since don't want to chance the slim possibility of the screwing motion of replacing the cap, just b/f being fully tight, of acting as a pump & forcing a small amt (a couple of drops???) of water off the threads & into the bottle.

having said that, i still use Aqua Mira as my primary source of water purification since it's lighter.

haven't used UV-C with a bladder yet, but thinking "out load", so to speak, & off the top of my head w/o giving it much thought, what about this:

if using a Platy bladder,
1) simply remove the drink tube &...
2) put a closure cap on it (if bladder is a Big-Zip; skip this step if just using a hoser)
3) fill the bladder;
4) wipe the threads/zip-closure with scrap of pack towel,
5) use UV-C
6) put tube back on the Hoser, or...
6a) zip closed if filling a Big-Zip,
6b) remove closure cap and
6c) then put tube back on.

when you get a chance, please enlighten me as to what you feel i am doing wrong.

many thanks,

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
UV AquaStar on 07/20/2005 11:20:47 MDT Print View

I bought the AquaStar UV-C water purifier ($95, 3.9oz w/batteries, not including bottle) <> and took it backpacking on a 4-day trip into the Enchanted Valley in Olympic National Park. My brother carried a Katadyn Pocket filter (27.5oz dry) for the rest of the group.

Great: one minute wait for a liter of sterile water with no chemical taste. Problems: some concern about raw water on the bottle threads, so I wiped them with a bandana before screwing on the AquaStar (yes, probably still a few bugs left). When I dipped a bottle of water from a glacier-fed mountain stream, the AquaStar refused to start its cycle--it just flashed red. I didn't have the manual with me, but I thought it might have something to do with the water being too cold. I held the bottle for a while in the sun and after about 15 minutes it was able to start the cycle. I didn't have any problem with river water. After returning home and reading the manual and FAQ, it's possible I didn't have water contact on the sensor in the cap, since the stream water temp probably wasn't below 35F.

Summary: when it worked it was great. My brother was especially jealous because he ended up doing most of the pumping as well as carrying the pump. I'll continue to carry a few MicroPur MP1 tablets as backup, and I need to do a bit more testing with cold water. The AquaStar is heavier than iodine/chlorine, but since I can zap a liter and drink it right away, rather than carrying a full liter for an hour waiting for the chemicals to work, I'm carrying less net weight (well, at least on my back).

Eliza Cava
(ecava1) - F
back to Katadyn MP micropur... on 10/20/2005 14:16:45 MDT Print View

On a NOLS course in Australia last year, we were handed little 100-pill bottles of Katadyn Micropur. Each pill treated a liter, and as we were very far from civilization we didn't worry about metal contaminants, etc. I'm pretty sure this is the same stuff as those 30-pill packages available around here, but the 100-pill varieties don't seem to be sold in the states. Anyone know if they're available some other way? They are tasteless and odorless and kill everything, including viruses, and could be easily combined with an inline system or a simple particle filtration setup for clean, taste-free water. I wish I had pocketed a few more bottles when I was down there!

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Katadyn - Australia - 100 pill bottle on 10/20/2005 15:35:29 MDT Print View

Hi Eliza, I have a point of contact at Katadyn and just called them to ask about the 100 pill bottle. I was told that that product is not approved for sale in the US. They knew of it but thought it was somehow different. Someone could bring them with them if they were visiting here or returning here but they can't be officially shipped in by anyone and sold here.

archeopteryx .
(archeopteryx2) - F
Re: back to Katadyn MP micropur... on 10/20/2005 17:47:48 MDT Print View

It looks like Micropur comes in lots of variations. The one approved in the US is Micropur MP1 which is uses chlorine dioxide like Aqua Mira. The Katadyn site for Canada shows Micropur Classic (based on silver ions, not effective against viruses) and Micropur Forte (silver ions plus chlorine to inactivate viruses). They also have something to neutralize the chlorine taste. I wonder if it would work on the taste of MP1 as well. Unfortunately MEC only sells MP1. I wonder if the others aren't approved for sale in Canada either. I suppose these might show up on ebay occasionally. Do you think it's illegal to ship these tablets to the US if they're not approved? I know that Aqua Mira isn't approved for sale in California, but I think it's still OK to buy it online from an out of state retailer.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: water purification on 10/23/2005 06:35:23 MDT Print View

Douglas Wrote:

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

I use a Heineken can as my cooking pot and since it's so small, I can keep it in an outside pocket of my pack. I use that to scoop water from streams and pour it into my bottles... being careful not to get the threads wet. I don't worry about contaminating the can since it gets heated when I cook with it.