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Water filter freeze prevention
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Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Water filter freeze prevention on 10/03/2011 08:15:24 MDT Print View

How have you successfully prevented your water filter from freezing?

Putting it a pants pocket seems like it would work down to 10-20F, but at a certain point, there's not enough body heat and contact to keep it from freezing.

Steve Gaioni
(sgaioni) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Easy way to keep filter from freezing... on 10/03/2011 08:34:02 MDT Print View

Keep it in your sock drawer at home...

I really suggest not using a filter and instead going with chemicals (allowing for extra treatment time in cold conditions) or a Steripen. Filters, their hoses and everything about them are an even bigger headache in cold conditions (IMO).

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Easy way to keep filter from freezing... on 10/03/2011 08:58:51 MDT Print View


Thanks. :) That's what I've done so far. I've always had "safe" water available or just drank it raw on my winter trips.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Easy way to keep filter from freezing... on 10/03/2011 09:06:56 MDT Print View

I whole heartedly agre with the sock drawer solution. Well put!

I'm a filter user but always carry chemicals for backup. In sub-freezing weather I boil water usng a wood stove (no fuel weight penalty). It takes time but I never complain about warm tea or a cup of soup in winter.

Store extra warm water in an insulated container. A friend started using stainless steel bottles in winter because they can be heated directly in the fire. That's got me thinking....

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Water filter freeze prevention on 10/03/2011 10:53:32 MDT Print View

The MSR Hyperflow cartridge or the Sawyer cartridge go into a Ziplock in my sleeping bag on sub-freezing nights, but I've never used them in weather that was below freezing 24/7 so haven't faced that. I suppose I'd keep it in an inside-facing jacket pocket, presuming it doesn't interfere with pack straps.

The MSR is more slender than the Sawyer, so would be less noticable.



Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Don't use a filter on 10/04/2011 00:03:42 MDT Print View

My PUR and First Need filters have been replaced with a SteriPen Adventurer and Katadyn chlorine dioxide tablets for the past 3 years. I think for winter this combo would be a far better answer than filters that are prone to clogging (if not cracking) through freezing. Not to mention the weight savings.

I melt snow in winter to get my water so purification is a by-product of the melting & boiling. A CC Sidewinder/Inferno wood stove is my solution for fast snow melting. If I expect high winds I use my MSR Dragonfly multi-fuel stove and white gas.

Edited by Danepacker on 10/04/2011 00:06:03 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Water filter freeze prevention on 10/04/2011 00:50:31 MDT Print View

I was on a high-altitude trek, and the outfitter had supplied one of those big Katadyn expedition filters with a ceramic element inside. I think they cost over $1000. We were camped well above 18,000 feet, and somebody forgot to purge the water from the filter overnight (it was cold). In the morning, they had about a hundred small pieces of ceramic. So, there was no more water filtering for the rest of the trek. That made me kind of nervous in a tropical third-world country.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Water filter freeze prevention on 10/04/2011 01:05:37 MDT Print View

Sock drawer. We rarely carry a filter in the snow. What for?


Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Colour blind on 10/04/2011 04:58:43 MDT Print View

It can be useful if you are yellow - white colour blind.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Water filter freezing on 10/04/2011 08:26:49 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for your insightful and funny responses. I wanted to make sure there wasn't some technique I was missing.

For my approach in Appalachian mountain wilderness areas, boiling water or melting snow would generally work well because I have a campfire in the evenings. I don't like chemicals because of the taste, and they require a 4 hr treatment time for protozoa at low temperatures, which I estimate is the most likely pathogen. If I can wait 4 hrs for water, I'm in camp and could easily just boil some water.

I'll probably just stick to what has worked for me in the past in the winter: drinking straight from carefully selected sources. I do like to filter when possible just to be safe, since it's only a 4 oz weight penalty. But, I'll save that precaution for the 3 seasons.

Edited by AndyF on 10/04/2011 08:28:11 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Assuming? on 10/04/2011 20:36:34 MDT Print View

Assuming winter camping means there is snow on the ground in sufficient depth.