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P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 12:48:52 MST Print View

For my CT trip, a lot of people have said to just take Aqua Mira instead of my heavy (according to BPL standards) Platy Clean Stream.

The reason why I am going with the Platy system is that I can filter 3 liters of water in roughly 5-10 minutes instead of waiting 4 hours for Aqua Mira to work.

So besides weight benefits, why should I take Aqua Mira over the Clean Stream? I use a 3L Platy Hoser.

It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Clean Stream I have clean water in minutes. Aqua Mira I have to wait hours. If I come upon a water source with a 1/4 full bladder, with the CS I can filter enough water to fill up my bladder and it's done. Using Aqua Mire, if I come up to the same water source with a 1/4 full bladder, I have to fill my bladder, which in turn contaminates the clean water that is in there, and then have to wait 4 hours before I can drink again.

Or am I completely wrong?

Edited by reacttocontact on 02/20/2012 12:50:17 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 12:55:25 MST Print View

The one thing that AquaMira can do that your Platy filter cannot is treating viruses.

But viruses are supposed to be a very minor issue out in the wilds... away from campgrounds and such. And even if viruses are a concern, you can just bring a tiny bottle of household chlorine (which costs next to nothing) -- treat your water for 20 minutes (5 drops per liter) -- then let gravity work the water through your Platy filter.

OTOH, if you are going to do the above, then you might consider the much lighter and more compact AquaMira Frontier Pro filter. With a carbon core, this lightweight and diminutive filter will block sediments and protozoa, and also improve water taste by adsorbing chlorine (and other bad tastes).

To sum up -- if viruses are not an issue, the Platy filter will work just fine. I would NOT recommend anyone using the Aquamira Frontier Pro all by itself. But if viruses are a concern, then it can make sense to pair up chlorine with the Aquamira Frontier Pro filter. In neither case would I bother with expensive, time consuming chlorine dioxide chemicals.

Edited by ben2world on 02/20/2012 13:03:29 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 13:06:47 MST Print View

More or less, I'm concerned about the time it takes for Aqua Mira to work. It seems that viruses aren't really a major concern with the water along with the CT. I could be wrong.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 13:26:21 MST Print View

" It seems that viruses aren't really a major concern with the water along with the CT. I could be wrong."

Actually, you are most likely right about viruses not being a major concern -- and you can minimize the threat even more by choosing water sources away from popular "business" and "congregating" spots.

Edited by ben2world on 02/20/2012 13:27:41 MST.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 13:34:01 MST Print View

I agree - I think those that rely solely on Aqua Mira aren't factoring in the weight of carrying liters of water for 4 hours while the treatment takes effect.

I'm currently using the FrontierPro filter, which is a little lighter than the PlatyCS. However I think I'm going to upgrade to the Sawyer PointOne. It's 3 ounces, including their pouches, and filters the most common viruses (but not all viruses) with no chems required. Based on what I've seen/read, it's nice because you can drink straight from the pouch or just squeeze into your clean reservoir with no hose business required.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 13:57:10 MST Print View

In practice many people wait for about 30 mins with Aqua Mira.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 14:35:22 MST Print View

"In practice many people wait for about 30 mins with Aqua Mira."

Which gives them a false sense of security -- or protozoa is not that big an issue! This begs the question, why spend that kind of money... when a small bottle of chlorine will do the same thing (i.e. treat bacteria and viruses but not protozoa)?

(Edit: Not actually recommending that people use only chlorine -- but saying that most all AquaMira users are really no safer because they don't wait for the proper amount of treatment time anyway (except when treating water overnight)).

Edited by ben2world on 02/20/2012 14:40:24 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 14:37:26 MST Print View

@Jason: That seems like it defeats the purpose of using it.

I can see AM being worthwhile on a short trip where finding water isn't a problem. Carry 2 smaller bottles treat one, drink the other. But that doesn't help in my situation.

Edited by reacttocontact on 02/20/2012 14:38:31 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 15:06:42 MST Print View

For my chemical treatment, I carry at least 2 liters of water/day while on trail.

Day 1 morning: leave trailhead with 2 liters (from faucet)

Day 1 at camp: get water for the evening and next day; water for dinner is boiled; water for next day is treated overnight

Day 2-end: Repeat.

So, there does not have to be only a 30 min wait period, but that is all I wait in the occasional event that I get an extra liter during the day and need to drink it.

Rob E

Locale: Canada
Overnight treatment on 02/20/2012 15:21:27 MST Print View

My usual water treatment is to treat 2 litres of water with aquatabs in a large platypus overnight, giving it anywhere from 8-12 hours of treatment. I will have a big cup of tea in the morning and in the evening by boiling water. So that leaves the 2 litres to last the day. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it won't. If I know it won't, then I will carry another container and treat another 500ml-1000ml of water "in advance" so that I give it as long of a treatment as I can before drinking it. It's a game of statistics, and I am just trying to hedge-my-bets by always having the water treated as long as I can.

I cut my toothbrush in half, count grams and spreadsheet just like anyone else, but carrying the extra litre of water never bothers me. The whole ultralight ethos of "only carry as much water until you make your next watering hole" is not something I am really follow.

Edited by eatSleepFish on 02/20/2012 15:22:40 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 15:40:37 MST Print View


I almost always drink more than 2 quarts or liters of water in the course of one full day. Also, at night, I only boil enough water to rehydrate my meals (1 pint). So I'll still be needing treated water for drinking purpose.

Are 2 liters really enough to last you the entire day and night for drinking purpose? Or do you boil extra water during mealtime?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 17:22:52 MST Print View

Hey Ben. I drink 3 liters/day when hiking about 8-5 PM unless temps are reaching near 80 F where I will add at least one more liter.

I take two liters on the trail and get the third in camp for my evening meal. I need to clarify that one cup gets heated for my meal and one may be used after 30 mins tablet treatment. Most of my water has the 4 hour treatment, but some definitely is drank/drunk after 30 mins treatment.

Most all of my fellow hikers will drink after 30 minutes and nobody has ever gotten sick. This is mostly Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas.

Edited by jshann on 02/20/2012 17:23:41 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 17:54:58 MST Print View

The clean stream is a really neat product as are all gravity filters. I have used it as part of a group setting and have really enjoyed it. I will say that it is fast and gets really great tasting water without any wait, however, it is really heavy for solo use, or group use in most circumstances. I have used repackaged Aquamira (1.1oz) for years only waiting the 30 minutes (sometimes 20) with no issues. That isn't saying that I don't let it sit the 4 hours when applicable. When possible I always get water at night and let it sit overnight for the next day, but I have no issues getting water from any decent source and just waiting 20 minutes. I am not sure how the water quality is on the Colorado Trail, (I know the CDT has some nasty water in sections) but if it decent, I think that I would save 10 ounces and use the AM.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 18:43:58 MST Print View

A lot depends on how much patience you have, how often you like to drink, and what the water sources are like. I hike a lot in the Northwest, where there are a lot of streams and lakes. I rarely carry water. So, for a typical backpack trip, I'll cross a creek, stop, get out my inline filter, drink a bit, then hike to the next stream (or the one after that). I can usually do that just fine for the backpacking part of my trip. When I make camp, it is nice to have a clean platypus. I attach some hoses, use the filter as a gravity filter this time and collect a full platypus. When I decide to hike to a peak, I just fill up the clean platypus, and enjoy the already filtered water.

Late in the year, or in areas where there isn't as much water, a treatment style approach makes sense. You are going to have to carry lots of water anyway, so you might as well treat it when you get it (since you can't get it very often) and let it activate while hiking.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Filters on 02/20/2012 19:23:34 MST Print View

The biggest problem i see with the hollow fiber filters like the sawyer or platy is that there is no way to confirm your filter is working. If you are backpacking near freezing this is a concern as if your filter freezes and cracks the fibers but not the shell you will never know that your ilter has been comprimised. Also you have to consider wet weight of the filter rather than dry weight.

I am thinking of stopping treatiNg all together for all flowing sources and just using chlorine on lakes.

Above is an interesting artical on treatment. In it it gives the following formula for treatment time to get log3 reduction in protozoa with chlorine dioxide.

.9487C^.1758 x ph^2.7519 x temp^-.1467

Where c is the concentration of chlorine dioxide in mg/l. It gives a 1 hour residence time for 20c water at 2.6g/ml

Also to note the frontier filter only provides log3 filtration whereas the cl02 4 hour residence is based on log 6 or 7 i believe.

EDIT: THE ABOVE FORMULA DOES NOT APPEAR TO WORK. I posted the link from my Ipad and did not have a chance to test the formula from that paper against the results in the table. I cannot make them match. The formula has a flaw as the more you increase chlorine concentration the longer treatment time is so ignore it.

Edited by GregF on 02/20/2012 22:27:03 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Filters on 02/20/2012 19:35:16 MST Print View

Whoa whoa whoa. I didn't make it past Algebra 1 in high school. And that was in 93. Not sure how you multiply C's and ph's and temps.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Great - Just What We Need on 02/20/2012 19:57:01 MST Print View

My head spins when I see Richard Nisley's formulas on body warmth. Now, my head is spinning again, thanks to Greg Florizone's formulas re. water baddies. :)

[Edit: NOT saying that formulas aren't excellent and helpful tools, but just way above the brain cells I want to devote to any 'hobby' -- that's all].

Edited by ben2world on 02/20/2012 20:29:35 MST.

Kyle Leonard
(kyle121378) - MLife

Locale: CO
Re: Re: Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 22:07:19 MST Print View

I use the AquaMira Frontier Pro filter by itself and have used it at many locations along the CT and have never had issues. It produces filtered good tasting water as long as the water source is decent.

Stephan Doyle
Re: Platypus Clean Stream vs Aqua Mira on 02/20/2012 22:22:39 MST Print View

In the backcountry, I figure water is hardly the only source of contaminants. I treat less than half my water.

I never wait 4 hours on purpose, either. I'll NOT drink for 20-30 minutes, and then enjoy. Some of my water typically will sit for more than 4 hours, but I hardly plan it that way.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Log3 residence time as a function of PH, temp and Chlorine Concentration on 02/20/2012 22:46:55 MST Print View

So as a follow up to my first post with the formula. Here a link to the EPA tables on Giardia treatment. Page 103 of the linked document has the table.

log3 means killing 99.9% of the Giardia. This is the same as a Frontier filter. You take the Value in the chart and divide it by the Chlorine concentration you are using to get the minutes it takes to treat.

Basically those charts show that with 5C water you get log3 removal of giardia in about 60 minutes in 7ph water with 3mg/l free chlorine. With 8ph about 80 minutes.

With 15 degree water it takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

I am going to keep playing around with the formula to see if I can get matching results to these papers as we are using a product at 5mg/L whereas these EPA charts only go up to 3. The more I read on this the more Aquamira's residence times seem very conservative. However Chlorine is still ineffective against Crypto in the Oocist stage of development.

I should add as a note that i have no formal experience in Water Treatment or chemistry and am basing this information off my own reading of various papers. And anyone using this information should do so at their own risk.

Edited by GregF on 02/20/2012 22:48:29 MST.