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Steripen on SHT
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Garrett Soper
(sope0021) - F

Locale: Northwoods
Steripen on SHT on 07/16/2012 13:44:48 MDT Print View

Im thinking about getting a steripen. I do much of my backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail. I have read online that the steripen does not kill tapeworm eggs, and that tape worm eggs are present at Isle Royale NP, and in Lake Superior (?). I'm not planning any trips to Isle Royale, but the relative geographic proximity to the SHT and to Lake Superior has me concerned. Anyone know if tapeworm eggs are or are not present along the SHT and its water sources? Anyone with experience using just a steripen or steripen/coffee filter, bandana, etc. on the SHT? Were you okay?


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Steripen on SHT on 07/16/2012 17:48:47 MDT Print View

Tapeworm eggs in Isle Royale NP water? Yes! Lake Superior? I have never seen mention of that except along the Isle Royale NP shoreline coming from streams exiting the island.

On the SHT? Been hiking the trail for 17 years and have never seen a tapeworm advisory. I know several folks who use just a steripen on the trail. I've always used iodine tablets and more recently Micropur tablets. If you don't care for floaties you might want some sort of prefilter if using water from ponds.

See this thread concerning one pre-filter solution.

edit: I now own a steripen but have not yet used it.

Edited by jcolten on 07/16/2012 17:50:01 MDT.

steven franchuk
Re: Steripen on SHT on 07/16/2012 19:42:49 MDT Print View

According to the Wikipedia article on the park "n rare years with very hard winters, animals can travel over the frozen lake from the Canadian mainland." Wolves are not the only carriers of tape worms. Raccoons, dogs and many other animals are also carriers. I also read a Discover magazine article recently and apparently human infections are often misdiagnosed.

so technically tape worms should be present in most places in north america. I don't know why Royale NP is posting the warning while no other park is. Perhaps people got infected there and then the warning was posted while infections in other parks were not noticed and therefore no notices were posted.

Another option to the steripen is to get the Sawyer 3 in 1 filter. This filter can be attached to a hydration bladder and it is about the same weight. The filter will take care of everything except viruses. Apparently virus infections are not considered a problem. You can take care of the viruses by using a steripen or water purification tablets. From what I have read the purification tables work very fast against viruses so most viruses would be dead in about an hour or less while keeping the weight to very close to 3ozs.