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lightweight techniques for H20 filtration
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ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
lightweight techniques for H20 filtration on 04/03/2007 08:13:14 MDT Print View

I am leaving the filter at home and going to Aqua Mira for the PCT. Can you share any cool techiniques for retrieving and filtering floaters and gradues? I saw something about short aluminum pipe for getting better flow from a seep and using nylon stocking/bandana, etc. Carrying the usual assortment of platys, Dromlite, and Gatoraide bottles. Thanks much!
Ben

Edited by benkohl on 04/03/2007 08:13:57 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: lightweight techniques for H20 filtration on 04/03/2007 08:55:32 MDT Print View

Ben, I use Aqua Mira and a cotton bandana. For retrieving water from difficult places, I use my Orikaso Bowl. The shape of the bowl varies depending on how many of the three folds you make, besides being very flexible.

Lawton Grinter
(disco) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
aqua mira. on 04/04/2007 17:00:09 MDT Print View

hi there.

aqua mira worked great for me on the pct in 2004. make sure to carry at least two mixing caps with you (just put one on each of the bottles) so you can make more water at the same time.

i had very few issues with floaties and funk in the water. if i ever did, i'd strain it through a bandana and no worries. once we had to get super-funky water from a water cache at hat creek rim for someone who ran out. it was last year's water cache water, and full of serious gunk. we strained it through a bandana, pumped it through someone's water filter, and then aqua mira'd it.

i also had basically no problems with getting water anywhere with just the usual aqua fina 1L bottles and a 2 or 3L platypus. i didn't see any need for aluminum tubes, straws, or anything else.

i worried about water before my hike started, but you quickly get very adept at dealing with it all - camping at water or cooking dinner when it's around (if if it's 2 pm), camel-ing up when it's available, and carrying just what you need to get to the next reliable one.

have a great time!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: lightweight techniques for H20 filtration on 04/04/2007 19:05:07 MDT Print View

Ben:

If you can sacrifice one bottle cap of whatever bottle or bladder you use, you can cut it open and insert a very fine piece of wire mesh -- similar to the ones used in some coffee filters. I find metallic mesh much, much easier to use than cotton bandana or paper coffee filters simply because metallic mesh won't absorb water.

Follow the link below for more explanations and photos of what I did.

http://www.freewebs.com/jasonklass/waterbottlefilter.htm

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
lightweight techniques for H20 filtration on 04/05/2007 11:28:22 MDT Print View

Hey thanks for the confidence building and innovative answers. I'll try the bottle cap mesh and the filter is definietly staying home. Ben

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
FIlling a Platypus through the narrow opening on 04/05/2007 11:54:55 MDT Print View

Is it just me, or do other people have a hard time getting their Platypus bottles with the ~3/4" opening to fill up? Is there some magic technique? I found myself last weekend sweeping the bottle through the water to try and get it full, raising up sediments in the process. Just setting the bottle horizontally in the water, it does not fill very effectively. Adding a bandana (or that really cool wire mesh lid idea of Ben's) to pre-filter water just seems to make it all the more difficult to get water through that opening. I have used my cooking mug to scoop out water and fill it up. I guess that's OK if you boil water in it later to kill the germs. Eric's Orikaso bowl idea looks interesting. Is that what everyone does, just scoop the water up in something else and pour in? Or use a big zip? Maybe it's obvious but I thought I'd ask. Am fairly new to the AM approach and can't wait to get rid of that heavy filter! Thanks, Andy

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
bring a fill-bottle on 04/05/2007 12:37:52 MDT Print View

When I'm using a platypus, I carry a 20-oz or 24-oz pop bottle and use that to fill. Screw on some sort of filter cap if desired, push the bottle underwater, squeeze the middle of the bottle to force out air and it fills pretty easily --- and you can choose exactly where to put the mouth to get water from the depth you want it from. Pour that into the platypus. Obviously this is less pleasant in colder weather, unless you manage to find a mini-waterfall in water that's flowing.

The fill bottle makes a handy extra bottle for times when you need added capacity, or your platypus develops an unpatchable leak.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: bring a fill-bottle on 04/05/2007 13:23:04 MDT Print View

I have a small quart size ziploc bag with a small square (maybe 3 inch x 3 inch) of cotton bandana in it, along with my two micro bottles of aquamira.

The ziploc is easy to fill. I then put the square bandana over the neck of my platy and poke it with my finger to form a funnel shape. I then just transfer the water from the ziploc bag to the platy. Works like a charm.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: FIlling a Platypus through the narrow opening on 04/05/2007 15:04:13 MDT Print View

Andrew:

If you have an old 1L platy that you can sacrifice... just cut off the top 1/3 and the remaining part becomes a wide-mouthed, collapsible scooping cup! Lighter and much easier to pack away than a real cup -- but just as functional. Cut at a diagonal for easier scooping/pouring.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Great ideas for platy filling on 04/06/2007 09:57:18 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the great ideas. I now have a couple of projects to get myself outfitted for this. It sure helps to have a community like this, focused on all the nuances to help you get going in the right direction.

I guess the other issue that still bugs me a bit is the 4hr wait time to get all the crypto spores inactivated. If you are out on the trail on a long hike that requires frequent refills this seems like an unacceptable amount of time. I imagine this has already been discussed to death, but I'd be interested to hear other opinions on this matter. I did read a while back about Ben's approach to use AM and then use an in-line filter with a hydration hose to get rid of the larger spores. So for the majority of people here who use AM only to purify their water, is it simply a matter of informed risk taking then? I would imagine that most people do not wait more than around 30 minutes after treating their water. Or do people carry more water weight than is required to get them between stops so that they can rotate in bottles of water that have been treated for a longer period of time? Or is it a matter of doubling up the dosage to get there more quickly? Again, the devil's in the details and I'd be interested to hear the nuances of how people deal with this issue and their justifications for it. This seems like the type of subject where there is no clear cut answer on the right way of doing things, but instead people evolve a method over time that seems to work best for them. Thanks again, Andy.

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
Ditto to Andy's questions about water on 04/06/2007 10:20:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for your questions...i have many of the same ones...any responses greatly appreciated.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
wait how long with AM? on 04/06/2007 11:08:37 MDT Print View

No expert I on these issues, but when possible I like to tank up on water at the last water source I anticipate before I find my campsite. Then at least the water I drink later in the evening, during the night, and what I start out with in the morning has had 4 or more hours. Beyond that, I suspect I'm in the majority with living with the crypto risk, trying to minimize it by picking the best source I can ... when I have a choice ...

I recently bought the ULA Amigo gravity filter, and on trips where I suspect I'll run into sketchy water sources I'll bring that plus repackaged (smaller, lighter, smaller amount of) AM for cases where my intuition suggests use of *both* filter and chemicals on a nasty water source.

The ULA filter looks pretty good; following someone elses online suggestion I saved 0.6 oz on the filter element itself with my bandsaw (unneeded plastic for this use). The guy who offered this idea saved more weight by replacing the fabric with cuben; not sure I'll go that far, but he got his ULA gravity filter weight down pretty low:
http://ultraliteskunkworks.blogspot.com/2005/09/cuben-connection.html

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Flexible Filtering - In-line and Gravity on 04/06/2007 11:47:14 MDT Print View

My Seychelle in-line filter provides the flexibility of sucking/filtering on demand while hiking -- and gravity filtering when at camp. All that's required to convert is to remove the bite valve! I believe ULA's older model gravity filter uses the same Seychelle filter.

ULA recently switched its gravity filter from Seychelle to Katadyn. The good thing is that filter pore size is reduced from a gaping 2.0 micron (Seychelle) to a much more reasonable 0.3 micron with the Katadyn. The bad thing (for me) is its inability now to serve as an in-line filter.

Since I treat my water first with Micropur -- which kills the small stuff like viruses and bacteria -- the Seychelle's larger pore size allows for easier sucking and yet, it's still effective in blocking out the bigger stuff like cysts (eg crypto) / protozoa.

YMMV and depending on setup and usage, but I think that those who want a gravity filter -- but also the flexibility of an "on demand" in-line filter -- may wish to consider the Seychelle.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Re: Flexible Filtering - In-line and Gravity on 04/07/2007 06:02:40 MDT Print View

Ben, et al,

I have been using this technique for three years now.

Try switching the bite valve for a camelback on/off switch...surprisingly they weigh the same.... just suck like a straw and have a switch for use when using the gravity feed.

Bonus... it won't leak on your bag or gear if accidently knelt on.

Pan

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
'Platpus' internal filter straw [picture] on 04/09/2007 22:54:26 MDT Print View

Platypus internal straw filter
I found this at ICI sports Tokyo. It is a Platypus compatible filter/ionizer which fits into any Platypus or standard opening PET (soda) bottle. About $10.
It does not list the filtration capability in microns. It seems to contain activated charcol and some little spheres. Sorry, I can not read most of the Japanese on the package. My hope is that it filters stuff which was too small for my coffee filter pre-filter, and also captures some of the stuff my Katydin tabs killed so I'm not drinking dead bacteria soup.

Does anyone know of similar products which will fit a platypus? The one in the link below does not..
Ben, I think your Seychelle filter will fit the opening, right?
http://store.safetycentral.com/h20ondepowas.html

Maybe this Seychelle filter cap would fit collapsable Nalgenes?
http://www.justsuperior.us/servlet/the-66/Portable-Water-Filter-Removes/Detailseychelle top

Edited by Brett1234 on 04/09/2007 23:05:21 MDT.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Seychelle filter in the push/pull cap on 04/10/2007 07:20:50 MDT Print View

Brett, that sounds pretty interesting. I wonder what the weight is? I may order one to check out, it's only $14.95. Fitting onto a collapsible Nalgene would work out really nice. Here's the link on the Seychelle site, it's actually a replacement cap for their canteen.

http://www.seychelle.com/ProductDetail.asp?ProductID=36057

I ordered one last week. Will post the results when I receive the filter in the mail.

Edited by drewboy on 04/16/2007 08:02:00 MDT.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Fit of Seychelle lid on Nalgene on 04/18/2007 06:46:25 MDT Print View

Well, I got the Seychelle filter lid in the mail last night. Unfortunately it does not fit the lid of a wide Nalgene bottle. That's a shame, I did not weigh it but it feels pretty light (1-2 ounces maybe?). If a light bottle can be found to match, it looks like a very attractive solution to on-the-go filtering.