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Chemicals, Filters, or Neither!
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Jericho Cain
(jcain6) - F
Chemicals, Filters, or Neither! on 06/11/2005 08:58:44 MDT Print View

I am trying to decide whether or not I will bring a filter along with me, use chemicals, or just drink straight out of the source. I own a Katadyn Hiker, and if I were to bring chemicals I would probably take the Katadyn Micropur. I have read mixed opinions about this.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Don't Drink the Water on 06/11/2005 10:02:17 MDT Print View

I started a post under the food, hydration and nutrition section that you might want to look at.
I would not, under any circumstance (unless it was matter of life or death) drink water from the source today. Without saying, if you KNOW the source is a spring, that would be another matter, but creek, stream, river and lake water I just would not trust.
I have read mixed opinion between the Katadyn tablets and Aqua Mira. I do use Aqua Mira and have never had any issue with my water. I do pre-filter with a minimum of a folded over bandana.

Edited by mikes on 06/11/2005 10:03:25 MDT.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Steripen on 06/11/2005 10:19:24 MDT Print View

I use a MSR Miniworks, but I'm considering a Steripen. It's lighter and purifies instead of filters. They now have a pre-filter for murky water. But my question is how do I get the purified water from the bottle into my Platypus easily?? Anyone have any experience with this?

Walter Pickett
Larabar hype on 06/11/2005 16:04:42 MDT Print View


I tried the larabar sample that was posted some time back. They taste good and won't melt in my pack during the summer.

I treid them out in my food bag and weighed it all. But something was not coming out right. So I measured a bar without the wrapper and found that larabars are 1/2 oz heavier than advertised (not one but all flavors). So much for truth in advertising.


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Steripen on 06/12/2005 01:56:26 MDT Print View

I just leave it in the flexible Nalgene Cantenes [sold on this website in 3(???) sizes] - if i'm using steripen & nalgenes that trek, instead of AqM & platys (sportbottles or bladders).

You might try a small plastic funnel - similar to what is sometimes used with an alc. stove if one isn't using a lil' nipper for alc. fuel.

Edited by pj on 06/12/2005 01:57:51 MDT.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Re: Chemicals, Filters, or Neither! on 06/20/2005 15:43:41 MDT Print View

Back when I worked for the Forest Service in the Sierra Nevada Giardia was just starting to appear. I kind of scoffed at it until one of our wilderness rangers had to be helicoptered out due to extreme giardiasis. That changed my mind. I've met a few other victims since, including my own dog. I don't think you should risk drinking it straight. Maybe you'll get the mild form or maybe the acute form. I wouldn't want to be stuck in the backcountry with the acute form.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
filter or not on 06/20/2005 17:40:38 MDT Print View

Umm I use an in line filter (Seychelle) with Aqua Mira for my drink on the go in my Platypus. For around camp, I just use my Aqua Mira in the small bottles that BMW sells. This can last a week and weighs next to nothing. By adding Crystal Lite in my 2 ltre. Platy it masks any unpleasant taste. For my dinner water I just add Aqua Mira and re-hydrate my meal. I cannot taste anything. Aqua Mira comes with a little pre filter that fits conviently over a Platypus mouth, this will take out any floaties. I have used this system now for a year and it has worked wonderfully. Hike your own hike!!!

Edited by kennyhel77 on 06/20/2005 17:43:23 MDT.

James Augustine
(chirodr) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: filter or not on 06/20/2005 22:56:06 MDT Print View

Hi Ken:

I didn't see a prefilter for the Aqua Mira product? There's a sweetwater siltstopper for an inline filter setup, using the Seychelle.


Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
To Treat Or Not To Treat... on 06/21/2005 01:39:10 MDT Print View

Gossamer Gear sells a prefilter sock with their Aqua Mira kit. Anyone carrying a filter and wanting to reduce their pack weight should read <>

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
chemicals filter or not on 06/21/2005 13:47:48 MDT Print View

Thanks Alan, I did mean sock.

James Augustine
(chirodr) - F

Locale: Southern California
Aqua Mira Sock on 06/21/2005 15:27:06 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken and Alan. Now to find the sock. I've got an Aqua Mira kit, but no sock. Would be very helpful.

Thanks again,


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aqua Mira Sock on 06/21/2005 15:39:22 MDT Print View

Buy from:

and you get the two-part 1-oz. Aqua Mira bottles, plus 2 micro bottles AND a sock!

However, I wouldn't get too excited about the sock. As you can see on the website, the holes are quite large.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Aqua Mira Sock on 06/21/2005 16:21:51 MDT Print View

I have used the sock in conjunction with a platypus and after gathering my water I check for floaties and found none. my wife has always been one to filter water and even she was amazed at how clear the water was. I guess you could use a cheese cloth with a rubber band around the opening to keep it on the platypus. either way it will work.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aqua Mira Sock on 06/21/2005 20:02:03 MDT Print View

Cheese cloth should work. Also, you can buy a cheap coffee filter replacement (fine mesh type, not paper), cut the mesh to size and rubber band to the mouth of your bottle -- or get a very small piece of no-see-um mesh and do the same. All three have holes smaller than the aforementioned sock.

jeffrey fujimoto
(jefff) - F
water treatment on 07/01/2005 08:58:42 MDT Print View

I used the Miox system on my last trip without ill effects. The water tastes a little medicinal, and you have to wait some time for treatment to be effective but it is a light weight system. Only problem, you still have to strain out the floaties. Jeff

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
water treatment on 07/01/2005 09:22:49 MDT Print View

You see that is what is great about using Aqua Mira and something to cover the moouthof the Platypus or other bladders. A cheese cloth or the "sock" takes out the particles (almost a pre-filter?) then with two 1 oz. Aqua Mira droplets you have a proven purifier. If the slight chlorine taste bothers you, just add a little Sunny D. or an equivilant. You won't taste a thing.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
aquamira ... no pre filter on 07/01/2005 10:23:01 MDT Print View

Most of the time, I'm getting my water from moving sources. I just pick a place where it is moving quickly and don't prefilter. I rarley have problems with floatees.

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Neither! (usually; filter if I have to) on 07/16/2005 13:36:50 MDT Print View

I backpack mostly in the Sierra Nevada.

I stopped filtering the water (with rare exceptions) a few years back.

I could find no rational reason to treat the water from an overwhelming majority of the water sources I use. See, for example,

I just wanted to add another point of view to this discussion. I do filter in the Bay Area, in places with cattle upstream, and at times when I'm carrying the filter anyway and sharing the chore of pumping with friends who are less, um, rational about the subject.

BTW, with respect to filtering: I carry a lightweight Seattle Sports foldable bucket (4.5 oz or so) and fill that at streamside or lakeside and do the filtering in a more comfortable spot. I would never go back to sitting in the hot sun streamside swatting mosquitos. Definitely worth the weight (it doubles as another stuff sack of sorts).

Bill Law

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Neither! (usually; filter if I have to) on 07/27/2005 13:27:42 MDT Print View

Interesting article on this subject in the LA Times:

Summary: Drink up!

Ryan Jordan is quoted in the article, BTW.

Bill Law

Stephan Guyenet
(Guyenet) - F
Let's break this down on 09/08/2005 14:54:13 MDT Print View

I have a bit to add and I wonder if others would agree. Feel free to correct me if I make any false statements. Let's examine the main types of pathogens we could face in the backcountry:

Cryptosporidium: Filtered out by mechanical filters, not inactivated by iodine or most other chemicals unless you wait 4 hrs.

Giardia: Filtered out by mechanical filters, inactivated by iodine and other chemicals in 30 min.

Viruses: Not filtered out by mechanical filters, rapidly inactivated by iodine and other chemicals. I believe viruses are not considered a health threat in most parts of the remote US.

Bacteria: Most pathogenic types are filtered out by filters, generally inactivated by iodine and other chemicals. I believe bacteria are not considered a health threat in most parts of the remote US.

So, let's look at the overlap between filter systems and chemicals: basically, the only organism we're likely to face that both treatments get rid of is giardia. So if you've been switching between chemicals (including MIOX) and filters as I have, you've been sucking down whatever Cryptosporidium, viruses and certain bacteria are around! My point is that we may not have much to fear from these organisms in general.

So I'm calling on others to add to this discussion. First, do you agree with what I said above. Second, do you think Giardia is a big threat to our health? Many say that giardiasis generally does not come from wilderness water sources (see And third, is it worth the risk of ingesting toxic chemicals or carrying heavy filters to protect us from a threat that is probably overstated?

To wrap this up, I'll just add that I don't trust water that has cow or horse turd floating in it under any circumstances.

Edited by Guyenet on 09/08/2005 15:31:20 MDT.