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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
water conundrum on 06/12/2013 15:32:10 MDT Print View

So, it seems like the two best long-term, lightweight and more sustainable options out there for purifing water are either the Steripen that use will have to use a solar charger for anything longer than 4-5 days or the Sawyer Squeeze which needs to be backflushed with the syringe, has issues with the cold and can sometimes have buildup from the water deposits. Correct? Other than boiling over a wood fire of course. Hmmmm....

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
water conundrum on 06/12/2013 15:58:17 MDT Print View

I have owned both and ultimately decided to stick with the Sawyer Squeeze.

No reliance on batteries/electronic equipment won out for me; I also find it works well in situations where I want to filter more than 1L at a time (like a group trip).

I generally just carry a single 1L gatorade bottle, the sawyer squeeze and a 1.5L or 2L Evernew bladder (for dirty water and water hauling).

I don't find the threat of freezing the filter to be a big deal. I simply throw the filter in a stuff sack or empty ziploc or whatever and throw it in the bottom of my quilt once camp is set up. If it's cold enough while I'm on the move that freezing is a threat, I'll wrap it up in something (like my down jacket) to protect it. Not a big deal.

I also haven't found it to be too urgent to backflush it regularly. If the water looks crummy, I prefilter through a bandanna. That's it. I don't carry the syringe on my trips. I do however, clean the filter and backflush it after each trip. No problems. Of course, if you hike in an area with heavy silt (like the Grand Canyon) or glacial fed rivers, you might need to have a better prefilter and/or carry the syringe.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: water conundrum on 06/12/2013 16:01:58 MDT Print View

Steripen or Squeeze - I have one of each.

Cheers

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Water on 06/12/2013 16:11:36 MDT Print View

I still prefer Aqua Mira. I pre-mix it a la Mike Clelland. I keep the mix bottle in my waist belt pocket so I can re-fill a bottle and treat it without stopping hiking. The only failure mode is if you lose one of the bottles and you can bring enough for many people for many days with no problems. I go through two or three packages a year at $15 so it isn't the cheapest in the long run.

robert van putten
(Bawana) - F

Locale: Planet Bob
Or not... on 06/12/2013 16:13:59 MDT Print View

Or you could simply not bother to treat yer water at all...

I never have, save maybe to use a bandana to catch the big chunks, and have never had any trouble at all.
Then, late last year my wife came down with Giardia so bad she needed two courses of antibiotic to cure it. She probably contracted it on a canoe trip last October, and took a month to show symptoms....We think?

Now I'm also in a conundrum - Should we start carrying some method to treat water and if so, what technology to use?

The Squeeze and the little UV lights do seem the best answers to me, but I've never tried any of that stuff.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: water conundrum on 06/12/2013 16:16:14 MDT Print View

has anyone used those Katadyn water bottles with the filter inside ?
you just screw off the top and dip the bottle in water then screw the top on.
then squeeze and drink.

any thoughts on these ?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Katadyn on 06/12/2013 16:20:29 MDT Print View

I found one on the trail in Sequoia once and packed it out. They are really heavy.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Re: water conundrum on 06/12/2013 16:29:17 MDT Print View

Why not the aqua mira drops? They are light. Im not really sure what you mean by "more sustainable".

How long is "more sustainable" to you? What Option were you considering that wouldnt fit this length of time?

I used to use a frontier pro filter by aqua mira.. and then found out that it does not do anything for bacteria so now I use the drops and they are super light maybe 3-5 ounce and able to be made lighter by only carrying what you are going to use.

How much does that sawyer squeeze filter weigh with its whole set up? or the steri pen with bateries?

Ian Destroyer of Forums
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: water conundrum on 06/12/2013 17:01:50 MDT Print View

"has anyone used those Katadyn water bottles with the filter inside ?
you just screw off the top and dip the bottle in water then screw the top on.
then squeeze and drink. any thoughts on these ?"

Art,

I have their bottle with the purification system. It has an iodine element which kills everything. They also have one which just filters out protozoa and possibly bacteria but I haven't tried that version.

As far as the purification system goes, I only use it when I'm traveling overseas. It is a real chore to drink water through it to a point that I feel like I'm going to rupture a blood vessel. You almost have to eat a cinnabon afterwards to replace the calories burned drinking 20oz of water. I only use in in emergencies and can't recommend it.

I've been tempted to try it with just the filter to see if it works any better but that would only be for domestic use.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Sawyer on 06/12/2013 17:30:56 MDT Print View

Squeeze

My buddy Patman using his Sawyer filter on Big Frog Mt. We discussed the pros and cons of such a filter and came up with a few, the main one being pulling water out of seeps or tiny pools too small to dip since the Sawyer doesn't suck up water.

Dip
This is the kind of pool I'm talking about. A simple pump is able to pull fairly clear water without a lot of silt while a cup to transfer it to a bottle would pick up a bunch of stuff. In this case the Sawyer types would have to use a bandana pre-filter (or coffee filter, etc).

Edited by TipiWalter on 06/12/2013 17:58:03 MDT.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: water conundrum on 06/12/2013 17:41:43 MDT Print View

“…Steripen that use will have to use a solar charger for anything longer than 4-5 days”

Well, I would just bring spare lithium’s. That’s lighter. I’ve been keeping the opti in my belt holster and the liter bladder in the pack side pocket. It sure is fast to dip, stir, and drink that 39F water. Mmm. Nothing to attach, reattach or deattach.

-Barry
-The mountains were made for Tevas

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
sus on 06/12/2013 17:42:20 MDT Print View

I do the bandana thing also but probably shouldn't so much anymore. I am looking more at the squeeze because I can also use it as a 1L storage.

The whole point of Aqua Mira is that it is not sustainable, you have to keep buying chemicals. It would be cool if you could make it yourself out of naturally occurring products but you can't . The Sawyer will last a lifetime if you treat it right and the Steripen a good long time also.

And one use batteries or even rechargeables that last for a year or two aren't really sustainable.

Edited by bpeugh on 06/12/2013 17:43:42 MDT.

robert van putten
(Bawana) - F

Locale: Planet Bob
chemicals... on 06/12/2013 18:23:16 MDT Print View

The trouble I have with iodine or chlorine is I don't like drinking poison.

If it kills all the bugs in the water it sure as heck will kill your stomach flora too.
I don't drink chlorinated water now and I wasn't raised on it. Is this why I never get giardia? My own flora and immune system is sufficiently strong to ignore a few giardia cists here and there?

Anyway, I can't imagine ingesting chemicals long term is a good idea!

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Chlorine on 06/12/2013 18:35:35 MDT Print View

You took the words right out of my mouth as I was gonna quote some long research link on Chlorine dioxide(aquamira) but held back and foresaw a list of posts declaring its safety. But yes, I agree with you in part because for those who stay out for long periods of time the reliance on these chemicals may not be smart.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: chemicals... on 06/12/2013 18:46:00 MDT Print View

Right on, Planet Bob and Tipi!

Here's a tag from a popular chemical option:

chem

Not particularly the kind of stuff I wanna be ingesting......

Edited by rustyb on 06/12/2013 18:47:26 MDT.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: chemicals... on 06/12/2013 19:13:58 MDT Print View

"The trouble I have with iodine or chlorine is I don't like drinking poison."

Are you aware that your body needs iodine to live? Iodine requires about 30 minutes of time to kill everything in your bottle . When you drink the water it only stays in your stomach for about 1 minute. Its not in your stomach long enough to have any effect on the flora in your stomach.

Also your stomach has high quantities of hydrochloric acid. HCL is far more reactive than Iodine. Yet despite the HCL the Lora thrive in your stomach.

Yes if you use too much in your bottle or swallow a bunch of tablets yes it can cause injury just like anything else. Vinegar (acetic acid) is used in food but you wouldn't want to drink a pint of it or even touch concentrated acetic acid. In fact Acetic acid probably could be used to purify water.



"I don't drink chlorinated water now and I wasn't raised on it. Is this why I never get giardia?"

Are you sure? Most water in Europe and north america, and most developed countries is treated with chlorine, UV, or hydrogen peroxide. In most cases you cannot taste it and only a lab test will tell you.

The strength of your immune systems rises and falls over time. Some people have stronger immune systems than others. Also recent infections, medical treatment, and diet changes can temporarily weaken your immune system. Just because you wife got it doesn't mean you are immune. You might have just gotten lucky

I have a sawyer 3 in 1 filter that I use in line with my bladder. works well. Just this week I found it plugged ( it was dry) I soaked it in Vinegar for 3 hours and then back flushed it. I then tested it in a gravity setup (3 foot hydrostatic head) and it now filters 1 quart in 1 minute 30 seconds. More than adequate for my needs. Sawyer also sells a water bottle with a filter built in. Sawyer has a lifetime warranty.

Sawyer filters can also be used in a straw configuration. You dip the end of a hose or the filter into a puddle of water and suck the water through the filter and into your mouth. LifeStraw is a similar product. MSR Hyperflow is a water pump that uses the same filter technology.

Edited by Surf on 06/12/2013 19:32:21 MDT.

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
sawyer bottle filter on 06/12/2013 19:28:30 MDT Print View

"has anyone used those Katadyn water bottles with the filter inside ?
you just screw off the top and dip the bottle in water then screw the top on.
then squeeze and drink."

I've not used that exact filter but I have the sawyer one that is in a bottle and I really like this style of filter for its convenience. The closest experience to not filtering that I can think of.

Edited by theronr on 06/12/2013 19:33:51 MDT.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: chemicals... on 06/12/2013 19:38:37 MDT Print View

"Iodine requires about 30 minutes of time to kill everything in your bottle."

Really? "Military Medicine" and "Department of SWES" at the UofA state different. http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/66120900/ManureManagementToProtectTheEnvironment/2005mbjJ14.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11990150

"When you drink the water it only stays in your stomach for about 1 minute. Its not in your stomach long enough to have any effect on the flora in your stomach."

Interesting. Do you happen to have a link to that?

"Most water in Europe and north america, and most developed countries is treated with chlorine, UV, or hydrogen peroxide. In most cases you cannot taste it and only a lab test will tell you".

I grew up drinking nothing but good ol' fashioned well water, and water straight from mountain streams, and have yet to drink municipal water that came anywhere close to the unadulterated stuff. I'm only 44 yrs old so perhaps haven't tried enough....

Kate Magill
(lapedestrienne) - F
Re: Re: Re: chemicals... on 06/13/2013 08:56:50 MDT Print View

Search PubMed for Robert Derlet, MD; he's a UC Davis professor who has spent decades researching water quality in alpine areas with a specific interest in whether or not it is necessary for backcountry travelers to treat their water. Long story short, his conclusion is that in alpine areas, experienced backpackers probably do not need to treat. As many doctors will tell you, personal sanitation is WAY more important. Here's a good interview, from REI no less:

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/water-researcher-QA.html

FWIW, I'm on the east coast, and to me there is a big difference between a remote spring and a stream in a developed/high-traffic area. The first I would drink without filtering, the second I would probably filter. On shorter trips when I know the area and have a good idea of water sources I'll be using, I feel comfortable leaving my filter at home. On a thru hike, or any trip in an unfamiliar area, I bring a filter.

Also, re: iodine, the human body only needs a tiny dose of it, and most Americans get plenty in table salt. Too much iodine can cause thyroid dysfunction, goiters, etc. Though I can't find much agreement on how much "too much" is. Also, iodine is not recommended for people allergic to shellfish, pregnant/nursing women, or those with thyroid conditions.

Like Rusty, I was raised on well water, not municipal water, so the idea of using chlorine in mountain streams seems pretty backward to me. Sawyer Squeeze FTW.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Water on 06/13/2013 09:52:53 MDT Print View

Kate---
I agree with your comment about the Southeast or the East when it comes to water filtering. In my glory years when I was a young vegetarian hippie Jedediah Smith (oxymoron, ain't it?), I drank water freely out of every spring or creek I found. Of course I puked my guts out in the Mt Rogers backcountry and splattered out pancake batters frequently from a cramped-up giardia-fed colon(sorry 'bout that).

Point is? Hiker beware! Dayhikers and some other backpackers can be peculiar and downright evil when it comes to dropping their loads---and I've seen turd piles in the worst places. One was right in the headwaters of a favorite spring. A series of 6 human turds (a whole weekend's worth??) was on the banks of the South Fork Citico Creek. Another nasty clump was next to Brush Mt Creek. All of these were left unburied with foul toilet paper. But why try to explain it when a single pic will do---

Humans
This wonderful load was dropped right next to Brush Mt Creek in the Citico Wilderness. Treat your water, boys.

Edited by TipiWalter on 06/13/2013 09:53:33 MDT.