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Aqua Mira vs Hiker filter
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Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 9 out 10 Monkeys Prefer Aqua Mira Over Filters on 07/31/2007 16:11:51 MDT Print View

Do you happen to have a picture of the poor lil' guy before he got hooked on Aqua Mira?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
before Aqua Mira on 07/31/2007 17:53:24 MDT Print View

Hi Tom

Another good LOL!

There is an ongoing investigation underway to shed light on how Monkey learned about Aqua Mira.

Monkey reading

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Chemicals vs Filters on 08/01/2007 07:32:13 MDT Print View

There are two issues for me: weight and time. Chlorine Dioxide is my chemical of choice, be it Aqua Mira or MicroPur tablets. I use Aqua Mira as the first choice, with MicroPur tablets in my survival kit and taped to the bladder in my day hiking hydration pack.

The only problem I have with chemical treatment is the waiting time and that just takes a little conscious management of water. If there are large distances between water sources that might mean carrying enough extra water or an extra bladder, both equalling the weight of a filter.

Filters are easy enough to use and they will tackle stuff like tanin-laden water and help with some chemical/taste issues. They aren't cheap and they aren't light, but filters do allow you to get immediate gratification and can draw water from sources you can even dip water from with a cup. There is the mechanical failure factor of filters too-- break a ceramic cartridge or clog one up in the middle of nowhere and you're hosed (no pun intended), so you should still carry chemicals as a backup.

I use a Katadyn Hiker Pro, which came with some snap connector fittings. I spliced them into the tube on my Platypus so it is possible to refill the bladder without removing it from my pack. If I carried the filter in a side pocket, it would be possible to refill without even taking the pack off--- but who would miss that opportunity!

So, use chemicals for the lightest alternative. Plan ahead a bit, maybe carry an extra one liter bladder to help balance treatment time vs water supply--- treat two liters in your pack while drinking the spare liter and then treat the refilled one liter while using the completely treated two liter, etc. Treat overnight whenever possible. Use chemicals when viruses are a concern. Use a filter when hiking with a group (weight averages out) and for quick access to large amounts of water.

Bill B
(bill123) - MLife
KlearWater on 08/01/2007 07:39:14 MDT Print View

I keep seeing references to Aqua Mira. Does anyone use the KlearWater sold on this site?

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: 9 out 10 Monkeys Prefer Aqua Mira Over Filters on 08/01/2007 11:39:07 MDT Print View

Looks like that monkey bivvied at temps below -20F for a night.

In general filters take out big things (Giardia-Crypto-Bacteria) but not viruses and chemicals work better on small things most easily--viruses are dead within 15 minutes but for large, hard shelled "bugs" the chemicals don't penetrate and reach concentrations high enough to kill for several hours.

Fortunately in the mountainous US virals are rare and can quickly be killed by natural UV light--the sun. (It is for this reason that the top 6-8" of lake water is safest to drink.) Know your water and treat for what is there.

Edited by ksawchuk on 08/01/2007 11:42:53 MDT.

Matthew Swierkowski
(Berserker) - F

Locale: Southeast
Paranoid...I use both on 08/02/2007 11:13:19 MDT Print View

I'm going to preface this with the fact that I know this is overkill. I use a Katadyn Hiker filter and AM. I filter all my water and then I treat my drinking water (I carry two 2 liter Platys). My cooking water gets boiled so thus the lack of chemical treatment for it. The good thing about this setup is that if the filter breaks I have a backup water treatment solution.

What got me so paranoid was that my hiking bud got sick off of filtered water. He was hiking with someone else, and they both got sick from water they filtered. Based on the symptoms he described it was probably a virus. I know this is rare in the US, but I figure why not just treat for everything. Then I don't have to worry about my water making me sick.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: KlearWater on 08/07/2007 13:37:08 MDT Print View

I've used it on a couple of weekend trips recently. It seems to work just fine. At least it tastes fine, was easy to use, and I didn't get sick, and I was hiking in central Texas, which is ranch country, so the creek water is sure to really need treatment. --Mina

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Klearwater on 08/07/2007 22:42:06 MDT Print View

I've used Klearwater & found it really convenient. I do not repackage it, but carry it in the original brown glass bottle, since I found it deteriorates rapidly when stored in plastic (2-3 days in my experience).

It adds only a slight taste to the water, probably most noticeable to me because we have well water. I find it tastes like most city water to me.



Locale: Greater Gila
Klearwater repackaging issues? on 01/08/2008 19:39:26 MST Print View

Has anyone else noticed Klearwater losing it's effectiveness after 2-3 days when repackaged into plastic bottles like Pamela mentioned? I'm hoping to use Klearwater for at least part of the desert portion of the PCT, but worry that repackaging, as well as the desert heat will destroy it's effectiveness.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
Aqua Mira vs Hiker filter on 01/09/2008 09:33:43 MST Print View

I have read this thread with interest. I have used filters, Aqua Mira, iodine... you name it. Many times, depending on the source, I don't filter at all. There has been some good research articles posted on this site and available elsewhere that would dispute the need to filter or treat many sources of water.

In my experience, people often blame the water for getting sick when it may more likely be personal hygiene issues. I am bothered also by the wait time with chemical treatment, but a little planning ahead usually takes care of that problem. I would prefer not to pack the extra weight a filter requires.

I believe, in many cases, the filtering and chemical treatment is overkill. It all depends on the water source and your knowledge of local conditions.

I am interested in the information regarding Klearwater and it's effectiveness after repackaging. This is a real concern in my view.

Edited by idahomtman on 01/09/2008 09:34:24 MST.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Aqua Mira vs Hiker filter on 01/09/2008 09:55:46 MST Print View

Here in the Pacific NW, it's AM all the way.

It doesn't freeze
It doesn't clog
Cheap to replace

It spills
You cant see how much is left in the bottle

Filter PROs
Speed; no waiting time
It doesn't spill

Filter CONs:
Residual water freezes in fillter element
Clogs easily; prefilter may be needed
Replacement elements are expensive
You must avoid cross-contamination of outlet (filtered water) tubing by inlet (unfiltered water) tubing

I still have my PUR Hiker filter, but haven't used it since my 2001 thru hike of the Tahoe rim Trail. I watched four filters from three different manufacturers plug solid in the same clear stream (ultra-fine glacial flour most likely). I've also had the filter element freeze solid at night, even after my best eforts to pump/drain all residual water out of it before gonig to bed. If faced with this again, I'd slip it into a plastic water-tight bag and sleep with it, like I've done with gas cartridges, but I still wouldn't like it.

I too carry a few Micropur tablets in my emergency kit.

Wandering Bob

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F - M
aquamira frontier pro on 01/09/2008 11:05:19 MST Print View

Has anyone looked into trying the Frontier Pro filter? It looks like it connects to to UL water carrying devices like the Platy stuff. Here's a link with some good pictures:

It seems to me that you could carry your chemical treating agent of preference, and, while waiting for it to finish doing its thing, you could drink from a bladder with the Frontier Pro. At 2oz. you're not really paying a very heavy weight penalty.

Side note: before I saw the light, I used a Katadyn Vario Pro. Aside from weighing over a pound, it was total trash. On my first trip out, it broke at Loke Colden in the 'Dacks. There I was, miles from anywhere, and 1 day into a 5 day hike. Since then I've been pretty enthusiastic about chemically treating my water.

Kirk Beiser
(kab21) - F

Locale: Pic: Gun Lake, BWCA
Re: Klearwater repackaging issues? on 01/09/2008 20:19:48 MST Print View

I was also concerned about the shelf of Klearwater, but ultimately I passed on Klearwater because one bottle it only treated 8gal at regular dose. Compared to 30gal that AquaMira will treat at regular dose (7dropsA/7dropsB) with the 2 bottles. I didn't want to continually resupply. Also be sure to remember that Aquamira isn't sold in California.

For thru hiking I would use AquaMira with tablets as backup. These are nice when mosquitos are swarming and you don't feel like waiting 5 minutes for part A and B to mix.

For 3 day fast trips I would take repackaged Klearwater with tablets as backup. Or just tablets, but they are expensive.

For slow recreational trips with friends I would probably take the ULA gravity filter (or similar). With backup tablets.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Aqua Mira vs Hiker filter on 01/09/2008 20:41:24 MST Print View

To me, Micropur is superior to A.M. (higher potency, no need for counting drops, 5-min. premixing wait time, and no risk of spilling). Klearwater's short shelf life makes it impractical (or wasteful) to all but truly frequent hikers.

Edited by ben2world on 01/09/2008 20:43:43 MST.

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Shelf life... on 01/10/2008 20:40:18 MST Print View

What is the shelf life of Klearwater? I haven't used it yet - I just got some with my BPL order a week or so ago.