Rating: 5 / 5
It has taken some time, and a lot of winter boredom, to get to trying out chemical water treatment systems -- goal: reduce weight w/o gagging on the water after treatment. So after studying here I finally got up the nerve to buy some AquaMira at the BPL Gear Shop:
My last water treatment by chemicals experiences were over 45 years ago in the Boy Scouts. Tablets were used and, to say the least, it was disgusting. The taste and smell of the water would put anyone off nature, hiking, camping, the Boy Scouts ... and even staying alive rather than dehydrating to death or delirium.
Things have certainly come a long way. I was so afraid of repeating the bad past experiences that it took me months to finally buy some AquaMira from the BPL Gear Shop -- after reading all of Dr.J's and others descriptions of how benign it was, easy to use, lightweight, etc. And, a long time to try it. I still didn't trust anybody to lead me down the path of trying chemical treatments when for a 1/2 lb. or more I could just pump some nasty bugs and water through some kind of filter.
Well ... to my surprise, AquaMira works ... perfectly even, as far as the taste problem is concerned. So I just dropped the Timberline at about 7-8 oz. or the Kaydyne models at about 9 - 13 oz. from my pack in the spring. (In the winter we usually just melt the snow and drink it.)
For those who doubt Dr.J's veracity re: its taste and quality or who have never used it, here are some pictures of how I did it:
First, I transferred the AquaMira from the bottles it came in into BPL Gear Shop MicroDropper bottles (.35 oz. each. The two bottles that come from McNett weigh 3 oz. (Notice the cap on B is a different shape from the cap on A (because it is a mixing cap that pops onto the B bottle or A bottle pointy cap) to make it easy to tell them apart, and the front labels are a different color.)
Not filled all the way but with enough AquaMira for my purposes for about a week the weight went down from 3+ oz. to less than or about 1 oz. I don't carry the big mixing cap top, I just mixed the solutions in the lid of the Nalgene Cantene. (Dr. J's discussion of the product at the Gear Shop goes into the details and math re: how much use you get out of any given amount.)
CAUTION: The BPL Gear Shop MicroDropper bottles have smaller drops so the standard dose in 1 L of water is 11 drops from each A & B container, not the 7 drops from the larger McNett packaged bottles.
The stuff smells when it is mixing and when it is put in the water at first -- but the smell goes away and the water tastes great after.
So, my water system has evolved to one 48 oz. or 1 L widemouth Nalgene Cantene, because it is good for scooping up snow as well as carrying water, and one .5 L Playpus pop-up spout for drinking out of on the trail. (NOTE: I filled the bottles with measured amounts of water, blew in them to fill them out and marked the volume levels on the right hand side in the photos -- for ease of measuring for cooking in the first instance, but the marks come in handy for treating water in the big mouth Cantene.)
I put already clean and tasty water from our mountain spring into the 1 L and mixed the AquaMira as directed (with Dr.J's modification of the drops necessary using the smaller MicroDropper bottles.)
After it sat for the mandatory 15 minutes or so I poured .5 L into the smaller pop-up Platy.
Then I took it to town with me, in case it tasted disgustingly bad I was going to treat myself to a McDonald's or Burger King burger and fries. Phooeeyyyy. It tasted not only good, but very good -- the chemical did not damage the taste of the pure mountain spring water. Shooot ... no burger.
New Water System Plan: Leave filter at home. Save at minum 6 oz. and maybe 1/2 lb. easy off of last years weight. Fill both bottles with clean water before leaving, after drinking tons of water while getting ready to leave.
Leave. Drink as is appropriate from the .5 L. on the trail. Fill as necessary from the larger wide mouth. Once down to where the wide mouth can take a L more of water fill it as opportunity permits, treat the water with a 1/2 dose of AquaMira as described by Dr.RJ and replace in pack to settle for 1/2 or more hour(s). Once at camp or cooking spot use water and then refill or fill by stream, lake, etc. and cook near water source for refilling after cooking. (We are fortunate to have lots of streams and lakes.) bd