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McNett AquaMira Water Treatment

in Hydration - Water Treatment

Average Rating
4.78 / 5 (9 reviews)


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b d
( bdavis )

Locale:
Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
McNett AquaMira Water Treatment on 01/21/2007 19:10:50 MST Report Post Print

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:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/aquamira_mcnett.html

AquaMira 220

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.)

AquaMira from BPL Gear Shop

AquaMira Bottles A&B on scale

AquaMira in MicroDropper Bottles (BPL Gear Shop)

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.

AquaMira in mixing bottle

AquaMira in mixing bottle and .5 L 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

Edited by bdavis on 01/21/2007 20:22:07 MST.

Stephen Nelson
( stephenn6289 )

Locale:
Sunshine State
excellent on 01/25/2007 12:12:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This si the lightest and best water treatment I have used yet. It is easy(no pumping), fast (add it and go, but you still have to wait 30 min. to consume), but a little on the expensive side. Over time its cost will definitely exceed that of a water filter, but It is well worth it to me.

Janet Brewster
( jgranite25 )

Locale:
Lake Tahoe
Aqua Mira on 03/21/2007 14:04:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I don't treat my water all the time, but when I do, this is what I use. I doubt I'll ever use my pump again....

The waiting time is negliable -- 5 minutes to mix initially (no big deal, forces me to take a break), 30 minutes to do it's magic to the water (I should never be so dehydrated that I can't wait a half hour). The taste doesn't bother me either. Kind of chlorine-y, but more of a weak, ultra-sour lemony taste. It doesn't keep me from drinking like iodine did.

I met a guy on the trail a few years ago who couldn't use AM because of a liver or kidney problem (I don't remember which). Interesting. Other than that, I haven't heard of any problems. Iodine gave me GI problems, so this is a welcome relief. Pun intended.

I have had a hard time buying it in stores in California, so more often than not I've had to order it through catalogs or online.

Eric Riddick
( 50Miler )
Works, but too complicated on 02/03/2008 01:47:50 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Ive used all the chlorine dioxide chemical systems, as well as old fashioned potable aqua tablets. AquaMira works well and is very effective at purifying the water. But compared to chlorine dioxide tablets or something like Klearwater chlorine dioxide, its a subpar product.

Why? Its too complicated for real world field usage. The having to count so many drops from A and B, mix the two components, wait five minutes, add to the water and wait. Thats too complicated when you're on the trail.

Pick an easier system where you don't have to count drops or wait five minutes for the mixtures to react. Backpacking is supposed to be simple.

Shop Aquamira products at GearBuyer
Elliott Wolin
( ewolin )

Locale:
Hampton Roads, Virginia
Great product on 02/03/2008 19:15:29 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Since I don't try for mileage records each day (my feet and knees wouldn't tolerate it), I have absolutely no problem counting drops and waiting 5 minutes to pour it in. And AquaMira is much cheaper than the tablets, important when there are five of us.

Note that by doubling the dwell time you can halve the dose, etc, so you can really treat a lot of water with a small amount of AquaMira (same may be true with the tablets). Klearwater is more expensive, has a shorter life, and deteriorates if light gets to it (or so I understand).

I have a pump and a number of spare filters, and suspect I'll never use them again.

The only other treatment I'm considering is all the new UV devices (SteriPen, etc).

Edited by ewolin on 02/04/2008 08:25:58 MST.

Shop Aquamira products at GearBuyer
George Matthews
( gmatthews - M )
Excellent light treatment for water on 02/04/2008 10:50:56 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

After gaining confidence about the use of McNett AquaMira Water treatment from BPL articles and forums, I began trying it last year. Previously, I used the Katadyn Hiker filter without any problems. However, I wanted to lighten my load.

Also, I do not mind taking a bit of time to take a rest break and mix up the little concoction. I find it easier than pumping and pretty simple. With the filter, I had to think about keeping the clean pieces from the others, etc.

Another plus: it makes for deep discussions like given an infinite amount of time how much water will one dose treat? Or, after you drink it does it keep working in your belly?

I'm planning to use for a while.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Aquamira Water Treatment priced at: $14.95
Katadyn Hiker Filter priced at: $39.95 - $64.95
Shop Mcnett products at GearBuyer
Jay Wilkerson
( Creachen )

Locale:
East Bay
Perfect H2O Treatment on 09/30/2008 17:21:55 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Back in the day I had a 9 oz. water filter, thanks to AquaMira I saved 9 oz. and repackage the stuff in two BPL containers that way 1 oz.- together. The only down side which is miner- is that you have to whate 20 minutes total to beable to drink H2O. I don't think thats to big of a problem. Excellent stuff and very simple to use.

Shop Aquamira, H2O products at GearBuyer
peter somers
( pwsomers )
Aqua Mira filter on 10/03/2008 08:35:32 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've used every type of water purification system...MSR filter, First Need purifiers, Aqua Mira drops, ClO2 drops, and now the Aqua Mira in-line filter. I personally like the ClO2 drops - fast and easy, but hard to get now that they seem to be mosly going to Iraq to the military? Aqua Mira has designed a filter that goes on your hydration tube and purifies as you go. I recently used it on a six-day trip into the Wind River Range, WY. It worked flawlessly and is not that heavy. The cover for the bite valve is exceptionally useful (keeping it out of dirt etc.). The cost is relatively cheaper than other systems.

Shop First Need, Wind River products at GearBuyer
Robert Diehl
( robert.diehl - M )
always love it, but now having bottle troubles on 05/18/2013 18:20:08 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I swear by this stuff, and it's the only water treatment product I use. I'm on my third kit in 6 years.

Two problems on last week's trip:

First, I began to notice how hard it is to squeeze out one drop; the bottles are really stiff, and each drop is like a little strength contest for your thumb. Do that 7 times with part A, followed by 7 more times with part B, and it's a workout. Especially difficult on a cold morning; plastic is stiff, hands are frozen, etc.

Second, one of my bottles developed a tiny crack at the top corner. A cube-shaped plastic container doesn't really have any easy flexing points, and this area of weakness finally gave way. So when I tried to squeeze out a drop, I got a high-pressure microjet of chemical coming out the corner of the bottle, spraying off to the left. Since now the dropper wouldn't work on that bottle, I faked it by starting with 7 drops of the part B solution first, then spraying my part A solution into the cap until it looked about double the volume.

I'm trying to email the company, but I don't see a 'contact us' section on aquamira.com. I plan to send them a letter via U.S. Mail to their Utah address.

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