Water filters/purifiers

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How do you make your water potable?

Purifier
20
11%
Filter
116
66%
Chemical (bleach/iodine)
25
14%
Boiling
14
8%
 
Total votes: 175

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mttgilbert
Posts: 773
Joined: Oct 14 2002 3:40 pm
City, State: Denver, CO

Water filters/purifiers

Post by mttgilbert » Aug 03 2003 12:11 am

I use a first need water purifier. It weighs around 18 ounces but filters down to .01 microns. It claims to take everything (including viruses) out of the water and I haven't had a problem yet. It costs around 80 bucks. I have also used iodine tablets and bleach, personally I like the purifiers (not just filters) better.

I would like to upgrade to a unit thats lighter and has a higher flow rate. Of course I want to retain the purifying aspect of the unit, any suggestions?

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Mountain_Rat
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Joined: Jul 14 2011 11:15 am
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by Mountain_Rat » Sep 08 2019 9:47 pm

@rcorfman
Roger that. The syringe has pretty much become BBQ equipment and I do the Smart bottle trick, or use a little flex tubing contraption I made when I get back home. IMO, this is the most versatile system, unless you only day hike. If you only day hike, then I would think more along the line of a bottle system. I bought a Lifesaver bottle several years ago, then lost it somewhere in Romero Canyon. Too expensive to replace, but GREAT filter/bottle for those who can keep track of their stuff.
Matt

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Jim_H
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Joined: Sep 08 2006 8:14 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by Jim_H » Sep 09 2019 7:50 am

@AZClaimjumper
It is an MSR ceramic and charcoal filter. Not 100% sure about the specific model, but it is an MSR. I liked it back when I used it extensively in Colorado, California, New Mexico and Wyoming, packing in to hike or scramble mountains, and while doing a 5 day trip in the Gila. It served me well in the Catalina's, too, which is probably the last place I used it.
My favorite color is 6!

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LindaAnn
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City, State: Ahwatukee, AZ
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Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by LindaAnn » Sep 09 2019 8:01 am

I had a Sawyer and a Sawyer mini, and never really cared for either one. I know I’m in the minority on that opinion.

I ended up buying a Platypus GravityWorks filter, and I like it a whole lot more. Not lightweight or cheap, the complete kit, plus additional carbon filter weighs 11.2 oz, and cost around $120 total.

If I’m drinking murkier water, I sometimes throw in an AquaMira tablet after filtering. Or, if I’m drinking water straight from a nice spring or alpine lake, I sometimes forgo the filter and just use a tablet.

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wildwesthikes
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Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by wildwesthikes » Sep 09 2019 11:07 am

@AZClaimjumper
As I go backpacking 2-3x per month I am of course filtering water frequently. It's been an interesting ride over some time, tried a few systems out.

Sawyer Squeeze (the original largest 3oz version) coupled with a 3 liter CNOC Vecto dirty water bag has won out and stayed with me for a long time now. Seems to be the lightest weight, most reliable and utilitarian system out there; 6oz all-in. It will thread directly to one of my smartwater bottles I drink out of in the event of a water bag failure. It also easily backflushes when you insert a smartwater sports cap into the clean end. I have a little cup which is the bottom 3 inches of a smartwater bottle that the filter and rolled-up bag nest into. This cup is what I use to gather water from shallow seeps or potentially muddy water sources, when I don't want to disturb the fragile bottom layer of silt to kick it up into where I'm pulling water from. I am convinced that some of those who hated the Sawyer would change their minds if they used it with the Vecto bag. I hated it too at first when using it with the useless and fragile bags supplied with the filter.

If I am in an area with exceedingly poor water sources - highly polluted with say human pathogens - which hasn't actually happened on any of my trips yet, I have something called a Survivor Filter I got off Amazon for about $80. It's a 13oz three-stage filter with a 0.1 micron pre-filter, activated charcoal intermediate stage and a 0.01 virus level 3rd stage. It's a pump system and works fine. Not necessary in North America though. Just bought it for the giggles and gear addiction.

The one I hated the most was the MSR Trailshot. I think it's an ok system if you are into something like fastpacking or ultra running and need a quick, light compact filter. It just fails to pump frequently and seems to be a poor design. You have to fill the bulb completely to get a decent flow rate - which requires a combination of luck and skill and a deep water source; problematic in this neck of the woods. I think it took me an average of 20 minutes to filter 3 liters with the damn thing and my hand hurt pretty bad after all that "pumping".

I always carry chlorine dioxide tablets with my med kit in case of filter failure or exceedingly sketchy water sources. There's always boiling too if push comes to shove.

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wildwesthikes
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Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by wildwesthikes » Sep 09 2019 11:15 am

@mttgilbert
RE: suggestions on lighter purifier...

From my other post in this thread:

"If I am in an area with exceedingly poor water sources - highly polluted with say human pathogens - which hasn't actually happened on any of my trips yet, I have something called a Survivor Filter I got off Amazon for about $80. It's a 13oz three-stage filter with a 0.1 micron pre-filter, activated charcoal intermediate stage and a 0.01 virus level 3rd stage. It's a pump system and works fine. Not necessary in North America though. Just bought it for the giggles and gear addiction."

You would save 5 oz and retain virus filtering. As far as "purifying" - I believe that's what the combination of the 0.01 stage plus the activated charcoal stage does: clarifies and removes chemicals and heavy metals (to a limited degree), before filtering for viruses. But I could be wrong about those aspects. Might be worth looking into.

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RedRoxx44
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Joined: Feb 15 2003 8:07 am
City, State: outside, anywhere

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by RedRoxx44 » Sep 09 2019 12:20 pm

Aqua mira for the bladder, boil if using for morning coffee or preparing rehydrated meals. On longer dayhikes if I can remember I'll throw a Lifestraw in the pack just in case. Haven't carried a filter/purifier in years.

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markthurman53
Posts: 35
Joined: Jun 27 2015 10:56 am
City, State: Tucson, Arizona

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by markthurman53 » Sep 09 2019 12:51 pm

UV Purifier. Doesn't kill the suckers just sterilizes them so they can't reproduce. This gives my immune system something to do so that when they come into contact with these critters in the future it doesn't run in fear and hide in a corner. Most of the time if the water is not sitting I don't use anything. This last bit is not a suggestion to anyone it has just worked well for me. I used the UV filter on the Arizona Trail a few times when pulling water from the game tanks and that was some pretty rank water.

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AZClaimjumper
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Joined: Nov 19 2012 12:29 pm
City, State: Reno, Nevada

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by AZClaimjumper » Sep 10 2019 7:01 pm

I day-hike ONLY.
I have carried & used the MSR mini works EX Purifier on a half dozen occasions. It has always provided me with clean water meaning I've never had any ill aftereffects from drinking water it puts out that I've drunk.
I have no explanation/reason for not carrying it with me all the time.
Today, I use my recently purchased Grayl water purifier for the first time during a day hike here in Nevada. It is a hike I've hiked before so I know where all the readily accessible water sources are.
I have a hydrapak 3 liter bladder/drink tube/bite valve inside a compartment in my backpack. I carry an 8 oz Hydrapak softflask as my back up water supply when the bladder runs dry.
Today, I began my hike already FULLY hydrated. I had no water in the Hydrapak bladder because I knew a water sources was 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead. When I arrived at that first water source I used the Grayl Purifier to purify just 16 oz of water which I felt would be more than enough before I arrived at my next water source. The Hydrapak bladder ran dry a couple of hundred feet before I arrived at my next water source where I again purified just 16 oz. I was paralleling a water source when my the bladder again went dry, so I again purified just 16 oz. That was more than enough to get me back to the trailhead & my car.
The Grayl bottle/filter weighs 16.25 oz when empty. Today I purified 48 oz of water & wound up drinking 42 oz of that water. The maximum weight of the Grayl Purifier & the 16 oz of water I added was 2.25#. What I especially like about the Grayl Purifier is, No pumps, hoses, chemicals, or batteries & no way to cross-contaminate dirty water with purified water.
I bought mine directly from Grayl.com because they are currently offering a SUMMER20, which is a 20% discount off their retail price. I paid $71.96; I also bought a replacement filter which cost $21.46. FREE shipping.

Let me reiterate, I KNEW the location of numerous water sources during my 12.5-mile hike & was never far from water sources. If I don't know where water sources are on other hikes, I will definitely start out with water in the bladder inside my backpack. And my back up is an 8oz Hydrapak Softflask that I carry safely inside my backpack.

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Mountain_Rat
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Joined: Jul 14 2011 11:15 am
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by Mountain_Rat » Sep 10 2019 7:44 pm

@AZClaimjumper
Sounds like my Lifesaver Bottle; about a pound and a half empty, and about 3 pounds full, easy to drink from, filtered everything including petroleum contamination. I think I paid about $150 for it, 8 or so years back. Very nice bottle if you have frequent sources.
Matt

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skatchkins
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Joined: Dec 22 2007 8:08 pm
City, State: Mesa, AZ
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Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by skatchkins » Sep 11 2019 1:26 pm

Was a First Need guy, now a Sawyer squeeze.
May he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
Armchair Crisis Design

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rcorfman
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Joined: Oct 17 2008 11:19 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
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Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by rcorfman » Sep 11 2019 2:21 pm

AZClaimjumper wrote:The Grayl bottle/filter weighs 16.25 oz when empty. Today I purified 48 oz of water & wound up drinking 42 oz of that water. The maximum weight of the Grayl Purifier & the 16 oz of water I added was 2.25#. What I especially like about the Grayl Purifier is, No pumps, hoses, chemicals, or batteries & no way to cross-contaminate dirty water with purified water.
Glad you had a good experience with you Grayl system. It's too heavy for my tastes, though I concede it really doesn't matter much for day hikes. I could have done the same thing with a liter bottle and my Sawyer Squeeze (4.8oz combined), no pumps, hoses, chemicals, batteries, and no way to cross-contaminate dirty water with purified water (only carrying dirty water, filter into my mouth). Yes, it won't remove viruses, but that isn't an issue anywhere I'll be in the foreseeable future. Weight does matter for long treks however, which is where my interest lies.
Go find a LonelyCache

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AZClaimjumper
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Joined: Nov 19 2012 12:29 pm
City, State: Reno, Nevada

Re: Water filters/purifiers

Post by AZClaimjumper » Sep 12 2019 8:08 am

I weigh 110# & am 74 years old & I don't have upper body strength/muscles to speak of. Got strong legs so day-hikes is all I'm equipped/builts for. I do enjoy getting out & about on the good ole shoe leather EXPRESS for a day here & a day there.
The photo of MEeee was taken atop Mt. Humphrey on a v-e-r-y gusty/windy day. That was a 14 hour hiking day.

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