Favorite Water Treatment?

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cavaroc
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Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by cavaroc » Jan 06 2016 10:32 pm

Hi all,

I sadly had to leave the AZT last year early, but I'm giving it another go this spring. After experiencing a few of the stock tanks, I'm second-guessing my water purification methods. I had been using a SteriPEN in a 1-liter bottle that was filtered through some fine tea filters that fit conveniently over the bottle's mouth, but didn't always seem to catch everything. So I'm wondering, what's everyone's favorite method of water purification?
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by jonathanpatt » Jan 07 2016 4:31 pm

I have a lot of water purification options. I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro I really like when I'm car camping or backpacking in a short distance with a base camp. Easier and faster than the Sawyer Mini. I do have a Mini, though, and I keep it in my daypack at all times. For other backpacking, I have a regular Sawyer Squeeze which doesn't get clogged as easily and has a better flow rate for when I'm going to be using it more regularly. I also have a Steripen I haven't given much use yet. I feel I'd mostly use that (or chemical treatment) in conjunction with a filter for a two step process in the case of particularly contaminated water.

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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by cavaroc » Jan 10 2016 5:20 pm

And then here's a brand new option that's about to come out, hopefully before I'm on the trail: http://www.guardianpur...

Looks pretty promising for those murkier water sources.

...Actually I just checked the price on REI - $350. Might have to wait on this one.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by joebartels » Jan 10 2016 5:37 pm

wow, albeit pricey the design looks smart

wonder if it really stands a chance against the silty colorado river or such
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by nonot » Jan 10 2016 6:14 pm

I would think its going to be a good option for silty sources such as the colorado, it appears to be heavily reliant on the prefilter and is kind of a self-backwashing/ self-cleaning design. I think you'd still have to go slow, as they even show how a single water puddle that is muddy had them constantly wiping off the pre-filter.

I suspect the weak part of this design is the pre-filter membrane, since you rub it directly to clean it off and it appears to be made of a thin fabric like material, seems like it will wear out first from the direct abrasion you have to apply. They even state in the video that the filter clogs in seconds once that bites the dust. But it should be good enough for most casual backpackers. I doubt it will meet its 10000 liter design lifespan without pre-filter replacements every 100 trips or so.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by Tough_Boots » Jan 10 2016 6:26 pm

MSR Guardian= $350, 8.2 x 4.7 x 3.5 inches, 1 lb. 1.3 oz.
Sawyer Squeeze = $40, 5 x 2 x 2 inches, 3 oz.

I think MSR has given up on the backpacker/hiker market.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by big_load » Jan 10 2016 11:12 pm

On the other hand, the Guardian isn't a whole lot heavier than the Miniworks, and if the claims are accurate, it pumps a whole lot faster. It might be a decent solution for especially nasty, silty water.

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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 11 2016 8:24 am

@Tough_Boots
I bought a Sawyer recently. Haven't used it yet, but am glad to hear people like it. And yes, very reasonably priced.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by Trew » Jan 16 2016 10:56 pm

I did the John Muir Trail in July in 2015. Water along the JMT is clear and about 99% of the filters I saw were the Sawyer Mini filters- I used one myself. Couple years ago in the Gila Wilderness in NM I used my ceramic MSR filter and was cleaning the filter about every 3- 4 liters, the water in the Gila was that silty that year. I am trying to decide which filter to use on the AZT this year myself. The year I did the Gila my companion used a Sawyer and only had one sawyer bag with him which was all bound with duct tape by the time we got through the Gila Wilderness. On the JMT I carried 2 backup Sawyer qt bottles.

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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by Ooooo » Jan 17 2016 4:46 pm

When I am drinking clear water in the mountains, I have had great results with Aqua Mira drops. They are lightweight and effective. But with desert water, I prefer a filter. I feel better using a filter if the water source is covered in cow poop. Yes, been there, done that... Do you guys think a mini Sawyer is best, or does the regular Sawyer last longer between flushes?

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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by cavaroc » Jan 19 2016 1:58 pm

I went ahead and ordered a couple of Sawyer Squeeze Minis. Hopefully that'll do the trick. I may bring a backup solution for the first leg or two until I'm comfortable with one solution over the other.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by hikeaz » Jun 23 2016 1:42 pm

I don't use this and cannot comment on its pros or cons, but the price seems good.....
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by chumley » Jun 23 2016 2:20 pm

I know a few people who use steripens and love them. I've never used one, but this model is just one more thing that needs batteries, which I would consider a negative. At 6.3oz, it's twice the weight of a full-size Sawyer Squeeze.

But at that price ... It might be worth adding to my supply closet. :)
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by Tough_Boots » Jun 23 2016 2:31 pm

I like my Steripen for when its appropriate to use (clear water only)-- just carry an extra set of batteries and tablets for the unlikely event of it failing. Though, the Steripen classic has a design flaw with its water sensor-- the Steripen Adventurer is much better. If you're fairly close to populated areas, I might argue that a Steripen is better than filters. Most filters do not claim to be useful against viruses but UV zaps those, too.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by Spiced Rum » Jun 25 2016 7:01 am

MSR Sweetwater or better yet the MSR Gaurdian if affordable.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by MtnBart01 » Jun 25 2016 7:35 am

@Trew Sawyer filters fit on platypus collapsible waterbottles which are more durable and have a lifetime warranty as well as pop bottles up to the two liter size.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by rcorfman » Jun 26 2016 10:25 am

MtnBart01 wrote:Sawyer filters fit on platypus collapsible waterbottles which are more durable and have a lifetime warranty as well as pop bottles up to the two liter size.
Well maybe. I know my 2L platypus bladders do not fit on Sawyer filters.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by MtnBart01 » Jun 26 2016 4:54 pm

@rcorfman
http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platypus/ ... e/category?
I'm speaking of this variety. Look almost like the crappy ones that come with the sawyer filter only they last more than one use.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by Spiced Rum » Jul 09 2016 7:19 am

I've tried them all and by far my favorite is the MSR Sweetwater. Works well easy to clean, no extra bottles to carry for dirty water and also helps with the taste from some of those nasty cattle tanks. I've used Sawyer and Sawyer mini,the Platypus gravity and many others. However very expensive I would also love to have the MSR Guardian.
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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by flagscott » Jul 09 2016 9:17 am

I haven't used anything but Aquamira for the last 10 years (even on the grossest water imaginable). But being a lazy and impatient sort, I have been on the lookout for something easier for a long time. And I think I may finally have found it:

https://www.rei.com/product/100537/kata ... filter-set

They also sell 1-, 2- and 3-L bottles that you can screw the filter top into. No waiting ever. No dealing with "dirty" and "clean" bottles. No hoses. If you're hiking in an area with a lot of water (I know, that sounds mythical in Arizona, but there are such places), you don't have to carry any water at all.

I'm picking up one of these next time I go to REI. I'll report back on how it works.

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Re: Favorite Water Treatment?

Post by flagscott » Sep 22 2016 11:25 am

flagscott wrote:I haven't used anything but Aquamira for the last 10 years (even on the grossest water imaginable). But being a lazy and impatient sort, I have been on the lookout for something easier for a long time. And I think I may finally have found it:

https://www.rei.com/product/100537/kata ... filter-set

They also sell 1-, 2- and 3-L bottles that you can screw the filter top into. No waiting ever. No dealing with "dirty" and "clean" bottles. No hoses. If you're hiking in an area with a lot of water (I know, that sounds mythical in Arizona, but there are such places), you don't have to carry any water at all.

I'm picking up one of these next time I go to REI. I'll report back on how it works.
We used the BeFree with a 1-L Seeker bottle from Hydrapak for ~170 miles of backpacking in the Uinta Mountains (Utah) and Grand Teton NP. Loved the filter--super easy to use, and if you are in an area with abundant water (yeah, that rules out a lot of Arizona), you can just fill the bottle and drink from it without doing any manual filtering.

The big advantage of this system, as I see it, as that you don't have to carry any water if you don't want to. For a lot of the Uintas, I carried no water--just dipped and sipped at stream crossings now and then (this helped a lot because we were carrying 7 days of food to start). We had AquaMira as a backup and used that in camp most nights because we're lazy, and mixing a few drops is easier than squeezing 4 L of water through the filter, but the BeFree is going to be our go-to filter for any trail where there's a decent amount of water.

FWIW, reviews I read said that the little 0.5-L bottle that comes with the filter is not durable. I'd pick up something bigger from Hydrapak. There are also 2- and 3-L bottles, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to carry a 2 or 3 L bottle with soft sides--it would probably flop over in the side pocket of a backpacking pack. They might work okay in a daypack.

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