Author Topic: hiking filter recommendations needed  (Read 12111 times)

Offline Alan Georges

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hiking filter recommendations needed
« on: January 15, 2017, 09:44:32 PM »
Against my better judgement, I'm getting talked into a three day/two night event this spring in the Pearl River swamps on the MS/LA border.  Allowed gear is what you can carry, so this is essentially the same as a bug-out scenario.  No way to haul enough water for this duration, but there is plenty of water on site in several stagnant ponds and maybe on the overflow edges of some slow-moving creeks if there's been rain.  Nasty stuff full of tannin, silt, and who-knows-what microorganisms.  But at least there's plenty of it available.

I'm thinking about getting something like a Katadyn Vario filter, then after filtering hitting it with a Steripen to make sure.  Any suggestions?  Different filter, or use chemicals, or...?

Funny, I've never really tackled the portable water filtration problem.  Ground water's just so awful here that I've always carried what I need: a 3 liter camelbak and 5 gallons back at the truck took care of things.  The problem is that for a three day pack event, there's no way to carry enough.  I've got some Berkey bottles (freebies from Berkey Guy orders), and plan to carry one as a backup to the filter, but it won't have enough flow to really keep up with the event.

Having said that, if I can get this lightweight filter thing sorted out, it'll open some new outdoor possibilities for me.  The new filter will get some use then.  In the meantime, any thoughts or advice much appreciated.

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 09:55:43 PM »
I've always used the Sawyer Mini. Hooks up to water bottle so you can grab some water and keep moving. It comes with a bag to hook it up to and you drink from that. Throw that in the trash. Always leaks. I just screw it onto a soda bottle. Small and cheap so I always have a few around.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 10:02:24 PM »
 :knitting:

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 01:29:04 AM »
You may be fine with just the Vario's 0.2 micron glass fiber filter. 

I've purified similarly nasty pond water with the Katadyn Pocket filter's 0.2 micron ceramic filter, with salutary results.  I have more faith in the long term durability of the ceramic filter technology, but for a short trip the glass fiber seems like it should be fine.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 02:20:12 AM »
I've used the Katadyn/PUR Hiker filter for years.  You can filter a quart in a few minutes. I would suggest taking an extra filter element and make sure you have the pre-filter attachment for the intake hose.  Be real careful when you are pumping to avoid clogging the filter which then becomes almost useless.  You can backwash it with boiled water or something but that is a hassle and takes some time. If you are on the move a lot then taking time to fix a clogged filter may be very disruptive to the group. For me, anything critical should have a backup of some sort because, well it is CRITICAL. :)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 03:52:00 AM »
If you have a collapsible bucket you can let stuff settle to the bottom before filtering and then be really careful to keep the intake hose in the clear without stirring anything up. NWP is right, it doesn't take much to clog these things if you're not thinking. The nice thing about the Katadyn ceramic filters is it's easy to clean in the field using dirty water and get back in the game. But the price for that extra durability and reliability is increased weight and initial cost.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 05:31:07 AM »
  The SAWYER MINI has been in use for 3 years by me (with well and city water) and 2 friends who enjoy water from swamps,ponds,and ditches.
The SAWYER comes with a collapsing canteen and the filter fits the canteen and typical 1 and 2 liter drink bottles. The drink bottles are easy
to find and dip easier into water sources (with a cloth to filter out 'chunks') and dose a great job of filtering.It also comes with a back-flush syrenge
to clear blockages from the filter,though on 'wild' water,I would backflush before allowing debris to harden in place. $20 well invested.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 06:29:05 AM »
Thanks CF, FL, NWP, and Carl.  Will look at the Sawyer Mini and some of the Katadyns, sounds like that's the way to go.  I notice that Ready Made Resources has Katadyn Varios on sale, that's good timing.

If you have a collapsible bucket you can let stuff settle to the bottom before filtering and then be really careful to keep the intake hose in the clear without stirring anything up.
Funny you mention this.  I was planning on a dip bucket already, because with the local alligator population it's good to get away from the water's edge ASAP.  Avoiding silt is a happy by-product.

Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 09:58:47 AM »
I have a few of the Sawyer mini's in various bags and boxes around the house.  I've only used them with clear running stream water.  My dad bought a Katadyn before our Rubicon trail trip last year.  We filtered some stagnant pond water with lackluster results.  The water was still pretty funky looking and we decided against drinking it in favor of other sources.  I don't doubt it was safe but it was far from crystal clear after the filter. 

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 02:02:31 PM »
Just a note, that I always take purification tablets as well.  Just in case.  Water is so crucial that if anything happens to the filter (lost, broken, clogged) you want to be able to purify water by other means.  Boiling would do after filtering through a cloth. Or just a small vial of tablets as insurance.  The collapsible bucket for settling the muck is a great idea.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 02:10:50 PM »
The water was still pretty funky looking and we decided against drinking it in favor of other sources.  I don't doubt it was safe but it was far from crystal clear after the filter.

Yep.  Ceramic and glass fiber filters only strain out particulates, not dissolved substances.  Although the addition of a charcoal filter stage can remove dissolved organic compounds, like tannins.  That's a nice thing about letting the water stand before filtering, you can see if the water clears to acceptable-gag-reflex levels after the particulates settle.  Or, bring enough powdered drink mix to mask the funk.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2017, 10:00:08 PM »
And at long last a Katydn is on the way, along with backup treatment tablets.  Plenty of time for it to arrive, test it out, and get any kinks sorted before the fall hiking weather starts.  Thanks again folks for the advice.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 05:28:08 AM »
And at long last a Katydn is on the way, along with backup treatment tablets.  Plenty of time for it to arrive, test it out, and get any kinks sorted before the fall hiking weather starts.  Thanks again folks for the advice.

I use my SAWYER and one liter bottles that I set in the sun for a few hours to be sure ,but I don't hike much these days. The sun will do as good or better  job as the steripen...when time allows. Be sure to keep your chosen filter wet so the pond scum won't harden and spoil your day as the pump filters can be hard to clean when they harden.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2017, 07:48:49 AM »
Be sure to keep your chosen filter wet so the pond scum won't harden and spoil your day as the pump filters can be hard to clean when they harden.
Yep, wet when on the trail, cleaned out and dried when back at home, and no half-measures between the two.  I shudder to think of the crud that can grow in these things between trips.

Offline Cedar

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2017, 08:03:22 AM »
We also put a pinch of tang or koolaide and into the water to mask that flat taste. It might also get you over the murky looking filtered water.

We used a bit of tang in Filtered or boiled lake water when running vdogs, so I found out hot tang is actually kinda good.

Cedar

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2017, 08:16:19 AM »
I finally broke down and got a LifeStraw off of Amazon.  They're only $15, and given how often I use them (almost never), I'm basically considering them to be disposable.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 08:44:03 AM »
I finally broke down and got a LifeStraw off of Amazon.  They're only $15, and given how often I use them (almost never), I'm basically considering them to be disposable.

LifeStraw is a good product Rita and I use my SAWYER most of the time as I got tired of getting a note in my water bill telling me how my local water people paid a $10,000 fine for giving me poop in my water...this happens far too often these days and it makes kool aide taste awful..

Offline Davew223

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2017, 10:44:02 AM »
Cloth, sand, some charcoal out of your fire, a 2L bottle and a SteriPEN is another option to consider:

A few runs through the charcoal (replaceable at no cost every morning) and even the nastiest water will come out clear.  One shot with the SteriPEN and everything left will be dead.  As Carl said sunlight does the same thing as the SteriPEN but it needs 6 hours of direct sun and the water needs to be clear.  The SteriPEN needs 1 minute and works at night.





Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2017, 12:30:53 PM »
...my local water people paid a $10,000 fine for giving me poop in my water...

 :jaw-drop:

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2017, 04:28:05 PM »
  That's right. They pay a fine of $10,000 for giving coli in the water to 50,000 people...costs them less to pay the fine than to properly clean the water..

Offline archer

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2017, 09:32:41 AM »
bastards

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2017, 11:44:06 AM »
I have been backpacking over a couple decades now. I use the sawyer mini. I use a 1L platypus bag for dirty water. I find it mire durable than the bags that come with the sawyers and it's also softer on my hands. I carry 2 x 1L Smart Water bottles. I filter from the platypus bag to the water bottles. If necessary I can carry 3 L of water, 2 filtered and 1 dirty. I also have a 3L hydration bladder I have been carrying in case I want to dry camp. I can carry 6 L (5 clean) this way for a short distance to tent away from water sources.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2017, 03:06:50 PM »
  I start out from home,so all the water I carry is clean and I use a one or two liter drink bottle for 'dirty dipping' as I can most always find another when I need one.But my cities water might not really be clean anyway so everything I drink is through the Sawyer.

Only one letter separates COLA from COLI...the "I"

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2017, 03:18:29 PM »
  I start out from home,so all the water I carry is clean and I use a one or two liter drink bottle for 'dirty dipping' as I can most always find another when I need one.But my cities water might not really be clean anyway so everything I drink is through the Sawyer.

Only one letter separates COLA from COLI...the "I"

And how heavy is that pack if you are hiking multiple days? I can drink a couple of gallons a day when hiking.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2017, 03:27:48 PM »
And how heavy is that pack if you are hiking multiple days? I can drink a couple of gallons a day when hiking.

Filtered water weighs just as much as unfiltered water,I use bottles to collect water on the way ,but always start with plenty of filtered water as I can get water anywhere within 100 feet in Louisiana and have little reason to carry water that is not clean. I weigh in at about 340 pounds and can carry a good bit of weight ,when I can walk...chemo keeps me from walking ,for now...but I can walk when off the chemo for 4 months or so.

  Why carry water that has not been filtered?

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2017, 03:33:34 PM »
Filtered water weighs just as much as unfiltered water,I use bottles to collect water on the way ,but always start with plenty of filtered water as I can get water anywhere within 100 feet in Louisiana and have little reason to carry water that is not clean. I weigh in at about 340 pounds and can carry a good bit of weight ,when I can walk...chemo keeps me from walking ,for now...but I can walk when off the chemo for 4 months or so.

  Why carry water that has not been filtered?

I start out with "filtered" water also. But your statement made it seem like you don't carry any filter.

As for carrying unfiltered water I only do that if it's long between watering "holes" like I sometimes run into when backpacking in the summer. I carry at most 1L of unfiltered water. If I think I need 3 L to get to the next water, I fill my 2 x 1L smart water bottles, and fill my dirty water platypus and then filter it when I need it or even drink directly from it with the sawyer mini attached. I never put filtered water into this bag. I won't have to pull out the 3L bladder. Then if I need 6L of water to make a comfortable camp with dinner, a little cleanup, and breakfast with enough water to get to the next water source the next morning, I can carry 6L but only if 1L is in my "dirty" water bag.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2017, 06:07:22 PM »
  We are of one mind.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2017, 08:44:52 PM »
... as I got tired of getting a note in my water bill telling me how my local water people paid a $10,000 fine for giving me poop in my water...this happens far too often these days and it makes kool aide taste awful..
Around here, Berkey every day, every way.  ^^^this is getting way too common an occurrence in municipal supplies.

Offline Carl

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2017, 04:53:07 AM »
  Many people,and me,like this bag better as it is softer,thicker,easier to squeeze.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AQYY38/ref=cfb_at_prodpg

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: hiking filter recommendations needed
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2017, 09:32:43 AM »
On a recent overnight backpacking trip, I packed an older model of this:



The straws are nice, but I needed water for cooking and drinking both. My son brought his swayer mini, and it worked very well for replacing drinking water.  Also, if your natural water source is some distance from the camp site, the straw doesn't scale up very well.  Sure, you can fill up a Nalgene style bottle or two, but I liked having a few quarts of filtered water at camp.

Another guy on our trip had the Platypus bag system.  While also gravity fed, that filter worked inline (top to bottom), while the Katadyn is an element similar to a Berkey where the water comes in from the sides.