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Thread: Water purifiers

  1. #1
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Default Water purifiers

    Ok, so I need the advice of hikers regarding water purification.
    I am about thirteen hundred miles into the A.T., up around New York State, and hope to finish up next summer.
    I am not getting any younger so this time it is imperative to go lightweight and get that (heavy) "monkey " off my back.
    so all is well with the gear but what about the water purification? So far I have used a bottle of Iodine, worked well I guess as I didn't get sick and Lord knows, I drunk from some pretty ****ty water sources!But it was kinda' heavy!And glass! Though I stuffed it into a spare sock.
    I checked out the Steripen but hey, MORE batteries, that kinds sucks....
    Forget the tablets, taste too chalky!
    Too much Iodine is bad for you,right?
    Platypus, um, kinda a lot of stuff to carry and the wait is a little too much for a thirsty guy like me..
    SO, how good is the Life Straw? Will it filter a few quarts easily or does it take a long time?
    i tried to find out but to no avail so maybe someone out there can lead me in the right direction...
    Any ideas as to the best, lightest and simplest,( not too many moving parts), method out there..
    And money is tight so I have a budget of $100.00....
    Any and all comments, serious or even humorous, are welcome though they need to be based on real experience...
    Many Thanks
    Hoofit.

  2. #2
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    I use the Platy gravity filter and it works great for me. Easy to clean even on trail if it gets gummed up. That said, it's heavy and I only carry it because I have to filter for 5 and don't want to pump that much water. When the filter is reasonably clean, I can filter 4 liters in about 5 minutes. I fill it up and let it filter while we eat lunch, snack, breakfast, dinner, etc. Basically, let it filter while I'm doing something else - stopping just to filter is just a time sink seeing as I have to do it at least twice if everybody's out and we need to camel up for dry camp. When the filter is clogged - good luck. It can take a while, but like I said it's easy to clean.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Check out the Sawyer Squeeze mini. Only about 3 oz. Works really well me.

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    I have the Platy Gravityworks as well. But this is the "Bottle Kit", which has the ONE 2L dirty bladder rather than the two 4L bladders for clean and dirty. This system weighs 9.5 ounces. It's worked very well for me. I am considering picking up the Mini Sawyer Squeeze though. the Mini Squeeze costs $24, and if you get it from zpacks.com, you can also get a 2 or 3-pack of extra bladders. These are apparently Sawyer's new 9-ply bags, which are more durable than the previous ones. Here's the link: http://zpacks.com/accessories/sawyer_mini.shtml

  5. #5
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    When I don't want to carry my MSR filter (either because it's too heavy, or because it might freeze), I use Aqua Mira. It's chlorine dioxide, not iodine, so no issues with iodine overdose. Tastes better than iodine, too.

    Make sure that it gets the full contact time with just plain water before you add anything like drink mixes. That's why I come back to the filter: it's instant gratification.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

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    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far- I' ll wait and see what else evolves but for now the Sawyer squeeze mini is looking pretty good, lightweight and good value for a solo hiker..

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    Most of the filter options are not purifiers. To be called a purifier it needs to take care of viruses. Most filters do not.

    If you don't have a need for a purifier (and most people don't) then I second the Sawyer (Mini or Squeeze) the weight difference is not enough to worry about for me. The Squeeze has threads on the output which I use to back flush with a tornado tube.

    If you need an actual purifier none of the purifier filters can compare in weight to the Steripen even with the spare batteries.

  8. #8
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Thanks again folks - I am definitely leaning towards the Sawyer, lightweight and perfect for a solo hiker like myself.

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    Registered User The Old Boot's Avatar
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    The only addition to my Sawyer squeeze, which I love, btw, is a cut off from a single serve water bottle. Most of my hiking and camping is done near lakes so the sawyer supplied bags were a total pita to fill. Apparently they fill well from a fast flowing stream. The cut down water bottle weighs next to nothing, fits around the filter for packing and allows me to scoop water from the lakes.

    I understand the almost impossible to find Evernew bags solve this problem.

  10. #10
    Registered User The Old Boot's Avatar
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    The only addition to my Sawyer squeeze, which I love, btw, is a cut off from a single serve water bottle. Most of my hiking and camping is done near lakes so the sawyer supplied bags were a total pita to fill. Apparently they fill well from a fast flowing stream. The cut down water bottle weighs next to nothing, fits around the filter for packing and allows me to scoop water from the lakes.

    I understand the almost impossible to find Evernew bags solve this problem.

  11. #11

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    I filtered water for four people all weekend with my Sawyer Mini with no issues. I didn't even take the syringe, though I would have needed it if we'd stayed out any longer.

    Ive had nothing but great experiences with my Squeeze and the Mini seems just as good, but smaller, cheaper, and better designed.

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    I used the Steripen Freedom, at 2.5 oz, rechargeable, never had a problem with it's charge state during my 2013 thru. Needed to learn to dry contacts after use and also in cold weather keep in my my pocket (warmth).

    What I liked about it is since the AT has plentiful water, you end up carrying less, and making more as you go because it is so darn easy.

    Good Luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    I used the Steripen Freedom, at 2.5 oz, rechargeable, never had a problem with it's charge state during my 2013 thru. Needed to learn to dry contacts after use and also in cold weather keep in my my pocket (warmth).

    What I liked about it is since the AT has plentiful water, you end up carrying less, and making more as you go because it is so darn easy.

    Good Luck
    I am not a thru hiker, but I agree with the Steripen. Mine has never let me down, and it never clogs or needs backflushing

    Since I am a total gear dweeb, I have an entire shelf of water treatment devices.

    First Need Purifier
    Hiker Pro
    Sawyer Squeeze
    Polar Pure
    Aqua Mira
    Potable Aqua
    MSR Aqua tabs
    Steripen Adventurer.

    Whenever I am going out solo or with a small group, and I know there is clear water available (most of the AT), I always seem fall back to my Steripen.

    Another advantage is that I don't have to worry about the Sertipen freezing. Filters and freezing weather are not a good combination.

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    Here is a recent article I wrote for my blog on water purification systems: http://catboymartinez.wordpress.com/.../on-filtering/
    Hope it helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
    Here is a recent article I wrote for my blog on water purification systems: http://catboymartinez.wordpress.com/.../on-filtering/
    Hope it helps!
    I read your blog and I feel I need to point a few things out about the Sweetwater Solution. I know it worked for you and that's what matters. But for others that might consider using it:

    1. It is just ordinary bleach, nothing else.
    2. You only need to wait 5 minutes because that is the time it takes to kill viruses, AFTER you filter your water for bacteria and cysts.
    3. It does virtually nothing for bacteria unless you wait 30 minutes.
    4. It does almost nothing for giardia unless you wait several hours, and does nothing for crypto at drinkable levels.

    Water treatment is a very personal choice. Whatever choice you make just make sure you understand the tradeoffs.
    Last edited by bfayer; 11-21-2013 at 13:26.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    When I don't want to carry my MSR filter (either because it's too heavy, or because it might freeze), I use Aqua Mira. It's chlorine dioxide, not iodine, so no issues with iodine overdose. Tastes better than iodine, too.

    Make sure that it gets the full contact time with just plain water before you add anything like drink mixes. That's why I come back to the filter: it's instant gratification.
    +1 for AquaMira.

  17. #17
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    The best filter on the market is General Ecology's First Need. I used it for approaching 25 years. However, it is too heavy (they have trimmed 2-3 oz on newest cartridges), and I reluctantly switched to sawyer filters. That being said, I really like the sawyer filters. Have yet to try the mini but if it performs like the larger model it should be a good product. Only complaint about the system are the bags. Very first bag developed a leak. As mentioned elsewhere they are about impossible to fill in standing water. My work around for this is to carry a 1 quart soft-sided Nalgene canteen that has wide mouth. It also functions as extra carrying capacity when needed.
    Lonehiker

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    I think that I've got a pretty good set up for the Sawyer. 2L. bag, an adapter 3 ft. of tubing male 1 end female the other. Works for gravity feed, or a shower. A sweetwater silt filter male 1 end female the other, about 2 in. tubing each side. then the full sized Sawyer filter. then the female to female adapter to hook the filter to the platypus. And a cut down funnel to fill the feed bad. The sawyer syringe did not fit well. So I switched to a 60 cc. irrigation syringe, It has a tapered tip not a screw on tip. screw on is for needles, tapered is for washing out wounds etc. fit well on the 1/4 in. ID tubing and fit the female adapter to screw onto the bottom of the filter to flush. Wt ?? not sure!! but it does everything I want it to do.
    Certainly lighter than any pump style filter.
    Does anyone know if sawyer uses the same filter material they use for dialysis. What about the 0.02 filter that does take care of viruses ?

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    For me the Sawyer System the way to go no pumping no batteries light weight and efficient, can use platypus or soda bottle, belly up fill the pouch screw it on and drink up, or fill up ur bladder and the Sawyer bag for extra long distance. i been really happy with this product the price is reasonable compared to some and the long filter life make and ultimate plus. Worried about it freezing put it in a bag and sleep with it.

  20. #20
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    Is there anyway to tell if a Sawyer has been frozen and ruined ?

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