Water Treatment Recommendations

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susanjoypaul
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by susanjoypaul » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:07 am

Scott P wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:04 pm
Also iodine is ineffective for things like cryptosporidium and not very effective against giardia:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11990150/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinki ... tment.html

Another thing you have to be careful about is that iodine expires.

Boiling or filtering are much more effective.
Gotta go with Scott on this. I boil in the winter and filter the rest of the year. I also carry chlorine dioxide tablets as a backup in case my filter breaks down or I lose my water pot, but neither has ever happened. Some tablet treatments and other methods require a waiting period before the water's safe to drink, whereas you can drink and cook with boiled or filtered water right away. I stopped carrying iodine tabs years ago when I realized some of my hiking partners are allergic to iodine. Plus, the taste is just nasty.
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justiner
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by justiner » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:21 am

Depends on what you're doing I guess. If you're backpacking, using a small filter filter is going to get a little old, as it's kind of a pain to prepare a few liters of water at a time. There's ways around that like use a gravity system, but this complicates things, and then more things, the more things are going to break, the least of which is the filter itself, which is going to need to be backflushed/cleaned, and kept from freezing.

In that scenario, go with Aqua Mira and have some sort of backup which may/may not be a filter. Some nights get cold and it would stink to lose use of a filter (or make it's impact to the water quality questionable) if it's left out just once. You can pack it with you in your bag when you sleep but it's yet another thing to think about during your backpack. (dunno bout you but I'm lazy about such things).

If you're doing day hikes to 14ers, go with a filter, as long as there IS running water, and you don't think there will be freezing temps. BeFree looks super convenient. Not tried it myself - heard there is so filter clogging issues, but I don't think you'll hit that if you're using it fairly casually. Much of the water above treeline runs pretty damn clear, so the filter stay pretty clean. If you're in cow country, that'll be a different story.

You can also play the dangerous game of, "Make the Decision Based on the Environment" - if I'm on some lonely peak with no one around, I'm above treeline, I don't see any signs of animals and there is a lushious melt pond of water created from the enormous snow slope jusjt above, I'm probably just going to drink the water without treating it. (I'll be a lot more reckless than this to be honest). In Alaska, we'd drink the water from the river while swimming in the water itself and you just feel like a big old bear it's so fun but CO isn't Alaska sadly.

On poopular - oops! I mean, "popular" standard 14er routes, that would be very, very unwise.
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espressoself
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by espressoself » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:30 am

Thanks for all the replies!

Definitely going to grab some AquaMira as a backup, seems silly not to carry some for emergencies.

For those who use the Sawyer/other filters, have you ever had any issues with the bags breaking or leaking? At least from what I can gather from REI reviews, this is a common issue. Another user PM'd me and indicated that screwing bottles onto the Sawyer (as opposed to the bags) isn't as easy as it might seem; do any of you have issues with this method?
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by 9patrickmurphy » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:08 am

espressoself wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:30 am
For those who use the Sawyer/other filters, have you ever had any issues with the bags breaking or leaking? At least from what I can gather from REI reviews, this is a common issue.
Yes. I've had a Sawyer squeeze bag break on me, so I recently bought a Katadyn BeFree. Haven't used it yet but I hear it is comparatively much better in terms of flow and convenience. This thread is making me think about picking up some AquaMira though...

In the past, I've used a homemade gravity system with a sawyer filter. It was a platypus bag with the bottom cut out, paracord to hang it upside down with the filter screwed on and a tube to go to a water storage pouch. Complicated, yes. Slow, sometimes. It never actually crapped out on me but it required a lot of backflushing and was generally very slow. I'm excited to try out the Katadyn as I hear it's quick enough that sueezing a gallon by hand is no big deal.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by justiner » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:10 am

The included Sawyer bags are so criminally bad. Can't think of anything worst that company could do to tarnish their rep. then to bundle those things.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by clairekm » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:25 am

I have been using Sawyer filters for backpacking for a while, but gave up on using it with the bags they provided years ago. They kept springing a leak and Sawyer replaced some under warranty, but those also sprung a leak. These days I have made it into a gravity system with some platypus bladders. If you have a decent place to set up the gravity system it filters fast enough to filter while taking a snack break.

My partner had the Katadyn BeFree, but it got clogged fairly quickly and became unusable. It’s unfortunate they don’t have a good way to be backflushed.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by Trotter » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:51 pm

espressoself wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:30 am
Thanks for all the replies!

Definitely going to grab some AquaMira as a backup, seems silly not to carry some for emergencies.

For those who use the Sawyer/other filters, have you ever had any issues with the bags breaking or leaking? At least from what I can gather from REI reviews, this is a common issue. Another user PM'd me and indicated that screwing bottles onto the Sawyer (as opposed to the bags) isn't as easy as it might seem; do any of you have issues with this method?

I used to use a sawyer mini. Poor flow rate and a lot of squeezing. Thats how their bags break, because you squeeze the crap outta them. Broke several bags, both originals and aftermarkets.
Swapped to a befree last year and love it. Flow rate about 4 times better. Havent had the little bottle break yet. And captco is right, get the 1 liter version
I keep chlorine dioxode tablets as backup. A couple tablets weigh nothing
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by Jorts » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:01 pm

Anyone have thoughts on UV?

I like the Salomon version of the befree. Just sucks for high output efforts cause you can't throw in electrolytes and calories with the water.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by nsaladin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:29 pm

Had the sawyer bag spring a leak on the first night in Chicago Basin... I luckily had some GearAid tenacious tape patches in my kit and they worked really well. Would recommend another container or bringing some patches. I think the leak was caused by the empty pouch/bag (in the water bottle pocket on the side of my pack) rubbing against some of that Sunlight Peak rock while going through the hole up to the summit block...
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by justiner » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:27 am

I really had a frustrating time with UV, as the unit would just malfunction without any indication as to why. Not a huge problem up high with clear flowing water, but anything that's not clear will need to be prefiltered - even if it's just through a buff, as the UV still needs to hit the water to be effective. As with anything electronic, it needs a power source and there's always the chance that the electronics will konk out due to well: getting wet. I wouldn't ever choose it against say: Aqua Mira.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by Cereal » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:36 am

I'll share my experience with the Katadyn BeFree (1L option!)... I love how easy and straightforward it is. The bag has been through a lot and has not broken.

I purchased it three years ago and probably used it for 25-30 backpacking days before it got clogged recently and was down to a trickle, like 10 minutes per liter of water. (Disclaimer... I have used it to filter from some raunchy mud puddles on the Appalachian Trail.)

I called the company and they recommended soaking it overnight in 1 quart of water plus 1oz bleach. This cleared it right up! Moving forward, I am curious if this makes it as good as new again. But for routine maintenance, I will likely just soak it like this regularly, and especially after any trips where I filter questionable water.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by mtree » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:44 pm

I'm a fan of filtration systems. Quick, easy, never any issues. I don't hike long enough or overnight during winter season to need a water source so freezing never an issue. A friend of mine uses iodine tablets and adds some mild lemon flavor at the end. It was marginally acceptable. Iodine still takes awhile to work effectively. Like 30-60 minutes. And I don't think it kills Cryptosporidium. A filtration system is quick and effective. I can filter 2 liters in just a few minutes. I bring an extra filter just in case.
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