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Thread: water filtration

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    Default water filtration

    i am looking to get set up with a decent water filtration system for backpacking. i am looking at the msr hyperflow. it looks to be a good system, but i am concerned about freezing. i am looking for advice, recomendations etc. i read about tossing it in a ziploc bag, but i dont know if that will work up here in alaska. thanks all

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have been using the Hyperflow for 3 years now and I really like it. It comes with a lid that will fit a nalgene bottle, but it will also fit inside a throw away plastic water bottle and the platypus water bladders. Anymore I use the plastic water bottles and just replace them after each trip instead of the Nalgene heavier ones.

    I just put it in my sleeping bag at night to protect from freezing have had no problems. I use the hyperflow for backpacking, but for base camp operations the Katadyn Base Camp Water Filter, is the way to go. It holds a lot of water and no pumping required.





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    For just my use, when back packing or survival trips or hat not I use a sawyer. works great, and it filters it so fast its almost like drinking from a regular cup. I got it for 50 dollars at REI but I think they are cheaper at sports authority.
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Campi...3Bcat104324580
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Are you open to using iodine to treat water and skipping the filter? Iodine pills are tiny - I like to save the space/weight in my pack.

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    I'll 2nd the Katadyn base camp. We used one on Kodiak this fall and I was impressed. Much better than pumping in my opinion
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    wow great info. i really like the picture of the hyperflow. looks like a filter ad!!! i was also looking at msr's sweetwater system. it seemed to be more resilliant to freezing. i read about the sleeping bag trick, i just wanted to make sure that would work in alaska vs just being effective in the lower 48. i was concerned that while it would stay nice and ice free at night, it might bind up and freeze just being in the pack during the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stick+string View Post
    Are you open to using iodine to treat water and skipping the filter? Iodine pills are tiny - I like to save the space/weight in my pack.
    Mmmm.... iodine and plastic taste.... lotsa good memories there!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    I haven't tried one of these myself. But I feel its an interesting concept that definitely requires more investigation on my part.




    crap, I know these gentlemen are members here... hope they don't mind me posting this vid. If so, let me know plz.
    Last edited by akiceman25; 12-30-2011 at 17:18. Reason: possibly goofed
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    In my research the Steripen doesn't sound like it does as good of a job. I happen to use a Katadyne pump for filtration, but I'm definitely getting a BaseCamp for next season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    In my research the Steripen doesn't sound like it does as good of a job.
    I'm curious why you say this? Their website is pretty impressive.

    http://www.steripen.com/micro-biological-testing

    This is too

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/pa...023806,00.html
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    Do a search for UV purification and giardia cysts. The jury is still out on it's effectiveness. Giaridia is my biggest concern in Alaska, but filtering out other junk is also a concern for me. The steripen doesn't filter out any sediment and it's effectiveness is limited in any turbid water.

  12. #12

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    All the MSR and Katadyn systems I've seen are great, but really, any filter that's been tested to screen out giardia and cryptosporidium will work. However, water filters are NOT an appropriate option in sub-freezing weather.

    Your best choice in freezing weather is to boil your water.
    * Filters aren't good because the filter elements and seals can freeze and crack.
    * Chemicals aren't good because the cold slows their operation, making standard treatment ineffective. (Iodine won't kill cryptosporidium. Chlorine needs ever higher dosages and longer contact times as temperatures drop, becoming impractical below freezing. No chemical that kills "live" giardia is as reliable against the encysted form.)
    * Portable UV lights such as the Steripen rely on batteries, which rapidly lose strength in the cold. Some Steripens have also cracked in extreme cold. Also, they only work once most turbidity is removed from the water.
    So your best winter options remain boiling water or melting clean freshly-fallen snow.

    Your question about the ziplock bag was unclear. If you use a filter, it's always best to store it in a plastic bag to keep the inevitable drips from wetting your pack. (Actually, it's even better to use separate bags for the contaminated intake hose and the clean output hose, and although not everyone bothers, this can result in cross-contamination of your filter's output.) More specifically, in milder "outside" spring and fall weather, when temperatures dip only at night, some backpackers also use a ziplock to keep their sleeping bags dry, while keeping their filter warm inside their bag with them. Obviously, this doesn't help you at all if it freezes during the day!

    If you insist on using a filter in sub-freezing weather anyway, try to choose whichever filter you can pump driest while not in use, so there's less chance of water freezing. But even if you manage to protect the filter element this way, you'll always risk cracking the seals unless you also keep the filter next to your body for warmth. I've known some people to always keep their filter inside of their clothing, but it obviously gets in the way.

    My advice? Water filters are great for summer use, otherwise not worth the hassle.
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have used my hyperflow plenty during freezing weather. Not really that hard to wrap in in my extra jacket during the day and keep it in the top of my sleeping bag at night. I have used a chemical hand warmer on a couple occasions. I also have a MSR sweet water and will give it away to anyone who is willing to pay the shipping. I hate it, every time the filter starts to clog it will squirt water out of the bypass and hit me in the face.

    Like I said it was cold on my last hunt.





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    Quote Originally Posted by stick+string View Post
    Are you open to using iodine to treat water and skipping the filter? Iodine pills are tiny - I like to save the space/weight in my pack.
    5 days on that stuff is about al my stomach can take(and I can stomach almost everything other than "tums") if you do your water that way if you shake your bottle it helps some. so unless you truly have a stomach of steel (or maybe I'm being a whimp) you would want to take something else, or I guess you could boil the night before and collect rain water (never a shortage on our hunts) , thats what we always did and still do for most things, but for hiking during the day I use my bottle.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    5 days on that stuff is about al my stomach can take(and I can stomach almost everything other than "tums") if you do your water that way if you shake your bottle it helps some. so unless you truly have a stomach of steel (or maybe I'm being a whimp) you would want to take something else, or I guess you could boil the night before and collect rain water (never a shortage on our hunts) , thats what we always did and still do for most things, but for hiking during the day I use my bottle.
    I'll boil water if I have to get it from a real cruddy source, but boiling takes fuel though and fuel adds weight. If I was not worried about the weight, I'd just take a filter along. Which sort of brings the discussion in a circle. Also, the iodine does not seem to bug my stomach.
    Truth is, I don't treat about half of the water I consume out in the field anyway - mountain streams that are up above beavers, stagnant pools, etc. I'm sure that admission will drag this thread off in a hijacked direction, sorry But I have yet to get sick from a hunt or hike.

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    wow that steripen seems pretty cool. i am leaning towards an msr system though. i will have to do some more reading. i apologize for any confusion with my ziploc bag comment. what i meant was i understand that keeping it ziploced and in your bag at night would keep it thawed, but would it keep it insulated while sitting in your pack all day. stid2677 thank you very much. i feel more confident now seeing that. i apologize for the lack of knowledge. this is my first year in alaska and i know the level of cold up here makes for more problems than would be in the lower 48. probably should have mentioned that earlier haha.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I have used my hyperflow plenty during freezing weather. Not really that hard to wrap in in my extra jacket during the day and keep it in the top of my sleeping bag at night. I have used a chemical hand warmer on a couple occasions.
    No doubt Stid's outdoor prowess exceeds mine. The fact remains that filtration happens on a microscopic level. In freezing temperatures, you can crack a seal WITHOUT KNOWING IT and continue to pump contaminated water, thinking it's been filtered. Water filters aren't designed to handle dropping or freezing!

    Sizes vary but in general:
    Giardia are about 6-12 microns
    Cryptosporidium are about 2-8 microns
    Bacteria are about 0.1-10 microns
    Algae range about 0.5-100 microns, depending on type
    The human eye can't see things smaller than about 70 microns, about ten times the size of one giardia protozoan, so a visual inspection of the filter doesn't necessarily help.
    (In contrast, viruses are about 0.004-0.2 microns so they can't be filtered out with field equipment.)
    The largest filtration size to reliably remove protozoans is absolute 1 micron. (Katadyn has a 0.2 micron size.)

    Understand that "filtration" is NOT the same as "purification", it only removes protozoans and large contaminants. Purification requires either boiling (maintained for one minute at sea level), or else a combination of BOTH filtration and chemical treatment. (Or possibly a combination of filtration and UV, but that one hasn't been proven yet.)

    I have no doubt that body heat plus chemical hand warmers can protect any filter from freezing, the only question is whether you find it an acceptable hassle to continuously operate that way during freezing temperatures. (Stid does, I don't, we've both tried it, so YMMV.) Insulation isn't enough below freezing, the filter will require warmth.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stick+string View Post
    I'll boil water if I have to get it from a real cruddy source, but boiling takes fuel though and fuel adds weight. If I was not worried about the weight, I'd just take a filter along. Which sort of brings the discussion in a circle. Also, the iodine does not seem to bug my stomach.
    Truth is, I don't treat about half of the water I consume out in the field anyway - mountain streams that are up above beavers, stagnant pools, etc. I'm sure that admission will drag this thread off in a hijacked direction, sorry But I have yet to get sick from a hunt or hike.
    None of my hunts have been above beavers, even in cant well there wasn't a tree for miles, but there was beavers and a beaver pond and as it turns out all our water we got was from that beaver pond, glad we treated it from the get go.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    For just my use, when back packing or survival trips or hat not I use a sawyer. works great, and it filters it so fast its almost like drinking from a regular cup. I got it for 50 dollars at REI but I think they are cheaper at sports authority.
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Campi...3Bcat104324580
    Another reason I like this one is the fact that you don't have to replace the filter, you just push water backwards with a siringe that comes with it.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  20. #20

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    I've used pretty much every product mentioned here, or at least had someone in our party using the product to watch their experience. I don't think any one device fits all trips i.e. freezing WX, muddy still water (particle filtration) or a simple clean high up mountain stream. I personally don't like the tablets due to taste, and the required time to let them work (and no particle filtration).

    Most of our trips the SteriPen goes, for me, its hands down the fastest lightest way to get water, especially if Robs packing it ;-) For warmer lowland trips where water access is mostly from lakes, or slow moving rivers, particle filtration is preferred.

    I've spoken with a couple doctors directly about this issue, and have had mixed information given to me (go figure). I've been led to believe you have at LEAST 72 hours after becoming infected before symptoms show. However, my online research shows the actual time between being infected and developing symptoms is 7 - 14 days. The acute phase lasts 2 - 4 weeks. So, I guess what I'm saying is you have between 3 to 7 days before ***** hits the fan
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