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Thread: Water for backpacking hunts?

  1. #1
    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Default Water for backpacking hunts?

    Hey all,
    I'll be heading back for a multiple day black bear hunt on Resurrection trail this spring. This will be my first pack-in hunt and I was wondering what do you normally do for water? Bring a couple days worth and filter the rest? Just filter?


    Thanks,


    ~Jon

  2. #2
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    Default

    I usually bring 3-4 qts and a good filter/purifier. theres always water to be found that you can pump more water. saves on weight.

  3. #3

    Default water

    I just bring two of those $1.50 H2O bottles that you can find at the gas station. When they are empty I use one of the squeeze bottle filters. I hunt with some guys who don't even bother to filter. I used to do that. In fact, I went an entire summer in the Sound drinking surface water and only got sick once. I am not sure that it's from drinking untreated water, but it occured to me at the time. I filter now.
    The only time I've had trouble finding water to filter is sheep hunting. It can get pretty dry up there in sheep county. Be sure to follow Tony Russ' advice and fill up at every opportunity.

  4. #4
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    I usually carry a hydration bladder somewhere in my pac and you can get a filter that threads onto the bladder so you can filter right into it. As far as "just drinking the water"....personally I wouldn't. Even at the tops of the mountains, my brother and I have dammed up tiny trickles to get it deep enough to filter. Overkill?? Maybe, but I'd rather spend 30 minutes filtering than 3 weeks with giardia.

  5. #5

    Default

    If it's hot or you're carrying a lot you need more water. I carry a filter and plan my routes to cross water as much as possible. Finding water to filter in alaska isn't that difficult. Water is heavy so you want to carry as little as possible without running out (error on the side of caution). I use an MSR ceramic filter. They will freeze and break in the winter so be careful around freezing or get the paper variety. Nalgene type bottles are about impossible to break. You can freeze them up and pour boiling water in them without worry. Most filters will screw into them as well. Carry at least 3 liters until you know your water consuption rates. Dehydration can kill you and at least make you very uncomfortable. I follow water sources whenever possible (rivers, streams, ect). At Alaskan temperatures iodine can take over 12 hours to do it's magic. Boiling and filtering are probably the most practicle methods of water sterilization.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default A tip on filtering water

    I use an MSR Waterworks filter; it has a long latex hose attached to it that can be used to draw water out of cracks and crevices you would not be able to reach otherwise, which I have found pretty handy above treeline. Pretty slick deal. It also allows you to screw a Nalgene bottle to the base, instead of having to set your bottle on a level spot somewhere.

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  7. #7
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    I had one of the first cases of Giardia in the part of Idaho I was living/hunting. Took the doctors a month to figure out why I had the screaming sh*ts 5 days out of 7. I lost over 30# in that month, and got in trouble with my employer because he thought I was malingering.

    Now I'd rather die of dehydration than drink unfiltered water....it was that bad.

    A little research on Giardia will show you that there isn't a watershed in the United States / Canada that is safe. I think everyone knows how it's spread.

    Finding water to filter is normally easy, and only requires a little forethought.

    That's my .02

  8. #8
    New member mtcop71's Avatar
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    Default Aqua Mira

    I bring 3 ltr camelback and no filter, I use Aqua Mira drops, two little bottles mix together, wait 5 min add to water and drink.

    http://giardiaclub.com/aqua-mira.html

  9. #9
    Member Dan W's Avatar
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    I usually take both a filter (currently an old beat up Sweetwater) and the little bottles of iodine pills and neutralizers. Filters are nice but can be time consuming at times and can also break and/or clog. I use the tablets a lot even when I have the filter with me, they are very quick and easy especially if you're on the move. Just fill you Nalgene, drop a tablet and start hunting again. 10 minutes later drop in a neutralizer and you're ready to go. I also don't tend to treat water for cooking/coffee as the boiling takes care of that. Enjoy your hunt.

  10. #10
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Default sweetwater

    Dan,
    Breaking and clogging are almost a thing of the past with the MSR sweetwater that MS was talking about. It comes with a fully enclosed ceramic filter so if you drop it it is enclosed and most likley won't brak unless the fall is a really long ways, and the clogging thing is a result of silt mostly and it can be cured by the chimnney sweep looking filter cleaner that scrubs the ceramic filter from the inside without need to remove it at all and thus you keep the filter safe and clean.
    Nice littel piece of equipment. I have the sweetwater mini and it works great. It's a little work to fill a gallon for camp,(about 20 mins) but if you just want to fill your bottle it's onluy about 1 minute worth of pumping.
    GL
    Justin
    Justin

  11. #11
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    I also have had some experience with the sweetwater. It has a cheesy little rod that attaches to the handle and when we were way out (of course) the rod snapped and rendered the filter pretty much useless. MSR does, in fact, make better styles though like the Waterworks which as a much better pump design

  12. #12
    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Default any filter

    I have hiked the resurrection trail (DC001 for those of you in the know) a simple filter like MSR Waterworks or Sweetwater or any of the MSR or Katadyn filters will surpass your needs. Great hike . Unless you are looking for caribou!

    Drew

  13. #13
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    Just put that MSR waterworks filter on my Amazon wish list. $76 it better be able to filter pi$$ for that money .

  14. #14
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    Default Miox

    I use the MSR MIOX water purifier. It costs a little more but works great, especially for filling large containers. Very light to pack in also.

    [URL="http://www.msrcorp.com/filters/miox.asp"]

  15. #15

    Default Camel Bak Filter?

    I was reading the thread and was wondering if any one has used the filter that can be attached to the Cammel Bak hydration system? According to the instructions you fill the blatter with treated water and draw the water through the hose like any other Cammel Bak. It uses a carbon filter the the water goes through a micro fiber filter. All "bugs" not killed with the water treatment are filtered out. It is said to filter to.2 microns. Any input would but great and any other sugestion are appreciated.
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  16. #16
    Member Dan W's Avatar
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    Default

    I think the sweetwaters and many of the others are great peices of gear to have, but I'll always take the pills as a supplement and backup. I probably lazy but use the iodine a lot even when the filter is handy. Seems like there are seldom enough hours in a day when I'm out on a backcountry hunt or fish trip even if I plan on an hour or two of "camp time" for a given day. BTW, we had one of two Sweetwater's break on my goat hunt the year before last. The plastic handle broke - it was an old unit that had seen some country. But all plastic (of which they are all made) can get brittle with time and exposure - which is the other reason I always have iodine along as well.

  17. #17
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    Default Aquastar UV Water Treatment

    With regards to water filtration, I recently ordered an Aquastar UV Water Treatment System. For those who haven't heard about this, it's basically a Nalgene bottle with an ultraviolet, pathogen-killing unit attached to the lid. You fill it up, hit the button, and 60 seconds later you have purified drinking water. It doesn't eliminate floating nasties in the water, but it's supposed to be infinitely easier than filtering for 30 minutes to fill up your camelback.

    There are a couple of issues that I'll have to experience for myself. First, the reviews said to use good, brand name batteries, instead of the ones supplied by the factory. Also, there's some concern about how it will perform in extremely cold temperatures as one of the reviewers had a problem with the older model. However, I figure that if a problem arises, this can be solved by keeping the bottle under a layer of clothing. One also has to make sure they don't let water freeze inside the bottle unless they remove the UV unit, because the expansion of the ice will break the light.

    The reviews were overwhelmingly positive with emphasis on the fact that having almost instantly pure water allows one to carry much less water as a reserve. Like I said, mine hasn't arrived yet, but I intend to give it a thorough testing when I get to AK. I also plan to have some purification tablets on hand incase the thing breaks. You can get one of these from Cabela's for about $70.

    Barron

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