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Thread: Backpack hunting water treatment

  1. #1
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    Default Backpack hunting water treatment

    I've been looking at the new MSR guardian water purifier. Anyone use one yet or have thoughts on it?

    Also wouldn't mind some opinions on other options to treat water in the field.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I've used the MSR hyper flow for years and love it. It pumps faster than most of the other pumps out there. I had a MSR Sweet Water that took for ever to fill my nalgene bottle. The Hyperflow fills it in about 20-30 seconds. I've used it in silty glacier fed creeks and the water came out crystal clear. I would highly recommend it.

    I've also tried the Sawyer inline filter that works really well, just fill your water bladder, hook the filter up to your drinking tube and enjoy. However, if it freezes I've heard the filter won't work anymore. The way I understand it is they use a bunch of micro straws to filter, and when it freezes the straws break and renders the filter useless. So, if you're hunting where that is a possibility I would look to another filter.

    I recently bought a steripen for future hunts. I haven't gotten to test it yet, but can't wait to try it out. I've heard a lot of guys like them, and I'd just use it in areas where I'm drinking from mountain springs and creeks. It's probably not the best system for silty water.
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    The hyper flow was the other I was considering. I am just intrigued by the 10000 liter and durability claims of the guardian.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I just looked up the guardian, it looks exactly like the sweet water. I wonder if they renamed it. I forgot to mention the hyper flow also uses the micro tubes, so if you go that route don't let it freeze.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    Thanks good to know about the freezing.

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    +1 on the hyper flow.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I used the Sawyer Mini system for the first time last year on a 9 day goat hunt, and it worked flawlessly. We never had sub freezing temperatures, so I can't speak to that, but the price is right (I payed around $30 or so at Walmart), and it weighs like 2 oz.


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    Aquamira drops for me. Really no need for a filter in most of Alaska where you'd typically be back pack hunting.

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    +1 on the MSR hyperflow. I've been through a few different filters over the years, and this one is the best I've used yet. Pretty light and very fast.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    I liked the design and function of the katadyn. I've made clean water out of some really nasty stuff on hunts where a stream wasnt available and it worked great.
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I rarely carry one up high, but when I do it's an MSR hyperflow, it works great, doesn't weigh much and fills fast. I carry it when down low bear or dear hunting here, but usually I'm up high enough that I'm not worried.
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    I like my MSR MIOX but I heard they don't make them any more. it will make anything drinkable... not tasty but drinkable.

  13. #13

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    Because it sounds like you are hiking, I would look first at your potential water sources and then make a decision from there. For example: if your primary sources(s) of water are cloudy/murky (glacier fed water or the lower mississippi) I'd consider a filter (gravity or pump). The reason being is drinking clear water is more appetizing than drinking brown/murky water. This is important in that if you 'want' to drink the water you'll do so, preventing dehydration. Another thing to consider with a filter is whether it has a charcoal element included. Not only does your water become free of organisms and clear, it also tastes better.

    If your water source(s) are primarily clear, then I'd recommend purifiers such as either iodine or aqua mira. These are by far the lightest and most compact of water treatment options and, especially in the case of iodine, don't freeze and are hassle & maintenance free. They kill microorganisms but don't remove any color or flavor from the water, but may actually impart undesired flavors.

    The other factor besides water source I'd advise you to consider is group size. This may change your setup.

    I've been a outdoor instructor and wilderness guide for 15 years and use a combination of these methods. Most of my travel (and all my hunting) is by non-motorized means. The methods that work well for me are: (regardless of water quality)

    Ultimate light and fast (space/weight are priority): Iodine/Aqua Mira + one 4l 'dirty' dromedary with one platypus gravity filter element
    Standard setup (Multi-day hike/hunt): one 4l 'dirty' dromedary & one 10l 'clean' dromedary with 2 platypus gravity filter elements + Iodine
    Large group or boat/motorized support: standard setup plus one Katadyn Vario pump filter.

    General thoughts:
    -vary system with regards to water clarity, your preferences, and group size
    -maintain/clean/backflush filters daily
    -always carry a backup
    -if using in freezing weather, don't bring a gravity system and take precautions to limit internal freezing for any system
    -bring powdered gatorade, etc. to help mask any undesired flavors
    -drink 4-6 liters per day

  14. #14
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    +1 on the gravity filter for a base camp situation. The Katadyn Base Camp Pro is awesome for summer and fall trips but it flows like molasses as the temp approaches freezing. I had an old Sweetwater (bought up by MSR, I think) that worked fine but not particularly fast.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    I used the Sawyer Mini system for the first time last year on a 9 day goat hunt, and it worked flawlessly. We never had sub freezing temperatures, so I can't speak to that, but the price is right (I payed around $30 or so at Walmart), and it weighs like 2 oz.


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    +1

    I had an MSR swee twatter fail on me many years ago on a 30 day Colorado deer/elk combo trip. I video'd me burning it in the camp fire and sent the video to them - no response at all.

  16. #16
    Member Hoss's Avatar
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    I have only used on a few of trips, but the Sawyer inline filter has worked well for me and is reasonably priced. It can be attached to your water bladder, attached to a bottle or used as a gravity filter, and is only the size of a small pill bottle. I do not have any experience with it in freezing temps, so I cannot speak to that. I used it for some pretty muddy river water and pond water and it worked as advertised on that stuff too. It also comes with an attachment that hooks to a sink that I used once on a trip to Argentina.

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    Thanks for all the input. I like the powdered gatorade idea, but i've read frequently using iodine can be bad for you. Primary reason why I was looking at filters. That and im paranoid about giardia. I think I might consider getting a couple different options like smtgfshy suggested.

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    I rarely carry one up high, but when I do it's an MSR hyperflow, it works great, doesn't weigh much and fills fast. I carry it when down low bear or dear hunting here, but usually I'm up high enough that I'm not worried.

    I hear ya, but last year when hunting in the Brooks Range for sheep, at one point way up high, the only water we could find (when we really needed some) was pretty gross looking. I actually went back down a ways to find something a little clearer. I was really happy to have my filter.

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