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Thread: water filters for 2 - 4 people....

  1. #1
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    Default water filters for 2 - 4 people....

    Does anyone on here have real world experience with waterfilters....Price isn't a big issue, but efficiency, ease of use and maintainence are...prefer one that is not an oversized or overweight package....Suggestions and opinions appreciated.

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    I have a Katadyn Guide Microfilter and have used it quite a bit. It pumps a great deal of water without a lot of effort and works real smooth. Its not very big either which is a plus.

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    I have used the MSR Miniworks filters on a couple of walkin sheep hunts. They worked great. They screw onto a standard size nalgene bottle or the MSR bladders. I think the bladders and the filter are a great setup. I've used both.
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    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    I also use the Katadyn Guide Microfilter. It comes with a cap that fits inside the mouth of a wide mouth nalgene bottle and the outlet hose attaches to this cap. It also comes with a pre-filter that can be placed on the intake end of the hose to keep the larger debris out of the hose.

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    Default MSR

    MSR mini works... used if for 5 years for three guys on multiple hunts..

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    For portables I have Sweetwater pumps. I own two and can't seem to wear them out. I chose Sweetwater because the handle is the easiest to pump and it breaks-down for packing. It also has excellent output volume compared to the others I tried. Thanks REI for having actual demo units to try in the store.

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    I too have the Sweetwater (by MSR) & I have gotten good use with it. This spring we used it on some lakes in the Kenai Canoe system with our church youth group, so it was working for 10 people. We were using the metal pre-filter screen but thyeir was a very fine red scum (polen?) that plugged the filter fairly rapidly so it had to be cleaned often. A cofee filter rubberbanded around the pickup probably would have solved the problem (didn't have any with us). After the trip I picked up one of the MSR "Silt Stoppers" which should also help for next year.
    I can't compare it to oithers because it's the only one I've used, but I sure like it.
    Vance in AK.

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    I will also tell you what not to use, the Xstream bottle filters. If your having to filter any water with silt in it you will be SOL. I used it on one of my sheep hunts this past fall and basically it turned into a $50 water bottle by the second day. The idea seemed sound and as long as your filtering fairly clean water your okay, any creek water with silt and its junk.

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    I've got the MSR miniworks and the sweetwater. Both are good and pump well for two to four people. I would give the edge to the MSR because of the feature that it screws to the Nalgene bottles, it makes it a little easier. However, it only came with one hose so I needed to get a second to pump water into a five gallon container, our standard at a base camp.

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    New member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Consider Aqua Mira Instead

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Does anyone on here have real world experience with waterfilters....Price isn't a big issue, but efficiency, ease of use and maintainence are...prefer one that is not an oversized or overweight package....Suggestions and opinions appreciated.
    I have used several filters and treatment systems through the years. I tried Aqua Mira (Chlorine dioxide) for the first time this summer. It worked great. I just did a quick search and found this: http://giardiaclub.com/aqua-mira.html

    The treated water tastes great, and, for example, if you're in a fixed camp you could treat five gallons at a time with ease or any smaller amounts as needed.

    It's also very lightweight, with no mechanical parts to break, clog or fail. Check it out!

  11. #11

    Thumbs down What "NOT" to buy!!!!

    I tried the Katadyn "Base Camp". If you have perfectly clear, clean water I think it may work, but if you try to filter water from any source other than your faucet it stops working after 3 gal. Yes, 3 gallons. It is a great concept, works in theory but I believe it was never field tested outside the lab. Cost close to $70 and replacement filters are close to $50. Hope this helps.

  12. #12
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    Default Yes...Aqua Mira

    I second the aqua amira. super light weight. I used it on my sheep hunt and it taste great and is the size of a wallet.

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    I know this is probably not the most intelligent advice but I operate under the terms that any flowing water at higher elevations, I just drink it. When your humping it up and down steep drainages I drink a lot of water to prevent cramping and I just dont have enough patience for chemical filtering. Having sheep hunted in the Brooks, Alaska and Wrangell ranges I have never filtered anything that was flowing clear and in rock from a drainage up high and have never been sick. This was a learned behavior from a monkey see monkey do perspective after hunting with guys that lived up here and hunted all their lives in these mountains. If I am at a valley floor elevation I always try to filter the water with something like the Katadyn Guide fliter but for sheep hunting I am just not willing to carry the extra weight when going up. I tried the xstream this past fall in the Alaska range and with most of the water sources being silty it failed miserably even with me trying to find pools that didn't hold that much silt. I ended up hiking up to higher elevations and filling water bottles with clear running streams with no filtering at all. I know several guys that operate the same way I do year after year. Whether its intelligent or not, it has worked. Now when moose hunting or for example bear hunting on the Peninsula this past spring where my water source comes form stagnant pools that are usually kind of clear, the guide filter is my go to filter. In a base camp we can fill a 2 1/2 gallon bladder in 15 minutes or so taking turns pumping. You just have to figure out what works for you.

  14. #14
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Smile let the water sit

    Clogged filters on the first day of a 10 day trip make you just plain mad..
    boiled water tastes,, well boiled not an easy drink,,and silty water although treated with Chemicals, is still,,, silty...
    I had one 79.00 dollar filter last year bust open in the barrel section of the filter. It was useless, and when I returned it to the Sportsman warehouse, they told me i was lucky to have returned it in the 30 day period since purchase or I would have been stuck...Oh that is a great way to do business isn't it,,, Cabelas will take your stuff a year or more later and tell you " Sorry for your inconvience"..
    Here is one sure way to clogg up your filter ASAP....
    Walk out into the lake or river and stand there as quiet as possible and pump into your water bottle that is snuggly pinned between your legs.. Like I said,, it sounds like the right way to do your filter work,,but after 20 years of using these filters or different types... this process will shorten the life of your filter....
    You filter will probably be clogged up in a day or so....
    Because,, the stuff you can't see will clogg you up really fast..
    you stir up the bottom, stuff is floating by even though it looks crystal clear etc....
    one of the only ways I have made really long use of a filter is to take a large collapsing bucket, 2 or three gallons or more, and carefully get as clean of water as I can from the source..
    then take it back to your camp, and forget about it for an hour or more..
    set up your tent, go get some wood,,, what ever,, and then very carefully drop your filter intake into the first couple inches of water on the surface of the bucket.. using that little float thing they give you to keep you off the bottom..,,just let that intake hose just barely sink,,,,
    then start pumping and fill all your bottles and canteens etc.
    don't pump the bucket down past half.. then replace this water with some fresh from your water source and cover it up with something to keep the bugs and dirt leaves out ..and let it sit until the next morning.. then top off your canteens and bottles and away you go... Here is one I really like,, they sale those filter straws,, they usually last about one day too.... The last guy that brought one along with me was sucking so hard on that straw, his face was bright RED...lol.... it ended up in the fire that first night..lol
    I never cook with filtered water.. that is a waste of time.. just bring your water to boil for 5 min straight, and cook with that stuff... using filtered water for cooking will take even more life from your filter.. just use filter water to drink straight, or add some punch to it..
    This is just my .02 worth..
    as far as brands..???? I have a bushel basket of these filters in my rental equipment, and I am not totally sold on any single filter, as the all claim to have a low enough micron filter do keep you out of the bugs..
    this is for sure,, they all glogg up if you try to suck mud through them..
    I read a bunch of stuff that Mike Strahan had on Beaver fever last year on this forum.. it was pretty good stuff, but one of the articles also said that a University professor that was doing one of the studies said that although the potenial for Giardia can be in any water source,, the testing they have done in the Sierra mountains shows thay usually you have a very slim chance of getting the fever.. that being said.. if you have it once.. then you will probably try to prevent it from happening ever again,,,lol.
    maybe Mike can dig up those articles he posted on beaver fever,,
    Max
    Last edited by Alaskacanoe; 11-10-2006 at 19:23.
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  15. #15
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    Default msr filter

    i have used the same msr mini work filter on two trips in the noatak. one was 7 days and one was 13 days. great filter that is durable, easy to use, and easy to clean. great product. buy the available repair kit ($14). it has replacements for any part of the filter that could break/wear out. these are great filters. they screw on to the top of 32 oz nalgene bottles which is a huge plus. absolutely no complaints on this filter for backcountry trips.

  16. #16
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    Default Settling pool, coffee filters, Katadyn Base Camp, Aqua mira...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    Clogged filters on the first day of a 10 day trip make you just plain mad..
    boiled water tastes,, well boiled not an easy drink,,and silty water although treated with Chemicals, is still,,, silty...
    I had one 79.00 dollar filter last year bust open in the barrel section of the filter. It was useless, and when I returned it to the Sportsman warehouse, they told me i was lucky to have returned it in the 30 day period since purchase or I would have been stuck...Oh that is a great way to do business isn't it,,, Cabelas will take your stuff a year or more later and tell you " Sorry for your inconvience"..
    Here is one sure way to clogg up your filter ASAP....
    Walk out into the lake or river and stand there as quiet as possible and pump into your water bottle that is snuggly pinned between your legs.. Like I said,, it sounds like the right way to do your filter work,,but after 20 years of using these filters or different types... this process will shorten the life of your filter....
    You filter will probably be clogged up in a day or so....
    Because,, the stuff you can't see will clogg you up really fast..
    you stir up the bottom, stuff is floating by even though it looks crystal clear etc....
    one of the only ways I have made really long use of a filter is to take a large collapsing bucket, 2 or three gallons or more, and carefully get as clean of water as I can from the source..
    then take it back to your camp, and forget about it for an hour or more..
    set up your tent, go get some wood,,, what ever,, and then very carefully drop your filter intake into the first couple inches of water on the surface of the bucket.. using that little float thing they give you to keep you off the bottom..,,just let that intake hose just barely sink,,,,then start pumping and fill all your bottles and canteens etc.
    don't pump the bucket down past half.. then replace this water with some fresh from your water source and cover it up with something to keep the bugs and dirt leaves out ..and let it sit until the next morning.. then top off your canteens and bottles and away you go...
    I never cook with filtered water.. that is a waste of time.. just bring your water to boil for 5 min straight, and cook with that stuff... using filtered water for cooking will take even more life from your filter.. just use filter water to drink straight, or add some punch to it...as far as brands..???? I have a bushel basket of these filters in my rental equipment, and I am not totally sold on any single filter, as the all claim to have a low enough micron filter do keep you out of the bugs.. they all glogg up if you try to suck mud through them...Max
    Max's suggestion to let the water settle first is great advice and base camp filters keep getting better. A friend and I used a settling pool off the Tanana 2 yrs ago and it worked very well. Silt seems easier to deal with than algae though, which I've had clog a fairly new ceramic filter on the Upper Gulkana. A variation on the settling pool idea came to me from Bear Grylls - to dig a hole beside a stream and let the water seep into it - which slightly filters the water.

    The coffee filter suggestion came from AOD - a handy, inexpensive way to pre-filter silt out. I haven't tried it and suppose there's any number of ways to rig this up - but it sounded good.

    Good past threads on clean water, water filters/purification:

    1. Data that Buck Nelson's Aqua Mira suggestion, just using a purifier, is a practical sensible option for travel in high country especially:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ter#post610767
    2. Good thread with comments from guys who use a variety of solutions:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...d.php?p=196196
    3. One of the best threads for understanding the basics of water filtration versus purification - very good references and a key post -an AOD Classic IMO- by bstacy (#17):
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=29101
    4. More notes from field experience...
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...d.php?p=267126
    5. The Katahdyn Base Camp - several companies make similar filters and many of them have also done well in the field:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...d.php?p=334593

    Having a spare filter cartridge gives me extra peace of mind...and seems to guarantee it won't be needed

    Good topic always.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ltsryd View Post
    I tried the Katadyn "Base Camp". If you have perfectly clear, clean water I think it may work, but if you try to filter water from any source other than your faucet it stops working after 3 gal. Yes, 3 gallons. It is a great concept, works in theory but I believe it was never field tested outside the lab. Cost close to $70 and replacement filters are close to $50. Hope this helps.
    hmm been using mine for two years now... as long as you clean it works great... it is slow, takes about 3 min to gravity feed into a 32 oz nalgene btl... but have not had any issues with it at all...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    hmm been using mine for two years now... as long as you clean it works great... it is slow, takes about 3 min to gravity feed into a 32 oz nalgene btl... but have not had any issues with it at all...
    Agree. I used the Base Camp off the Tanana (Salchaket Slough) in 2008 - not exactly clear water.
    Used the Base Camp last season without problems and had more water than we needed, filling it repeatedly to filter into large reservoir at each camp.

    Still waiting to use my spare/backup filter. MSR has a similar filter getting good reviews. Anyway - very easy to use.

  19. #19
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    I have used the MSR Miniworks filters on a couple of walkin sheep hunts. They worked great. They screw onto a standard size nalgene bottle or the MSR bladders. I think the bladders and the filter are a great setup. I've used both.
    I just bought one of those a few weeks ago and a supply of chlorine dioxide tabs to kill anything (viruses) that isn't filtered in the event I have to resort to exceptionally ratty-ast water.

    Any tips or information I should know about the MSR that isn't covered in the instructions?
    Now what ?

  20. #20
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    11/11/06...

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    i have used the same msr mini work filter on two trips in the noatak. one was 7 days and one was 13 days. great filter that is durable, easy to use, and easy to clean. great product. buy the available repair kit ($14). it has replacements for any part of the filter that could break/wear out. these are great filters. they screw on to the top of 32 oz nalgene bottles which is a huge plus. absolutely no complaints on this filter for backcountry trips.


    Still have the same opinion. I now have two of these filters, one as a back up on extended trips. Fantastic water filters.



    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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