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  • Who here uses

    the Steri Pen? The UV lighten pen you stick in a water bottle? Just wondering if it worth the cost. Seems simple, fast, effective, and lighter than carrying a pump. Any comments?

  • #2
    I'd suggest taking a read of these articles...



    UV sterilization is a process that you cannot confirm in the field. I'd be very hesitant to use it myself. And I'd be seriously skeptical about low cost, battery powered UV lamps being of the correct wavelength and intensity to do the job. Though I know nothing about the device in question, I'm just generalizing.

    It's interesting to note the cited Switzerland study which found that placing water in a clear container in full sunlight for 6 hours produced the same results as professional UV water sterilization.

    And they do make very small filters these days.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!


    • #3
      I bought one last year and used it all season with no problems. It is indeed light and simple to use. The only catch is if you find water that has alot of sediment you would need a filter, but I have not run into that problem yet. It's hard to trust what you read in articles online so I prefer in-field testing and it's worked so far!! Good luck


      • #4

        We have used one the past two years mostly with H2O that was sediment free, but we were on a float trip on the Innoko during flood stage with a LARGE amount of organic material in the H2O we used game bags to pre filter after letting H2O settle, then using the steri pen without any problems. The only downfall is it consumes batteries so bring enough for extended trips.


        • #5
          have stayed away from them for the reason of sediment. any sediment can block the UV light, not just heavy sediment water. i don't mind drinking water with some sediment in it, once i have treated it with iodine or bleach. but to filter water in order to treat it, takes more time. not sure if the pen tips are all made of glass? something else to break.


          • #6
            I am going to be hard pressed to give up my reliable filter that has neve let me down for a new technology like this. I will admit that I can get crystal clear water in the mountains easily and this is certainly interesting for cutting weight for alpine hunting. It seems like they have done the studies to prove viability of the product. The backpacker gear test review shows some issues with the unit malfunctioning. If I took one I would deffinately take some sort of iodine tablets for backup. Of course I do that now w/ my filter.


            • #7
              I am with JOAT and the others, stick with a filter. I have used a MSR Waterworks for years with no issues at all. It is field repairable and a repair kit is under $20 that includes all the main parts and service items. Just a great filter. MSR has a new "hyperflow" or similar, but I have been reading some mixed reports. But it is smaller and may be of use to some.
              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.


              • #8
                it works

                I've been using a Steripen for a couple years now. As far as I'm concerned it's proven technology. There's a filter that comes from Steripen to filter out the particles that are too big to be treated with uv light, but I've never used it. Great piece of equipment in my pack.
                Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
                - Frank Zappa


                • #9
                  i'm suppose to be filtering water?? i've let water roll off my front teeth for 30 years all over alaska and its been great. i think my teeth have natural filters in them...
                  i make all my clients filter though, everyone system handles stuff differently.
                  Master guide 212


                  • #10
                    I decided to get a steri pen last season. It was great for the first week long trip. I went out for a second trip and the pen would not work. I could not get the UV light to stay on, it would only flicker. It was a hard lesson learned when I had to drink all my water with tablets. I will stay with the proven filter now.


                    • #11
                      UV pens: purification vs filtration...

                      Here's a good related thread, http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=29101 -- that mentions UV pens among others.

                      1. In it, the US Army website suggested by Springer, compared methods for water purification and filtration. Great reference, but is being revised now.

                      2. bstacy1974, opened a very informative post with this, "Hello everyone... water is what I do...I treat water for a living..."

                      His technical explanation was educational. About UV:
                      "As far as UV goes, to me there are too many variables, such as water clarity, water volume, and contact time, that have to be just right in order for UV to be effective. Most of us don't have the time or want to take the time to ensure everything is in order before we treat out water. We want to pump, pop, and go."

                      Buck Nelson's been happy with Aqua Mira, which seems simple.
                      No habitat, no hunter.


                      • #12
                        From what I've read it seems that chlorine and iodine have trouble killing, Crypto, Giardia and other cysts; things that UV handles easily. If the prime reason to use sterilization in Alaska is to deal with Giardia (the main contaminant in rural AK water), it seems one is reduced to using either filters or UV to be safe.

                        So how safe are chemicals as your primary water treatment, or even as a backup?


                        • #13
                          I use household bleach, 5-7 drops per liter of water. i can't smell or taste a thing. That is above the suggested dose. I let it sit for 30 minutes or longer depending on how cold the water is. I don't have only one water container, so I am not waiting to drink from just that container.

                          This is from the Idaho Panhandle U.S. National Forest webpage:

                          100% SAFE) Boiling water for 1 minute is the best method for destroying Giardia cysts, and other pathogens.

                          (90% - 100% SAFE) Filtering the water through a 1 micron absolute filter will make the water safe to drink. There are several filters on the market that claim to remove Giardia cysts: First Need Water Purification Device made by General Ecology, Inc., Katadyn Pocket Filter made by Katadyn Products, Inc, H2OK Portable Drinking Water Treatment Unit Model #6, made by Better Living Laboratories Inc., and the Pocket Purifier made by Caco Ltd.

                          (90% SAFE) Chemical Purification with chlorine: liquid 4% - 6% chlorine bleach (used for washing clothes),2 drops per qt./ltr. of clear water or 4 drops per qt./ltr. of cold or cloudy water.)

                          (90% SAFE) Chemical Purification with iodine: Use tincture of iodine 2% (from first aid kit or medicine chest), 5 drops per qt./ltr. of clear water or 10 drops per qt./ltr. of cold or cloudy water.) SHAKE THOROUGHLY & LET STAND FOR 30 MINUTES! Very cold or murky water may have to stand up to several hours or overnight.

                          Most pet/vetinary websites I visited suggested bleach for destruction of the parasites.

                          This is from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/faq/emerg.html

                          They suggest two drops per liter of household bleach.

                          So with my 7 drops per liter and sitting time of 30-40 minutes, I feel pretty comfortable. I use an empty Infants Tylenol dropper bottle and fill it with the appropriate amount of bleach. Am I a 100% certain enough, that I would scoop water from a beaver pond and drink it with chlorine treatment, no. But it takes care of most of my situations.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by akrstabout View Post
                            the Steri Pen? The UV lighten pen you stick in a water bottle? Just wondering if it worth the cost. Seems simple, fast, effective, and lighter than carrying a pump. Any comments?
                            I bought one, havent got to try it out yet. I am going to use it this fall, but I'm still bringing my trusty MSR pump/filter along just in case. But if all goes as planned, I wont need to pack along the MSR anymore and free up some room in the 'ol pack.
                            If you can read this, thank a Teacher.
                            If you can read this in English, thank a Soldier.


                            • #15
                              Does anyone know of someone who got giardia or crypto by treating their water with iodine or chlorine? I am pretty amazed at how many filter users there are on this forum. Iodine or chlorine will REALLY free up space and weight in your pack, and you can scoop, treat and keep hiking, and not have to pump, especially if you fill up a 3 L camelback or platypus, etc.


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