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water purifiers

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water purifiers

Postby jhaas » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:09 pm

I recently read a thread which scared the sh*t out of me. Evidently there is some bacteria in the water which can cause serious problems. I have always used iodine tablets to treat water, which causes an unpleasant taste.Mixed with powdered gatoraide its palatable. I'm pretty careful to make sure the threads are coated with the treated water. Should I get a pump and filter? Just boil the water? What do all you hard core hikers and climbers do to treat the water from the streams on the way?

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Postby gsliva » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:18 pm

Getting something is extremely rare but you should listen to this Podcast:

http://www.wildebeat.net/index.cgi/2007/08/09#E098

I filter and add Chlorine when I can. Filtering is a must.

Good luck.

Glenn
Live for the Climb and the search for commitment.

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MSR makes great filters

Postby WA_native » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:04 am

I have used the MSR miniworks filter ($75) for a few years and it cant be beat (its field maintainable, easy to use). You can get a liter of clean, filtered water in one minute. The pump filters will take out everything except viruses, but you only have to worry about viruses if you are going to south america or a third world country. Recently I have started using chlorine and iodine tablets just becuase they are lighter and smaller than a filter. Bottom line is, you want to take giardia out of your water, because that is the one waterborne organism that will make your life hell.
"How do you distinguish between being off-route and putting up a first ascent?"

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Iodine taste

Postby mattsmithva » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:43 am

To get rid of the iodine taste in treated water, drop in a small chunk of a Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablet, which will neutralize the iodine. This is pretty much what the second bottle (yellow cap) in the newer Potable Aqua kits is.

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Postby Holy Schist » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:14 am

I second the Steripen along with "Jared workman". We did a similar long distance two day trip (40 miles 2 days, Bear Lake to Grand Lake and back). There were 4 people, 4 nalgenes and 4 bike-type water bottles with 2 Steripens. We had adequate places to fill up and the water was clear. If you don't have clear water, steripen has a kit to remove particulates or you could simply strain it thorugh a cloth. Plus, no pumping, no getting tired, just wait about a minute and you are ready to drink

Steripens are just a little safer than filters since they kill the viruses, protozoa and bacteria which can sneak by a filter.

http://www.hydro-photon.com/

(However, I have never been made sick from filtered water either.)

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Postby jspydr » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:30 pm

I did a lot of research, when I was looking for a filter. I didn't like the sweetwater filters, the plastic parts seemed kinda cheap to me, also a bit awkward to handle/use. I settled on the Katydyn Hiker pro (~$80). Awesome filter! ceramic, takes anything but viruses out. lasts almost forever. has an attachment tube w/ a quick disconnect fitting that plugs straight into your nalgene/north face bladder, or the typical nalgene bottles. worth every penny.
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Postby krz2fer » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:36 pm

jspydr wrote:Katydyn Hiker pro


I have this as well. No issues thus far after a full summer of use, although I'm curious about the small amount of water bound to be trapped in the filter for long periods of time. Is is smart to get a new filter each year? Or just pump for a few moments once it's taken off the shelf again? I'm all about safety but if it's a non-issue, I'll save the green.
Chris

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Postby native_mntguy » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:22 pm

I also have the Katydyn Hiker pro. I just bought it this year and so far I'm very satisfied.
The best things in life are those that are the hardest to obtain.

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Postby Falcon3 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:28 pm

I use an older Pur Hiker from my Boy Scout days. Seems to work alright, and is fairly lightweight, but a little bulky. I'm sure there are better things on the market, but you can't beat using something for free!

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Postby susanjoypaul » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:35 pm

Another vote for the Katadyn Hiker Pro. The ONLY issue I've ever had with it was pumping from a really cold stream in November - the water froze in the filter. But when the temps are near freezing I always bring extra fuel as a back-up and just melt and boil snow instead, anyway.

For really questionable water sources, add AquaMira tablets. They don't have that nasty iodine taste.

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Re: water purifiers

Postby gdthomas » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:46 pm

jhaas wrote:I recently read a thread which scared the sh*t out of me. Evidently there is some bacteria in the water which can cause serious problems. I have always used iodine tablets to treat water, which causes an unpleasant taste.Mixed with powdered gatoraide its palatable. I'm pretty careful to make sure the threads are coated with the treated water. Should I get a pump and filter? Just boil the water? What do all you hard core hikers and climbers do to treat the water from the streams on the way?


There is strong evidence suggesting iodine tablets do not kill giardia. The only way to protect against those little buggers is a filter system. I use the MSR Sweetwater and it works great. Some pumps take more effort to yield the same volume of clean water. It's an issue of weight vs. yield. The Sweetwater is a good combination of both.

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Postby strat1080 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:36 pm

Your chances of catching something from backcountry water are almost non-existant. I've had good results from the Katadyn Micropur tablets(no strong tastes or colors added to the water), this technology is the same that brings treated water to your tap at home. Numerous studies have shown that hikers are much more likely to catch something from themselves than from the water. In other words don't be the person who is extremely paranoid about drinking and filtering water then turn around and eat something without washing your hands(this is what really causes 99.9% of backcountry illnesses).

In an alpine where water comes form snow runoff the water is safe to drink. Giardia and Crypto don't just magically appear in water. Either people or animals have to leave fecal matter near the water and the cysts have to be plentiful enough to cause a person to get sick. The chances of this happening in high altitude alpine water sources are nearly non-existant. People are quick to blame illness on the water but are too ashamed that they themselves caused the illness through poor sanitation practices.

If you are that paranoid about parasites and viruses then you should filter the water that comes out of your tap at home as well, which in many cities, have proven to contain more giardia cysts, than UNTREATED Sierra water. I'm thinking about picking up a Steripen Adventurer. I've found that filtering is too much of a pain in the #$% and time consuming. I think that either the Steripen or Katadyn tablets are the most practical. In other words I would much rather drink unfiltered water than spend 15 minutes playing around with a filter. To me, given the risk, any form of water filtration or purification in an alpine setting needs to be highly convenient and quick.

The following article is a very good read about the subject. The following quote sums up their findings.

One conclusion of this paper is that you can indeed contract giardiasis on visits to the Sierra Nevada, but it won’t be from the water. So drink freely and confidently: Proper personal hygiene is far more important in avoiding giardiasis than treating the water.


http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/Giardia.htm
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