Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

water purifiers

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:20 am
Location: Colorado

Postby strat1080 » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:16 am

The Steripen Adventurer weighs 3.6oz and all you have to is place it in the water and push a button. I have had to wait for people to pump water and trust me if you actually time it, it takes much longer than a minute to setup, pump, and stow away. A packet of 30 Micropur tablets weigh .7 ounces wrapped in foil. 11 ounces is nearly 3/4 of a pound. That isn't lightweight. It is essentially a "piece of mind" item.

rijaca wrote:FYI, E. Coli is a bacterium, not a virus. My Katadyn Hiker Pro weighs all of 11 oz, and I can pump ~1 l/min. Thats pretty light and quick, IMHO. In addition, the activated carbon in the filter provides some protection against chemicals (not that I am too worried about chemicals in the backcountry). Maybe the risk is small, but why take the chance?
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:54 pm
Location: lakewood co

Postby austinsnow » Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:30 pm

i wouldnt be worried nor would i invest in a purifier. i use aqua mira drops and their great. they do the drop and for extra filthy water you can just add more drops and let it sit longer. besides for getting the water looking better, ive never seen the purpose for purifiers. as long as you are not dumb when it comes to water and use proper treatments you'll be fine.
"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again."
-Sir Francis Younghusband

User avatar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:20 am
Location: Colorado

Postby strat1080 » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:03 pm

AquaMira drops use the same chemical as the treatment system that I use. It is chlorine dioxide and has proven very effective against cysts, bacteria, and viruses. The nice thing about the Micropur tablets that I use is that each tablet is individually wrapped so the shelf life is 5 years. From what I understand the liquid form of chlorine dioxide has a much shorter shelf life once opened. If you frequently use the treatment then this isn't a big issue. I think chlorine dioxide treatments as well as UV based purifiers like the Steripen are the way to go. You can use a coffee filter over the opening of your water container of choice to strain out unwelcome solid matter.

austinsnow wrote:i wouldnt be worried nor would i invest in a purifier. i use aqua mira drops and their great. they do the drop and for extra filthy water you can just add more drops and let it sit longer. besides for getting the water looking better, ive never seen the purpose for purifiers. as long as you are not dumb when it comes to water and use proper treatments you'll be fine.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

User avatar
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:52 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Postby petegee77 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:59 am

Beaker wrote:If you do enough research you will also find that Giardia Lamblia is more prevalent in Colorado than the Sierra Nevadas.

To use words like "non-existent, utterly impossible, and no-way" after reading articles on the intermet about Sierra Nevada studies is ridiculous. So a Dr. (Fuller, I believe) wrote a paper...we're supposed to take that as "law"? What about the Dr's that support foolish and unsafe weight-loss techniques or male enhancement products that make outlandish claims?

You say that Giarda and cryptosporidium do not just magically appear and that if the water is from run-off it must be safe to drink. Do animals not defecate in the snow?? What if another human was in the same area recently and brought a pet? What if the pet decided to take a dump in the snow or lake?? Companion animals are known to be the highest carriers of giardia.

While it may not be "LIKELY" it is certainly not utterly impossible to contact giardiasis from the backcountry.
Very good, common sense post. :D
GAIN THE SUMMIT

User avatar
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:52 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Postby petegee77 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:06 am

strat1080 wrote:Good points. What I'm trying to say is that given that the risk is so extremely low, wouldn't it make sense to pack a water filtration or treatment mechanism that is lightweight and easy to use? Filters are heavy and bulky and take precious time to set up, pump, and stow away. They can also take quite a bit of effort to pump a lot of water. Lighter models typically take 2-3x more pumps than their heavier counterparts.

To my knowledge filters are not effective against chemicals(I could be wrong). Filters are effective against cysts and bacteria but are not effective against chemicals and viruses. If you are in an area with the potential for viruses such as Ecoli it would be best to use another form of treatment in combination with the filter, or simply leave your filter at home if you use another form of treatment. Again, my knock on filters. There are lighter, more convenient, and more effective options. I used to use a filter in the past but found it is too much work and its more likely that the handling of the filter with dirty hands will make you sick than the water you are actually filtering.

[/quote]Sorry but Escherichia coli is NOT a virus but rather a bacteria. Gram negative to be more precise.
GAIN THE SUMMIT

User avatar
Posts: 1977
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:04 am
Location: Denver

Postby Presto » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:39 am

Strat1080: I'm old enough to be your mother. At your age, to hear you complain about the "weight of a purifier" and the "time it takes to purify water" ... tisk tisk tisk ... :? What are you, a girly man?

Just kidding! :lol: But really, I go to the mountains to get a good workout and don't mind packing many things that I hear other people complain about. I also go there to enjoy the scenery ... taking a few minutes to purify the water offers a great opportunity for that respite. After over 20 years of backpacking and climbing success, and purifying water, I've never gotten sick and neither has anyone else that has gone with us. I'll continue to take the precaution and embrace absolute life experience over "studies and statistics" any day ... Happy trails!
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

User avatar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:20 am
Location: Colorado

Postby strat1080 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:41 pm

rijaca has already point this out earlier. I had always heard of E. coli referred to as a virus but it is in fact a bacteria.

petegee77 wrote:
strat1080 wrote:Good points. What I'm trying to say is that given that the risk is so extremely low, wouldn't it make sense to pack a water filtration or treatment mechanism that is lightweight and easy to use? Filters are heavy and bulky and take precious time to set up, pump, and stow away. They can also take quite a bit of effort to pump a lot of water. Lighter models typically take 2-3x more pumps than their heavier counterparts.

To my knowledge filters are not effective against chemicals(I could be wrong). Filters are effective against cysts and bacteria but are not effective against chemicals and viruses. If you are in an area with the potential for viruses such as Ecoli it would be best to use another form of treatment in combination with the filter, or simply leave your filter at home if you use another form of treatment. Again, my knock on filters. There are lighter, more convenient, and more effective options. I used to use a filter in the past but found it is too much work and its more likely that the handling of the filter with dirty hands will make you sick than the water you are actually filtering.

Sorry but Escherichia coli is NOT a virus but rather a bacteria. Gram negative to be more precise.[/quote]
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

User avatar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:20 am
Location: Colorado

Postby strat1080 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:05 pm

So where are the references to support this "common sense" post? In other words, are unsupported claims based on urban legends and myths more credible than those supported with references based on actual studies of alpine water pathogen levels. Should we just take Beaker's words for it that Colorado alpine water is more dangerous than that of California? Beaker, completely misquoted me concerning the term utterly impossible. I was referring to a specific case and was obviously not implying that it is utterly impossible to contract giarda or crypto in the woods. People do catch giardia and crypto in the woods but this invariably results from tainted food or ingesting cysts via poor personal hygiene.

petegee77 wrote:
Beaker wrote:If you do enough research you will also find that Giardia Lamblia is more prevalent in Colorado than the Sierra Nevadas.

To use words like "non-existent, utterly impossible, and no-way" after reading articles on the intermet about Sierra Nevada studies is ridiculous. So a Dr. (Fuller, I believe) wrote a paper...we're supposed to take that as "law"? What about the Dr's that support foolish and unsafe weight-loss techniques or male enhancement products that make outlandish claims?

You say that Giarda and cryptosporidium do not just magically appear and that if the water is from run-off it must be safe to drink. Do animals not defecate in the snow?? What if another human was in the same area recently and brought a pet? What if the pet decided to take a dump in the snow or lake?? Companion animals are known to be the highest carriers of giardia.

While it may not be "LIKELY" it is certainly not utterly impossible to contact giardiasis from the backcountry.
Very good, common sense post. :D
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

User avatar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:20 am
Location: Colorado

Postby strat1080 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:21 pm

Actually I'm advocating the use of "purifiers"(did you mean filter) or treatment. I have a grind with filters for many reasons previously stated in this thread. To each his/her own. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to not treat or filter their water. I'm challenging the common knowledge that Alpine Water in North America is a serious threat to mountaineers. Based on the research I've done, mountaineers can afford to bring lighter weight and more convenient methods of treating water and if caution is used, skip treatment or filtering altogether. If this offends anybody, I'm sorry for opening this can of beans.

I'm just following some of the principles in your signature. I'm obviously not the popular one for challenging the common wisdom that North American alpine water is a significant threat to climbers. Based on the references that I have posted, this is indeed the truth. You have the same chance of getting sick via ingested alpine water as being attacked by a shark at the beach or a wild animal in the woods. Is it wrong to pack chlorine dioxide tablets instead of a filter?

I'm of the "new-school" mountaineering mind-set of fast and light hiking and climbing. If you are of the mind-set of "this doesn't add that much weight" then you can quickly end up with 10 or more pounds of gear than you need. I guess I'm really obsessive about keeping my pack light. Not because I'm a wuss but so that I can still enjoy hiking when I'm twice my age without having had 5 knee surgeries. I have built an Excel spreadsheet with each item weighed so that I have an idea of how much weight I'm packing. I can swap items around as needed and explore the weight of a virtual backpack. Its quite neat and fun actually. You see, the more weight you haul the more stress you place on your body.

Many modern mountaineers such as Mark Twight, Steve House, and Yvon Chouinard believe that the more weight you bring the more at risk you are at facing mountain hazards. I subscribe to this theory. Of course I can physically haul a heavy pack. What I'm saying is that I move much faster and thus accomplish my objectives faster when my pack is lighter. My summer climbing pack weight including food and water is typically about 23 pounds(this is including shelter, stove/fuel, etcl). I used to haul 35 pounds or more. I have noticed that since I have become very conscious of my pack's weight that I'm able to accomplish more. Anyway I'm done with this thread. I'm not trying to persuade anyone of anything but merely stating my opinion.

Presto wrote:Strat1080: I'm old enough to be your mother. At your age, to hear you complain about the "weight of a purifier" and the "time it takes to purify water" ... tisk tisk tisk ... :? What are you, a girly man?

Just kidding! :lol: But really, I go to the mountains to get a good workout and don't mind packing many things that I hear other people complain about. I also go there to enjoy the scenery ... taking a few minutes to purify the water offers a great opportunity for that respite. After over 20 years of backpacking and climbing success, and purifying water, I've never gotten sick and neither has anyone else that has gone with us. I'll continue to take the precaution and embrace absolute life experience over "studies and statistics" any day ... Happy trails!
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

User avatar
Posts: 2324
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: Lakewood, CO

Postby rijaca » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:26 pm

Just some more points to consider:

The article you reference so much was written by Bob Rockwell. He has a bachelor's degree in Physics from UC-Berkeley, and a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (Biomechanics) from Stanford. Sounds like an expert in water quality and environmental health to me. :? Both articles I referenced were published in peer-reviewed technical journals.

You're very concerned about weight, and stated the Steripen weighed but 3.5 oz. Yes, but the batteries needed to operate the Steripen weigh an additional 4-5 oz (depending on batteries). Thus a net difference of only 3 to 4 oz. UV treatment is very effective for bacteria and viruses. The Katadyn Hiker Pro uses a filter effective to ~.3 microns ( effective for bacteria and sediments) and activated carbon (effective for organic chemicals).

If you really believe that the risk of drinking untreated alpine water is so significantly overstated, why are you bothering to treat the water in the first place?

User avatar
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:20 am
Location: Colorado

Postby strat1080 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:58 pm

I'm talking about the Steripen Adventurer for which the weight is 3.6oz with batteries. A pair of 123L batteries weigh 1.2oz, so the device even with a spare pair of batteries weighs 4.8oz.

That wasn't the only study I posted. The below reference, which I posted previously, actually mentions the study about the Utah hikers which you posted before. That was actually the case that started the girdia in backcountry water craze. Too bad the water was found to not be the cause of the outbreatk eh. Please take the time to read it as well as look through the references which are enlightening. The quote is from the source which is the official journey of the wilderness medical society. I drink water unfiltered or untreated when I'm certain of where the water came from and what is ahead of me(heavily used camping areas, cattle and sheep grazing) and at a fairly high altitude. Otherwise I treat.

How do these data relate to other published studies on this subject? Concern about wilderness water in North America may have started with a 1976 report of an outbreak of giardiasis among a group camping in Utah.6 Although the report implicated waterborne transmission, in retrospect this was clearly not the case. The attack rate, temporal clustering, lack of disease in other groups using the same area, and inability to isolate cysts from the implicated water all speak against waterborne disease. In fact, the details of this case, combined with what we know 3 decades later about giardiasis, point compellingly to hand-to-mouth transmission within the group.


Take a look at the quote below. Out of 34348 giardia cases in 48 states two, yes two of 81 studied giardia outbreaks were associated with campers or backpackers. Only 2 state health departments believe that water-associated giardia to be a problem with backpackers and had no data to support their belief.

Forty-eight of the 50 state health departments in the United States responded to a questionnaire about giardiasis in their jurisdictions. The agencies had reports of 34348 cases during 1991 and studied 80 outbreaks in the same period. Nineteen of these outbreaks were attributed to consumption of contaminated drinking water; only two outbreaks were reported among individuals identified as campers or backpackers. Only two departments considered water-associated giardiasis to be a problem for backpackers in their jurisdiction, and neither had any data to support this concern. The surveillance data of health departments indicate that giardiasis is a common communicable disease in the United States. They do not, however, provide any evidence that wilderness water is an important cause of the disease in this country.


Its hysteria I tell you. There isn't a study in existence that has shown cyst levels high enough in alpine water in any region of the US to cause infection. The reason why the sources that I have posted have done their studies is to inform backpackers of the real reason they are getting intestinal bugs in the wilderness. Poor hygiene not the water.

http://www.wemjournal.org/wmsonline/?re ... &page=0235

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entre ... t=Citation

rijaca wrote:Just some more points to consider:

The article you reference so much was written by Bob Rockwell. He has a bachelor's degree in Physics from UC-Berkeley, and a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (Biomechanics) from Stanford. Sounds like an expert in water quality and environmental health to me. :? Both articles I referenced were published in peer-reviewed technical journals.

You're very concerned about weight, and stated the Steripen weighed but 3.5 oz. Yes, but the batteries needed to operate the Steripen weigh an additional 4-5 oz (depending on batteries). Thus a net difference of only 3 to 4 oz. UV treatment is very effective for bacteria and viruses. The Katadyn Hiker Pro uses a filter effective to ~.3 microns ( effective for bacteria and sediments) and activated carbon (effective for organic chemicals).

If you really believe that the risk of drinking untreated alpine water is so significantly overstated, why are you bothering to treat the water in the first place?
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Cincinnati

Re: water purifiers

Postby whodey » Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:37 pm

I just got a Steripen for Christmas. Yay! Obviously the Steripen does not disinfect the water on the side of Nalgene bottle or the surface of the bottle which you drink out of. For those of you who have used the Steripen, what did you do about disinfecting this area? Thanks.

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Buckie06, Derby Ale, glove221 and 14 guests