Water Treatment Recommendations

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espressoself
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Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by espressoself » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:21 pm

This likely has been covered before, but I'm looking to get some recommendations on water treatment. I have always packed a lot of water in because I drink quite a bit. It would be really nice to cut some of my pack weight on hikes where water is nearby. I've read a little about chemical vs. filtration systems, and I've been leaning toward the Sawyer/SmartWater bottle combo, but I wanted some input. What do you like/find reliable?
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cottonmountaineering
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by cottonmountaineering » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:28 pm

i think it boils down to personal preference, i dont like filters for colorado because it gets below freezing often and that will damage the filter. i use bleach (make sure you get the right kind) in a visene bottle cause aquamira is expensive
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by CaptCO » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:29 pm

BeFree + a few empty 1L smart water bottles hands down is the best out for summer. They have a 3L gravity for base camp but there may be better options for heavy duty. I put in several hundred miles last year with this setup. (Get the 1L not .6L)
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:36 pm

Iodine tablets have always worked good for me.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by greenonion » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:10 pm

CaptCO wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:29 pm
BeFree + a few empty 1L smart water bottles hands down is the best out for summer. They have a 3L gravity for base camp but there may be better options for heavy duty. I put in several hundred miles last year with this setup. (Get the 1L not .6L)
Great info and contribution Capt! Really!
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by Alpine Guy » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:16 pm

I discovered aquamira (the 2-part liquid, have not tried the tablets) and it now stays in my pack all summer. And why not - it's small, weighs nothing and is capable of treating pretty much any water you find in CO. No taste at all.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by nyker » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:24 pm

I found the best luck with the lightweight Sawyer/squeeze bag filters. Only recently did I discover one I hadn't used in a while spring a few leaks, so maybe their shelf life isn't what I thought it was, but when it was working they seemed to do the job.

I've used iodine tablets but I don't like the taste of the water when treated with iodine, so only I'd use it in a pinch when I had nothing else and usually mix in electrolyte mix to hide the taste. The pills are essentially weightless though to carry so would be the best option for saving weight and space. Problem with treating with only iodine and no mechanical filtration is that you will get things in your water (hair, bugs, mouse droppings, etc..)

I've used pumps, but I found them to be a pain in the neck and when they clogged they were frustrating to deal with, especially if the water has a lot of particulate matter.

I was first taken with UV Steripens and used them a lot years ago...but found it frustrating on bright days when I wasn't sure the light was on when I was stirring it (indicating the water was being treated)...but still used them for their ease and convenience...until I came down with some really bad stomach bug from one trip that, after which I threw both in the trash realizing they were seldom working properly and you need batteries and spare bulbs if you tend to bounce things around.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by TomPierce » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:49 pm

I'm not sure if anyone still uses iodine tabs; I agree the taste is pretty bad. But I use chlorine dioxide tablets, a few brands out there. I use Katahdyn, fwiw. Kills absolutely everything (crypto too, although I personally think that risk is overrated) and doesn't have a bad taste, at least not to me. Never breaks or leaks, no moving parts, and super ultralight. Fwiw I also use electrolyte tabs, I just like flavored liquids.

Oh, and if you start with pretty bad water (silty, floaties, etc) pre-filter with something like a bandana, etc. True for whatever filter you use, unless you don't mind clogging your filter.

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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by wineguy » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:49 pm

These iodine tablets plus the neutralizer work great:
https://www.rei.com/product/406032/pota ... er-tablets
The neutralizer totally eliminates the iodine taste. The instructions recommend one neutralizer tablet for each iodine tablet, but I have found that two iodine tablets in a liter of water can be neutralized by only a single neutralizer tablet, or even less. A guide once warned me about using iodine for too long. He says it disrupts the bacteria in your gut. He said this is only a problem on extended backcountry trips. I presume that the neutralizer eliminates this problem, though don't know for sure.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by Scott P » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:04 pm

wineguy wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:49 pm
A guide once warned me about using iodine for too long. He says it disrupts the bacteria in your gut. He said this is only a problem on extended backcountry trips. I presume that the neutralizer eliminates this problem, though don't know for sure.
It doesn't. The neatralizer is only to get rid of the taste.

Also iodine is ineffective for things like cryptosporidium and not very effective against giardia:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11990150/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinki ... tment.html

Another thing you have to be careful about is that iodine expires.

Boiling or filtering are much more effective.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by desertdog » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:10 am

I use iodine if Im trying to save weight, which has worked fine. I also use Platypus Gravityworks 2.0L Filter System. This works great too...light, fast, and easy.
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Re: Water Treatment Recommendations

Post by randalmartin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:59 am

Surprising to see so many use Iodine. Aqua Mira is my go to chemical treatment which doesn't impart taste like Iodine. I stopped using filters and other mechanical/electronic methods years ago. It's just another thing that can fail. I fully appreciate that there is a time factor to wait for chemical treatment to work (30 minutes for Aqua Mira) but that's a minor inconvenience as I generally get my water, start treatment and then start hiking while it's being treated. For water that I am going to boil (like for dehydrated meals) I don't bother with treatment and rely on the boiling. No you don't need to boil for any extended period.
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