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Megapixel
06-07-2010, 18:44
In preparing for our thru i am trying to decide between using a steripen which i've had great success with on very limited geographical hikes (portions of VA, NC, and TN) or my Katadyn Pump which i've retired for over a year now.
Weight wise they are comparable:
Steripen, w/ batteries, charger, prefilter* = 13.3 oz.
Katadyn = 14.1 oz.

In either case i will have micropur tabs for a emergency backup.

Mountain Wildman
06-07-2010, 19:33
For me it is worth it to carry my First Need Filter and drink crystal clear clean water and know for sure that I won't get sick or drink cloudy, dirty water or little floaties.

Megapixel
06-07-2010, 19:40
For me it is worth it to carry my First Need Filter and drink crystal clear clean water and know for sure that I won't get sick or drink cloudy, dirty water or little floaties.

Point taken. The pre-filter for the steripen is decent for floaties, but the pump filter does a better job.

I am considering going to the lighter version of the steripen, which would make it much more enticing. Anyone out there through hiked with a steripen successfully?

Wheeler
06-07-2010, 19:52
I used it on the PCT, and it was fine. It seemed to use batteries faster and faster. Other steripem users said the same thing. Mine used the sometimes tough to find cr-123 batteries, which can also be pricey. Other than that, it was fine, I'll use it again. Bandana handles the floaties just fine.

gumball
06-07-2010, 20:17
I take two knee high stockings and place them over the lid of whatever I am pouring into. Works a little better for me than the bandana and I can see when the floaties have been rinsed out.

We both carry steripens, although I am not sure if we will when we through. We use them on longer sections. One advantage is that the pump really does weigh a bit more after you begin to use it, as no matter how well you pump out the extra water at the end, the filter is still wet. I hate having that wet thing in my pack.

I also hate diarrhea, so it will be a game time decision when we decide to thru.

Storm
06-07-2010, 20:56
I posted this site once before, very good price on CR123 batteries.

http://www.cr123batteries.com/?gclid=CKXcx4XBkqACFRDxDAody3DMdw

Spokes
06-07-2010, 20:57
Please, please, please consider saving your money and a whole lot of aggravation and try Aqua Mira. A majority of thru's use it with good results.

I was a die hard filter guy and thought I'd never go without mine but once I tried drops on my thru hike I will NEVER go back to the pump. I observed first hand, so many other thru's have their SterPens fail in 2009. Scary!

All the Best!

Megapixel
06-07-2010, 21:08
Please, please, please consider saving your money and a whole lot of aggravation and try Aqua Mira. A majority of thru's use it with good results.

I was a die hard filter guy and thought I'd never go without mine but once I tried drops on my thru hike I will NEVER go back to the pump. I observed first hand, so many other thru's have their SterPens fail in 2009. Scary!

All the Best!

Has anyone studied the long term effects of Aqua Mira? That would be my concern.

>>> AND THANKS FOR THE BATTERY LINK!!!

Appalachian Tater
06-07-2010, 21:24
They both have advantages and disadvantages. Occasionally you will run across some nasty water that a filter will render clean and drinkable whereas the SteriPen will only prevent microorganisms from reproducing.

Megapixel
06-07-2010, 21:24
THIS MIGHT HELP :

http://www.aquamira.com/bpl_2_efficacy-of-water.pdf

Spokes
06-07-2010, 21:38
Has anyone studied the long term effects of Aqua Mira? That would be my concern.


Well in another article (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/aquamira_mcnett.html) Dr. Ryan N. Jordan (the same author of the other article you referenced) said "I have settled on Aqua Mira (AquaMira) as my backcountry treatment of choice."

Don't get me wrong, the SteriPen would be a great choice if you were hiking, say, Vietnam but your not and given the devices propensity to fail or yield redlight errors in the field I say again- Save your money! Go with AquaMira!

BigFoot2002
06-07-2010, 21:42
Thanks for the link, Storm. That's a great price for those batteries.

Many Walks
06-07-2010, 23:36
We started with a MSR filter,but switched to the Steripen Classic and never looked back. It uses Lithium AA batteries and has performed well. On the go we use the pre-screen and Steripen. At camp we get water in a nylon 2 gal water bag and let it hang in camp to let things settle. Then we use the pre-screen and the Steripen for drinking and the rest of the water goes to cooking and cleaning up. We do carry Aquamira for backup if the Steripen fails, but haven't needed it yet. Works for us.

trailangelbronco
06-08-2010, 00:43
I started using the Katadyn camp bag for a filter last year. I am a lazy hiker, and don't like pumping when tired and have miles to cover or camp to set up.

I scooped up water with it, carried it back to camp, hung it and it filtered and filled my bladder while I set up camp and then grabbed a fresh bottle of water waiting for me. I I also had tons left over to fill my bladder and to cook with, all without pumping or batteries. It takes up more room in my pack, but who cares.

I am also looking at other single bag hanging solutions.

centsless
06-08-2010, 01:06
Please, please, please consider saving your money and a whole lot of aggravation and try Aqua Mira. A majority of thru's use it with good results.

I was a die hard filter guy and thought I'd never go without mine but once I tried drops on my thru hike I will NEVER go back to the pump. I observed first hand, so many other thru's have their SterPens fail in 2009. Scary!

All the Best!

not to threadjack, but you do bring a valid point.

My question is... how long does Aqua Mira last on a typical thru? and also, was there ever a need to double up to 15 drops during your thru as the manufacture claims to do during sub-par conditions.

thanks

Spokes
06-08-2010, 09:58
not to threadjack, but you do bring a valid point.

My question is... how long does Aqua Mira last on a typical thru? and also, was there ever a need to double up to 15 drops during your thru as the manufacture claims to do during sub-par conditions.

thanks

Each AquaMira set treats up to 30 gallons of water. I always carried 2 sets with me- one within easy reach and a back-up in the bottom of my food bag.

I took a total of 6 sets along (bounced the extras up ahead) but only used 5 on the thru. Never went thirsty. Never increased the dosage recommendations.

I always treat my water but also understand you're more likely to get giardia eating out of someone else's food bag.

Trailbender
06-15-2010, 09:19
I have a small piece of Thermasilk left over for filtering floaties, and I carry a 1 oz bottle of bleach for purification. 2 drops per quart, shake, wait 30 mins. Almost 1400 miles and I haven't gotten sick yet. I have known a couple of people who have gotten really sick, both were using filters.

gumball
06-15-2010, 19:10
I have a small piece of Thermasilk left over for filtering floaties, and I carry a 1 oz bottle of bleach for purification. 2 drops per quart, shake, wait 30 mins. Almost 1400 miles and I haven't gotten sick yet. I have known a couple of people who have gotten really sick, both were using filters.

Actually I also got sick drinking water filtered from another hiker's filter. The hiker hadn't cleaned it from the previous years' hikes and it sat and sat--yuck. He got sick, too. My DH drank from our filtered water out of the same stream and was not sick. Had to be the filter.

ChinMusic
06-15-2010, 19:39
Actually I also got sick drinking water filtered from another hiker's filter. The hiker hadn't cleaned it from the previous years' hikes and it sat and sat--yuck. He got sick, too. My DH drank from our filtered water out of the same stream and was not sick. Had to be the filter.
Filters need to have mild bleach run thru them once in awhile or at the end of a trip. When done with your trip, take it apart and allow it to dry out. The absolute worst thing one can do is to just put the filter on a shelf after a trip. The stuff that would grow will look like a science project.

One needs to take good care of the clean hose and not allow it to get contaminated in the field. A small crack (sometimes from freezing) may be hard to detect and render the filter useless. Filters take tare.

I use both filters and Steripen. For the AT, with the generally clear water, I use the Steripen. If I think the water will be turbid (cloudier than weak lemonade) I bring a filter.

With either method I always bring a backup such as Micropur tablets should my primary method fail.

Trailbender
06-16-2010, 05:30
Filters need to have mild bleach run thru them once in awhile or at the end of a trip. When done with your trip, take it apart and allow it to dry out. The absolute worst thing one can do is to just put the filter on a shelf after a trip. The stuff that would grow will look like a science project.

One needs to take good care of the clean hose and not allow it to get contaminated in the field. A small crack (sometimes from freezing) may be hard to detect and render the filter useless. Filters take tare.

I use both filters and Steripen. For the AT, with the generally clear water, I use the Steripen. If I think the water will be turbid (cloudier than weak lemonade) I bring a filter.

With either method I always bring a backup such as Micropur tablets should my primary method fail.

All these methods work, but as mentioned, I find bleach to be the best solution for me. My water purification system weighs one ounce, and hostels have no problem topping off my bleach bottle. I have already gotten like 10 other thrus to dump the filter and go with bleach. It is dead simple, kills everything, and is practically free. I did have a filter when I first started hiking, then used Aquamira, then finally bleach.

sly dog
06-16-2010, 13:22
I use the filter because bleach kills the taste and drops take too long. There have been several times where i was out of water way too early and when i arived at the next source i wanted water now. If you have time to let the drops work, then fill again before moving on, the drops are great. Also with the filter, the water you drink is soooo nice and cold where on a 100 degree day by the time the treated water is good to go its also nice and warm. I also never tried the steri pen but i have filtered from swamps in NJ where the steri pen might not cut it for me and if there is only a trickle at a source it will be kinda hard filling your bottle where the filter is easier. My brother once needed water and heard it running below rocks in PA and the only way to access it was letting the hose from the filter slip down a foot or so thru the rocks till it hit the water.I aint a gram counter so the filter is my choice for good. Just my 2 cents.

turtle fast
06-16-2010, 14:43
Does AquaMira kill Cryptosporidium and Giardia? I did not think it did.

jen.sprout
06-16-2010, 19:20
Question for you steripen users - are you successfully using then with a Platypus bottle? I tried one on a section hike and liked it in general, but since I'm a Platy user, it was a bit of pain to use.

ChinMusic
06-16-2010, 19:34
Question for you steripen users - are you successfully using then with a Platypus bottle? I tried one on a section hike and liked it in general, but since I'm a Platy user, it was a bit of pain to use.
If the Platy Bottle is the unit I think it is, no, I don't think the Steripen fits into the small opening. You need a bottle with a large enough opening for the sensors (pins) to have contact with the water, or the optical sensor (newer model) to "see" the water.

I use a Platy Water Tank or a Nalgene Canteen as a "dirty-water" container (usu at camp only). When I need clean water, I pour from the dirty container to a 32-oz Gatorade bottle, treat, and use. By pouring from the Tank I can easily place a bandanna over the opening to filter so I don't need to carry a prefilter. The Gatorade bottle is my preferred container for drinking while on the move.

millergear
06-16-2010, 19:54
Does AquaMira kill Cryptosporidium and Giardia? I did not think it did.

Aquamira/Klearwater/Potable Aqua (Chlorine Dioxide) kills Giardia (30 minutes), bacteria/viruses (15 minutes), some Crypto, can take up to 4 hours.

Clorox & Iodine kill bacteria/viruses (30 minutes), Giardia (up to 4 hours)

Filtration 1 Micron removes Giardia & Crypto, .3 Micron removes some bacteria, no viruses

Steripen (UV) gets it all (but leaves the solids)

Reference the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/drinking/Backcountry_Water_Treatment.pdf for effectiveness

Time frames were found in multiple sources

ChinMusic
06-16-2010, 20:18
That is why UV is my first choice. Zap it and drink it.....no waiting. The only faster method is choosing not to treat, and that works well for some......but I ain't doing it.

If the water is turid beyond the scope of UV I choose a filter. The AT is almost all clear.

jen.sprout
06-17-2010, 08:54
ChinMusic - You are correct, I was talking about the liter sized Platy with the small opening. I got it to work with the first generation Steripen because the tapered plastic at the base of the light would actually fit well enough in the Platy such that you could turn it upside-down and shake it to get enough contact with the pen.

I was just hoping there was some other adapter or something out there I wasn't aware of.

And thanks for the reminder for everyone that the Steripen won't do it's job if you can't get the UV light "in contact" with your water.

DavidNH
06-17-2010, 09:08
In preparing for our thru i am trying to decide between using a steripen which i've had great success with on very limited geographical hikes (portions of VA, NC, and TN) or my Katadyn Pump which i've retired for over a year now.
Weight wise they are comparable:
Steripen, w/ batteries, charger, prefilter* = 13.3 oz.
Katadyn = 14.1 oz.

In either case i will have micropur tabs for a emergency backup.


Sterpin needs batteries. A filter doesn't. Case closed, filter wins!

ChinMusic
06-17-2010, 09:32
Sterpin needs batteries. A filter doesn't. Case closed, filter wins!
For you. Many are not battery-phobes and appreciate the quickness.

Stir Fry
06-17-2010, 10:03
Sterpin needs batteries. A filter doesn't. Case closed, filter wins!

Filter not 100% efective so you take a small chance of getting sick.

ChinMusic
06-17-2010, 10:23
Filter not 100% efective so you take a small chance of getting sick.
Filters work well but are much more prone to misuse and cross contamination. I have witnessed many that don't grasp the concept of keeping the dirty and clean parts of the filter set-up separate and store their hoses together.

Most of the time this is not a problem, as most of the time the water was safe to drink without treatment.

tintin
06-17-2010, 10:42
The Steripen is ****e. I gave up on mine in the Smokies. Don't bother with it.

Pootz
06-17-2010, 14:37
This tread was well time for me. During my thru hike my hiking partner carried a steripen and I carried Aquamira. Together they were perfect. Since then I have hiked with only Aquamire and have missed using the steripen to treat water fast and be able to drink it right away and cold. I just purchased the Steripen journey. It is small enough to fit into bottles like gatorade and even works in small commercial water bottles. For the advantage of drinking water quickly I am going to carry both. my pack is only 11 pounds before food and water, so this will be my 1 luxury item.

gruntledpainter
06-18-2010, 13:57
I have mixed feelings about AquaMira or other tablets. I know they work fine for some people, but I think my body hates them. I became very sick on the GET earlier this year, and I think it was because of the tablets. When filtering only, I felt fine. The chemicals can react badly with some people, and with other people it's fine.

My recommendation: do a practice hike with your water treatment system before you go, or at least try putting AquaMira in your tap water at home, and see if you get sick after a couple days of that as your only source of liquids. I wish I had done that.

Foyt20
06-29-2010, 13:56
This tread was well time for me. During my thru hike my hiking partner carried a steripen and I carried Aquamira. Together they were perfect. Since then I have hiked with only Aquamire and have missed using the steripen to treat water fast and be able to drink it right away and cold. I just purchased the Steripen journey. It is small enough to fit into bottles like gatorade and even works in small commercial water bottles. For the advantage of drinking water quickly I am going to carry both. my pack is only 11 pounds before food and water, so this will be my 1 luxury item.

Have you used it in the field at all (the journey) worth getting?

Mags
06-29-2010, 15:20
There is no best water treatment method..all have plusses and minuses.

As Chin Music said, the filter is prone to clogging and people mixing up the intake and output hoses. They do filter 'floaties' easier than other treatment methods and can take a bit more of a beating if you are prone to not treating your gear lightly.

The Steripen is quicker, but does not handle turgid water as well as a filter. Again, if you do not treat your gear well, the Steripen is more prone to being damaged.

If you selectively treat your water (I rarely treat), chemicals are very cost effective and simple way to go. It does take longer, and they do not filter out 'floaties' (obviously), but can be a great way for the person for is more of a 'dip and sip' kinda person.

Note that you can filter your own floaties with a bandanna.


In the end, it is just water treatment. I wouldn't sweat it. Enjoy the hike! :sun

Spokes
06-29-2010, 17:10
........
Reference the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/drinking/Backcountry_Water_Treatment.pdf for effectiveness



Interesting what the CDC actually said about Chlorine Dioxide and UV light for water disinfection:

Chlorine Dioxide

"Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is capable of inactivating most water-borne pathogens, including Cryptosporidium oocysts, at practical doses and contact times. There are several new chemical methods for generating chlorine dioxide in the field for small-quantity water treatment".

Ultraviolet (UV) Light

"UV light can be used as a pathogen reduction method against microorganisms. The technology requires effective pre-filtering due to its dependence on low water turbidity (cloudiness), the correct power delivery, and correct contact times to achieve maximum pathogen reduction. UV might be an effective method in pathogen reduction in backcountry water. However, there is a lack of independent testing data available on specific systems".



Source: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-2/water-disinfection.aspx

10-K
06-29-2010, 20:54
I have 2 pumps, a Steripen, Aqua Mira drops and tablets.

On the hike I just got back from I left them all at home and didn't treat any water.

Anecdotal: I met one thru (Reckless) who felt like he got sick from drinking water (he made a trip to the ER in Dalton, MA) and he was using Aqua Mira drops.

Spokes
06-29-2010, 22:20
I have 2 pumps, a Steripen, Aqua Mira drops and tablets.

On the hike I just got back from I left them all at home and didn't treat any water.

Anecdotal: I met one thru (Reckless) who felt like he got sick from drinking water (he made a trip to the ER in Dalton, MA) and he was using Aqua Mira drops.

You're more likely getting "sick" or giardia from eating out of someone else's food bag than from the water.

Remember that next time someone offers you a ziplock full of _____(fill in the blank)_____.

reddenbacher
06-29-2010, 22:36
Please, please, please consider saving your money and a whole lot of aggravation and try Aqua Mira. A majority of thru's use it with good results.

I was a die hard filter guy and thought I'd never go without mine but once I tried drops on my thru hike I will NEVER go back to the pump. I observed first hand, so many other thru's have their SterPens fail in 2009. Scary!

All the Best!

ditto,why complicate your hike. aqua mira rocks

ChinMusic
06-29-2010, 22:36
I would agree that fellow hikers are more of a risk than the water, but I still treat the water.

flemdawg1
06-30-2010, 12:30
Remember that next time someone offers you a ziplock full of _____(fill in the blank)_____.

Mom always said smoking that stuff was bad for you. ;)

Spokes
06-30-2010, 13:32
mom always said smoking that stuff was bad for you. ;)

rotf !!!!!