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Tree Nerd
02-22-2013, 15:05
Since I have joined this forum I have heard a lot of bashing on filters (easy to cross contaminate, heavy, hassle to use, etc.) and I have heard a lot about not filtering or purifying at all. I have used a filter every time I go backpacking and have never been sick. Personally, I like filtering my water and don't understand all the bashing of filters. I don't see anyone sticking up for filters and everyone leaning towards purification or nothing at all (typically from ultralight backpackers).....Is there anyone on this forum who still uses filters?.....Is there anyone on this forum that isn't an ultralight backpacker?

RF_ace
02-22-2013, 15:12
I support water filters! I love clean water with no wait, well worth the burden!

Chuckie V
02-22-2013, 15:12
Since I have joined this forum I have heard a lot of bashing on filters (easy to cross contaminate, heavy, hassle to use, etc.) and I have heard a lot about not filtering or purifying at all. I have used a filter every time I go backpacking and have never been sick. Personally, I like filtering my water and don't understand all the bashing of filters. I don't see anyone sticking up for filters and everyone leaning towards purification or nothing at all (typically from ultralight backpackers).....Is there anyone on this forum who still uses filters?.....Is there anyone on this forum that isn't an ultralight backpacker?

I use one and from what I could gather, so too do quite a few others. I'm not fond of extended chemical use, but Aqua-Mira has a proven track record. My latest filter is the Sawyer Squeeze and while it seems a bit fragile, it's stood up to quite a few trips already, albeit shorter ones. I think today's filters are better than ever, but unless they're light, they're tough to lug for miles on end (relative to a lighter option, anyway). Thru-hiking is a different beast than "normal" hiking or camping and every ounce counts in large amounts. Thus why most relay on chemicals, as they can be much, much lighter.

Alligator
02-22-2013, 15:12
The opinions that you receive are from those taking the time to type you out a response. This does not necessarily reflect the general hiker population, in some instances, it is just a vocal minority.

I filter and I do not qualify as ultralight backpacker as my kit is a few pounds over. There are UL hikers who do treat typically it seems going with chemicals. A Sawyer inline filter is also another reasonably light solution.

rocketsocks
02-22-2013, 15:16
Right here dude. While I've yet to attain Ultra Light statice, cutting weight for me is a medical necessity, and I hope to fall in the lower end of traditional 30# w/ food and water. Using a filter for me will be a bonus for not contracting anything that would harm a weakened immune system, (again medical necessity) and having Aqua Mira as a back up and or in addition too probably couldn't hurt either.

BirdBrain
02-22-2013, 15:20
I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro. Sawyer Squeeze might have been better choice. I know the tablets are lighter, but I do not like putting chemicals in my body if I don't have too. I have had the Giardia infestation once and don't plan on it happening again. I would carry the filter even if the only option was a 10 lb one.

Rasty
02-22-2013, 15:23
I filter in lower elevations where the risk is much higher for water borne illness. For small streams I use Aquamira. For springs I don't bother. For me it is about risk potential. At 50' elevation in NC I am 99% convinced the water is contaminated and about 1% concerned that water coming directly out of a spring is contaminated.

Feral Bill
02-22-2013, 15:24
I mostly use the MSR Mini. Happily, too. I would hesitate to use it in freezing weather due to possible filter damage, but mostly melt snow in winter.

xokie
02-22-2013, 15:24
I use Aqua Mira or my old MSR filter; whichever strikes my fancy when packing. The problem with a filter is that it takes out all the bugs and leaf bits, depriving me of a good deal of protein and roughage.

yellowsirocco
02-22-2013, 15:32
one thing I like about filters is the ability to just suck water out of any little puddle. I usually drink it straight, camel up and don't carry much.

wicca witch
02-22-2013, 15:35
tree nerd i have used & always will use filters. I use the katahdyn hiker pro & am very pleased with the performance of it. 2 hell with all the bashing on filters IGNORANCE IS BLISS

Studlintsean
02-22-2013, 15:40
Another fan of the Katahdyn hiker pro. I prefer to drink my water as soon as its available (I drink a ton of water so im usually rationing my remaining water by the time I get to the source) and if there is a puddle, I am able to do so.

BirdBrain
02-22-2013, 15:44
You guys are making me feel better about my choice by the post.

Mountaintop
02-22-2013, 15:52
I mostly use the MSR Mini. Happily, too. I would hesitate to use it in freezing weather due to possible filter damage, but mostly melt snow in winter.

Do you have problems getting your filter to work? This is the second MSR filter I've had and I don't know that if in the process of trying to make it idiot proof....they've built a better idiot.

brian039
02-22-2013, 15:56
I use aqua-mira and don't consider myself an ultra-lighter. The reasons I don't like filters are: 1) They are too much work for me 2) due to the silty conditions of the streams in the Appalachians the filters clog too frequently and are expensive to replace 3) It's heavier than aqua-mira and takes up more space 4) the fewer things I have that can't break and don't require maintenance, the better 5) it's easier to find aqua-mira than whatever replacement filter you need for your filter.

I used filters before I thru-hiked and think they are just fine for short sections. But I'd never carry one on a thru, you need to make things as easy on yourself as possible.

I will say that there are occasionally water sources where I wish I had a filter but not enough of them to justify carrying a filter. I can just run the water through a bandana to filter out floaty things.

Basically I'm lazy and don't like to filter and don't want to have to worry about crap breaking and am cheap and don't want to spend a bunch of money on replacement filters.

DeerPath
02-22-2013, 15:56
If I can get water as it comes out of the ground I don't bother to treat. I use this home made dipping cup with filter ( top of liter bottle with sport cap, faucet filter stuffed into top 0.6 oz.) to filter debris.1990519906 If I must treat I use the SteriPEN journey because its fast in my Gater bottle. And lastly, I use Aqua-Mira as back-up if I fill my Camelbak for later use.

fins1838
02-22-2013, 16:04
I actually enjoy the solo walk (usually hike with the wife) down (or up) to the spring. Then pumping the water thru the filter into our containers. And no, I am not an ultra-light hiker, although less weight is good. When it comes to comfort of sleeping & warmth I'll gladly put up with a bit of extra weight.

CrumbSnatcher
02-22-2013, 16:07
pur/katahdyn hiker pro
i have never had a breakdown with my hiker pro, & have never been sick
i started with a sweetwater 98'(not a fan)switched to a PUR 99' & have always enjoyed it since :-)

Mountain Mike
02-22-2013, 16:32
A good filter is worth it's weight in TP several times over. I don't treat if I get it directly out of a spring, but do most other times. I have had seen several hikers over the years get giardia. It's not fun. On the AT you are mostly high up with little chance for contamination. But is that stream you drink out of from a beaver pond or a cattle field? Years ago Pittsfield, MA & Berlin, NH had giardia outbreaks in their public water system & they are close to the trail. Many have gambled & did fine. My luck sucks...my filter goes with me. Out west even more so. When you reach the only water source in 20 miles & there are cows in the pond drooling, pissing & dumping in it. I really came to love my filter.

RF_ace
02-22-2013, 16:35
Just not worth the risk not filtering. Some water sources in the smokies didn't pass my basic requirements for being untreated, and those were coming right out of the ground

Odd Man Out
02-22-2013, 16:36
If you search Sawyer Squeeze you will find multiple threads where this particular filter is discussed. It gets plenty of discussion. Each system (filter, chemicals, UV, no treatment) has pros and cons and what works for you depends on your own personal combination of priorities (weight, cost, effectiveness, convenience, etc...)

Starchild
02-22-2013, 16:41
I've used water filters and they have certain advantages, such as removing particles (which I normally don't mind), can also work with foul smelly water and the pumps filters can gather from very little puddles which are more difficult to harvest with out the ability to suck it out.

Also filters such as the sawyer squeeze and straw type 'filter as you drink' filters have the benefit of being light weight. I have considered a straw filter and perhaps will try one soon.

Rocket Jones
02-22-2013, 17:36
I always laugh at the folks who won't use Aqua Mira because they "don't want to put chemicals into their bodies". If you drink tap water, or use ice, or cook with water, you're getting the same chemicals. The stuff is safe, that's why it's been used for decades.

My partner uses a filter and if I come up while he's pumping, I'll take over and fill mine too. If I've got my AM out and he arrives, he'll use a little of mine rather than break out the filter. Works for us.

Feral Bill
02-22-2013, 17:48
Do you have problems getting your filter to work? This is the second MSR filter I've had and I don't know that if in the process of trying to make it idiot proof....they've built a better idiot. Never a problem.

The Cleaner
02-22-2013, 17:56
+1 on this,I don't bother if the water is coming right out of the head of a spring or pvc pipe.....

Slo-go'en
02-22-2013, 18:04
I use an "Eagle" by Timberland filters, Boulder, CO. It's a little bulky as it uses a ketchup pump and the filter is a little porus (so it doesn't clog easily), but it's cheap and reasonbly light. when I do use it, its mostly to clean up the water, though just filtering through a cloth might do as well for that.

I figure I must be immune to Giardia or I surely would have come down with it by now. I've heard about 20% of the population is immune, another large percentage just have mild cases and a few come close to dying from it.

I wonder if using chemical treatment might make you more susceptable, escpecially if you don't wait long enough for the chemicals to disipate before drinking, as many do. That could kill off the benifical bacteria in your gutt, allowing for anything harmful to mulitply unchecked if it does happen to get in you. It's a good thing the vast majority of the water along the AT is fine to drink "as is".

tiptoe
02-22-2013, 18:07
I use a ULA gravity filter (no longer sold), which is basically a waterproof bag with a Kataydin filter. No problems with this, and you can drink the water right away.

colorado_rob
02-22-2013, 18:18
I support water filters! I love clean water with no wait, well worth the burden! Yeah, me too, maybe the filter users just don't bother or care to argue, let the non-filter folkls talk all they want, we know what works for us. Burden? Not too much; pretty quick to filter a couple liters and the Sawyer squeeze weighs 3 ounces, add in a bag, syring and little baggie to carry it, plus add 1/2 ounce for a "wet" filter, you're talking 5.5 ounces total, vs. a couple ounces to drink Chlorine Dioxide for 5 months. These Aqua Mira folks will say: "yeah, but that's what we drink in our home water anyway". That's true and fine, but I would say: that's one reason I love the back country; not having to drink city water. I'll continue to thoroughly enjoy drinking pure, crystal clear and safe filtered water on all my hikes, thanks!

Lone Wolf
02-22-2013, 18:22
Since I have joined this forum I have heard a lot of bashing on filters (easy to cross contaminate, heavy, hassle to use, etc.) and I have heard a lot about not filtering or purifying at all. I have used a filter every time I go backpacking and have never been sick. Personally, I like filtering my water and don't understand all the bashing of filters. I don't see anyone sticking up for filters and everyone leaning towards purification or nothing at all (typically from ultralight backpackers).....Is there anyone on this forum who still uses filters?.....Is there anyone on this forum that isn't an ultralight backpacker?

i am not an ultraliter. i carry what i want. never weigh anything and never use a filter or treat

Chuckie V
02-22-2013, 18:22
I always laugh at the folks who won't use Aqua Mira because they "don't want to put chemicals into their bodies". If you drink tap water, or use ice, or cook with water, you're getting the same chemicals. The stuff is safe, that's why it's been used for decades.

Laugh away. It's all personal choice, ultimately. Chlorine dioxide is a known carcinogen, so "safe" is questionable at best. In many of the countries I've traveled (70+), the water has been untreated and the rates of cancer happen to be lower. Here in the US, the rates are there all right, but some of us get cancer and some do not, but the link to treated drinking water (and all other inorganic chemical use) is clear.

I'll drink out of a tap when there's one on the trail and I'm too lazy to filter (which is seldom, what with the simplicity of the Sawyer device), but some of us use a fancy water filter at home too, filtering our ice water and all, and I'm one of them. I also eat veggies and shop organic and take care of myself in many other ways. It's not to reach an end goal necessarily, but to enjoy being healthy and outperforming and outsmarting others at my age...a lifestyle, really. I'm watching more and more people my age succumb to what they think is "bad luck," while I keep plugging away (and, if I were like you: laughing away).

Keep in mind that the more active we are, the more water we drink and that chemical use all compounds and magnifies exponentially, not unlike mercury and its increasing multiplication as it climbs its way up the food chain.

But all told, it's merely a matter of choice...so you can laugh all you want. We'll enjoy our laughs too.

Teacher & Snacktime
02-22-2013, 18:29
Right here dude. While I've yet to attain Ultra Light statice, cutting weight for me is a medical necessity, and I hope to fall in the lower end of traditional 30# w/ food and water. Using a filter for me will be a bonus for not contracting anything that would harm a weakened immune system, (again medical necessity) and having Aqua Mira as a back up and or in addition too probably couldn't hurt either.

Ah Rocketsocks, we meet again on the filter/purification issue. As a weakened immune system is my own concern, we are in agreement about the necessity of using a filter. I'm confused though as to why you use one or the other and not both? Filtering does not kill bacteria or cysts or the real nasties that propose threats. I would think a filtration system (to remove chunks) and a purification (like Aqua Mira or SteriPen) would be the safest bet. And I will NEVER assume the water is safe just because there is PVC involved, since I have no clue what's on the other end of the pipe.

Another Kevin
02-22-2013, 18:48
I'm a clueless weekender, so I don't do more than short sections. And I'm not an ultralighter - I'm sort of gradually drifting from traditional to lightweight. (I try not to be stupid-heavy.) Three seasons, I carry a MSR MiniWorks. It works well enough, and the little sponge prefilter prevents a lot of clogging. I also make a point of wiping the element every time I use it, which also helps.

I'll use it down into the 20s F. (At those temps I make it a point to load it inside the backpack near my back, and make sure first that it's drained well. I haven't had it freeze yet.) If I'm expecting temps that low, I may put it along with my water bottles in the foot of my sleeping bag so that I have some unfrozen water and an unfrozen filter in the morning.

I suspect that the instant gratification of a filter, rather than waiting for chemical treatment, translates to carrying less water, since I can drink within a couple of minutes after arriving at a water source. I don't quite know what that translates to in terms of weight. As I said, I'm not an ultralighter yet.

In full-on winter, at this point I do only day trips. But once I'm geared up for real winter hiking, I figure that either I'll be melting snow (in which case I might as well boil the water), or else I'll use Aqua Mira.

Another Kevin
02-22-2013, 19:01
Filtering does not kill bacteria or cysts or the real nasties that propose threats.

Huh? A filter with 300 nm absolute pore size - including some of the ones from MSR, Katadyn, or Sawyer - will be quite effective at removing cysts or bacteria. (Not killing them, of course, but separating them from the water.) What it won't remove is viruses.

As far as viruses go, there are a handful of real nasties that are waterborne. Hepatitis A - I've had my shots. Polio - I've had my shots. JC and BK viruses - generally dangerous only to the immunocompromised. The coronoavirus that causes SARS - awfully rare. Norwalk virus - much more likely transmitted hand-to-mouth, so wash your hands. The way I see it, I can live with the risk of viruses if I can get rid of the bacteria and protozoa, so I'm comfortable with filtration alone. And filtration seems to be necessary, because the chemical treatments don't deal well with Giardia, Cryptosporidium, or Entamoeba histolytica.

If you're immunocompromised, you either need to boil, or else use both filtration and chemical treatment. I don't trust Steripen - several of my friends have used them and gone back to other techniques because they've failed in the field.

Tree Nerd
02-23-2013, 08:27
Awesome to hear from people that support the same stuff! I am not an ultralight backpacker and never plan on being one. I take what I can afford and more importantly, I take what I want and what makes me comfortable, and deal with the weight (roughly 25lbs w/o food or water). I use a MSR Sweetwater and love it.

10-K
02-23-2013, 08:35
I wonder how many people who get sick on the trail blame it on "bad water" when really it was something else...I bet quite a lot.

The ol' confusing correlation with causation thing.

Lone Wolf
02-23-2013, 08:46
I wonder how many people who get sick on the trail blame it on "bad water" when really it was something else...I bet quite a lot.

The ol' confusing correlation with causation thing.
i've known dozens of guys over the years that have said they "got giardia" from water. but most of them never saw a doctor. getting sick from water is rare on the AT

10-K
02-23-2013, 08:56
i've known dozens of guys over the years that have said they "got giardia" from water. but most of them never saw a doctor. getting sick from water is rare on the AT

I agree with you. I'd bet most illnesses come from poor personal hygiene.

Furlough
02-23-2013, 09:11
Since I have joined this forum I have heard a lot of bashing on filters (easy to cross contaminate, heavy, hassle to use, etc.) and I have heard a lot about not filtering or purifying at all. I have used a filter every time I go backpacking and have never been sick. Personally, I like filtering my water and don't understand all the bashing of filters. I don't see anyone sticking up for filters and everyone leaning towards purification or nothing at all (typically from ultralight backpackers).....Is there anyone on this forum who still uses filters?.....Is there anyone on this forum that isn't an ultralight backpacker?

Not an UL'er. For a decade plus my favorite filter was an MSR Sweetwater. Saw an ad for the Sawyer Squeeze back when it first came out, bought the system and that is what I use now.

Furlough

BirdBrain
02-23-2013, 09:38
i've known dozens of guys over the years that have said they "got giardia" from water. but most of them never saw a doctor. getting sick from water is rare on the AT

I got it. lost 25 pounds in a week. You don't want it. This goes into the risk reward category for me along with ather things that people say you may or may not need. I would leave my tarp home before leaving my Hiker Pro home. That is just me and it is because I have had enough fun without it.

Trippinbilly33
02-23-2013, 09:52
For short hikes I would not carry a filter I would use aqua or iodine. But long term month after month on the trail... I am carrying a sawyer squeeze. I have never gotten sick even just running it through a bandana to get the "chunks" out. I also hike in an area I know well. I would worry about long term effects of chemical treatment . I have a pro hiker filter from back when first started but I wouldn't even think of carrying it.

The Gambler
02-23-2013, 10:01
i have always filtered unless i can get it straight from a spring...my current filter of choice is the platypus gravity works....works great and backwashes in about 5 seconds....used it on my sobo hike in 2011 and 1 filter element lasted the whole time....when i stayed near a shelter, which was rare, i routinely had folks waiting their 30 minutes for their aqua mira to work ask if they could borrow a little water....how do you borrow water...lol...i usually accommodated them......i agree with 10k and lone wolf that most intestinal problems come from poor hygiene

The Gambler
02-23-2013, 10:05
i didn't mention i had a hiking partner and we shared it.....also great for carrying water from the source down the trail for a stealth site and for quickly filtering water to camel up and limit the water carried

ChuckBrown
02-23-2013, 10:11
I always filter, currently using an MSR Hyperflow micro, great filter with backflow option to clean the filter and restore maximum flow. weight 7.9 oz. I have met hikers who have had "gastro problems" and did not filter there water. Ill take the time and weight to have high quality H2O.

Starchild
02-23-2013, 10:13
... These Aqua Mira folks will say: "yeah, but that's what we drink in our home water anyway". That's true and fine, but I would say: that's one reason I love the back country; not having to drink city water. I'll continue to thoroughly enjoy drinking pure, crystal clear and safe filtered water on all my hikes, thanks!

And some of us are on private wells which are untreated, not municipal tap water. I know when I go to a place with tap water I can tell the difference, though when I had municipal tap water, I really didn't notice. So perhaps if you are used to it in your at home tap water it may not be that noticeable in your backcountry water, but for me they feel out of place and diminish a part of backcountry life that I really enjoy, the suddle differences in tastes of water in different environments. Chemical addition seems to ruin that experience for me. To some lesser extent filters also have a effect on me as they tend to bland out the differences, though I would still rather filter then use chemicals.

Pedaling Fool
02-23-2013, 10:14
Step back and look at the big picture. We are removing ourselves from nature. Just an observation, nothing wrong with that. :D

Starchild
02-23-2013, 10:19
+1 on this,I don't bother if the water is coming right out of the head of a spring or pvc pipe.....

Be careful about the PVC pipes, one time after drinking my fill from it and refilling my bottle, on a very hot day and was very thirsty, I traveled on, quickly hit a switchback and came right above that PVC pipe and found out it was constructed as a drain for a wet section of the trail and I was now standing in that puddle of water that was draining through that pipe.

The thought made me feel sick, though there was no illness from drinking that water.

10-K
02-23-2013, 10:24
Step back and look at the big picture. We are removing ourselves from nature. Just an observation, nothing wrong with that. :D

I have good personal hygiene on the trail.

I do believe in immunity by exposure though and I knowingly tolerate some potential bacteria and microbes by drinking unfiltered water, eating something that may fall in the dirt, etc.

And I never use antibacterial anything.

Starchild
02-23-2013, 10:27
Step back and look at the big picture. We are removing ourselves from nature. Just an observation, nothing wrong with that. :D

I see it a little differently, though I do see a aspect of what you said. In the hiking/back country experience, but we are taking ourselves, and the greater human community, with who we are and what we have achieved (such as technologically), and ideally coming back into oneness with nature, in our more advanced form, we are returning home to nature better then ever equipped to better appreciate the acceptance nature has for us, not in the ways that we are to have remained primitive, but we are made to advance nature does have a place for us in her there and that has always been the case. To me nature (or mother earth) rejoices in the advancement of her children (us), and the willingness of those children to come back and live in peace with her with our new toys and ways that our lives are better, as (to me) that was always her best will for us.

Peace

capehiker
02-23-2013, 10:29
Choosing the right purification system has literally kept me up at night. In fact, I spent an hour last night watching reviews on YouTube. I have not had much luck with ceramic style filters. I know it's probably me but it seems the slightest bump, jiggle, or nudge and it's cracked. I treat my gear with love and tenderness. It's just...it's not working for me. I'm looking for non-ceramic filters that hold up well. I currently use Aqua Mira but psychologically I feel like filters give me better tasting water. And yes, feel free to call me cuckoo.:D

Not Sunshine
02-23-2013, 10:37
I really LOVE my gravity works filter! Water is crystal clear and clean. I just filter right into the clean bag and hook my hosier to the clean bag - throw it in my pack and I'm ready to go. Yeah, it's 12.5 oz (actual weight of dirty reservoir, filter with hose/clamp, carrying bag, extra plastic cup for scooping water into dirty bag, clean reservoir and the hose I drink from), but to not yet had to brown blaze after 5 years of section hiking - I think it's well worth it! And I don't have to PUMP! While my water is filtering via gravity - I can eat a snack!

Chuckie V
02-23-2013, 12:13
Step back and look at the big picture. We are removing ourselves from nature.

There's an even bigger picture yet, in that it is impossible to remove ourselves from nature, no matter where we go. Call it The New Nature, but it seems it's here to stay (we, however, are likely not!). Filters, chemicals, plastic, air pollution, cars, humans, cities...it's all part of nature. Cities are as "natural" as the backcountry, really.

Sorry to wax so philosophical so early in the day, but it's late somewhere!

chilln
02-23-2013, 14:46
I read this on another site but the theory is sound. Water treatment has one draw back and that is time. One liter of water weighs about 2.2 lbs so if you can carry a filter and camel up at a water supply then hike with 1 liter of water it's actually lighter than treating water and having haul it while waiting to drink it.

Another Kevin
02-23-2013, 15:02
I got it. lost 25 pounds in a week. You don't want it.

Were you tested? That doesn't sound like the typical symptoms of giardiasis, which is usually less intense gastroenteritis that just doesn't get better over a longer time. Of course, you could have had an unusual manifestation.

The sort of violent diarrhoea and vomiting that you describe is more commonly associated with either bacillary dysentery or Norovirus. Your filter will protect against dysentery - so by all means go on using it! Norovirus is most often transmitted by contaminated food - your best protection against it is to wash your hands, not let other hikers with questionable hand sanitation handle your food (by reaching into your gorp bag, for instance), and not eat other hikers' food. It can be transmitted by contaminated water, but that route is rare, which is a good thing, since filters do nothing to defend against it.

Pedaling Fool
02-23-2013, 16:47
To me nature (or mother earth) rejoices in the advancement of her children (us), and the willingness of those children to come back and live in peace with her with our new toys and ways that our lives are better, as (to me) that was always her best will for us.

PeaceYeah, she's waiting for us to come back and live in peace, then she'll get sick of us and kill us all off like she's done some many times in the past with all her "children" :)


There's an even bigger picture yet, in that it is impossible to remove ourselves from nature, no matter where we go. Call it The New Nature, but it seems it's here to stay (we, however, are likely not!). Filters, chemicals, plastic, air pollution, cars, humans, cities...it's all part of nature. Cities are as "natural" as the backcountry, really.

Sorry to wax so philosophical so early in the day, but it's late somewhere!I don't necessarily have a problem with that definition, but I imagine some would take issue with it.

XANGO
02-23-2013, 16:53
If you're going to filter, I would say use a Sawyer.

If you're going to treat, I would say just use bleach.

I started with a Katadyn pump and I ditched it by Franklin.

1234
02-23-2013, 18:43
Hum, nice little creek flowing out of cow farm. I filter. If you filter look at what you are not ingesting, it is the funk stuck on the filter and in the filter. Not all water sources look like clean springs flowing out of a mountain.
Some are mud puddles full of bugs. Some are so full of noodles and funk from people washing there pans right in the water source. I am going to take pictures next time I see this, creeks full of noodles.

Bucho
02-23-2013, 21:55
Personally, I like filtering my water and don't understand all the bashing of filters.

Even for the average non-ultralight thru hiker 1lb is a lot of weight. Since filters tend to be almost a pound some even more it's an easy thing to dump in favor of a couple ounces of chemicals.

My only issue with the chemicals plan is that in practice the realities of price and constant need to resupply cause a lot of thru hikers to get sloppy about using them. Three of my friends got giardia that way.

My favorite solution is the next generation of filters, hollow fiber filters. For a few ounces of weight this will filter 1 million gallons: http://www.rei.com/product/801824/sawyer-3-way-inline-water-filter

Pedaling Fool
02-24-2013, 15:30
Step back and look at the big picture. We are removing ourselves from nature. Just an observation, nothing wrong with that. :DIf you'll watch Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, he goes all over the world to understand other cultures' culinary habits created over generations. We here in America fret over drinking some water on the trail, but that would seem so bizarre (pardon the pun ;)) in so many parts of the world.

I just saw this episode of BF and Andrew wouldn't even try this food: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/andrew-zimmern-bizarre-foods-season-4-episode-1-opener-tv-recap.html


Excerpt:

The next day, Andrew enjoyed a leisurely Sunday afternoon bar-b-q with a bunch of guys who just killed a young calf. As the guest of honor, Andrew was offered a raw piece of fat from the animal's chest, as well as a piece of meat that had been dipped into unspecified juices from the animal's hip socket. "Very chewy," Andrew said without remorse. "That was particularly foul."

Andrew was then offered something which he straight up refused to even try: the prized, partially digested contents of the cow's stomach. "I wish I could, but I can't drink your tap water and I can't eat the raw stomach. It has too many bacteria that my body's not used to." That's right! Andrew played the oft-neglected "bacteria" card. Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done.

Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any worse for Andrew on this E. Coli inducing bar-b-q trip from hell, someone yanked out the animal's gall bladder, spilled the contents of its bile sac into a bowl of spices, and told him to dip raw pieces of liver into it and eat it. Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis!?



One day our great, great...grandkids will fret over eating what we eat today. Evolution away from nature is far from over.

Bucho
02-24-2013, 15:54
We are removing ourselves from nature.

Yeah....considering how quickly the average person dies when subjected to nature I'm going to say that ship has already sailed.

Rasty
02-24-2013, 16:16
If you'll watch Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, he goes all over the world to understand other cultures' culinary habits created over generations. We here in America fret over drinking some water on the trail, but that would seem so bizarre (pardon the pun ;)) in so many parts of the world.

I just saw this episode of BF and Andrew wouldn't even try this food: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/andrew-zimmern-bizarre-foods-season-4-episode-1-opener-tv-recap.html


Excerpt:

The next day, Andrew enjoyed a leisurely Sunday afternoon bar-b-q with a bunch of guys who just killed a young calf. As the guest of honor, Andrew was offered a raw piece of fat from the animal's chest, as well as a piece of meat that had been dipped into unspecified juices from the animal's hip socket. "Very chewy," Andrew said without remorse. "That was particularly foul."

Andrew was then offered something which he straight up refused to even try: the prized, partially digested contents of the cow's stomach. "I wish I could, but I can't drink your tap water and I can't eat the raw stomach. It has too many bacteria that my body's not used to." That's right! Andrew played the oft-neglected "bacteria" card. Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done.

Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any worse for Andrew on this E. Coli inducing bar-b-q trip from hell, someone yanked out the animal's gall bladder, spilled the contents of its bile sac into a bowl of spices, and told him to dip raw pieces of liver into it and eat it. Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis!?



One day our great, great...grandkids will fret over eating what we eat today. Evolution away from nature is far from over.

Zimmern is getting a little more cautious! I wonder how many times he has been through the food poisoning wringer?

Coosa
02-26-2013, 20:06
I support the use of Water Filters ... best 'pound' I carry ... I have thyroid problems among other minor ailments [not to be confused with my ale moments] ... and I would not even 'dare' place my health in jeopardy just to save that pound. My good health is worth more than one pound of a Water Filter.

However, HYOH and YMMV. If you can live with the consequences of your choices, choose what you will and choose wisely.

Coosa

FatHead64
02-26-2013, 20:28
Thyroid problems? So you don't use Iodine? Just curious not having my thyroid anymore and such.

Papa D
02-26-2013, 20:28
bash bash bash

use aqua mira
use steri-pen
use nothing

but don't carry a heavy, clogging, freezing, malfunctioning hunk of plastic equiptment, IMO

HYOH

bfayer
02-26-2013, 21:27
If you're going to filter, I would say use a Sawyer.

If you're going to treat, I would say just use bleach.

I started with a Katadyn pump and I ditched it by Franklin.

I have posted this before but I don't mind doing it again.

A few years back the Army did an extensive study on water treatment and looked at just about everything on the market at the time. Most of it is still valid. Good reading if you have the time:

http://tinyurl.com/3ksjgj8

Bottom line is bleach is a poor choice because:

It is not effective against Crypto.

"Chlorine is not effective for the inactivation of Cryptosporidium oocysts at typical water treatment doses (e.g., 5 mg/L). One Cryptosporidium study reported that 80 mg/l of free chlorine required 90 minutes to achieve only a 1-log (90%) inactivation of oocysts, and further indicated that conventional disinfection practices would do little to inactivate waterborne Cryptosporidium"

Also, the free chlorine degrades very quickly so it does not take long before what you think is making your water safe is actually not doing a whole lot.

"Ultraviolet rays in sunlight degrade free chlorine compounds in water and significantly decrease disinfection efficacy over time. Chlorine concentrations may be reduced by one-half when exposed to sunlight for only 1 hour "

The Steripen finished last mostly because the test criteria required performance in turbid water. In clear water it did well.

Enjoy the read, it's over 600 pages.

Tree Nerd
02-27-2013, 00:20
Enjoy the read, it's over 600 pages.

:eek: What you talkin about Willis

BirdBrain
02-27-2013, 02:31
Were you tested? That doesn't sound like the typical symptoms of giardiasis, which is usually less intense gastroenteritis that just doesn't get better over a longer time. Of course, you could have had an unusual manifestation.

The sort of violent diarrhoea and vomiting that you describe is more commonly associated with either bacillary dysentery or Norovirus. Your filter will protect against dysentery - so by all means go on using it! Norovirus is most often transmitted by contaminated food - your best protection against it is to wash your hands, not let other hikers with questionable hand sanitation handle your food (by reaching into your gorp bag, for instance), and not eat other hikers' food. It can be transmitted by contaminated water, but that route is rare, which is a good thing, since filters do nothing to defend against it.

I was tested. I was thoroughly infested. I did not throw up at all because of it though. I understand what you are saying. I had never heard of the stuff before getting it. But afterwards I heard of many people getting it. Never met anyone that had it as bad as me. It is always possible that the doctor told me the wrong name. After all, it took him long enough to find the problem. I was given a prescription of pills. I noticed a huge change in less than a day after starting to take them.

Bottom line: If you ever get what I had, there wouldn't be a snowballs chance in hell that you would not protect yourself from it.

bfayer
02-27-2013, 17:57
:eek: What you talkin about Willis

I didn't write it, I just posted it, don't shoot the messenger :)

I just want to know how I get a job with the government testing outdoor gear.

speedbump
02-27-2013, 18:10
Would not hike without. Not only does it get rid of the bacteria and most of the virures, but the floaties too. It is gross to drink water full of who knows what floating around in it. I don't see many hikers NOT using one.



Since I have joined this forum I have heard a lot of bashing on filters (easy to cross contaminate, heavy, hassle to use, etc.) and I have heard a lot about not filtering or purifying at all. I have used a filter every time I go backpacking and have never been sick. Personally, I like filtering my water and don't understand all the bashing of filters. I don't see anyone sticking up for filters and everyone leaning towards purification or nothing at all (typically from ultralight backpackers).....Is there anyone on this forum who still uses filters?.....Is there anyone on this forum that isn't an ultralight backpacker?

colorado_rob
02-27-2013, 19:01
I DID get diagnosed with Giardia a few years back, but not from drinking untreated water on a trail (I always filter), but from a beach trip to Belize. My point: Yep, just what they say, Giardia is unpleasant!!! (thankfully, it takes a while to affect you, so the actual Belize trip was unaffected).

Sure, you are very unlikely to get it drinking untreated water on the trail, but I don't want to take that small chance. Some arguments for never filtering/treating are perhaps analogous to saying: "Look at me, I've been driving for 30 years, never worn a seat belt and never had a problem (because, of course, they were never in an accident...)".

I always wear my seat belt.

Lone Wolf
02-27-2013, 19:08
i never treat or filter. i always wear a seat belt

Chuckie V
02-27-2013, 19:24
i never treat or filter. i always wear a seat belt

I've known many who do the same. Here in the US one is law, the other is not.

Just as it is with our legs or lungs, our stomachs can be trained to tolerate a wide variety of abuse, bacterial or otherwise (including fecal matter). I've gone without treatment/filtering in the past, but only ever here in the US and only at higher elevations. Overseas travel is a different bird altogether, where a filter and/or chemicals can be REAL lifesavers. Can we adapt to or tolerate slurping up "infected" water? Sure. But should we? I'm not sure Nietzsche's famed line applies to everything. But 'to each his own' tends to.

I don't wear a seat-belt, but they have yet to invent one for motorcycles.

Maybe one day
02-27-2013, 21:35
I filter and recently went from First Need (a great but heavy filter) to a Sawyer (not as good of a filter per specs as I recall, but much lighter). I am a filter fan. To big of a risk. I have been sick from bad water once, and I don't need another trip there!

Mags
02-27-2013, 22:12
ALSO: DON'T FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE EATING AND AFTER DOING #2! AND WHEN SHARING FOOD, POUR THE GORP IN SOMEONE ELSE'S HANDS RATHER THAN LETTING THEM STICK THEIR HANDS INTO YOUR FOOD!

Basic hygiene will prevent more GI illnesses than any water treatment method IMHO.

.From http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/hygiene+sanitation.html
"A bigger concern, Backer says, is what medical types such as him call "fecal-oral transmission." Ew, gross. But it happens. Happens a lot, in fact—and research indicates it causes many more cases of intestinal distress than does ingesting Giardia."
Waterborne pathogens such as Giardia are not as widespread in backcountry water sources as once believed. A number of researchers and medical experts believe that much water in the wilderness (particularly in remote, high alpine settings) is drinkable without treatment.

Additionally:

Careful attention to personal hygiene can help prevent the spread of infection. Thomas R. Welch in a 2004 editorial in the journal Wilderness Medicine expressed the view that "stopping hand-to-mounth spread is the key to preventing gastrointestinal infection" and that routine universal treatment of water should be de-emphasized.

Summary: Use a water treatment method that works for you. Treat water when in doubt. More importantly: listen to Mom and wash those hands!!! http://www.pmags.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif

Bucho
02-28-2013, 14:55
malfunctioning hunk of plastic equiptment, IMO

That would rule steripen out ;P

swjohnsey
03-11-2013, 22:14
I have posted this before but I don't mind doing it again.

A few years back the Army did an extensive study on water treatment and looked at just about everything on the market at the time. Most of it is still valid. Good reading if you have the time:

http://tinyurl.com/3ksjgj8

Bottom line is bleach is a poor choice because:

It is not effective against Crypto.

"Chlorine is not effective for the inactivation of Cryptosporidium oocysts at typical water treatment doses (e.g., 5 mg/L). One Cryptosporidium study reported that 80 mg/l of free chlorine required 90 minutes to achieve only a 1-log (90%) inactivation of oocysts, and further indicated that conventional disinfection practices would do little to inactivate waterborne Cryptosporidium"

Also, the free chlorine degrades very quickly so it does not take long before what you think is making your water safe is actually not doing a whole lot.

"Ultraviolet rays in sunlight degrade free chlorine compounds in water and significantly decrease disinfection efficacy over time. Chlorine concentrations may be reduced by one-half when exposed to sunlight for only 1 hour "

The Steripen finished last mostly because the test criteria required performance in turbid water. In clear water it did well.

Enjoy the read, it's over 600 pages.

And the military continues to use iodine tablets in the field.

Donde
03-11-2013, 22:39
Be careful using a filter that has been bashed. even if you don't see any cracks, it could fail.

Donde
03-11-2013, 22:43
ohh and the military rarely uses iodine tabs. on an FTX you truck out water buffalos. downrange it's mostly bottled. Of course downrange everybody drinks energy drinks like crazy, steal cases of that stuff for convoys.

bfayer
03-12-2013, 09:34
ohh and the military rarely uses iodine tabs. on an FTX you truck out water buffalos. downrange it's mostly bottled. Of course downrange everybody drinks energy drinks like crazy, steal cases of that stuff for convoys.

The military operates in more locations than south west Asia. What you are describing is not the norm in other AORs.

jbwood5
03-12-2013, 11:18
I always filter, currently using an MSR Hyperflow micro, great filter with backflow option to clean the filter and restore maximum flow. weight 7.9 oz. I have met hikers who have had "gastro problems" and did not filter there water. Ill take the time and weight to have high quality H2O.

I'm on my 3rd filter element with the Hyperflow. It is a great lightweight filter but requires lots of backflushing. Even with regular backflushes the elements clog to the point that it gets very hard to fill a bottle. I'm thinking of just drilling out an old unuseable clogged filter and using the device as a pump to push through one of the Sawyer filters. Not the lightest setup by any means, but small enough. The Sawyer Squeeze is fine too, but I find it sometimes a PITA to fill the bag. It takes too long when you just have a seep to work with, plus you are usually dealing with annoying mosquitos and/or rain. I like to get it and go as quick as possible. I used the Hiker Pur for years, and never had a problem, but it is a bit bulky and heavy.

slbirdnerd
03-12-2013, 12:29
+1 for filtering. Tried our new Sawyer Squeeze on a hike last Saturday and love the thing. There is a trick to filling the bag, especially the first time out of the box, but it was easy going and quick filtering after that. My son said it was better than the Brita water at home--cold and clear. (Trick was to skim the top of the water with the opening to get the bag started, then I mostly held it at the top of the water. The water source was a trickle, only about 4-5 inches deep and running but very lightly.)

bfayer
03-12-2013, 12:40
+1 for filtering. Tried our new Sawyer Squeeze on a hike last Saturday and love the thing. There is a trick to filling the bag, especially the first time out of the box, but it was easy going and quick filtering after that. My son said it was better than the Brita water at home--cold and clear. (Trick was to skim the top of the water with the opening to get the bag started, then I mostly held it at the top of the water. The water source was a trickle, only about 4-5 inches deep and running but very lightly.)

I use a the cut off bottom of a smart water bottle as a water scoop, which is also used as a storage container for the filer and bag, I just roll the bag around the filter and in fits in the cut off bottle. Weighs almost nothing.

My only problem with the squeeze is my hands get cold when squeezing the bag. So I like my steripen in colder weather, and then freezing is not an issue either.

Bucho
03-16-2013, 13:59
I'm on my 3rd filter element with the Hyperflow. It is a great lightweight filter but requires lots of backflushing. Even with regular backflushes the elements clog to the point that it gets very hard to fill a bottle.
It seems as through the hyperflow setup really minimizes the usefulness of the hollow fiber technology but I have read reviews that it lasts a lot longer when used with a Silt Stopper.

jbwood5
03-16-2013, 20:16
It seems as through the hyperflow setup really minimizes the usefulness of the hollow fiber technology but I have read reviews that it lasts a lot longer when used with a Silt Stopper.

Is this just a coffee filter that you are using or is there actually a product out there? I decided to replace the hyperflow pre-screen filter with one of my older Pur Hiker pre-filters which should make it easier to wrap a coffee filter around it. I haven't tried it in the field yet but will be soon.

Sarcasm the elf
03-17-2013, 00:08
Is this just a coffee filter that you are using or is there actually a product out there? I decided to replace the hyperflow pre-screen filter with one of my older Pur Hiker pre-filters which should make it easier to wrap a coffee filter around it. I haven't tried it in the field yet but will be soon.

I believe that Bucho is talking about one of these, I haven't tried one yet, but I'm thinking of getting one since I primarily use my filter on hikes during drought conditions where filtering out of of beaver ponds and mud holes becomes necessary. I've used coffee filters in the past, but I've got a feeling that this would do a better job at saving the filter cartridge

http://www.rei.com/product/611748/msr-sweetwater-siltstopper-prefilter

http://www.rei.com/zoom/611748Lrg.jpg

Coosa
03-17-2013, 22:14
I use an MSR MiniWorks ... I have one 96 ounce Nalgene Cantene for untreated water which I fill and bring to camp where I filter it into my second 96 ounce Nalgene Cantene. I then usually go fill the first Cantene again so that I have additional water to filter as needed ... I bathe in Filtered Water.

I like the fact that I can get my water, pump some to drink, pour it into my cup and drink it down ... time from pumping start to drinking up a cup of water about two minutes tops, usually more like 90 seconds. My hiking partner is standing around waiting for her Chemicals to work, looking all dried up ... yes, I pump some for her, too, while she waits. Once she didn't watch the time and drank up too soon ... burned her throat and esophagus and lived in pain for a couple of days. [I wasn't hiking with her that time.]

AND although I'm not an Ultra-Light backpacker, my full pack with my MSR Mini-Works and coffee filters as pre-filters and a toothbrush to clean the ceramic cartridge, weighs in at UNDER 20 pounds with 3 days of food and 2 liters of water.

Coosa

Coosa
03-17-2013, 22:17
20473

Anyone used the Life Straw? http://eartheasy.com/lifestraw

Bucho
03-22-2013, 12:32
Sarcasm beat me to it.

I've filtered mud through my Sawyer filter just fine, but with that I can backflush with more force than the junk went in. It's looking to me like that's what's giving my Sawyer 3 way the greater life span. I've saved a gravity works filter from the trash and managed to completely reclaim it by hooking it up to the Sawyers sink back flushing setup and putting more pressure through it than the gravity works normally gets over a prolonged period of time.

With the hyperflow you're filtering and backflushing with basically the same amount of pressure yes? So based on the reviews I've seen it's really REALLY important to get a lot of the filtering of anything less than crystal clear water done before hand. The only reviews of the hyperflow I've seen which weren't bad included that backflushable 5 micron silt stopper.