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Author Topic: Water filter  (Read 12386 times)

KK0G

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Water filter
« on: May 14, 2013, 10:01:27 PM »
As promised........

My recent backpacking trip pointed out my glaring need for a water filter because boiling water sucks!!
So who has one, what do you have, what do you like or not like about it? I used a Katadyn Hiker a few years ago on another trip, it worked fine but other than using it a few times I don't have much practical experience with it.

I'd like something that's lightweight, compact, easy to use, little to break or go wrong in the middle of nowhere; easy to replace, long lasting, inexpensive cartridges, oh it'd be nice if it was dirt cheap too. Gee I'm not asking for too much am I? 8)
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 11:06:04 AM »
I did a little research and I'm starting to lean towards the MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter: http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/water-treatment-and-hydration/expedition-water-treatment-and-hydration/miniworks-ex-microfilter/product

It appears to be easily field repairable and cleanable with a cartridge life of around 2000 liters. I also like the fact that it will screw directly to my Camelback water bottles, I remember needing about three hands to manage two seperate hoses, a bottle and run the pump when using the Katadyn Hiker. The lever action appears to be easier to run than the reciprocating pump motion of the Katadyn also.

I've found it online for $72 with free shipping and replacement cartridges are about $40 each, not too bad of a price in my opinion. Your thoughts?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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KC9TNH

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 12:44:39 PM »
Looks to be worth the 1 lb. hauling along; < $100 pay once cry once. I might look into that since you can switch-off arms & distribute the PT (70-80 "strokes per minute").  ;D
Thanks for sharing & I've saved the link.

I know you understand the "two is one..." rule.
I'd also keep some purification tabs as part of the default kit.

Note for others & this is just some research I did:

Not all iodine (crystals, whatever) does the same thing. If you're ingesting it because you think someone's trying to make you glow in the dark, you're probably too late, please save the tinfoil for baked potatoes. For water purification purposes what you want is Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide. And this stuff is your go-to method if nothing else is feasible. I caught some notes in a Nat'l Institute of Health study that long term reliance, like 3 months, did some nasty things with thyroid performance.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 12:54:26 PM by KC9TNH »

gil

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 12:53:36 PM »
I have a katadyn but did not take it with me on my trip. I wish I had... I wanted to keep it in my bugout bag for emergencies only, so I carried water. Way too heavy... There was a pump on site, but the water tasted aweful (sulfur), even though I used it to make tea.

I might try this: http://www.amazon.com/Vestergaard-Frandsen-LifeStraw-Personal-Water-Filter/dp/B006QF3TW4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1CAFHH32NJC08&coliid=I1OV6JWO75Y2Z9.

Gil.

KC9TNH

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 01:02:04 PM »
There was a pump on site, but the water tasted aweful (sulfur), even though I used it to make tea.
Yep, even if it's "potable" we can sometimes run aground because there are different things in the new water from what our system is used to. Not bad, just different. I've seen guys on our long-weekend fishing trips - who normally drink their good tap water at home - switch to bottled water for the trip and find themselves in the opposite of "a bind" if you know what I mean, just from the change.

If you can't have what your system is used to play the zero-sum game of filtering or killing everything & make it as neutral as possible.
As Crocodile Dundee said, "it tastes like s**t but you can live on it."

gil

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 01:13:18 PM »
Quote
good tap water

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Gil.

KK0G

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 01:33:22 PM »
I know you understand the "two is one..." rule.
I'd also keep some purification tabs as part of the default kit.

Yep, and after I get a filtration system I'll be following the "three is one rule" since I already carry tabs and of course boiling is still an option as I always have my pot. Tabs are my last resort though, makes for nasty tasting water but it sure beats dehydration.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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KC9TNH

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 01:41:08 PM »
Quote
good tap water

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Gil.
Not up here.   ;)

KK0G

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 01:46:40 PM »
I have a katadyn but did not take it with me on my trip. I wish I had... I wanted to keep it in my bugout bag for emergencies only, so I carried water. Way too heavy... There was a pump on site, but the water tasted aweful (sulfur), even though I used it to make tea.

I might try this: http://www.amazon.com/Vestergaard-Frandsen-LifeStraw-Personal-Water-Filter/dp/B006QF3TW4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1CAFHH32NJC08&coliid=I1OV6JWO75Y2Z9.

Gil.

The Life Straw looks like it would be great for emergency use - extremely lightweight, compact and cheap. I may add that to my BOB, thanks for the link. What I'm looking for for backpacking though is something more user friendly that will allow me to fill empty bottles at my convenience such as when crossing streams while on the trail.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

s2man

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2013, 02:46:30 PM »
The only time I've used a pump type was on one trip.  I concur with the 'three hands' issue.

I got a straw for my BOB, which can also attach to a bottle so gravity can do some of the work for me.  I like that.  Sorry, its in the bag and I don't recall the brand.  Katadyn Base Camp model uses gravity, and I think there are some made to fit Camelbacks.  I would guess an empty bladder plus filter would weigh less than a hard-case, pump type of filter.

For home prep's, I have not found anything which makes clean water as cheaply as the Katadyn Siphon model.  No case, no pump, just a filter and a hose.  You'll need a couple of 5-gallon buckets (or similar) to use it.  But for $65 it'll filter 5,300 gallons of water for  $.012 / gal.  That is half the cost of the closest competitor, I found.  And when you get into personal sized filters, or straws, you are talking .20-.40 / gal.

KC9TNH

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2013, 03:18:50 PM »
s2man, thanks for the insights, especially on the cost with the gravity-types.

Chris, quick office survey from those that use them:
Katadyn Vario 1 vote
MSR 2 votes. (when queried about why one MSR user mentioned "the way the little spring thingy on the hose keeps the end out of the muck" as well as ease of cleaning, imagine they're all mostly pretty easy nowadays.)

Funny how a little topic like this can stop a whole office; was kinda funny.

KK0G

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 03:41:57 PM »
s2man, thanks for the insights, especially on the cost with the gravity-types.

Chris, quick office survey from those that use them:
Katadyn Vario 1 vote
MSR 2 votes. (when queried about why one MSR user mentioned "the way the little spring thingy on the hose keeps the end out of the muck" as well as ease of cleaning, imagine they're all mostly pretty easy nowadays.)

Funny how a little topic like this can stop a whole office; was kinda funny.

Awesome! Thanks for doing a survey Wes.

Google is turning up a lot of positive reviews on the MSR, it appears to be a very popular filter among the back country community. Hopefully this popularity translates into replacement cartridges and spare parts being readily available well into the future.

One disadvantage of the MSR is apparently it's ceramic filter is fragile and can easily break if dropped or beat on, but since I also carry a QRP rig that doesn't exactly like being tossed around and I manage to not break it, I don't see this as a huge problem. Unless someone comes up with a compelling reason not to, I'm strongly leaning towards the MSR and will likely purchase one within the next few weeks.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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KC9TNH

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 03:52:52 PM »
One disadvantage of the MSR is apparently it's ceramic filter is fragile and can easily break if dropped or beat on, but since I also carry a QRP rig that doesn't exactly like being tossed around and I manage to not break it, I don't see this as a huge problem. Unless someone comes up with a compelling reason not to, I'm strongly leaning towards the MSR and will likely purchase one within the next few weeks.
The guy that was really high on the MSR did mention, RE the filter element, that he doesn't even clean it quite the recommended way 'cause it might be too abrasive as depicted, but just a soft scrubby or something. He went through a stage in his younger years when he was an equipment geek, and goin' through SFAS when he was on active-duty, blah, and has drunk swamp water through that MSR. Anyway, seems they're all pretty competitive as to features & pricing.

#1 son did mention the one thing he'd have done different at time of purchase for his Katadyn was to get an extra filter or 2 because, like most things, they don't go down in price as the clock moves. Imagine that plays regardless of brand.



Joe

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 01:02:55 PM »
I have and have used the Katadyn Vario. The water I filtered was from a stream and is very clear. For me I would not call it a extreme test. Water tasted good, and no problems after drinking it. But I also drink well water on a regular basis.

I made a gravity fed filter system with 5 gallon buckets and Berkey filters half the price as a whole Berkey. I used these directions as a guide. http://www.alpharubicon.com/kids/homemadeberkeydaire.htm. Tested using same source as the Katadyn.

I went with both these set up's after my "camping friends" and I debated the different filter systems. We wanted to all have the same systems so everything will interchange.

Midway USA has the Vario on sale for $74.99. You can probley find it cheaper but I have not looked.

In my 24HR bag I carry one of the emergency straws and water tabs, I haven't tried the straw yet, and probably never will but I have it just incase.

The filter I am currently looking at adding is a Aquamira Frontier Pro to use with my bladder packs. It only has alife of 50 Gal before cleaning, and can be used as a gravity system. http://aquamira.com/military/frontier-pro-filter-system/

72 Joe

s2man

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 01:24:10 PM »
I want to build a homemade Berkey, too, or at least have all the parts on hand in case it is needed.  I like the Berkey filters because they have activated charcoal in addition to the ceramic filter.  That may be useful if rainwater is collected from a composite roof, or for other chemical contamination of surface water.

Does anyone know if any of the backpacking filters come with charcoal?  It wouldn't be needed in a wilderness situation, but I would expect petroleum or ag. chemical contamination in any stream near humans... 

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Re: Water filter
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 01:24:10 PM »