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Camping Gear -- Water Treatment

CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
I want to lighten my load while backpacking, which means carrying less water. Since boiling everything is a pain in the dick, I'd like another method. I'll be in Colorado and maybe occasionally nearby states, so I'm definitely not planning any trips beyond North America.

I've been looking into a few options and while I'll probably carry some ClO2 tablets as a backup, I'm thinking about using either a filter or one of those newfangled UV light sources as my primary source of clean water. The main advantage of a filter (I'd probably get a gravity bag filter) seems to be ease of use and reliability, while the UV generator has the advantage of also destroying viruses (plus, lightsaber whoosh whoosh).

Anyone have any input into this, or experience with either method? The sources I can find indicate that a treatment for viruses is not necessary in the US/Canada, but they all use weasel words such as "usually" or "generally accepted". Right now I'm leaning toward the filter, but I think I could be swayed either way.

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    Ash of YewAsh of Yew Registered User regular
    I've used one of the hand pump filters and they work well but can be a bit of a chore. I can say the gravity bag filters are fantastic. I go backpacking with a fairly large group of friends each year, and last year some one brought a gravity filter and basically no one else bothered with their pumps any more.

    The only thing I'd say is you need to be in one place for a while ideally for the gravity filter, and it takes a little longer than a pump.

    I've got no experience with UV ones.

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    SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    I always used CLO2 droplets for all my water needs when backpacking.

    http://www.mec.ca/product/4012-604/pristine-clo2-30ml-water-treatment/?f=10+50467

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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    the uv thing actually works pretty well supposedly as long as the water is not cloudy with particulate

    camo_sig.png
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    You need to be using two different methods to clean water if you aren't boiling.

    You have two groups of pathogens which, thankfully, can be comprehensively treated for. You have water treatments (like tablets or ultra-violet) which will kill most stuff, but there are a couple nasty critters that have hard protective layers that make them much more resistant to these treatments. Thankfully, THOSE guys are all larger on the scale of microorganisms, so filtering your water will remove them.

    Lots of people don't use both, because the water in the U.S. isn't that bad, really. If you want to be sure your water is safe, though, you need to cover both bases.

    I use a microfilter and tablets.

    What is this I don't even.
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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    edited April 2014
    One my friends in our backpacking group picked up a gravity filter and it is the bee's knees.

    For a backup tool, I picked up a life straw. I just fill up my water bottle when we run near a water source and then use the straw to drink from it. Pretty neat!

    BradicusMaximus on
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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    When I used one last, I used a katadyn pump filter, worked great. That+steripen should cover the bases pretty well.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited April 2014
    One my friends in our backpacking group picked up a gravity filter and it is the bee's knees.

    For a backup tool, I picked up a life straw. I just fill up my water bottle when we run near a water source and then use the straw to drink from it. Pretty neat!

    This is an example of just using the filter. It filters everything up to 0.2 microns. What it might miss are things like Hepatitis A and rotovirus. This PROBABLY isn't a problem, because these aren't usually found in American water. However, if you want to be sure that your water doesn't have rotovirus in it, you need to be using a tablet treatment in that water bottle, THEN drinking through the life straw.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
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    BradicusMaximusBradicusMaximus Pssssssssyyyyyyyy duckRegistered User regular
    I'm a risk taker. No virus can get me down! (until it does)

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    BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    edited April 2014
    If you are looking for a gravity filter, check out this one from Cascade/Platypus: http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platypus/filtration/gravityworks-filters/gravityworks-40l-filter/product

    I have one and am quite happy with it. 4L in 2.5 minutes is quick.

    As Darkewolfe said, you have to be aware of some of things like viruses still.

    BlazeFire on
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