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Water Filter questions.
I've got a few quick questions about water filters. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
#1 - What is THE BEST packable water filter available?
#2 - Which filter do you recommend?
#3 - What are the different safety levels of a filter?
#4 - Should you still use iodine tablets after or before you filter?
#5 - Should you boil all water too?
#6 - Can you tell I'm a neophyte in regards to water filters?
#7 - Should you run melted snow through a filter?
Thanks in advance for all your help! I love this site, there's a lot of feedback and most posts are on topic.
“#1. There will be multiple answers to this and a search of old threads will provide a wealth of information.
#2. I personally use the PUR Hiker and I like it. Therefore, I suggest that you at least consider it.
#3. Relative to the size of the pores, I believe, the smaller the micron the more it will filter out.
#4. I don't. A good filter should alleviate the need for this.
#5. See number 4.
#7. When melting snow, I bring it to a boil (it's already in the pan) and therefore the need to filter is alleviated.”
Most posts are on topic?
In answer to your questions:
Most of this is based on personal preference and intended use/necessity. Safety level depends on pore size and possibility of backwash/cross contamination. Filters don't remove viruses so you'll have to treat after filtering (either iodine, chlorine, or boiling) if these are a concern. I just boil the snow when I'm melting it. There is a possibility of contamination but it's remote.
Hope that was helpful.”
“skully, you caught my interest with this,,
under what circumstances would I want to treat water after filtering?
when should I be concerned with viral contamination?
I had not thought of this but now, with your post, I think I might want to explore this further.”
“uMMm.. haven't we discussed this a few times in several threads already?..”
“Well, my niece got Hepatitis A from lake water in Michigan after that Mexican strawberries problem a few years ago. That kind of thing is extremely rare here in the states. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightening or even winning the lotto. I would do it in other countries though that have a problem with viral contamination of water sources (in other words, raw sewage). China springs to mind, as does Mexico and many others.”
“thanks, I always boil the water in Mexico anyway.........
I was afraid there was a bigger risk I had overlooked (on the domestic front)”
“I have used the MSR Miniworks, the Safewater gravity filter, and the PUR Guide (basically a larger, faster, and slightly heavier version of the PUR Hiker). The Miniworks works great until it clogs, then I had to field clean it very often. The gravity filter was a pain in the keester; it kept getting clogged, requiring endless tweeking with clean/dirty water splashing all over the place. The PUR filter is a winner--extremely fast and easy. There is an optional attachment which lets you screw the pump onto a nalgene bottle like the MSR Minworks.
The PUR Hiker is clearly the most heavily used filter among backpackers.
I only use iodine for emergency backup, or if water source looks particularly scuzzy, after filtering.”
“I like the Pur Hiker and usually add 2 drops of plain chlorine bleach per liter after filtering, just in case. I hate the taste of iodine.
Skullcapdude - What remote possibility of contamination is there from boiled snow? Are you thinking of chemicals from the air or what? (tip: avoid the yellow snow)”
“I was referring to the raw snow. Once it's boiled, it's perfectly safe.”
“Thanks for the feedback everyone!
Do any of you have jobs? :)
Replies to my post seemed to happen almost instantly!
“These people are employed by Trail Talk.”
“How dare you imply we have jobs!!
“This ain't your father's message board. You actually get feedback here. I love those boards with a million questions and no answers, don't you?”
“Some of them really make you wonder why you wasted your time on them, don't they?”
“I like the PUR Guide.”
“1) Who the heck is skullcapDUDE?
2) No, this board actually ANSWERS questions, not to be confused with forums.backpacker.com!
3) I am tired of work already this week. Can I get a job with TrailTalk too?”
“TD, you didn't get the memo?”
“You don't know who I am?”
“lol.. naw.. I missed it.. must have been on vacation.”
“I love my job,,,,draft a contract for a while,,,,,,engage in daily discussions on Trail Talk,,,,,draft more contracts,,,,,a couple more posts,,,,negotiate over warranty provisions,,,,,inquire about filtering viruses,,,,,,hey, do you think it is a coincidence that the company I signed a contract with last week is inquiring about backpacking in the Ozarks??? LOL.”
“chili36: prolly get confused who you are talking to... they thought they were talking to an outfitter.. *ducks*”
“chile36 - I write reports all day and have actually inserted text that I intended to post here into the report! LOL”
“You didn't accidentally sign the report Mountain Roamer, did you?”
“icepack, We all have jobs. Not very many or us are consciences employees.”
“Excerpt from a Violin prepared report.
...Our third quarter earnings were up. This is attributed due to the New Trail Talk Purity Test V2 and various market factors that have driven the vital 18 to 24 demographic to boil their water after filtering resulting in a net gain of %10 of amoral vs. immoral behavior.”
“I gave Nigal my PUR Scout. It would pump the water, but the hoses were difficult to keep apart and I worried about cross contamination. The PUR filter was treated with iodine and made the water tast like medicine. I have an MSR that I really like, because my water bottle and hydration bags attach directly to the filter.
It is not as fast as the PUR and it clogs after 4 or 5 liters, but is easy to clean in the field and the water tastes great!”
“I have an MSR also, bacpac.. I like it for all the same reasons.. My nalgene bottles fit the outspout, it's got a double action pump, and the 'EPA' specs are decent.”
“Pur Guide user, here. Wouldn't use anything else.....”
“Anybody have experience with the MSR mini-works? I got one for Christmas and have yet to try it out. It seems pretty nice though. I especially like the cleanable ceramic filter and the fact that teh base screws on to standard wide mouth Nalgene bottles.”
“deathmarch.. like I said.. I have the MSR.. and LUV it.”
“Guess I should read the posts, huh”
“I will say it one more time PUR GUIDE!!!!”
“Cracking up at HPM's quarterly earnings release. It is hard when your career keeps getting in the way of backpacking.
I use the PUR Hiker, but have not had any other experience. The hiker is susceptible to clogging so - as stated on another thread - use a coffee filter over the acorn.”
“I am going to start doing that when I filter dirty water.I have learned my lesson.A rubber band will hold it in place.”
“I have an older MSR Waterworks that I no longer use. I would be willing to give it away for shipping. It made need a little reconditioning. I haven't used it for a couple of years.”
“Give it to a newbie.”
“That's the plan. Looking for the newbie.”
“It's like calling your dog"Here newbie Heeeerrrrrreeeee newbie"
“I can't even find an oldie around here. The New Mexico Mountain Club has virtually no backpackers. I'm the only one on TT from NM. Outdoorsclub.org posts and trips get no response. Solo,solo, solo.......”
“That sucks!Let me see what I can do and I will get back to ya.”
“If I remember, its good for all but viruses. Doesn't have the iodine filter, isn't small enough pore size.”
“Ok dude I am on the case!”
“Has anybody had any experience with glacial silt water.....using a filter? or a pre filter? This year we used a water bucket filled with glacial silty water and let stand over night and silt had not settled.
I no using a ceramic filter will clog quickly.”
“Will the old coffee filter over the inlet trick work?”
“stovie I tried that...does not work. Just wondering if there is such a filter out there!”
Silt's not going to hurt you like the bugs in the water. You just have to keep telling yourself not to chew.”
You maybe seeing clays or other sub 3um particals. Some of these are acutally bonded to the water molecules and will not settle out or be caught by a particle filter. There are chemicals (flocculants) available to bind these particles together and break the bonds. http://www.nalco.com/ASP/index.asp
These guys are a major manufacture of the polymers used. They may send you a sample or give you some idea.
last edited: 10/19/09 7:17:17 AM”
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