Water Filtration

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OLLIE
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Water Filtration

#1

Post by OLLIE » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:30 pm

When trekking about in the great outdoors or off the beaten path we always want to keep in mind the “Rule of Three’s”.
  • 1. 3 hours without shelter.
  • 2. 3 days without water.
  • 3. 3 weeks without food.
Let’s have some discussion about the second rule. How do you filter your water?

I did a lot of research prior to buying a water filtration system. I used a SteriPen setup for a long time. I never got sick but the water taste and the steps involved got a little tiresome. After looking at several reviews on several filtration systems, I ended up going with the MSR Hyperflow Water Filter System. It’s a quick and easy method for water filtration. The water tastes great and is crystal clear every time. It weighs in at under 8 ounces, it’s compact and comes with all the necessary connections for Nalgene bottle, water bottles, and your hydration bladders.

One thing to keep in mind when filling bladders is that you want to avoid systems that require you to remove the bladder from the pack to fill it with water. Ideally you want to be able to fill it through the drinking tube. Once you remove a bladder from a pack, putting it back in when full of water usually requires for you to unpack your pack, put the bladder in, and then repack your pack. This is a pain and tiresome. Hooking a system right to the drinking tube is SOOOOO much easier. When doing our Jacinto Hike last year and our Langley Hike, everyone stopped using their filters and we all just used mine. Now two of my buddies have bought them and swear by them. With proper maintenance and being sure they don't freeze they are wonderful.

See image of filtration system below. The clear Nalgene bottle in th eimage is for reference. It is not part of the kit.
http://www.rei.com/product/767564/msr-h ... der-767564

• Backpacker April '08: ''The HyperFlow is so fast and light it converted several editors who had sworn off filters in favor of chemical treatment.''
• Hollow fiber technology offers an extremely high flow rate of 2.75 liters per minute
• At just 7.8 oz., the HyperFlow is the lightest, most compact pump filter created by MSR
• Filter physically removes particles, protozoa, and bacteria down to 0.2 microns in size, including giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidia and others
• Pump is fully field maintainable and does not require tools for complete disassembly
• Included Quick-Connect™ bottle cap interfaces with MSR hydration products, Nalgene bottles and other containers with 63mm threaded openings
• Quick-Connect™ cap allows the pump to attach directly to the bottle or hydration bladder for the most convenient filling
• Included prefilter attaches to the end of the intake hose and blocks larger contaminants from entering the microfilter
• Prefilter floats near the surface of the water to avoid intake of contaminants located at the floor of your water source
• Over-molded end caps on the pump provide an excellent grip and pumping comfort
• Adapt the HyperFlow pump into a pump-free gravity filter with the HyperFlow Gravity kit, sold separately
MSR has identified and fixed a flow rate issue affecting some cartridges in MSR HyperFlow microfilters. As of February 11, 2009, all filter cartridges sold by REI perform to flow specifications.
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MSR Hyperflow Water Filtration System.jpg
MSR Hyperflow Water Filtration System
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Re: Water Filtration

#2

Post by socal_rubi » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:37 pm

I hiked up San Gorgonio once on Thankgiving day/weekend. My 1st camp for the night was Dollar lake, on Thanksgiving day. The lake was frozen over with 1/2 inch of ice. I had to chop through the ice to get to water. I filled all of my containers, as I didn't want to have to go back a second time, unless absolutely neccesary. It was very cold, I don't know how cold exactly, but it was well below freezing. By morning all of my containers of water were frozen solid, blocks of ice. Fortunately my pump and filter seemed to be fine. I don't remember which one I have, it's old, I bought it probably 15 years ago. I had to go back out and use a cooking pot to pump my water into.

Ever since then, I always keep the temperature in mind when deciding how much water to keep on hand. If I think it's going to dip below freezing over night, I won't fill more than I'm going to be using for cooking, and I keep the canteen and my pump in my sleeping bag with me when I sleep, so they won't freeze.
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Re: Water Filtration

#3

Post by gon2srf » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:47 pm

OLLIE wrote:When trekking about in the great outdoors or off the beaten path we always want to keep in mind the “Rule of Three’s”.
  • 1. 3 hours without shelter.
  • 2. 3 days without water.
  • 3. 3 weeks without food.
Let’s have some discussion about the second rule. How do you filter your water?

I did a lot of research prior to buying a water filtration system. I used a SteriPen setup for a long time. I never got sick but the water taste and the steps involved got a little tiresome. After looking at several reviews on several filtration systems, I ended up going with the MSR Hyperflow Water Filter System. It’s a quick and easy method for water filtration. The water tastes great and is crystal clear every time. It weighs in at under 8 ounces, it’s compact and comes with all the necessary connections for Nalgene bottle, water bottles, and your hydration bladders.

One thing to keep in mind when filling bladders is that you want to avoid systems that require you to remove the bladder from the pack to fill it with water. Ideally you want to be able to fill it through the drinking tube. Once you remove a bladder from a pack, putting it back in when full of water usually requires for you to unpack your pack, put the bladder in, and then repack your pack. This is a pain and tiresome. Hooking a system right to the drinking tube is SOOOOO much easier. When doing our Jacinto Hike last year and our Langley Hike, everyone stopped using their filters and we all just used mine. Now two of my buddies have bought them and swear by them. With proper maintenance and being sure they don't freeze they are wonderful.

See image of filtration system below. The clear Nalgene bottle in th eimage is for reference. It is not part of the kit.
http://www.rei.com/product/767564/msr-h ... der-767564

• Backpacker April '08: ''The HyperFlow is so fast and light it converted several editors who had sworn off filters in favor of chemical treatment.''
• Hollow fiber technology offers an extremely high flow rate of 2.75 liters per minute
• At just 7.8 oz., the HyperFlow is the lightest, most compact pump filter created by MSR
• Filter physically removes particles, protozoa, and bacteria down to 0.2 microns in size, including giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidia and others
• Pump is fully field maintainable and does not require tools for complete disassembly
• Included Quick-Connect™ bottle cap interfaces with MSR hydration products, Nalgene bottles and other containers with 63mm threaded openings
• Quick-Connect™ cap allows the pump to attach directly to the bottle or hydration bladder for the most convenient filling
• Included prefilter attaches to the end of the intake hose and blocks larger contaminants from entering the microfilter
• Prefilter floats near the surface of the water to avoid intake of contaminants located at the floor of your water source
• Over-molded end caps on the pump provide an excellent grip and pumping comfort
• Adapt the HyperFlow pump into a pump-free gravity filter with the HyperFlow Gravity kit, sold separately
MSR has identified and fixed a flow rate issue affecting some cartridges in MSR HyperFlow microfilters. As of February 11, 2009, all filter cartridges sold by REI perform to flow specifications.
Good thread Ollie. I’ll be using chemical treatment, sterilization or yours.  I’ve spent way too much money on equipment and gas the last several weeks and the wife is going to kill me when she sees the bank statements. I’ve done lots of reading lately and many of the ultra-light back packers are still using chemicals to save weight. I’m sure I’ll change my tone after a couple of swigs of that treated crap.
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OLLIE
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Re: Water Filtration

#4

Post by OLLIE » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:59 pm

Braden - You make some great points. We need to make sure we protect those things that could potentially save our butts when we're in the middle of nowhere.

Scott - You are welcome to use my filtration system. We can use your treatment tablets as a backup in case my filter fails. I carry a spare filter but $h!t happens. :D. I've used purification treatment tabs before and I don't wish that on anyone.
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Re: Water Filtration

#5

Post by gon2srf » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:52 pm

OLLIE wrote:Braden - You make some great points. We need to make sure we protect those things that could potentially save our butts when we're in the middle of nowhere.

Scott - You are welcome to use my filtration system. We can use your treatment tablets as a backup in case my filter fails. I carry a spare filter but $h!t happens. :D. I've used purification treatment tabs before and I don't wish that on anyone.
If you insist! I still may try the chem treatment and add some flavored electrolyte mix just for kicks.
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Re: Water Filtration

#6

Post by shuly » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:21 am

I have been using the same filter for years. It works great. But I also do carry a steripen. The filter can't catch viruses...they are just too small and pass right through the fibers of the filter. To be sure anything icky is gone I filter and then steripen twice before drinking. You could also use some chemical treatment but the steripen doesn't add any taste like I or Cl and it does kill viruses. Though I do carry chemical tabs in the truck and the emergency kit all the time. Just in case the steripen batteries die and I don't have a spare set handy.
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Re: Water Filtration

#7

Post by OLLIE » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:45 am

gon2srf wrote:If you insist! I still may try the chem treatment and add some flavored electrolyte mix just for kicks.
Maybe you already know this but in case you or I forget, don't add to powdered drink mixes (such as Gatorade or tea) until after the water has been purified. I don't know which tablets you have, chlorine, iodine, oxidizing agents, etc. but it usually takes 20-30+ minutes after they're added before purification is considered complete. I'm pretty sure the instuctions on the bottle will give you the corrrect amount of time. You don't want to add your electrolyte mix until after that time period.
shuly wrote:I have been using the same filter for years. It works great. But I also do carry a steripen. The filter can't catch viruses...they are just too small and pass right through the fibers of the filter. To be sure anything icky is gone I filter and then steripen twice before drinking. You could also use some chemical treatment but the steripen doesn't add any taste like I or Cl and it does kill viruses. Though I do carry chemical tabs in the truck and the emergency kit all the time. Just in case the steripen batteries die and I don't have a spare set handy.
You are absolutely right Shuly. In the areas we are hiking, the viruses aren't as large of a concern. When going anywhere I always contact the rangers to get a water update. They are usually fairly reliable sources. They will generally tell you just filtration or filter and treat. I do carry a small squeeze bottle of chlorine bleach (laundry type) with me. My SteriPen (used it for trips to Mexicali on business for drinking water) died a few years ago and weight-wise + money-wise the filter out-weighed the a new SteriPen. A small bottle of bleach is light weight and super cheap. I use this if I have to use murky standing water along with my filter. Normal household bleach is 4-6% bleach (one needs need to check this before using). For 4-6% bleach one should add 2 drops of bleach to one quart of clear water and 4 drops of bleach to a quart of water for cold or cloudy water.

One thing that people often make a mistake of is thinking that flowing water at elevation means good drinking water and you don't need to treat or filter it. That is complete BS. All water has the potential for contamination and it is getting worse as the years go by. No natural water source should be considered safe any more unless it's an emergency and it's a life or death choice.

These are also great things to know in case of natural disasters. With household bleach, you can treat large quntities of water once you know the ratios. It might look like sewer water but you can technically treat it. :lol: When all else fails, if you can make a fire, boiling is always an option too.
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Re: Water Filtration

#8

Post by Crismateski » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:24 am

I have had the HyperFlow for about 2 years now, easy to use, and never had an issue with it. It does not get used a whole lot, but it lives in the truck most of the time and seems to be very durable.

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Re: Water Filtration

#9

Post by gon2srf » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:27 am

Picked up one of the AquaMira Bottle Filters today. I was a little concerned by the following disclaimer however maybe that is typical?
Miraguard™ does not protect users against food borne or disease causing bacteria, viruses, germs or other disease causing organisms.

Frontier Sport Filter - Technology

Image

Image

Aquamira® Filtration Technology is Tested and certified to remove >99.9% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Our two stage filtration system incorporates a high density polypropylene fiber pre-filter to screen out larger particles, and a highly efficient porous plastic carbon block final filter provides high water flow with low pressure drop. This means you can get plenty of water with out popping your eyes out of their sockets. This new and improved filtration system is so efficient that one cartridge will provide up to 100 gallons of easy to drink filtered water.

Activated coconut shell carbon reduces waterborne chemicals, improves the taste of the filtered water and eliminates offensive odors.

Miraguard™ antimicrobial technology suppresses the growth of bacteria, algae, fungus, mold and mildew within the filter media.
Miraguard™ does not protect users against food borne or disease causing bacteria, viruses, germs or other disease causing organisms.
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Re: Water Filtration

#10

Post by OLLIE » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:07 pm

Looks good to me Scott. It's basicly saying what Shuly mentioned. It won't kill or filter away some viruses. You need chemical or UV light for that.

My biggest concern with using that type of filter is the following...

You seem to have to put the contaminated water into your water bottle. Then your sucking on the straw to take a drink pulls the water through the filter. You want to make sure that after filling your bottle with the contaminated water you ensure none of that water is on the straw, or outside of that bottle. Contraction of these water bourne pathogens is done much like HIV (open wounds, mouth, etc.). There are notes out there that suggest that they can be absorbed through your eyes as well. When we filter our water we need to make sure our hands are clean when we are done. After having our hands in the water we can still get the water into our system by touching our mouths, rubbing our eyes, etc. That being said, just by dipping a hat or rag into the water and placing it on our heads we run a risk of exposure since that water can now run down our face and into our mouths or eyes. If you have Giardia (or any of the other pathogens) you can give it to your loved ones by kissing them on the mouth. On e of the more common ways peole contract these pathogens is through our pets. Animals drink almost any water they come across if they're thirsty. They can get these illnesses as easy as we can. A lot of people let their animals lick them or kiss them. Then they get the pathogen from their animals.

I am talking extremes here I know. I'm just laying it out there and one has to decide what risks they are going to take. I filter the water but I don't treat the water (haven't been in a place I felt it necessary). On the Tahquitz hike I dipped my dew rag in the flowing water and put it around my neck to cool off. I then started wiping sweat out of my eyes when my hands had been in that water. I decided to take that risk. Just some things to think about... ;)
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