Aug 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm #1262679
I love trusting my water treatment system. I have been using the first needs water purifier for some time now and like it a lot. The major problem is it's weight. It measures about 22 oz. As I'm trying to reduce weight in my pack this is one of the first things I'm looking at.
I have been looking at some of the options on the market for a month now and cant come to a conclusion. Rather than post the items I've looked at let me tell you my area of use for water treatment.
Everyone hikes with their dogs in Arizona. Most rivers have fish. A lot of land is open to cattle grazing and at some locations the best place to get water is from a man made water hole for wildlife/cattle. Chemicals such as pesticides are probably in most of the water I use so something that can kill germs and remove chemicals is important. Improving taste would be nice but not necessary.
I'm having a hard time finding a treatment system that is much lighter than my first needs that will remove chemicals this is why I'm posting here.
Thanks for any suggestionsAug 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm #1640846
Do something like this:
I suppose you could try an inline carbon filter, but don't expect it to remove all the dissolved/liquid contaminants.Aug 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm #1640847
The Katadyn Hiker Pro also has carbon granules inside. I use just the cartridge in a MYOG gravity filter that weighs 4.75 ounces.
If you want to KILL all living things in your water, you'll need either a Steripen (which really just scrambles their DNA so they can't multiply inside you) or a chemical treatment.
MSR's sweetwater uses a chemical in tandem with the filter.
Depending on how complicated you want to get, you could filter the water through a bandana to get the floaties out, run it through a carbon filter for the chemicals, and then zap it with a Steripen to kill any remaining nasties.Aug 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm #1640857
I like the looks of the sawyer in line system. Very versatile and light weight. Would either the filter or purifier remove chemicals or does that require some type of carbon element?Aug 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm #1640864
You need a carbon element. This means you run a filter AND a carbon element. Of course you still can't expect to eliminate all the chemicals. That's pretty much impossible to do in the field. At least you won't be drinking too much of it just like the PCT hikers that drink uranium tainted water.Aug 26, 2010 at 11:12 pm #1640866
"At least you won't be drinking too much of it just like the PCT hikers that drink uranium tainted water."
And this would be where, exactly?
–B.G.–Aug 26, 2010 at 11:20 pm #1640868
A few miles north of I-15 there's a wind farm on top of the bluff. The trail goes into the wind farm and past an office building. There used to be a drinking fountain outside where the uranium water would come from. I didn't see the fountain, but there's still a well or tank or something. I believe this is the same contaminated water. Fortunately the office gives away free bottled water, and fortunately the workers waved me into the office before I succeeded in filtering the possibly tainted water.
The guidebook also says Chimney Creek Campground is tainted too.Aug 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm #1640869
It sounds like we don't really know if the water is tainted or not.
–B.G.–Aug 27, 2010 at 7:54 am #1640938
I know bacteria and viruses are in water and worthy of our concern but, I feel that most name brand filters do a fine job of removing/neutralizing these. I feel like the silent killer is the chemicals in the water. If water is found it is listed on the map regardless of its potential safety problems. I suppose I could be taking this whole idea overboard?? I cant imagine our chemically treated city water which travels through lead pipes is any better. Of course I have a pur filter that I use to minimize the effect…I hopeAug 27, 2010 at 9:07 am #1640962
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Agri chemicals are something you won't be able to avoid – they will be there. When I hike in areas with it…I carry my water from home. Same when I hike near old mines due to Arsenic.
On city water – the chemicals used to treat it is not much different than Aquamira or MicroPur. And I wouldn't fear the city pipes as much as the ones in your home – which are often PVC pipes.Aug 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm #1641045
All things considered it appears as if Am drops/pills are my best bet for chemical treatment or the Sawyer inline filter or purifier if I want to remove contaminants.Aug 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm #1641424
Unfortunately, the only way to remove chemical pollution from water in the field is through distillation. For all intensive purposes, distallation is impractical because it requires a huge amount of fuel.
If I were hiking through an area where the water is known to be chemically polluted, I would: 1) do my due diligence to find out where confirmed, clean water sources are, 2) carry in more water (water is heavy, so I'd probably have to sacrifice other conveniences to make room for the weight).
Carbon filters may get rid of some of the chemical pollutants, but not all.
BTW, correct me if I'm wrong, but I find it highly unlikely that any developed country would use lead pipes in transporting water.Aug 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm #1641449
You can set up a solar still using zero fuel. It is mostly built out of plastic sheet. This is pretty effective in a desert environment.
–B.G.–Aug 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm #1641450
Kinda hard to do if you're constantly on the move, no?Aug 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm #1641456
If you are in a desert environment, you try to hike more at night and camp more during the heat of the day. So, the solar still gets used in the day when the sun is hot.
–B.G.–Aug 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm #1641471
Distillation won't remove all the chemical pollution.Aug 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm #1641476
Some interesting reading about reducing lead in your drinking water. http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/lead1.cfm
I'm probably over reacting about the chemicals. I thought my first needs purifier removed chemicals, but maybe not. The sawyer filter looks like a lighter replacement for the first needs.Aug 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm #1641487
I'm probably over reacting about the chemicals.
If the Sawyer filter and a carbon filter are not enough, then yeah, I think you're overreacting. I'd reduce UV exposure in all aspects of daily living before trying to improve water purity further.
http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/Aug 29, 2010 at 9:46 pm #1641497
"I'd reduce UV exposure in all aspects of daily living before trying to improve water purity further."
You can accomplish that with a tarp made out of aluminum foil.
–B.G.–Aug 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm #1641506
Future news headline: "Hiker found dead under tinfoil tarp while waiting for plastic sheet and hole in the ground – a so-called 'solar still' – to clean feared farm chemicals from his water."
Personally, I think the stress from worrying about your water is more harmful to your health than what 'might' be in there, but hey, hike your own hike.
My strategy is to choose sources wisely. Sometimes this requires a fair amount of planning ahead, or 'freightering' water in dry environments. Beyond that, I use Katadyn Micropur MP-1 tablets (another chemical, in and of itself) to kill off the bugs when the source is questionable. And if I fear chemical contamination or want to improve taste, I will suck it through a small and light Frontier Pro. But the proponderence of the time I hike in fairly remote locales and drink unfiltered/untreated directly from high quality sources.
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