Jul 26, 2007 at 5:43 pm #1224288
A few months ago I switched to Aqua Mira from Katadyn Hiker to reduce weight. So far so good. However, I'm unsure if I understand the risk involved. Based on my reading about both of them, I'm thinking that AM is as good as the filter. Neither will work on polluted water. Either protect against most other "crap". I'd like to be ready for the next time I get in a debate with someone who questions my use of AM instead of a filter.Jul 26, 2007 at 7:07 pm #1396582
@jfdiberianLocale: Columbia River Gorge
the AM will kill everything, eventually.
the filter is not a purifier (definition = removes viruses + protozoa et al) but will filter out the the thing you are more likely to encounter, giardia cysts, immediately, whereas the AM will kill these but I believe it needs 4 hours or so to do it… I think…Jul 26, 2007 at 7:37 pm #1396587
@hotrhoddudeguyLocale: New England
I'm actually a big fan of the filter, because, especially if you get a decent bottle or inline tube filter, of which there are a couple, you really get some on demand hydration. And I personally think the weight gains of having to carry a little more water for treatment time, and the noticeable taste keeps me on filters. Yeah they also don't protect viruses, but there aren't too many waterbourne ones in the US so I hear, and if you go abroad, just add some AM and get the best of both worlds. Any of the katadyn or Bota of boulder filters fit nalgene sized openings, which increases your water bottle weight, but still adds up to less. Seychelle and some others may make some, but I'm lazy and don't wanna check.
JonJul 26, 2007 at 11:20 pm #1396611
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
Aquamira sells a water bottle fiter whose cap and filter appear to be identical to the Bota filter. Does anyone know if it will fit a widemouth nalgene cantene as well?Jul 27, 2007 at 12:45 am #1396615
@hotrhoddudeguyLocale: New England
I do not own the Aqua Mira filter, but it looks almost exactly the same, and I'd speculate that the bottle defiantly is a Nalgene sport bottle with the exact same cap as the one I have, so yeah, I guess it would fit, I think theres a lot of unknown potential in this idea. You could just buy the filter, and a nalgene flexi canteen and have a great outfit for pretty cheap. Mind you I do not directly own a nalgene cantene, but I'm like 95% sure it would fit. If some one could pull a ruler out and measure their wide mouth bottle I could be 100% sure.Jul 27, 2007 at 12:12 pm #1396652
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what I'm thinking–the flexible wide-mouth Nalgene Cantene sold at BPL. But since REI and our local outdoors store don't carry it, I can't check before ordering. Do you know how much the Bota filter with cap that you own weighs?
I also saw that Seychelle sells (tongue twister!) a replacement cartrige for it's Portable Cantene filter. It's just an exposed filter attached to a screw-top lid with dringking spout. This is probably the lightest of all, but I don't know about trusting the exposed filter to a flexibal nalgene canteen, and the spout does not have a cap (but one could make one easily). Anyone own a Seychelle Cantene that can check the lid size?Jul 27, 2007 at 4:36 pm #1396667
How about one of the survival straws (1 oz I think) so you can drink while the AM drops are "cooking"?Jul 28, 2007 at 9:58 pm #1396758
I don't recommend you drink the water, even through a filter, while the chemicals are first "cooking". The carbon in some filters could take out some chemicals, but not all filters have carbon, and not all chemicals would necessarily be removed. You want the reaction to proceed for the recommended amount of time to get to safe chemical residual concentrations.
The Hiker filter will not remove viruses or crypto?, but the chemicals eventually will. I use the Katadyn Micropur Tablets. Much easier than any other method on the market, and very light. 30 minutes will kill everything but the crypto, but there's little documented evidence of crypto in US alpine waters.
One other note, the carbon based filters will remove some bad taste and odor from water, so if you're in an area with that problem, you could be better off filtering for taste.Jul 29, 2007 at 5:49 am #1396764
@jjpittsLocale: Midwest US
AM works by producing oxidants that kill microorganisms in the water. The oxidants disperse over time and after 4 hours they will all be gone. My understanding is that the 4 hour time for crypto is just stating that for the best chance of killing this organism the maximum dwell time should be used (i.e. expose the crypto to the oxidants as long as possible).
Cryptosporidium is tough. It has a hard shell around it that is resistant to chemical treatments. Crypto is sensitive to ultraviolet light so treatments like the SteriPen work well against it. It takes AM up to four hours to inactivate crypto, however the SteriPen does this in seconds using UV radiation.
Still, I have been using AM for years and generally only wait 30 minutes. I recognize this increases my chances for exposure to crypto but so far I have never had a problem.
I have started using the SteriPen as of this last year, mostly for experimental purposes and not for any other reason. I have always been comfortable treating water with ClO2 and will remain so for the foreseeable future.Jul 29, 2007 at 7:12 am #1396768
@hammer-oneLocale: Walking With The Son
George,I looked into the survival straw and was told by the distributor that it does not filter gardia. I don't recall all the details, but that is why I didn't try it. GeorgeJul 29, 2007 at 5:18 pm #1396785
When you contacted the distributor, which survival straw were you referring to? I'm curious because I have a McNett survival straw and would depend on it to filter giardia in the event I had to use it. I was under the understanding that the McNett product removes giardia, but am always open to new information(perhaps previously misinterpreted on my part). Follow on question: If the filter doesn't remove giardia, what does it remove? Thanks in advance for any info you share.Jul 29, 2007 at 6:06 pm #1396787
@hammer-oneLocale: Walking With The Son
My apologies. When I checked my emails it was in reference to a product called Lifestraw. It's used in 3rd world countries so that they can drink water considered too polluted to drink otherwise. It has 2 filters:100 microns, and I believe the second is 20 microns. If I'm not mistaken Giardia is about 5 microns.
The McNett product you have appears to be effective against Giardia. GeorgeJul 30, 2007 at 7:06 am #1396806
George, uh, your avatar is freakin' me out, man.. sorry. Is that an old Curious George doll(I hope?).Jul 30, 2007 at 10:15 am #1396820
Thanks for giving me a super LOL
Dont want to freak you out because your posts are excellent
FYI – it was a stuffed animal from my early days. I took a pic of it a while ago and happened to stumbled across the pic recently. I suppose it was my first piece of carried gear : )Jul 30, 2007 at 11:49 am #1396823
What is the BPLRank I keep seeing under members names?
CharlesJul 30, 2007 at 3:40 pm #1396849
I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow and it would've been too late to find a backup(I don't use chemicals, so a quick trip to REI for pills wouldn't have been an option). Now I can relax.
TomJul 30, 2007 at 5:00 pm #1396853
The debate is over…
He's chosen all straw innards to be ultralight.Jul 30, 2007 at 6:59 pm #1396867
I think that ragged monkey needs to become the new ultralight mascot.Jul 30, 2007 at 9:54 pm #1396885
Thanks for explaining George, it looked like something out of Silence of the Lambs, but now I know it has real emotional value; so congrats for having the discipline to keep it all these years. I wish I still had my original first edition GIJoe and all his traditional heavy 'camping' gear.Jul 31, 2007 at 12:04 am #1396892
@geneticLocale: Out back, brewing beer in BPA.
The Katadyn Hiker will remove Cryptosporidium.Jul 31, 2007 at 3:11 pm #1396963
Do you happen to have a picture of the poor lil' guy before he got hooked on Aqua Mira?Jul 31, 2007 at 4:53 pm #1396973
Another good LOL!
There is an ongoing investigation underway to shed light on how Monkey learned about Aqua Mira.Aug 1, 2007 at 6:32 am #1397021
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
There are two issues for me: weight and time. Chlorine Dioxide is my chemical of choice, be it Aqua Mira or MicroPur tablets. I use Aqua Mira as the first choice, with MicroPur tablets in my survival kit and taped to the bladder in my day hiking hydration pack.
The only problem I have with chemical treatment is the waiting time and that just takes a little conscious management of water. If there are large distances between water sources that might mean carrying enough extra water or an extra bladder, both equalling the weight of a filter.
Filters are easy enough to use and they will tackle stuff like tanin-laden water and help with some chemical/taste issues. They aren't cheap and they aren't light, but filters do allow you to get immediate gratification and can draw water from sources you can even dip water from with a cup. There is the mechanical failure factor of filters too– break a ceramic cartridge or clog one up in the middle of nowhere and you're hosed (no pun intended), so you should still carry chemicals as a backup.
I use a Katadyn Hiker Pro, which came with some snap connector fittings. I spliced them into the tube on my Platypus so it is possible to refill the bladder without removing it from my pack. If I carried the filter in a side pocket, it would be possible to refill without even taking the pack off— but who would miss that opportunity!
So, use chemicals for the lightest alternative. Plan ahead a bit, maybe carry an extra one liter bladder to help balance treatment time vs water supply— treat two liters in your pack while drinking the spare liter and then treat the refilled one liter while using the completely treated two liter, etc. Treat overnight whenever possible. Use chemicals when viruses are a concern. Use a filter when hiking with a group (weight averages out) and for quick access to large amounts of water.Aug 1, 2007 at 6:39 am #1397023
I keep seeing references to Aqua Mira. Does anyone use the KlearWater sold on this site?Aug 1, 2007 at 10:39 am #1397063
@ksawchukLocale: Northern California
Looks like that monkey bivvied at temps below -20F for a night.
In general filters take out big things (Giardia-Crypto-Bacteria) but not viruses and chemicals work better on small things most easily–viruses are dead within 15 minutes but for large, hard shelled "bugs" the chemicals don't penetrate and reach concentrations high enough to kill for several hours.
Fortunately in the mountainous US virals are rare and can quickly be killed by natural UV light–the sun. (It is for this reason that the top 6-8" of lake water is safest to drink.) Know your water and treat for what is there.
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