- Aug 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm #3605139
This is only aimed at those who filter water. I’m a beginner, and trying to come up with my preferred methods still and want to know what others do, and pros and cons to methods – mainly carrying/storing dirty vs clean.
My current method:
Carry two 1L bottles (in hands usually) of filtered water. At camp, I filter with a sawyer directly into a 10L sea to summit bucket (0.88 oz). Hang the bucket of clean water and use through the evening and morning to drink and cook.
Would be easier to fill with dirty water, and if it was dirty I would have more available to wash off. But OTOH it’s nice to have all my filtered water ready to go at once. It would be cumbersome to carry it very far if I camped miles from the nearest water. I’d have to haul by hand or settle with cold camping.
Idea – swap the 16 oz sawyer bladder for a 2L evernew bladder at a 3/4 oz weight penalty. If I ditch the bucket it’ll be the same weight as I have now.
What about some form of hydration tube? One major problem with that is I would not want water on my back unless I need to carry more than 2L, and then I could just drink out of the bottles. Another problem is then the bladder is forced to be a clean water bladder, and I still need a dirty filter bladder.
What is your system (filter, carry, storage) and what do you think I should try? Should I try and make use of a dirty water carry method?Aug 7, 2019 at 11:32 pm #3605147Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I carry a pint bottle of filtered water. Usually that’s the only water I carry.
I have a 1 liter bottle to squeeze water from. That contains unfiltered water. On a hot day without water sources, maybe I’ll carry some of that. Or part way through the day I’ll fill it with untreated water, squeeze water into the pint bottle to drink. Squeeze more water into the pint bottle for the rest of the day.
I have a 3 or 4 liter Platypus bag for camp. Sometimes I’ll carry water a few miles with this. Untreated.
I use untreated water for washing and cooking.Aug 7, 2019 at 11:53 pm #3605152MJ HBPL Member
I have a one liter bottle for filtered water, a one liter Sawyer bag for dirty water, and a pint bottle also for dirty water (because it’s a pain to fill a Sawyer bag directly from nearly all sources). For back-up or if I needed extra capacity, I carry a second Sawyer bag.Aug 8, 2019 at 1:59 am #3605169John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I carry two 500ml repurposed PET bottles and a BeFree filter with a 2L soft bag. I have filtered water in one bottle and filtered water and corn snow (when available), and flavoring in the other. Typically the 2L bag is empty when hiking but filled before or at camp and used for adding filtered water to the PET drinking bottles or unfiltered water for cooking. When snow is available, which occurs on pretty much all trips I take spring and fall, I don’t filter during the day. I just drink the liquid halfway down and refill with snow. At the end of the day I dump out all the sinkers and floaters in my PET bottles and start the process over the next day.Aug 8, 2019 at 2:11 am #3605176
Similar with sawyer squeeze
clean- (two) 1 Liter smart bottle & (one) .5 L that I use for active drinking. All bottle caps switched to “squirty tops”
dirty- a 2 Liter Evernew bladder and a .5 L water bottle with top cut off. (I use the cut bottle to collect water from shallow sources)
knowing how far the sources are determines whether I’ll fill just one or two of the 1L bottles. Also I drink a lot of water at the water source before moving on. The 2 L dirty bladder can be filled and hauled untreated before camp but usually it’s empty and I have enough with the bottles. I don’t use that much for cleaning or washing really so by default I typically cook, clean dishes and wash up with filtered water. I don’t prefer hydration tubes for some reason, I wanted to love them but after experimenting a little went back to bottles. I find it easier to keep bottles sanitary. You may find you like tubes though, lots do… you can put the filter “in line” connected in between bladder and tube thus needing only the one dirty bag still.Aug 8, 2019 at 2:39 am #3605186
Sounds like I’m on the right track compared to what you all do if I get the 2L evernew. I’ve been thinking easy dirty water access in camp would be nice, and the 2L capacity would make carrying extra water easier and quicker filtering than filling my 16oz squeeze bag over and over. I also have a cut-off coke bottle for scooping dirty water from the source.
Idk what I’ve been thinking using my filtered water for cooking. Makes no sense!Aug 8, 2019 at 1:20 pm #3605219Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
I like my Evernew bag for dirty water, but a CNOC bag would be a more direct method from source. I usually setup a drip system into Smartwater bottle while taking a snack break.Aug 8, 2019 at 1:39 pm #3605220
Oooo the CNOC does look awesome! once my evernew springs a leak I’ll be springing for one
Just something to note when squeezing or dripping with the dirty bag directly over the clean bag. Make sure to thoroughly wipe and dry the water outside of dirty bag before filtering. My good friend Katherine contracted giardia that way after getting lax on wiping down after two months on the AT… needless to say 10 days of gastrointestinal violence has cured her of forgetting that step again…
Personally, I don’t cook with dirty H20 down low. Everyone is different in their comfort levels when risking contamination, and that’s just an hyoh ! :) It is divine to take a Direct sip from a spring source that I’m absolutely positive is clean…Aug 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm #3605256
David, is there a reason to filter water before cooking? Does boiling not kill everything?
Also, I find it hard to believe a few drops of dirty water from a wet bag would be enough to get sick. Even so, I tend to angle when I squeeze to keep the dirty drips out.Aug 8, 2019 at 10:12 pm #3605277Chris FormyDuvalBPL Member
A befree with a 750/1L softbottle gets me through most days in the Smokies. Usually lots of water sources along the way unless doing a long ridge hike. If needed I supplement with a 1L platy. I don’t filter when boiling water, just dip the pot in the stream if close by. I sometimes drop a pill in a full platy or two so it can “cook” over night especially if water source is a bit of a hassle so I don’t have to make a trip in the morning.Aug 9, 2019 at 7:43 am #3605334MarkBPL Member
I use a 3L hydration bladder inside my rucksack while hiking
I like it as it’s quick and easy to take a sip, it stores the water close to my back so more comfortable, i hate faffing about with bottles
For filling i run a tube from my MSR Trailshot into the hydration bladder mouthpiece and pump till i feel i have enough water or it’s full
No need to open the rucksack
I’ve also used the same system with my BeFree and my Sawyer filters (running the tube into my hydration bladder), saves a LOT of messing about with scoops and/or dirty water containers
If i need extra water at camp then I’ll take a Everynew 2L bladder and fill it with clean water to use at camp
For me the best thing with this system is the convienance, i can take a sip of water without messing about with side pockets and i don’t have bottles on my chest straps banging about
When i do refill with the Trailshot i don’t need to faff about with scoops or dirty water bags
No messing about removing the hydration bladder either, i don’t even open my pack, just pull off the hydration nipple, stick in the tube, run the tube into the trailshot mouthpeace and pump away
My stratergy is unless i know 100% certain i’m passing a known good water source then i’ll start off the day with a days worth of water, annoys me having to spend time and effort diverting or searching for water sources (even in the UK it’s not always easy, in Greece virtually impossible in the summer months)Aug 9, 2019 at 11:59 am #3605343
I don’t always bring my water to full boil and I’d rather take the time to squeeze than sit there and boil water. But, yes, if you boil water for one minute (or 3 minutes above 5,000’) it is sufficient to purify the water.
Since giardia is a microscopic parasite, if the drop of water has contaminated feces of another animal or human in it, you will get sick if it gets inside you, period. You can swallow giardia picked up from touching any contaminated surface, toilet handle, door knob, etc… before being passed out of the body, the parasite encases itself in a hard shell called a cyst, this allows it to survive for months outside of the host. If you don’t believe it go ahead and try your luck bro! HyohSep 9, 2019 at 1:27 pm #3609514Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
I use 2 1 L Smart water bottles, and carry clean water in them by using a Sawyer Micro. I scoop dirty water into a 1.5 L Evernew dirty bag, and attach the clean bottle by the blue cleaning connector and squeeze into the 1 L bottle. I carry 1-2 1.5 L Evernew collapsible bags to be able to make a dry camp if needed.
I tore my dirty water bottle on my last trip out (ripped at the side of the opening) so that dirty water was leaking down the filter onto the outside of the clean bottle. I was debating about the relative quickness of carrying dirty water, and filtering as I go by drinking through the filter. If I did that, though, my clean bottles would become contaminated, and then, what would I use to back flush? I also don’t like the extra length screwed into the bottle, makes it harder to get in and out of my side pockets.
For those who filter and carry, is there a better way to transfer the water into the clean bottle than using the cleaning connector?Sep 9, 2019 at 1:57 pm #3609517Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Because I hike with my wife, we have more options. We carry 1-2 liters of clean water in platypus 1 liter folding bottles. These weight almost nothing empty, and we’ve found it helpful to have a couple of extra ones from time to time.
Dirty water–we don’t carry it. We have a folding bucket to carry dirty water to camp. We wash with this water, and we filter it for drinking and cooking. As noted, it takes at least three minutes at a hard boil to eliminate giardia in your cooking water. We don’t usually waste the gas it takes to do this every time we want to drink a cup of tea or eat.
And we use a Sawyer Squeeze–taking along two 64 oz dirty water bags. This allows us to collect water in the bucket, fill the Sawyer bags, and have water throughout the camp whenever we want.
Once we arrive at camp, I usually filter enough water for us to eat and cook dinner and drink copiously. And I also filter again in the morning to make sure we have enough for the trail.Sep 10, 2019 at 4:42 am #3609663Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
it takes at least three minutes at a hard boil to eliminate giardia in your cooking water.
That only applies above 2,000 m. It is due to the drop in boiling point from altitude. At sea level a hard boil for a fraction of a minute is enough.
Me, I use UV.
CheersSep 11, 2019 at 3:12 am #3609759Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
since 2012 my solo solution has by a Geigerrig Inline Water Filter + hydration systems which uses a bladder filled with air to pressurize the water… e.g. you don’t have to suction the water through the filter. Fill the bladder and go. When with a big group it’s a hangable container (platypus big zip, the nylon ula amigo, whatever) for the dirty water, an in-line filter, and a platypus water tank on the receiving end. We have used a variety in-lines over the years, and haven’t found one which seemed significant better than another,
In the past have trying pretty much all the various combinations. 3 season used Chlorine Dioxide for something like 10 years, but in the end decided I like the favor, speed, and ease of use of the gravity filter or Geigerrig. During winter we melt snow –> boiled water and used gatoraid bottles because they were the lightest we could find that won’t melt when hot water was poured into them.Sep 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm #3609796James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
For two of us, I use a Steripen Opti. Good enough life to last 14 days on the trail. Gatoraid bottles have a wide mouth that the opti fits into. So we carry four 0.5L or the newer 20oz ones on the trail. Getting water at camp is a matter of taking the cook pot and filling a 2L (actually a 2.5 liter) Platy and filling it with the pot. Then we fill the pot (a 1qt grease pot.) between the two, this is enough for the evening supper, breakfast, and just enough for three cups of coffee apiece. Often there is enough left over to douse the campfire, otherwise, that means more water. Solo, it is plenty of water for that.Sep 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm #3609932
Double postSep 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm #3609933
Interesting…it seems very few here are using SteriPens. Why it’s that? Weight penalty?
I’ve been using this & a heavy nalgene to “filter”, then to Smart bottles. This is what I’ve mainly used the last 3 year’s while packing the High Uintahs…plenty of water sources. I’ve recently just picked up a Sawyer Micro to play with after seeing Scouts using the regular ones with great success. That said the SteriPens have worked really well for me & my 3 son’s…never been sick yet. However, in order to maintain enough H2O we carry more than one SP & an extra set of batteries…& can only do 1L @ a time. Pros & cons I guessSep 12, 2019 at 3:39 pm #3609945KarenBPL Member
I use a Steripen, but since I started using a BeFree, I use the Steripen less. I still carry both, after reading about failures of the BeFree. But so far it works great. I can’t use the Sawyer because I have severe arthritis in my hands, so squeezing hard is very painful. The BeFree doesn’t require the same level of force, and in fact filters just hanging upside down without squeezing at all.
i really like hydration tubes for dayhikes, but for extended overnights, it’s a pain to try to keep clean, plus it freezes overnight and then is unusable until it thaws. Bottles are easier. I use a lightweight Nalgene for dirty if I’m not using the BeFree, and Steripen that then pour into a Smartwater or Aquafina bottle. I have never seen wide mouth lightweight bottles, as others here describe; they are not sold locally, so I need the Nalgene. The Nalgene is also nice for rolling muscles, and can be filled with hot water too, without deforming.
i don’t have the lightest setup, but it’s light enough and very convenient, no fussing with bags. For a short trip where water is scarce, I’ll take the STS bucket, but it’s just one more thing so for a longer trip, not worth the weight and extra packing.Sep 12, 2019 at 3:49 pm #3609946
Interesting, last month I saw one of our group using a K-BeFree. Very interesting & I was intrigued. I quite liked the soft bladder type bag for some applications.
I can’t use the Sawyer because I have severe arthritis in my hands, so squeezing hard is very painful.
So sorry, no fun.
The BeFree doesn’t require the same level of force, and in fact filters just hanging upside down without squeezing at all.
The gravity effect/ability also interest me. Will it fit on some of the larger 2-4L capacity bags for gravity feeding?
Sometimes I think the lack of solid form (BeFree bladder style bag) would be better. Sometimes though, I think that I’d still like having the solid structure of the Smart bottles. Again Pros & Cons I guess…YMMV etc.Sep 12, 2019 at 9:39 pm #3609977jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Steripen, hands down. Sooo much easier and faster and actually more dependable than filtering.
I don’t carry water unless I’m going for several dry miles.
I use a 3 liter soft bottle for camp, plus a liter bottle for the trail.Sep 13, 2019 at 1:02 am #3609999Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Well, at least the Steripen will never block up or leak.
I have tried many different filters, and they mostly all blocked up.
CheersSep 13, 2019 at 1:41 am #3610005Chris RBPL Member
Had a steripen die one time. It was in a side pocket during a torrential rain storm. LEDs stopped working.Sep 13, 2019 at 2:02 am #3610007ArthurBPL Member
David P. I read somewhere that research on prisoners show that it takes about 6-8 cysts to infect a human. So, i start counting them as I drink and start filtering when I get to 5.
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