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Water Bottles, Containers and Filters


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Home Forums Scouting Philmont Water Bottles, Containers and Filters

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • #3742325
    Derek H
    BPL Member

    @derek-h

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Our crew of 8 is going on trek 12-11 mid June this summer.  It’s our first time to Philmont but our troop goes backpacking 3-4 times per year and we have a shakedown trip in a few weeks.  I’m putting together the packing list for everyone based on a combination of the Philmont list plus my own modifications to save weight where possible.

    Containers

    For water containers they want 4 liters so I’m thinking 1 Smartwater bottle, 1 wide mouth Gatorade bottle for drink mixes and a 2 liter Platypus collapsible bottle.  What is everyone doing for the 2.5 gallon collapsible containers?  Should I just have everyone bring a second 2 liter collapsible Platypus bottle?  Any other recommendations?  We have one dry camp.

    Filter or Micropur?

    We have a Platypus 4L gravity filter that weighs 13 or 14 ounces.  I’d rather save the weight and leave it at home if possible.  Are we OK just using the Micropur chlorine dioxide pills and a bandana to filter larger particles?  The PSR equipment list shows filters as optional but it’s what we use on our troop trips.

    #3742346
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    If you want the Troop to have a DIY project, put out a call to drunken parents or go dumpster diving at the recycling center for wine in a box:

    The bladder inside (should be rinsed out, but) is food-grade, usually double layer, and akin to the 2.5-gallon Adventure-16 water carrier I’ve been using since 1986.  Select a stuff sack or reusable grocery sack slightly smaller than the wine bladder so the outer nylon bag takes all the force and abrasion and use a hot knife to melt a hole in the outer bag for the spigot

    and while you’re at the recycling center, grab an extra spigot in case one gets knocked off or damaged (although I’ve been using my original liner bag and spigot for 36 years now).  Or order a set of six such liners, brand new, off of Amazon:

    #3742348
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Or, tacky as hell, but as cheap, easy and light as possible, collect empty 2-liter soda bottles.  

    True, they don’t collapse nicely, but you have to have the carrying volume for any water containers when full so your packs are large enough to carry them empty as well.  I’ve used them at times as weightless volume to adjust my pack’s center of mass to where I wanted it.

    As with any water bottle, bring an extra lid or two and consider modifying a few of the extra lids into a shower head, bidet, etc.

    #3742368
    Adrian Griffin
    BPL Member

    @desolationman

    Locale: Sacramento

    There are many options on Amazon for not much money. I like to camp semi-dry—maybe 400 yards from a lake or creek—so I take one or two Juvale 5-liter water storage containers and take them back to my camp in my daypack. I got this particular one because it takes a standard soda bottle cap so I can use it with a water bottle pop top.

    #3742376
    Gerry H
    BPL Member

    @geeteeh

    Locale: USA Mid-Atlantic

    We had the best luck with multiple 2 liter collapsible bottles/bags (Amazon is your friend). Gives you great redundancy  – one leak doesn’t mean all the water is gone. Also, no single person becomes the pack mule for everyone else.

    Be aware that the used wine bladders are smellables. I have read of people buying a gallon of iced tea at fast food places but asking them to “hold the tea” to just get the empty bag. A manager might be able tobwork out a deal for half off if you want 5 of them.

    #3742886
    TAG in AZ
    BPL Member

    @tagiam

    Locale: PHX

    RE: water containers – I think you are on the right track.  We did the same thing you are — 2 bottles for water/drink mix and two collapsible 2L containers per person.  The idea that anyone is going to carry 2.5 gallons of water is hilarious.  For dry camps I like to rearrange meals so that we cook near the last water source before hiking into the dry camp.  The last time I was at Philmont, we ended up cooking lunch by a creek and having a no-cook dinner and breakfast.  No issue and it cut down on the water we had to carry up the hill.

    RE: Filter – I would leave the filter at home.  Most of the time, you’ll be pulling water out of a tank or other trusted source.  In 3 trips to Philmont, I think I’ve only had one time when I wished I had brought a filter.

    #3742963
    Brad P
    Spectator

    @brawndo

    I agree with the spread the weight method. Smartwater bottles, Gatorade and a 2 liter CNOC container is what we have

    #3746404
    David Y
    BPL Member

    @moonshine

    Locale: Mid Tenn

    I agree with all the above except for the wine box bladders, too difficult to refill and probably a smellable. And I agree with not carrying Philmont’s 2-1/2-gallon collapsible jugs, they weigh at least 20 pounds full, real Scout killers.

    We have all our crew members carry two one-quart water bottles for drinking from while hiking, drinking from one while the other is cooking (30-minute Micropur treatment). And one 2-plus liter collapsible bladder for Dry Camps. 4 quarts of water each will just be enough to get you through to your next water source the next day.

    Before going into Dry Camps cook today’s supper at lunch time while at a water source for cooking and clean-up and eat today’s no-cook lunch at supper time in the Dry Camp.

    Philmont requires untreated water from streams, wells, etc. to be purified. Filters do not purify water, but Micropur does. Filters are too slow to process water at stream crossings while on the move and have the chance of cross contamination. So why do both and carry the extra weight of filters? Just rely on Philmont’s Micropur, its very lightweight, purifies water, only requires 30 minutes without any work on your part and almost Scout proof.

    “Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.” Moonshine

    #3746456
    Iago Vazquez
    BPL Member

    @iago

    Locale: Boston & Galicia, Spain

    Perhaps like Brad, I like the Cnoc Vecto. A bit heavier than other options, but I like the “ziplock” opening for cleaning and drying.

    #3746463
    David Y
    BPL Member

    @moonshine

    Locale: Mid Tenn

    I like the Cnoc Vecto bladder too because of the big quick fill opening and it is easy to clean and dry. Likewise, I prefer wide mouth water bottles like Nalgenes for the same reasons. For daily use in outside pack pockets Nalgenes holds up for years, rupture and leak proof and almost Scout proof.

    I know the Smart Water bottles are lighter and very cheap but slow to fill, your fingers freeze holding them under in cold water. As cheap as Smart Water bottles are you don’t need to clean them, just recycle them, and get new ones.

    “Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.” Moonshine

    #3746534
    Derek H
    BPL Member

    @derek-h

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    We are going with the following:

    • 1 one liter Smartwater bottle
    • 1 one liter widemouth bottle for drink mixes (Gatorade or PowerAid type bottles)
    • 2 two liter collapsible bottles

    I’m still on the fence about the group filter.  We use it on every troop backpacking trip.  Everyone knows how to use it and it works well in a group setting to process lots of water.  It doesn’t filter viruses but those aren’t generally an issue in the US.  I know the Micropur tablets do everything, including viruses.  I’m thinking I’ll bring it to Philmont and make a final decision after speaking with Philmont staff and our ranger.  I’d sure like to skip the weight.

    #3746600
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    @ Derek Re: the filter.

    Our crew had already transitioned to pitching chlorine dioxide pills way before Philmont.

    The Ranger will most likely strongly recommend that Philmont way. But if your Scouts say “we always use a gravity filter,” he or she should be OK with it.

    The chlorine dioxide pills are foolproof, light, and you already paid for them.  If your itinerary has you taking water out of ponds, the might be pond scum that could clog the filter so you might be carrying pills anyway as backup.

    Cheers.

    #3746639
    Gerry H
    BPL Member

    @geeteeh

    Locale: USA Mid-Atlantic

    Ask around on the Philmont groups.io, or PhilTrek.com (has many camp site maps) about the water sources for your camps. There are A FEW camps in the North that use an open stock tank that can be gnarly that require filtering AND tablets due to lots of “solids” (sometimes critters) floating in the water. Using a disposable filter bag from a paint-sprayer system will get the bits out well enough in those cases that the tablet will kill off the microscopic stuff. The vast majority of trail camps “wild” water sources in the South are very clear and just need the tablets. But you do need to be concerned about viruses.

    #3746658
    David Y
    BPL Member

    @moonshine

    Locale: Mid Tenn

    I suggest using a two-water bottle rotation system while hiking camp to camp. Every time you pass a water source (stream, solar pump, camp, etc.) finish off the bottle you’re drinking from, refill & micro it (or both) and rotate to the other. Micropur only takes 30 minutes and you have another safe bottle to drink from and you won’t spend time pumping or waiting on gravity filters at water sources.

    Everyone carries an extra 2 plus quart lightweight collapsible bladder/canteen for cooking or dry camps, so everyone has at least a 4-quart capacity when needed.

    We never put flavored drink mix in our water containers as it makes them Smellables and must be Bear Bagged. We fill and Micropur two water bottles every night at bedtime (and leave on the ground) to have ready each morning. Drinking a full quart while breaking camp (rehydration), refill & Micropur it and the other for the trail.

    We leave the flavored drink mixes in the Swap Boxes as they are the heaviest and least nutritional items (mostly sugar) in the food issue and makes anything it gets on a smellable. If you must use flavored drink mix have a dedicated bottle just for if to be Bear Bagged.

    Stock tanks at Philmont are generally filled by solar pump wells and have a spigot from the well and not the tank so only need Micropur.

    “Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.” Moonshine

    #3746661
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    @ David. I agree that chlorine dioxide is the better choice for Philmont but not with some of your reasoning.

    “Philmont requires untreated water from streams, wells, etc. to be purified. Filters do not purify water, but Micropur does.”

    Almost all filters on the market filter out parasites and bacteria which are the possible contaminants in the water at Philmont. AFAI remember, Philmont allows filters.

    There are newer filters that also filter out viruses.

    Filters are faster than dropping chlorine dioxide and waiting. So you can filter and drink at the stream crossing, well upstream from the crossing…..So while they are heavier than pills, you can plan on carrying less water.

    This crew has trained with filters so the risk of cross contamination is near zero.

    My wife and my kids thought chlorine dioxide made the water taste bad. So I carry a gravity filter when backpacking with them. Aquamira when backpacking by myself (and enjoy the Zen of waiting…)

    #3746669
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    It might be worth while remembering that UV treatment ticks ALL the boxes.
    Fast
    No taste
    Deals with viruses to EPA specs
    Deals with bacteria to EPA specs
    Deals with protozoa to EPA specs
    Used by City Councils for town water supply

    Does not remove the big lumps, but a bandanna or a coffee filter can do that.

    Cheers

    #3746672
    David Y
    BPL Member

    @moonshine

    Locale: Mid Tenn

    @Bruce Tolley,

    “Philmont requires untreated water from streams, wells, etc. to be purified. Filters do not purify water, but Micropur does.”

    Say no more!!!

    Except for treated water at Staff Camps, there’s nothing faster than dipping up a full bottle of water from a stream, dropping in a Micropur tablet and hiking on. While drinking from your second bottle the Micropur purifies your first bottle in just 30 minutes while you’re hiking.

    “Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.” Moonshine

    #3746676
    David Y
    BPL Member

    @moonshine

    Locale: Mid Tenn

    @Roger Caffin

    “It might be worth while remembering that UV treatment ticks ALL the boxes.”

    Except, UV lights rely on the water being clear and the batteries fresh. Nothing is perfect.

    “Used by City Councils for town water supply”

    I don’t know about Down Under, but public water systems in the USA use chlorine, chloramine, or chlorine dioxide to purify their water.

    “Philmont should be enjoyed, not endured.” Moonshine

    #3746677
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    The Internet is there. You should use it.

    https://www.water-technology.net/projects/catskill-delaware-ultraviolet-water-treatment-facility/

    Catskill–Delaware Ultraviolet Water Treatment Facility, New York
    New York City Department of Environmental Protection

    Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Water Treatment Facility, which came online in October 2013, is the biggest ultraviolet (UV) disinfection facility in the world.
    It is located downstream of Kensico Reservoir within the towns of Mount Pleasant and Greenburgh in Westchester County. It has a water treatment capacity of 2.24 billion gallons a day (BGD).
    The New York City Department of Environmental Protection owns the plant. Planning activities for the project commenced in 2002, construction commenced in 2006 and the initial treatment activity began in 2012. Total construction cost reached $1.5bn.
    The facility serves more than nine million people in New York and created approximately 740 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs.
    The project won the 2013 Best New York Region Project Award, from Engineering News-Record (ENR), in the water / environment category. It also won the UV Engineering Project of the Year Award from International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) in October 2013.
    Catskill-Delaware water treatment project background
    “The facility serves more than nine million people in New York and created approximately 740 construction jobs.”
    The new UV water treatment project is a result of the precautionary measures adopted by the City of New York following the outbreaks of Cryptosporidium and Giardia-related illnesses in other parts of the US.
    It was also constructed to meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule in Westchester County.
    A filtration plant estimated at $8bn was proposed initially, but the plan was later changed to building a UV facility, resulting in substantial savings. The design of the treatment plant provides an option for a two billion gallon-per-day filtration plant to be built on the same site in future.
    The Catskill and Delaware watersheds supply 90% of the city’s drinking water. The two watersheds, along with the Croton watershed, extend for more than 200km, incorporating 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes.

    Cheers

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