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Filter or Drops

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    • Filter or Drops

      I've always been a Sawyer filterer but I was considering the AM Drops to lighten my load for NH. I've given the drops a test try on an overnighter and the taste is fine. BUT if you read & follow the directions, which 95% of the people I've seen do not do, they say to mix the drops in the cap AND LET SIT FOR 5 MINUTES BEFORE ADDING TO WATER. THEN WAIT 15 MINUTES OR LONGER IF THE WATER IS COLD BEFORE DRINKING. I see so many add drops to the cap, pour it in the bottle, shake once and drink-wrong.

      So you're hiking and pull up to a stream to grab two liters you gotta wait 5 minutes to treat the first liter and another 5 after that to treat the second. I like to drink a liter at the water source and grab one or two. Drops would have me spending at least 30 minutes a water source when with a filter I'd be filled and gone in five. I think I'll stick to my filter and have my bleach dropper for backup.

      Thoughts? Any Drop Users out there?
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by jimmyjam ().

    • I haven’t tried them. But that’s never stopped me from commenting. ;)

      The drops would eliminate extra supplies...scoop, bag, filter, syringe (if you carry it). It would be nice to get rid of that stuff.

      If you always have one full bottle when you stop at a water source, you can fill up, give the drops the time they need, and head on. It would take some strategic planning though. I think you could do it with no problems...might have a learning curve.

      Can you do a practice run?
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      I haven’t tried them. But that’s never stopped me from commenting. ;)

      The drops would eliminate extra supplies...scoop, bag, filter, syringe (if you carry it). It would be nice to get rid of that stuff.

      If you always have one full bottle when you stop at a water source, you can fill up, give the drops the time they need, and head on. It would take some strategic planning though. I think you could do it with no problems...might have a learning curve.

      Can you do a practice run?
      I did do a practice run with them. The problem I see is a lot of times I'm pretty low on water when I get to a source, like down to 10 oz or less. Still gotta carry a scooper.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • i'm not 100% like scott but i drink from the source more often that not.

      i think everyone who filters should also carry drops as backup in case of a filter failure.

      JJ, sounds like you're a filter guy.

      for years, everytime i started a long hike i told myself i was going to use my filter. and everytime after a week or so i mailed it home. i'm a drops guy. it's just easier.

      eventually, the only time i carried a filter was when my wife was with me becasue she hated the taste of the drops.
      2,000 miler
    • I use the drops. On the extremely rare occasion that I need two bottles I activate two sets of chemicals in one cap then divide the solution into both bottles. In my case it's a 20 ounce and a 32 ounce bottle which gets 11 drops instead of 14.
      Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
      Dr. Seuss Cof123
    • Rasty wrote:

      I use the drops. On the extremely rare occasion that I need two bottles I activate two sets of chemicals in one cap then divide the solution into both bottles. In my case it's a 20 ounce and a 32 ounce bottle which gets 11 drops instead of 14.
      Beat me to it. Yes you can mix a double batch of the chlorine dioxide so you don't have to wait 5 minutes twice. I think the way it is usually done with minimal delay is to activate first, go fill you water bottles, treat, and start hiking. After 30 minutes, take a drink.
    • I’m a long time user of aqua mira drops and like them, but the drawbacks you list are accurate. If you like to drink at the source then filters make more sense. In addition chlorine dioxide takes a long time to kill/inactivate giardia, well over the 15 minutes listed on the instructions. Filters excel at quickly removing giardia and since giardia is the primary waterborne baddie on the A.T., it’s fair to say that filters have an advantage in this regard.

      I typically carry a liter of water in a camelbak and a liter in a gatorade bottle. I treat my water in the bottle and drink out of the camelbak, when my camelbak is empty I refill it with the treated water from the bottle. Using this method I have water always on hand and also allow the my water to be treated for well over an hour on average before I drink it. Using this method, aqua mira works well.
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    • I set my tarp on the hammock to catch rain. I am allergic to iodine, and have bought the drops in the past but now I keep chlorine tabs in case the filter gets clogged and to be frank, I too will drink from mountain springs... I honestly don't care about the squirts on the trail. been there and done that.... its just walking... and now I am impaired.
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:
    • odd man out wrote:

      Anyone have experience with the Steripen? I've been reading a lot of blogs from trekkers in Nepal recently and it seems to be the water purification method of choice. It gets a lot of good reviews.
      I once bought one of those on MassDrop, but don't know where I put it. Sounds like a neat idea, but sorta scary if it really works or not. I guess I need try it on a short trip around home some time. Of course I will need to find it first.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • odd man out wrote:

      Anyone have experience with the Steripen? I've been reading a lot of blogs from trekkers in Nepal recently and it seems to be the water purification method of choice. It gets a lot of good reviews.
      No personal experience. I have met a few Nobos in recent years around CT that used them for 1500+ miles and still liked them.

      I think Steripen’s reputation is still recovering from the bad reviews they got when they first came out due to some issues that they have long since resolved. I’ve been tempted to try one for a few years now.
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • Astro wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      Anyone have experience with the Steripen? I've been reading a lot of blogs from trekkers in Nepal recently and it seems to be the water purification method of choice. It gets a lot of good reviews.
      I once bought one of those on MassDrop, but don't know where I put it. Sounds like a neat idea, but sorta scary if it really works or not. I guess I need try it on a short trip around home some time. Of course I will need to find it first.
      Nepal is famous for bad water quality (at least in the cities). If they have become the method of choice among trekker there, that is a pretty good testament to their effectiveness.

      SarcasmTheElf wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      Anyone have experience with the Steripen? I've been reading a lot of blogs from trekkers in Nepal recently and it seems to be the water purification method of choice. It gets a lot of good reviews.
      No personal experience. I have met a few Nobos in recent years around CT that used them for 1500+ miles and still liked them.
      I think Steripen’s reputation is still recovering from the bad reviews they got when they first came out due to some issues that they have long since resolved. I’ve been tempted to try one for a few years now.
      I too recall they had a lot of reliability issues in the early models. From what I read on the Nepal Trekking Fora, the reliability seems quite good now.

      Of course every method has its advantages and disadvantages, and how you weigh these will differ by person and by trip. In think the trekkers in Nepal have migrated to the Steripen because it circumvents the problems of filters and chemical. In Nepal, you are often at very high altitudes with very cold temperatures so filters are prone to freezing and chemicals take extra time. Also, typical filters don't remove viruses and resupply of chemical treatments may not be available or may be ineffective counterfeit products. With a Steripen, treatment always take a minute or two in any temperature and there are no resupply issues. Its shortcomings are that it is less effective with turbid water and like any electronic device, it can fail or the battery can die. In the context of Nepal, water clarity is not an issue and most treks are from lodge to lodge so battery charging is not a problem. Reliability seems to have improved and in case of a failure, adequate back up options (boiled/bottled water) is available at the lodges. I've beginning to wonder if going this way may be a good option for domestic use too.
    • I used a Steripen Classic for water south of New Jersey. Northern water was dark and nasty looking so a filter was needed. Only time it was a bit of a problem was creek water after rain, had to filter thru a cloth to keep the leaves out. It was wonderful drinking cold spring water after 90 seconds! I got 6 weeks of hiking out of a set of Lithium batteries, at my normal water use.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Kathy and I are filter people.
      We use a Katadyn Hiker Pro.
      Same for me. I clean, lubricate and tag it after each section hike and it has never let me down. I'm happy.

      My hiking partner Smoking Sox has tried every lighter-weight gadget that was ever offered for water purification - drops, tablets, Steri-Pen and now the Sawyer Squeeze. He's happy.

      I will occasionally keep the filter in the pack if the water source looks good. Last example I can remember was the spring at Doll Flats along the TN / NC line. Figured I could make it to Mountain Harbour before anything bad happened. And nothing bad happened.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • Lots of times I never filtered in the Whites or used any treatment. Enoug spring fed streams with not much above. I'd be wary south of the Whites & in the Mahusucs where there are lots of beaver ponds. In fact Berlin that draws it's water from them had a outbreak of Giardia many years ago. Also factor in the Huts where you can refill your water.
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      LIhikers wrote:

      Kathy and I are filter people.
      We use a Katadyn Hiker Pro.
      Same for me. I clean, lubricate and tag it after each section hike and it has never let me down. I'm happy.............
      I just disassembled our filter.
      Cleaned and inspected it making sure it would be ready for Kathy's week of hiking in August.
      She doesn't know where she's going yet but the filter will be ready where ever she chooses.
    • After a trip I soak my filter in white vinegar and the flush with distilled water. I guess adding a little bleach wouldn't hurt.

      BTW, I saw these filters the other day. It the HydroBlu Versa Flow Filter. It seems to have pretty much the same specs a Sawyer Mini. However I have seen a few reviews by people who have used Sawyer filters and say this one has better flow rates. What attracts me is that it has female 28mm threads for both the dirty and clean water connections. This would allow me to attache my Evernew and CNOC bladders directly to both sides with no adaptors for a closed gravity system. With the Sawyer filters I have to have either a hose or male threaded adapter to connect the clean water bladder. Also I can back flush by squeezing the clean side filter. Has anyone tried these? I think I am going to try one.