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Filter or Drops

    • 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?
      Lost in the right direction.
    • 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 Pinkham 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.
    • Water I get from springs I drink untreated or unfiltered. I use tablets for water from creeks (nothing for water used for cooking).

      REI has the Sawyer Squeeze on sale so I'm thinking of giving it a try. Those of you who use it happy with it?

      I've owned a few filters over the years but always mailed them home when on a hike as they were just too bulky. The Squeeze doesn't have that issue.

      (Being a nice guy I did carry a filter when hiking with my wife. She doesn't like the taste of the tablets.)

      Edit to add: Wright socks are on sale too. Don't need any but going to get some more. Pay em now (sale) or pay em later (regualar price).
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • max.patch wrote:

      Water I get from springs I drink untreated or unfiltered. I use tablets for water from creeks (nothing for water used for cooking).

      REI has the Sawyer Squeeze on sale so I'm thinking of giving it a try. Those of you who use it happy with it?

      I've owned a few filters over the years but always mailed them home when on a hike as they were just too bulky. The Squeeze doesn't have that issue.

      (Being a nice guy I did carry a filter when hiking with my wife. She doesn't like the taste of the tablets.)

      Edit to add: Wright socks are on sale too. Don't need any but going to get some more. Pay em now (sale) or pay em later (regualar price).
      I have a "regular" Sawyer and also the old mini. Both worked just fine. HOWEVER, know that you don't "Squeeze" the bags. ROLL them like a tube of toothpaste. The bottom seam is the weak point in the bags. OR, get something like a CNOC bag (that's what I use). There are all sorts of ways to use a Sawyer as a gravity, on different bottles and such. ALSO, I use the SmartWater bottles with the sport flip cap. They can be jammed on the outflow nipple of the Sawyer and then use that for "Backflush" in the field (use clean water to backflush). The very small mini, has reports of quickly becoming slow on the flow rate. Another idea people do is take along a coffee filter to pre-filter silt out of the dirty water before that silt goes into the filter. The larger filter doesn't have that same bad rap but I suspect it really does but it has a LOT more filter area.

      I like the Sawyer's.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • My experience is similar to rhjanes. Recommend the regular, not the mini. If doing a long distance hike protect the syringe inside your pack. I cracked one on the outside nylon pocket of my ULA Circuit.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • max.patch wrote:

      There's a few places on the AT where there are signs at the water source offically telling you that you that you need to filter or treat your water.
      I felt the need to treat the water in Franklin, NC more than any trail water I drank, I feel safer drinking mt water than city tap water, if the water comes from a well used camp area I might treat it with a drop of bleach for each 8 oz of water.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • Drybones wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      There's a few places on the AT where there are signs at the water source offically telling you that you that you need to filter or treat your water.
      I felt the need to treat the water in Franklin, NC more than any trail water I drank, I feel safer drinking mt water than city tap water, if the water comes from a well used camp area I might treat it with a drop of bleach for each 8 oz of water.
      I guess is a good thing my Dad has his own well in Franklin.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I had problems with my cnoc bag leaking around the threads. I recall reading something that earlier versions had threads that were too flexible. Maybe that's what I have. I prefer Evernew bags . I have two of the 1 L size. They have a wide perimeter at the gusseted bottom end where you can punch a hole without puncturing the inside. I loop a short cord through two holes in the dirty water bag so I can hang it from a tree branch. Attach the filter and clean bag for a closed gravity system and let it filter unattended while doing camp chores.
    • odd man out wrote:

      LIhikers wrote:

      Kathy and I generally use a filter. It clogged half way through our recent Maine hike so we drank the water as we got it out of streams and ponds, with no problems.
      i agree that untreated drinking water in the mountains is usually ok, but you'll never get anyone with any kind of authority to admit that. BTW, don't tell anyone I said that ;)
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • If my experience is typical then REI had a successful Labor Day sale.

      I had 3 things in my cart for a few days and when I went to the website to submit my order:

      The Sawyer Squeeze is no longer available. I hope that's just temporary as I wanted to try it out.

      The Patagonia Baggies sold out in my color. No biggie; I ordered another color. Just hiking; not a fashion show.

      My socks are on back order and they should be shippped in a week or so. No big deal either; didn't need em right now just took the opportunity to spend $10 a pair instead of $14 and get free shipping since the shorts put me over the minimum.

      Lesson learned -- just cuz something is in your cart doesn't mean it stays in your cart.

      edit to add: Not complaining; makes perfect sense to take something out of someones cart if it's the last one left and someone else is ready to buy. Just never happened to me before.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • max.patch wrote:

      If my experience is typical then REI had a successful Labor Day sale.

      I had 3 things in my cart for a few days and when I went to the website to submit my order:

      The Sawyer Squeeze is no longer available. I hope that's just temporary as I wanted to try it out.

      The Patagonia Baggies sold out in my color. No biggie; I ordered another color. Just hiking; not a fashion show.

      My socks are on back order and they should be shippped in a week or so. No big deal either; didn't need em right now just took the opportunity to spend $10 a pair instead of $14 and get free shipping since the shorts put me over the minimum.

      Lesson learned -- just cuz something is in your cart doesn't mean it stays in your cart.

      edit to add: Not complaining; makes perfect sense to take something out of someones cart if it's the last one left and someone else is ready to buy. Just never happened to me before.
      I use to manage eCommerce development teams. Same concept as if you left your shopping cart unattended in a physical store, eventually they are going to put it back so someone else can buy it.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General