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Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

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Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby KevinY » Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:26 pm

Hi everyone, this is my first post.

I'm planning to do the JMT next summer and trying to decide what's the better alternative between water filters and purifier tablets. I have used tablets before and the taste didn't bother me much, but is it safe to use it everyday for 3-weeks? I have never used a filter before, is it worth the extra weight and bulk in the backpack?



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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby cgundersen » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:08 pm

Hi Kevin,
Though purely hearsay, it's been my experience that folks vary considerably in their susceptibility to giardia. My wife is sensitive, so we bring a filter for those occasions when we cannot get water from springs or snowmelt. The filter's nice because it does not impart any taste, there's no wait, etc. The only downside is the extra mass and bulk. To minimize weight, the units that filter as you drink are nice, and you can just boil any water you're going to use for cooking. There are probably other creative options that you'll hear about.......in the meantime, I'd recommend taking some short walks in the Sierras (or elsewhere) to see what works for you.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby Mike McGuire » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:30 pm

Take a look at this article on Yosemite Association Nature Notes and consider whether you need to worry about the problem at all http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/DerletWater.htm
Also see http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/Giardia.htm
Personally I try to be reasonably intelligent about where I get my water--not downstream from where the pack string just crossed but otherwise I don't worry about it--I don't filter, I don't chemically treat my water.

Mike
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby stevet » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:03 pm

If I am in a location where the water runs clear I carry the chlorine dioxide tabs (sierra, rockies, the nw). If in a location where the water is turbid (grand canyon, other desert sw locations) then I carry a filter.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby hikerduane » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:29 pm

There was a recent discussion on TheLightweightBackpacker about this. If you are paranoid, like one guy, take a filter, otherwise, the Sierra water is supposed to be pretty clean. If anything, they are bringing Micor Pur tablets which my recently purchased package of 20 sealed tablets, which treat one litre of water per tablet, weigh .5 oz., with just the foil packing. They cost me $8.95 plus tax. Lighter than Aqua Mira and not supposed to have a taste and have a longer shelf life than AM, if left sealed.

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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby vaughnm » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:09 am

I'll be doing the JMT again this year (4th time for all or part in the last 6 years). I haven't filtered water during any of those trips, but as other has stated, I'm picky about where I get my water from.
I do carry a water filter (an inline filter, weighs about 3 oz) just in case I'm stuck somewhere where I don't trust the water, but I haven't used it during any of the trips.

There's a current thread on the Whitney Portal board that discusses this in length
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/48911/page/2#Post48911
You might want to check it out.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby copeg » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:05 am

As has already been mentioned, most have their own preferences with regards to purification. Many, including myself, argue that that chances of contracting a waterborne illness from water in the Sierra is extremely low (that being said, I have seen a horse parties unload 'deuces' right into a stream I was about to take water from). I personally carry some Aqua Mira, and purify depending upon where I get my water from (in general, its dependent upon the popularity of upstream access, and I will purify if its a popular area, and especially if its readily accessed by horse parties). I used to carry a filter, and compared to the Aqua Mira a filter is much more convenient (water in a minute compared to 20 minutes for treatment). Nowadays there is also the option of using other types treatments (UV like the Steripen, or the MSR MIOX), these seem lighter than most filters but do depend upon batteries. Me personally, if I were purifiying all my water I wouldn't use chemical treatments for an extended period of time. I have no logical reason to say why though.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby KevinY » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:10 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies. vaughnm, I will check out that link.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:01 pm

I use the Steripen. Its the quickest (2 min' for 1 quart) and kills everything, crypto and
giardia.
Like others I'll only use it in areas where chances of humans or animals contaminating
the water source is high, which is mostly the first and last day of most trips.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:13 pm

I don't filter anymore. All my trips are day trips, and I'm careful where I get my water from. The only time in the last 4 years that I filtered was in Monache Meadows, and someone else had a filter so we used it. We did a 10 day trip following Ropers high route, and we camped away from where most people camped, so we didn't worry about the water.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby tory8411 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:49 pm

My friend and I have made our own gravity water filter that weighs 4oz. It's a combination of a couple off the shelf products. We can filter about a liter of water every few minutes (no pumping, yeah!). We have often debated bringing one at all, but for 4oz, why take the chance. It's a pretty simple design and has been modified a bit through the years for less weight.
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Re: Water filter or Purifier Tablets?

Postby rrivera » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:43 pm

It really depends most places in Yosemite I take in a filter (Katadyn)...more remote places I take MicroPur or some Iodine like this past weekend when I was off trail in Emigrant...and other times nothing if it is really remote like many areas in SEKI.
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