Contributors to this thread:
Personal Water Filtration Suggestions
I’m a bit overwhelmed with trying to figure out the best, lightweight kit. Without question safety is paramount and reasonable cost is not a factor. I’m seeing some at $100 all the way up to $400.00!
Coming to experienced Bowsiters once again for some suggestions and guidance.
The hunt is 10 days, so the kit has to last.
Thanks once again.
Aquamira drops. Bring a set. No need to filter anything.
Check out Sawyer’s “Mini” and or “Bottle” Water filter.
Back in the hungry years (late 80’s/90’s) we just used iodine tablets.
Nick you used those before?
I can vouch for the sawyer. I have used it for several years. It even goes on my day hikes so I don't have to lug a ton of water. It's basically used every week. I have even filtered water from swamps and I'm still standing :)
They cost about twenty bucks.
It’s all I use. They’re simple and they work.
I've used several different methods but have pretty much settled on a Sawyer mini inline on my bladder hose. Not perfect but nothing is. Haven't used anything else the last 3 years. Keep some aquamira in my pack for emergencies.
I hate squeezing water through the Sawyer squeeze and I also hate that I have to bring it in my sleeping bag with me at night to make sure it doesn't freeze and become ineffective. I prefer Aquatabs with no filter or my old PUR pump filter.
I like the Sawyer Squeeze but use a Platypus bag with it. I've had a couple of the Sawyer bags springs leaks where the thin bag material is glued to the plastic mouth fitting.
“I hate squeezing water through the Sawyer squeeze “
Same here. They work just fine but waste a lot of time squeezing water through that thing. I like the steripen method. I know a lot of folks don’t trust a light to clean your water but I’ve never got sick with it.
I’ve used the tablets, the drops, a steripen, a gravity feed back in camp, hand pumps, and the sawyer squeeze system. I much prefer the base camp gravity filters and the sawyer squeeze method. Water tastes better through a filter than the tablets or drops imo.
I dumped the sawyer after my second filter element clogged quickly.
I use the (now) Katadyn pump filter and/or Aqua mira tablets for years
Yeah, I forgot to mention those Sawyer squeeze bladders that split open when you're squeezing them. I've had that happen and it's a real pain when it happens in the back country and it's your only means of filtering water. I also switched to using Platypus bladders rather than the cheap Sawyers that split, but all that squeezing is hard on the Platypus bladders too.
I also have a Katadyn Basecamp gravity feed large capacity filter bag which is by far my favorite way to filter water if I'm near a water source and plan to stay at the same spike camp for several days. Just hang it in a tree, fill it and use gravity to fill your bladders. Another nice thing is that it uses the same filter as my Pur (Katadyn) pump filter so I only need to pack one filter to have two filtering options.
I use a katadyn pump, gravity feed, and carry a steripen. All work great for me.
Used the Sawyer plenty works good. Just switched to a playtapus Quickdraw been very pleased so far.
When packing light, I normally use the Sawyer filter, but have never carried the bag with me. Have never even tried using the squeeze bag. I just fill a 3L bladder straight out of the source then drink through the Sawyer filter placed in the hose line. When I need to fill a bottle or cup, I hang the bladder up about head high, and let it gravity feed through the filter and into my cup. It's plenty quick enough, as long as the filter is kept fairly fresh. This is probably the lightest weight and most compact system you will find for bulk purification, besides tablets. I have a filtering straw also, that I sometimes carry for emergency use. All the filtering systems are prone to freeze damage and have to be kept from freezing. I once had a PUR pump fail (housing crack) from inadvertently letting it freeze.
I carried a Sawyer squeeze 4.5 miles one way year before last on a spring trout fishing/spring gobbler hunt on the national forest. My pack was pretty heavy with all the gear. So, I for went the water and just hiked like crazy to get to where I wanted to camp the first evening.
Drove like heck after work, hiked in 4.5 miles in, found my spot, went to the Greek to fill my bags and get some water in me, and the dang thing was clogged up. Couldn’t get it to work. I was down stream of a lot of beaver huts too. So, I packed back up, walked my butt back to the truck, and slept there. I was pretty ticked.
I bought another one. That blasted thing did the same thing. To say I was impressed with them would be a friggin’ lie. I’ll never use them again. I’ll stick to the pen and tablets from now on.
At a little over 11 ounces, I decided on this Katadyn with the pills as a back up.
I honestly didn’t even think about the freezing up part.
Temps are to be 40’s during the day and just above freezing at night.
I’ll carry a platypus in my pack with the hose. Hopefully all will work out.
After watching the YT videos on the Sawyer and the bags, they looked a bit flimsy. One comment was not to fill them all the way up when squeezing. Heck I’d never know how much to put in before it breaks.
Thanks everyone, really appreciate your input and help.
Sawyer Squeeze is my favorite
One more comment on the Sawyer squeeze; I don't mind it so much if I'm day hunting out of base camp, leave camp in the morning with a full bladder and only need to use the Sawyer once during the day to replenish my water and will return to base camp in the evening. That's probably the scenario where the Sawyer squeeze is most convenient. However, if I'm spike camping and need to squeeze enough water for all my cooking and drinking, etc then it sucks and I'll pack my pump filter or Basecamp gravity feed but still might opt for Aquatabs for convenience sake.
The bigger Sawyer filter gravity feeds quite nicely. I also hang a 3L bag with the filter in line. Place the filter above the bag to stop the flow, it's going to fill my Platypus bag I carry in just a couple minutes. Hard to beat in my opinion.
Cheesehead Mike, do you really need to filter cooking water?
I also use the Sawyer. However, if you're filtering silty/muddy water you will have to backflush it occasionally or it will plug as mentioned by some above. Keeping it from freezing can be a pain too. On a longer trip, I think it's a good idea to have a filter and the drops. They're both small and don't weigh much.
I was a big Sawyer Mini fan........................until this summer. I had several and always kept them clean(backflushed) and dry. Then I had a failure on a multi day kayak pack trip. Thing was useless. I now have a Platypus Gravity system. Weighs a few ounces more but is a lot easier and don’t have to worry about keeping it from freezing.
I’ve used them all, but by far the best all around is the old PUR hiker (now Katadyn). I use it to fill 2 1/2 gallon bladders for multiple days in camp in Alaska. Drawn water from a crevice in the ice on Ft Peck. And quickly fill an empty 20oz water bottle out elk hunting. Hard to beat .
I rigged up a gravity system for the Sawyer squeeze and it has gotten us through several trips to AK without any problems other than the occasional back wash to clear it out and get it running tip top again.
Fuzzy, when I heat water for freeze dried meals or instant potatoes, etc I might not bring it to full boil or full boil long enough to kill the organisms so I usually use filtered water. Or if I'm just collecting water for camp, I filter it all rather than having separate supplies of filtered drinking water and nonfiltered cooking water.