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Water purification tablets
This fall I'll be chasing elk with my son. We're doing a bivy/spike camp trip and we'll be filtering water. I'll carry the filter and we'll use that to get drinkable water. I'd like my son to carry something to allow him to have usable water, but don't want to have him carry a filter (to save weight for him). I'm looking for a backup for getting clean water and our hope/expectation would be to not use it at all (unless we have filter problems).
As I understand it there are tablets that are much better than the old ones (which gave the water a funky taste, as I understand it). What tablet is the best option that would be small, light, and not give the water a bad taste?
On a side note, I've carried Aquamira droplets in the past, but never actually had to use them. The ones I have are old and I'm not sure they are still good to use (almost 15 years old, I'd guess). I'm happy to use that again, but I'd prefer to have a tablet to simply drop in and let rest. That would be better because my son wouldn't have to know much about how to mix it and would only be half as likely to lose it (one container, rather than two).
Watching thread - also interested.
MSR Aquatabs might be what you're looking for
Aquamira- 2 Bottles. Throw your old stuff away and buy fresh,,, you cheap tightwad! I don't want to read about Ryan using sagebrush to take care of business!
Seriously though, I have used Aquamira w/o issue. A couple of caveats. You have to premix in cap. You need to give it time to work before dumping into intreated water. And you need to give it time after dumping in to take effect. (IE-If you are parched, I would budget an hour before you can drink it. If you expect debris, use a piece of cloth (or one of your Covid masks!) as your untreated water goes into your water bottles. (Unless you like gritting your teeth as you drink. Another option is a Steripen. (Aquamira is back to backup) as I can drink Steripen treated water right away. (Saw them on sale on Camofire in the past day or so)
A lifestraw filter may be an option.
Steripen is a great option too.
Get him a sawyer filter. They are cheap weight like 2 oz.
Small filter with collapsible bag or short hose, or straw-type filter is too light to worry about. If you're used to treated municipal water the pills might be OK, but to me its like drinking from a swimming pool.
I have used tablets twice when going to Co. Both times I couldn’t stay out of the bathroom for 2 days when I got back home from the trip. We were trying to purify quantities up to 10 liters at a time. It could have been the mass quantities that got us into trouble. We used the Portable Aqua tablets. They are a 2 pill system. The first is for purification. The second is for removal of the iodine taste. Water tasted great we just had bathroom issues at home when we got back.
We have used iodine tablets in the past with success. Usually pack in a empty collapsible water jug, fill as soon as we find a water source at camp and treat with the appropriate amount of tabs.
Then just fill bottles/bladders from the big jug as needed once the water is treated. The tabs add a slight taste, but we mix a good percentage of our water with crystal lite/Gatorade zero or similar powdered flavoring. The orange walmart brand with a dose of caffeine is a particular delicacy in the morning. Although YMMV with a kiddo on that one.
Micropur Mp1 tablets
Heres what I've been using, no after taste and they work. Do a little research for yourself. I've been using them for years. I have never had any problems. Ed
I'll second the Sawyer Squeeze. Full size is 3oz and collapses down to almost nothing.
I've used the MSR aquatabs for a few years and they're my go-to now. Never any problems and no bad taste. I just do 2 liters at a time.
I have a Sawyer squeeze filter too but I rarely use it any more. I got really tired of squeezing ice cold bladders and having the bladders split at the seams. When you're trying to stock up on water it's a lot of work squeezing and filling several 2 liter bladders. I'd rather just drop a couple tablets in them and be good to go. I've rarely been so thirsty that I couldn't wait a half hour or so to drink my water. The other issue with the Sawyer filters is that they're glass fiber and if they freeze they no longer filter the water and you won't know it. Therefore you have to remember to bring it into your sleeping bag with you at night. I dislike the Sawyer filter enough that I've gone back to using my old PUR pump filter, it's faster, a lot less work and you don't have to stick your hands in ice cold water.
One thing guys don't seem to understand about pills/drops is they take a fair bit of time to work once added to water. You can't just add them to water and then drink.
They are also volume-dependent (the more water you have, the more chemicals or the more time you need).
Matt, I'm aware of the wait associated with tablets, but for a backup in my son's pack (that I hope and expect to not use) I'm looking for small, light, and cheap.
I carry a sawyer squeeze. Like others have said, it weighs next to nothing.
PUR tablets. Easy and kill same stuff as iodine in am time and everything in a few hours. Light, easy & completely effective. I never use a filter.
Also I ALWAYS have a couple in my daypack just in case I stay out all day and need water.
I used tabs for the first time last week. 1 tab per .75 litre and a 15 minute wait.
Water tasted like crap.
Steripens are good. The Life Straw water bottle filter is excellent. Both are way easier to use than the squeeze or pump filters. The Life Straw filter pore openings are 0.2 microns. Giardia cysts, which are about all you have to worry about with clean mountain water, are 1.0 to 4.0 microns in diameter. Water will taste great and be safe with either a Steripen or Life Straw bottle filter
I carried a Sawyer squeeze on Kodiak and never went without water
You could pretty much walk around with your mouth facing skyward on Kodiak and never go without water...LOL
Lol...so I've heard Smarba. 8 days out and not a single raindrop. Did have flurries one day