I need assistance with water filtration.

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by WILL, May 3, 2018.

  1. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    I'm getting ready to hit the AT for a week. I've been using an eye dropper filled with bleach as my primary water purification system for years, but I'm ready to step up to a better system. I'm primarily interested in a gravity fed Sawyer system, but I'm not sure how they're put together. I'd like to incorporate my Platypus bags somehow since I already have them. The tubing connections????
     
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  2. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    I don't have any experience with the Sawyer system, but Playtpus makes their own system called GravityWorks that you can check out. I use and really like them. If you already have the bags, you can buy the components separately, but it is really nice having the zip lock top for the dirty bag.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've seen people rig up the Sawyer filters in lots of crazy ways, so I'm sure that you could make one work with your Platypus bags, but I figured I'd share this too in case it is helpful.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  3. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    Does anyone know if these systems deal heavy metals? I want to say arsnic but can't remember for sure. I got a construction job on a near by property. We were told the water was from a creek. It passed thru some kind of deposit that made it dangerous. The owners bought it for a song because of it. They were installing a serious filtering system. Story went that it was a requirement to allow habitation on the property. Needless to say water was the bulk of what I brought to work.
    Thanks
    Jim
     
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  4. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    Will a Sawyer filter screw onto a Platypus bottle w/o leaking?

    Never mind- I checked and they don't thread together properly.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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  5. racetrack

    racetrack Supporter Supporter

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    I am sure the more scientific types will weigh in here shortly, but my approach is to use both bleach and filter together. Dose the "dirty" water heavily with bleach then a decent carbon filter will remove the chlorine and cysts that the chlorine didnt kill. Neither approach is complete by its self , but it works as a system.
     
  6. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    I can't speak to Sawyer's filters, but our Aquamira Series IV filter system has a pair of quick-connect adapters for inline use with Platypus drinking tubes. Or you can just use one adapter and use the included bite valve on the other end of the filter.

    They also come with UQC adapters that work with Camelbak, Source, and Nalgene connections. (in the image below, the green rectangle is around the male and female adapters you would use with the Platypus drinking tube; they're mated together in the pic)

    IMG_1463.JPG IMG_1462.JPG
     
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  7. andy.t

    andy.t Guide Vendor

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    Here's the CDC Backcountry Water Treatment chart, for those who are interested.

    Backcountry_Water_Treatment.jpg
     
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  8. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    Here's what I'm thinking of doing...
    Untitled.png

    I believe the Cnoc 2 liter water container filled with dirty water will directly screw into the Sawyer Mini Filter. Next, I'd cut the bite valve off Platypus Drinking Tube kit and connect cut end to the Sawyer. The other end threads onto the mouth of my clean Platypus bottles. I think they'd all connect together to make a gravity feed system, no?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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  9. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Can second the Platypus Gravity-Works system recommendation. Have used one for a number of years. Have modified mine a bit though.

    All of our packs use CamelBak bladders with HydroLock components (basically quick disconnect fittings). I spliced a HydroLock fitting to the hose between the filter and the clean bag. That way I can still filter into the clean bag when we are in camp. Or I can disconnect the clean bag and filter directly into the CamelBaks on the go.

    One caution. Do NOT let the filter freeze with moisture in it.
     
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  10. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Scout

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  11. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The Sawyer mini works, but the flow is slow. I’m thinking about upgrading my mini to the Sawyer squeeze. I also really like the aquamira two-part water treatment drops. If I’m going to the mountains where I know the water hasn’t had a chance to flow through industrial areas yet, the drops are good. If I’m in a place where the water looks or feels sketchier, then the filter comes along.
     
  12. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Scout

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    Be easier to just get the platypus filter, then you won't have to Mickey mouse it together. Unless you enjoy the extra work. Some people do like to tinker
     
  13. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    Thanks, I'm aiming for a similar set-up. I read several reviews on Amazon that said Sawyer and Platypus use different threads, so they leak when connected. Maybe not the first time, but after a few uses they won't secure together properly. That's why I was looking at the Cnoc bags (and they're easier to fill with the top opening).


    I'd save over $50. Not too much work, just screwing the filter to the bag, cutting the tubing and plugging it into the other end of the Sawyer.

     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  14. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    Use the Sawyer Squeeze instead of Mini... for just a little more weight and bulk, it'll flow much better and clog much less. Sawyer threads are compatible with Smartwater bottles and Evernew bladders. You just need a cleaning coupler for a gravity feed.... that'll also function for field back washing. I also use AquaMira 2-part chlorine dioxide when drawing off more questionable sources (low lying water).

    https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-cleaning-coupling/

    Couple other water tips worth considering: cut the top off an old leaky platypus and use the bottom as a cup/scoop to capture water from tricky spots and as bathing ladle; use a Platypus pull-top spout on a Sawyer 2L dirty water bladder for a camp navy shower; use a Sea2summit 1oz/10L ultra-Sil bucket to haul water back to camp (needs cord or stick to stand), settle silt before filtering, and as swim float.
     
  15. Guttersnipe

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    The sawyer mini has a nipple on both ends. You could simply put it in line on any tuned water bag setup. I would dedicate a "dirty" bag and run the water though a bandanna first to minimize debris.
    Smart water bottles, and a few others I've found screw directly onto the filter and weigh next to nothing empty. They also seem to be made of heavier plastic then your average water bottles.
    0503181135.jpg
    This is what I use.
    Both bottles screw into the filter.
    The half liter is new/unopened. The liter has been used quite a few times. They are very tough. The iodine is an added insurance.
     
  16. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Someone asked about metals, the Sawyer doesn’t do metals, I believe.
     
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  17. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    With this set-up could I simply unscrew the sawyer filter from the Cnoc bag and squeeze the clean water from the Platypus bottle to back-wash/ clean the filter?......
    Untitled.png
     
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  18. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe Scout

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    Yes sir. Pretty much what I do.
    I use the straw to drink directly from a water source.
     
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  19. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    Cool, so I don't have to carry that syringe?
     
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  20. reppans

    reppans Scout

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    I don't know about Cnoc bag threads, but Platypus threads/seal are not the same (close but leaks) - but with Evernew bladders and Smartwater bottles, yes unscrew the dirty water bag, and squeeze the clean water bag/bottle hard to backwash - it shows just that in the link. (so syringe is not required.)
     
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  21. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    Yes. That is in fact how the instructions say to clean the Gravity-Works system.

     
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  22. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Hmm. I know bleach is commonly used to sanitize, but a HEAVY DOSE of bleach could be dangerous, no? Not to mention the taste.. blech. There is a commonly known ratio of bleach to water, isn't there?
     
  23. hillst1

    hillst1 Scout

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    Take a look at the Sawyer All in One kit. Comes with all the accessories needed for gravity flow filtration.
    upload_2018-5-3_14-11-20.jpeg
     
  24. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    Pretty sure Cnoc threads are compatible with Sawyer and Platypus isn't. I just pulled the trigger on my order, so I'll let you know in this thread with a follow-up.
     
  25. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/...eWeatherandNaturalDisasters/WaterPurification

    Honestly, we were using 3 drops per liter and never had a problem in years of hiking. Tastes like city water. 5 drops when I first started, and it tasted horrible and actually made my throat raw.
     
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  26. Jayson

    Jayson Scout

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    My full size sawyer filter came with the adapters to attach a hose to either end.
     
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  27. NJHeart2Heart

    NJHeart2Heart Backyard Bushcrafter Supporter

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    Yeah.. that second part.. that's what I was thinking about.. that stuff can burn when used too strongly.. but sounds like you know the right ratio to maintain your health and comfort level which is what counts.

    :40::40:
     
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  28. Guttersnipe

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    I don't. It's still new. I've never used it.
     
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  29. hillst1

    hillst1 Scout

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  30. MHW

    MHW Tracker

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    AND it comes with a mesh bag that the pouch goes in, to hang it up.

    I got one recently to replace my previous Sawyer filter that the washer was decomposing in.

    The all in one thing works really well, though the hose is short, and a longer one might be easier--just for easing hanging-up options; it works plenty fast with the short hose.

    Sawyer sells a variety of purifiers for chemicals and metals:
    https://sawyer.com/products/select-filter-and-purifier

    For the AT (and if you've got this far with a few drops of clorox) I don't suppose that anything but the basic sawyer would be necessary, though I will somewtimes put in Aqua Mira or bleach if the water tastes muddy or mossy.
     
  31. Boondocks70

    Boondocks70 Supporter Supporter

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    Check out "Sawyer in-line water filter adaptors" (fleabay/Amazon). They run about 3 bucks a set. With these, and a little tubing if needed, I can plumb my filter into just about anything.
    As an at-home/bug out trailer, I keep the Universal Sawyer Squeeze kit with an extra set of adaptors. Not A.T. friendly by any measure, but if I can find water, I can filter it.
    Any standard 20 oz or 1-3 liter soda bottles will fit the Sawyer threads.
     
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  32. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Will, I've been using a simple Sawyer DIY gravity system for a few years now.

    The easiest way to go about it is to pick up the Sawyer Squeeze faucet kit on Amazon. It's about the cheapest way to pick one up. Then pick up either a tornado tube which is a child's toy or a Sawyer backflush coupling. Both are female threaded on both ends to allow the Squeeze to be connected to a bottle or bag on the clean end. Use a hole punch to put two holes in the corners of your dirty bag and run a short cord through it. You can hang it off a branch, or place it on the top of your trekking pole handle and lean the pole and filter against a tree which is what I end up doing most of the time.

    Cut off the bottom of a super thin water bottle, the disposable kind designed to be low impact on the environment. This can be used to scoop water when you don't have a good enough flow to fill the bag without it. Otherwise you can just use your pot, but who wants to dig out their pot every time they filter water?

    Pics of mine.

    [​IMG]There goes the Jerky by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Gravity Power by MJGEGB, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  33. AdirondackBadger

    AdirondackBadger Scout

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    I have heard great things about those CNOC bags @WILL
     
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  34. racetrack

    racetrack Supporter Supporter

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    Using a strong dose that factors in the water source , turbidity, and contact time variables are minimized. And as I said, the carbon filter will take most of it out anyway. Follow the guidelines and don't get silly with it of course. It sounds like Will has a plan and this is a sideshow anyway.
     
  35. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    Thanks. I wanted at least a 2 liter dirty water feed bag... per person. The water sources at the AT shelters are usually over 100 yards away, down a steep ravine. After a full day of hiking I don't want to make repeated walks to the water hole. 2 liters is usually enough for dinner and breakfast.

    I wanted to go with a Saywer filter because they have a good reputation and I'm over tasting chlorine in the back-country. The Steri-Pen was an option, but you need a wide mouth, hard sided canteen (max 1 liter), so I'd have to rework my whole water system. I've had pumps in the past and they're just a nightmare. I'm real happy with my 1 liter Platypus bottles and wanted to keep them in my set up. So here I am LOL...
     
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  36. Gii shi kan dug

    Gii shi kan dug Supporter Supporter

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    Did not read every post so forgive me if this has been covered
    I have used a sawyer with the playpus bags many times and sometimes the dirty bag will leak a little.
    The trick I used was to have a loop in the hose before it gets to the clean bag to give a dirty drip the opportunity to run off before it compromised the clean bag.
    Just a "S" bend like the pee trap under your sink.

    Another chemical treatment is the aquamira drops
    Just bought some to try but have not got out yet.
    Read on many trail logs that there is no after taste
     
  37. POGEYBAIT

    POGEYBAIT Supporter Supporter

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    Katadyn Befree and a hydrapak bag works for me.
     
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  38. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Yup, that's exactly what mine is. A 64oz Sawyer bag for the dirty water bag and a 64oz Platypus bag for the clean. The weight of the whole system is 5 oz, 1.8 oz for the Sawyer mini, and 3.2 for both bags, the dip cup, and my strap that ties the bags together. IllI probably swap the mini for the regular squeeze at some point and set it up as discribed in my last post.

    I also have the option to leave the clean bag at home and filter into my bottle to save a little weight and simplify things. But inevitably I end up filtering water for others one way or another so the system works well for my needs.

    BTW that first picture was from the priest mountain shelter, water source is just behind the shelter ;-)
     
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  39. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Polar Pure. It's an iodine prill based treatment, not filtration. Stupid simple to use, cheap, a bottle with about a half ounce of chemical lasts anywhere from 4-6 months of daily hiker/backpacker use (iow, one bottle will last a guy the whole AT.) Weighs around 4oz, depending on how full you keep the bottle.

    Downside. Iodine taste. Some folks hate it. I don't mind it, and for me, I can't taste it after a day of use (after about the 3rd or 4th quart). It's also in a thick glass bottle, so freezing could be an issue, but in cold weather, keep it in a pocket and in your bag at night... same as with a water filter.

    I have two sets, one here in LA and one in NY... and they're still like new.)

    I have a Sawyer mini, but after seeing my local water jam up a buddy's in less than a liter/quart, I don't rely on it.

    I had an MSR Miniworks years ago. Cool gadget that fit on a Nalgene bottle, but the whole works was just too heavy (11oz iirc, plus 8oz for the Nalgene).

    I also tried Aqua Mira drops, but it was a bit fiddly... if you have to wait 20-30 minutes for iodine anyway, it's just worse having to mix two chemicals for 5 minutes to activate them, then wait 20-30 minutes more for them to work, especially when you don't carry a watch. And some people say there is a slight taste they don't like (my daughter and I could never tell, but my brother didn't like it.) fwiw, the two components together weighed 3oz or so. They also make tablets, but they are expensive per use, imho.... might be good for a PSK.
     
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  40. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Thanks for this thread. I just got my Sawyer Squeeze and am studying how to set it up.
    I think I saw a 2 gallon or so water bag at the surplus store last trip. Something like that would be good for hauling a larger quantity of water. Two would make a balanced load and plenty of water for whatever...
     
  41. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Scout

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    I have used the Sawyer mini filter for gravity feed sytems. I simply plugged the Sawyer filter into the tube from an old camel back bladder. The mini filter may be slow but with a gravity system it only takes a few minutes for 3 litres of water to drip through the gravity system.
     
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  42. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    This was the plan....
    Untitled[1].png

    Here's the finished product...

    IMG_3217.JPG

    So far, so good. Everything connects together properly. The only issue is that the entire system is air tight, so I have to crack the platypus connection when the flow slows to let air into the system or it will never fill up. The system weighs 7.3 oz. We'll see how this filter performs on the AT for 5 days in the beginning of June. I'll report back.....
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  43. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Just start with the clean bag deflated and there should be no need to leave it unsealed. Looks exactly like what you'd planned.
     
  44. 3VOL1

    3VOL1 Tracker

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    Nice system,
    I am currently setting up a pack for ultralight thru hiking. (possible AT in 2020) Just some food for thought... I have been using the sawyer squeeze. when not deployed I have been keeping it in a smart water bottle cut in half. The bottom of the bottle is used as a scoop. The top is pressed into service as a threaded funnel with a coffee filter as a prefilter for turbid water. And best of all it all nests together.
    . If I can stop the big nasties from entering my filter the better I feel. Aquatabs are also in my kit to plop in if the filtered water still has a tint (overkill?)
    I am now living in Ks. surrounded by crops and cattle. I have been looking at a filter from a company called NDUR. they claim it will filter radiological stuff. That I would think should filter metals also. There is a possibility of a small homemade pvc inline activated charcoal filter in my future.
     
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  45. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    Yup, I keep mine in a ziplock, and keep it in my sleeping bag if temps are expected to be below 40.
     
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  46. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I just ordered the Squeeze and coupling that I'd suggested earlier in this thread as an upgrade from my mini.

    My mini has been flawless in performance but for one issue. I always seem to end up filtering water for more than just myself. Even on car camping trips were folks have stopped bothering to bring bottled water. Next weekend I'll be going camping with my two sons, and two of their friends and their father. So I'm all but certain that I'll end up filtering for 6 people on the trip. I look forward to the increased flow rate for trips like that as well as speeding up filtering on the go. I don't like to carry more water than needed and so if I know there will be plenty of water along the trail I will only carry a liter at a time. I'll post up some pictures and thoughts in a thread when I get back. I'm a big fan of Sawyer filters, and gravity systems at this point.
     
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  47. Jeebs79

    Jeebs79 Tinder Gatherer

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    I just did a week on the AT in North Carolina. Honestly, you don't need a filter. A SteriPen or Potable Aqua tabs are more than sufficient. The springs are very clear so there's not much to filter. If you do filter, the Sawyer squeeze or mini is your best bet. All of these options are very light, fast and work very well.
     
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  48. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Jeebs the purpose of the filter is to remove things that cause illness. You accomplish the same thing as UV light (which I've read can be questionable depending on the color of the container used) or chemical treatments. It's not about removing debris from the water, though there are places on the AT where that is necessary such as the Spring behind the priest mountain shelter.
     
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  49. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    My filter use isn't to remove sediment, it's for the removal of microscopic critters that make me sick. I looked at the Steri-pen and it looked like a great option, just not for me. It requires a hard sided water container with large mouth opening, which I don't have or want. I'm trying to get away from chemical water purification for several reasons. I'll still bring it as a back-up.
     

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