Water Filter

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Water Filter

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 2, 2012 5:02 pm

I'm wanting to buy the most reliable/longest lasting water filter for the money to use in caves with known water sources (and general backpacking use). I'm leaning towards the good ol' Katadyn Pocket with a Steripen for viruses. I may forego the Steripen as North America doesn't really have a virus problem in "Wild" water. The Pocket is very expensive but also very tough and will last forever. Recommendations please. What would be a better choice?

I would go with a less expensive alternative like the MSR Miniworks or the Sawyer Point Zero Two, but I'd be concerned about both breaking after rolling over them time and time again and smashing/dropping them many times (general caving).

Most caves I won't need a filter, but I'd love to have a filter for caves that I'm in for longer than ~8 hours with known water sources. Recommendations please.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby shibumi » May 2, 2012 7:38 pm

I used iodine tabs with the agent to remove the flavor... And the only time I've been in cave long enough to need water resupply (and I do a lot of 15+ hour trips) has been camp trips.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby nathanroser » May 2, 2012 10:16 pm

The little bottles of Polar Pure would be much more compact than a filter. Only downside is that the bottle is glass I think. And the iodine taste isn't so bad if you're used to inhaling pool water swimming.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby NZcaver » May 2, 2012 11:30 pm

That Katadyn Pocket is REALLY expensive!

I don't think I've ever carried a water filter or iodine when caving, even on camp trips. But if I did, I'd probably go cheap and light like a bottle or drinking straw with built-in filter. And maybe carry iodine tabs too, like others have suggested.

For backpacking, I'm thinking of picking up something like the Katadyn Hiker Pro pump. I had a bad experience with an MSR pump failing on its first trip last year, and it wasn't operator error. So I'm ready to try something else.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby Dave Luckins » May 3, 2012 6:01 am

I used the MSR Sweetwater when hiking the Appalachian Trail and found it to be very easy and reliable. A lot of hikers were using purification tablets (like Aquamira) but they can’t be sold where I live because our State Health department says they don’t work.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby shibumi » May 3, 2012 6:02 am

I use the Katadyn Hiker Pro when hiking and it's worked great for me for many years.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby Anonymous_Coward » May 3, 2012 9:08 am

I have a Pur Scout, which has some Katadyn equivalent now that Pur has been absorbed by Katadyn. It works great, but I have only taken it caving a few times. Most caves that I have camped in have water that does not require purification. I have used the filter on some long day trips. It is bulky and heavy enough that to me it only makes sense to bring as "group gear" where everyone gets the benefit of using it but also shares in the carrying of gear to even things out.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby trogman » May 3, 2012 9:31 am

I was fortunate enough a few years ago to pick up several "Bottoms Up" filter bottles really cheap at Unclaimed Baggage store. I use them caving and ridgewalking, whenever I know there will be water available. It sure saves carrying the extra weight of a lot of water! They are easy to use and can take a beating. Unfortunately, I don't think they sell them anymore; I think IMO used to carry them.

By the way, I am surprised that some of you are willing to risk drinking unfiltered cave water. :yikes: Isn't that rather risky? :shrug: You never know where that water is coming from, or what may have died and fell into the stream just up the hill. Just saying...

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Re: Water Filter

Postby shibumi » May 3, 2012 10:06 am

It depends on the cave and the source of the water. In Lech you are talking about groundwater that has dripped in through several hundred feet of rock and hundreds of people have drank it with no ill effects. It's as safe as most well water in the same area. Drink from a flowing stream in a cave, well that's something I wouldn't do without treatment unless it was life or death.

If I have to use water from a cave on a non-camp trip (rare, but I've done it on occasion) I look for drips, not streams. I've also only done it in caves where the overlying topography is forest or desert, not urban or agricultural.
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Re: Water Filter

Postby chh » May 3, 2012 5:39 pm

I also have a Pur filter (before katadihn) that I use sometimes, but it pretty much sucks for caving. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that any filter with hoses, one of which goes in the water supply and one of which goes on the bottle will suck for caving. It's hard to keep the thing clean and not cross contaminate your bottle with all the shit that gets all over the filter from your hands, etc. A bottle filter would be better for personal use, but doesn't really have the same benefits for the group. When I take a filter along it often gets used by other people as well. I'm not familiar with any of the models you suggested as my filter is 10+ years old. Nor have I researched it recently so I can't really help you there. Maybe there's some better stuff out there now.

I'm kind of a thirsty dude. I sweat alot, and therefore need more water on long trips. I really like having a filter along if I know there's going to be water somewhere, which there usually is. If I'm going to need more than a single liter I often take the filter. A filter takes up the same space an extra liter does, but it's lighter and obviously can render more than a liter's worth of water for the group.

On survey trips that are longer than 10 or 12 hours I'll often have my stove along as well. What can I say, a hot meal will change your point of view on life sometimes. :big grin: The slightly bulkier cave pack doesn't really bother me.
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: Water Filter

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 3, 2012 5:43 pm

Most of my caving trips I'm carrying gear/food/water for at least two people. I normally have 3 water bottles in my pack and it's a pain in the butt, not for the weight but because I have to take it off so often to fit through crawls ect. This will change over time as the people I invite buy their own gear and packs and as I buy my son his own pack so he can experience the uber joy of dragging his gear through long and dusty Indiana army-crawls. Also, I sweat more than the average human, so I drink more than the average human. I'm not overweight or diabetic, it's genetic. My dad sweats buttloads, I sweat boatloads, and my son sweats bullets (don't really know what that means)...


I think I'm going with the Pocket. Feel free to try to talk me out of it...
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Re: Water Filter

Postby chh » May 4, 2012 5:53 am

Smells_Familiar wrote:Most of my caving trips I'm carrying gear/food/water for at least two people. This will change over time as the people I invite buy their own gear and packs and as I buy my son his own pack so he can experience the uber joy of dragging his gear through long and dusty Indiana army-crawls....


Dude. Get some cheap loaner packs. People you invite carry their own stuff. TA-DA! :laughing:
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Re: Water Filter

Postby dseasholtz » May 4, 2012 10:41 am

I have had success with the Katadyn My Bottle Purifier. This squeeze bottle comes with a purifying filter inside the bottle. Fill the bottle up from any cave source and you suck the clean H2O though the provided bite valve. This was a bit expensive, must be the Katadyn name, and it only holds around a pint as the filter element inside the bottle is not small. It is still better than carrying lots of water in your pack if you know there will be water sources to refill from during your trip.

http://www.katadyn.com/en/katadyn-produ ... reen-deer/

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Re: Water Filter

Postby Chads93GT » May 4, 2012 12:34 pm

Filter. Systems are too bulky and heavy. Use tablets and coffee. Filters to get the big stuff out
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