Salt Water Filters or Purifiers

I am planning on some extended kayaking along the Texas Coast Line from Corpus Christi to South Padre Island. I would like to know if there is a portable product that anyone has used for purifying or making salt water drinkable. I plan on doing the trip in the early spring or late winter. However, I will still need to carry at least 7-10 gallons per person. That is way too much weight in water. I am not convinced that there will be adaquate fresh water resources for the trip.

The work well but are bulky expensive and need fire/stove to work.

Here are a few…

I am leaving for a trip from South Padre to Maine in a couple of weeks. If you need info about the area I can give it to you after I pass thru there.


a few years ago, i researched them as a possible aquisition to my gear pile. for the expense (very pricy) and convenience (they require a lot of time to pump a small amt. of water) i ultimately decided against them. on trips where you are sure that you will not have fresh water available along the course of your trip you have really two viable alternatives. one is to carry the water along that you will need. the gallon per day per person can be fudged against, but i would not recommend going much lower. carrying food that doesn’t need additional water to cook is another way to conserve water on a week long trip. the other alternative is to place, or have placed, caches of water along your route. if you choose this method, be sure you can find your cache! also use sturdy containers, and if in an area where critters would be likely to chew to get to fresh water, wrap them in hardware cloth. of course pick up the cache containers after your trip. i’ve used both methods with good results. by far the most reliable is to carry your own water. use small containers in a kayak and you’ll be surprised just how much you can squeeze in to your boat. canoes are much easier to pack water in as you can use larger containers, though i still break it up a bit so that if one gets punctured i won’t lose all my supply. good luck. -harry

Good luck on your trip. What are your plans for water on the way up from S. Padre. I do not know the area well. I expect the trip to take 5-7 days at 20 mi. a day. What are your expectations and do you plan to take your own water?

Here you go

It ain’t cheap, but will work.

I live on the Texas Coast, there are lots of little towns where you could buy water.

I recommend either Campbell’s Guide to Cruising Texas or one I own called “Cruising Guide to Texas and Louisiana” (or something like that, it’s at my bay house right now, and I am not sure if it is still in print.) They are both sail-oriented, but give you a good idea of the coastal towns and other things the coast has to offer.

Salt water RO’s
The Survivor is the right idea, at a high price. There are home RO units now in the $200 range that will produce 25 gallons per day using house water pressure. Equipped with a salt water membrane and carrying a hand pump instead of the storage tank, it would take up less space than a 2 gallon container and produce plenty of water for a six-eight person group. If you take turns pumping, and use a pressure tank to supply the RO unit so you would not have to keep pumping against the membrane, it would not occupy all your shore time making water and it would save lots of weight and space in all the boats. The RO components could be shared among the boats and each person would be carrying less than the equivalent of a gallon jug.

Any dealer in household water softeners should be albe to fix you up with a low pressure RO system, a salt water RO membrane, and a hand pump. Or if you have an MSR or similar water filter, take out the cartridge and use it as the hand pump. The RO system will have a prefilter, membrane and post filter. You normally change the filters in a residential unit about every 6 months and the membrane every 18-24 months, so there should be no need to change during a trip, unless you had some really skunky water that fouled the prefilter. and that would not be a big item to carry along as a spare. About the size of a long propane cylinder.

Hope this helps,