water filters ?

I’m about to embark on a 5-7 day river trip & was wondering about water filters. I’ve done a lot of weekend camping & always carried enough water for my needs but considering the length of this trip I wondered if a filter or purifier might make more sense. The river we’ll be on has a lot of boat traffic & is kinda muddy in nature anyway. I’m not aware of much nearby industrial or residential waste being emptied into it. I’ve seen lots of stuff here about filters etc but still unclear in my mind if they are sufficient or effective for anything other than relatively clean water to begin with. If so what would you recommend to meet the needs of a couple folks for 5-7 days.

I’m a big msr fan
and see that their waterworks 2 is priced at $70 at campmor right now. You can strip off the membrane component if you want to as well. It uses some carbon,(organics) and ceramic, (small pores). If you are goint to surf campmor check out this item as well: 80728. Fill it hangs it for a few hours and pump after the water has settled. Best not to move the bag, hang it, let it settle, pump it. Better results. Use intake float; do not use the last third of water. Maybe buy a couple of the pocket bags for settling iv you’ve a group. Light cheap, cuts down trips to river for water.

I suggest hauling water
if your boating on a busy river like you say then I would just carry a folding 5 gallon or two 2 1/2 gal in each boat… and look to refill about halfway…

much creaper than buying a filter, and you dont burn precious time by pumping water for a group

I bought a water purifier last
month, a Extreem water bottle type purifier ($44) and used a platapus 1 liter water bag to store the water in…I was on a hiking trip and this system worked just fine…The water bottle purifer was simple and quick to use…I had no problems… I suggest you THINK “purifier” rather than filter…

Water filters
I second the MSR filter…been using their Miniworks for a couple of years. The main benifit of MSR vs. other brands is the MSR filter can be cleaned when needed, instead of replaced as in other brands of filters. The MSR has had a reputation for lower output per pump stroke than other filters, and they recently improved their flow rate of the filter system.

With a filter, you can drink the water as soon as you’re through pumping.

MSR has recently introduced the Miox purifier, a mixed-oxidant water treatment device…very new, very light-not

a filter, but a chemical treatment(purifier-it will kill any & everything in the water)…kind of pricy (over $100)…you have to wait for the chemical reaction to occur before you can drink the water…I think time vaies with amount of water treated.

I also use Aqua Mira. This is a chemical treatment system, composed of 2 separate bottles, the 2 chemicals are mixed/added to unfiltered water, allowed time to work, then drink. If low weight/space & low cost is a concern, Aqua Mira is a good bet…about $12.00.

As with the Miox by MSR, you have to wait a predetermined amount of time before you can drink the water.

Another vote for MSR

– Last Updated: Apr-23-04 10:38 AM EST –

But bring a container or something to use to let the water sit in for awhile to settle, before you pump, especially if the river is silty. I have an older MSR... not sure the model and it is a little slow, but it's a good filter. Your large mouth Nalgene screws right on the bottom.

I've been entertaining thoughts of the Aqua Mira (Pristine??) treatment..... would like to hear positive and negative thoughts on it, (not to hijack your thread, but you may find it a useful resource as well), I can see it would be extremely viable in a situation where weight is critical.


Hauling water is best!

– Last Updated: Apr-23-04 1:03 PM EST –

I agree put it in the bottom of the boat and close to the the center on the fore aft axis. Try to ensure that it will not be displaced if you rock or roll.

Only filter if you cannot haul. One gallon per person per day for two people for ten days is some weight though if you only have one boat.

Also purifying after filtering is a option.

I always have brandy while I am filtering if I am in a drinking mood. (Brandy packs easily, can be used as a topical (not systemic) antiseptic, and can be watered heavily and still remain delicious.) If your companion is competent you can alternate pumping with camp set up chores in five minute periods.

I llike my sweatwater. have had it for a few years and no problems even on a 9 day family backpacking trip. it’s easy enough to pump that the kids can use it


Here’s a tale…
…Just a couple of weeks ago I was fly-fishing Muddy Creek here in SC PA. As I’m wading along noticing how clean and clear the water is, I reach down and splash some in my face. When I look up, what do I see on the other bank but a dead deer, half in, half out of the water and in an advanced state of decomposition.

My lesson was that even if the water looks clean and there’s no obvious man-made source of pollution, there are probably still bugs present.

I use a PUR (now Katadyn) Hiker microfilter and I’ve had very good experience with it.

Since I kayak these days, it’s a lot easier for me to carry a collapsable bucket and filter my water from there while in camp.

I second Sweatwater
It’s a compact, durable little unit that’s easy to set up, use and clean. As mentioned before, use a settling container and/or Siltstopper to extend filter life. I have the Guardian. It has an iodine resin cartrige (Viralguard)you can add if you suspect virus. Not sure if they still sell the Viralguard anymore although I have seen Sweatwater iodine drops. I really haven’t needed it where I go (high sierras) but maybe I should find out the reason for discontinuing just in case? (not as effective as they thought?) Yikes!!!


Only can offer what works for me
I use a Katahdin and always bring one backup filter. I pump into a 4L Orbis dromedory bag and have never had a problem. Also bring emergency tablets in my first aid kit just in case. If im pumping water though, I bring flavor packets like Gatorade.

Boiling water (if you have the time or enery) works fine to for most water. Once again, flavor packets. MSR products work well too. Have a few of those.

Good luck, enjoy your trip.


First Need
First Need works ok and is a purifier as opposed to a filter. Purifyiers must meet higher standards. If I were on a river in farm country or below a city I’d use a purifier. For “cleaner” areas I use a Katadin Hiker filter. It works easy and I have no complaints. In the BWCA I use the Hiker and a BOTA bottle filter.

don’y ya mean sweetwater?
hope yer not drinking your sweat!!! Yuk!!!

Regardless of method
You can use a soft plastic funnel lined with a coffee filter, bandana or a bounty paper towel to prefilter your water. This will catch the chunks and extend your filter life.

Good Luck


oh yeah…

– Last Updated: Apr-24-04 7:01 PM EST –

that can be kinda' gross. Yeah? Thanks for the correction.

I bought the Msr for about 79.00 dollers on line at REI website, this site will have everything you will need to know about water filters. just go look, and you will see what I am talking about! this filter will get out all the crud you are talking about, and the site will give you all the info you are looking for! George

We use a Katayden
I don’t know if I spelled it correctly, but it is a great filter, and nice and compact.

If we are going for a short enough trip, we will carry bottled water, but anything longer, and we use the filter.

We have had it for about ten years, and it has not failed us yet.