Water purification setup

Hey all. Looking for suggestions for water purification for multi day kayak trips. I have a 5 gallon water jug for canoe trips, but looking for a more compact system for kayaking. I’ve looked at the gravity bag systems like lifestraw flex and similar setups, just wondering if any of you have setups that you like.

I commonly hit the river with a group of 5-7 guys so something that can purify water at camp efficiently for more than just me is what I’m looking for. Thanks in advance.

I have a gravity setup composed of a 1.5 gal “dirty water” bag that has a quick release hose on the bottom (like a modern CamelBak).
That hose fits onto a Sawyer filter.

I also sacrificed an older CamelBak hose so that if I want I can go from the dirty water bag, through the filter, and into my CamelBak bladder w/o worrying about overflow (desert thinking going on there).
I’ve used it all summer from the places we paddled, it was the first time I didn’t pack at least three liters w/ me everywhere.

I’ll see if I can find a pic.

Thank you! I was wondering a large bladder with a tube connected to a plain ol lifestraw or sawyer filter would work. With your setup, does it just drain out or does it require suction?

It just gravity drains. In fact not only do I clamp the hose (clamp came w/ it) but I also make sure the end of the hose is higher than the bag when I walk away. It drained half a bag once even after I clamped it.

This is the bag I got,
Waterdrop Gravity Water Bag, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089QK98YJ/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_MKHNBQ22GKAXHDETJZ4R

Thanks so much

Look at the Hydroblu 10L gravity system. It’s cheap and works well. You need at least 1 standard plastic bottle (such as a smartwater bottle) to backflush the filter. I like mine with the carbon filter add on

I use a handkerchief and a steripen

I have used pumps for 50 years. For river water with sediment like the Green River in Utah, it helps to settle the water in a bucket overnight first.

Once we did a winter trip on the lower Colorado River. We replenished our drinking water supply from a well in southern AZ. The water was so alkaline, I could not drink it. The pH was around 9.5.

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I still use my pump too, but when the water has a lot of sediment, I add a teaspoon of alum to the bucket and give it a stir. The sediment settles out faster. One thing I try to do now though is stay a day or so ahead with my pumping and keep the reserve in a clear bottle or bag on top of my gear so it gets the benefit of sunshine and UV to help knock off any bacteria that might be left behind.

After seeing a bunch of backpacker recommendations on You Tube I got a Sawyer Squeeze. It works great. The reason why it is so popular is it threads onto Smart Water bottles. Comes with gravity drain bags but it takes less time to squeeze a bottle through it than it does to hook up a bag. I’ve only used in on lake water. https://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Products-SP129-Filtration-Squeezable/dp/B00B1OSU4W

Is the Green running around that pH? We put alum in the water, let it settle overnight then filtered but I can’t remember if we used our gravity filter (MSR) or a Mini Works pump (also MSR), The water was a little yellow but it tasted really odd. Flat.

Be aware that only short wave UV is considered germicidal, and some plastics block these wavelengths. Warming water in sunlight without short wave UV may actually increase bacterial propagation.


Edit - apparently Paddlin is correct - Sun will do a somewhat effective job of killing things.

I would personally never rely on this. I backpack a lot and the Wiki article states in full sun you need 5 full hours, or basically all day (as the morning and evening sun is very weak) and in partial sun they state it can take up to 48 hours. So this might work for base camping over an extended time, but honestly legit filters can weigh as little as a few oz and aquamira tabs/liquid are essentially weightless.

Also note it says if the water is highly turbid, suspended solids will reduce efficacy and increase purification time.

But that’s very good to know. In a pinch solar water is better than nothing!

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Not true, that’s why its the only time I use the bottles the water comes in from the store as they do not block anything. No fancy bottles need apply. They started having kids do this in schools in Africa and have drastically reduced the amount of time they miss due to illness. Pretty neat idea.