Water purification

I’d like to invest in some type of water purification so that I can safely drink from the river. I need some help deciding the best way to go on this. There seems to be basically 4 options… Boiling, Chemical treatment, RO filtering and UV. I’ve ruled out boiling since it would be a little difficult to do while floating down the river. With chemical treatment there are the time and taste issues. There seem to be some really nice filtering water bottles on the market but they’re a bit pricey and the build quality looks questionable. I’m leaning heavy toward a UV unit similar to this


I know it cost a little more that the filter option but I would expect it to last basically forever. The reason I’m hesitant is because there is something just a little fishy about the whole UV concept. The sun spews a brutal amount of UV… if shining a little UV flashlight in a bottle of water for a minute will make it safe then I would expect any water source under the sun to be even safer. Hum…

get two
a good filter, and the Steripen. Filter, then sterilize.

Or you can just filter and toss in a couple iodine tabs.

Water filter
Alot depends on the type and quantity of water you need to filter. If the water is nasty you will need to filter out sediment and use carbon to improve the taste. if you are filtering alot of water, you need to see if the pen can handle it. I have used katadine and msr with good results.

Steri pen
Steri pen has replaced all my earlier methods. To get rid of sediment, even a coffee filter will help a lot, or you can just tough it out.

For taste and color, I put in some flavoring, like powdered gatorade or lemonade or the like.

I am a bit paranoid
But then, I’m a lot older than when I drank anything no matter where the Air force sent me.

Dystenary was my preferred weight-loss sytem but no longer.

So I filter and UV!

I know that it takes time and effort but a couple t-shirts and a couple folding bags with a Katadyn filter followed by my SteriPen keeps me healthier.

My daughter used the Steri-pen in Africa withthe Peace Corps and had no problems. I like to filter out the gunk and poop and rotting vegetation.

SO, it was a nice suprise to find that Steri-pen nowsells a cheap pre-filter that goes over your nalgene bottle.

Choose the clearest water you can fgind, pour it throughthe steri-pen filter then UV the h*ck out of it!

I think the secret is
to filter/purify your water BEFORE you are thirsty.

Scooping a bottle as you paddle and purifying it is ok… i guess.

But I’d feel safer if I rested on shore or such where I could spend some time focusing on the water process instead of worrying about staying IN my boat, fighting waves, etc.

Then I store a half-gallon in the boat and when thatis approaching empty, seek another place to purify/filter more.

Generally at lunch and dinner breaks.


The BIG problem withthe Steri-pen is these:

  1. batteries die, generally when you need them the most.

    And the Adventurer, though smaller and lighter, takes specialty batteries yopu cannot find outside a large American city.
  2. electronics fry! Always when you need them the most!
  3. Enything that can break, WILL break. Generally when yo ucannot repair them.

    So you may dig your Steri-pen out to discover that the bulb is broken or the batteries are dead or the thing just doesn’t work!


    I have a straw-filter that I keep in my nalgene bottle in my Ditch-Kit. I don;t trust it enough for daily use but in an emergency…

    After all, if those were so good, why do they make all the other , larger, kinds?

    But here is an idea.

    MSR and Platypus make an in-line filter. You fill one bag with source water, run a tube to the filter then another tube to your drinking bag, hang the dirty water-bag up and let gravity do the work.

    I bought just the filter (cheraper than the entire set-up) and connected it to two camelpack bnladders I had laying around.

    So, why not put the ‘dirty’ water bag on your deck, the clean water-bag on the flolor of your kayak and let the water filter as you paddle?

I’m not crazy about the Steripen because it doesn’t get rid of suspended grit, algae and other yukiness.

I use a filter, a Katadyn (formerly Pur) Hiker. Good flow rate and easy to pump.

Katadyn Pocket
I’ve used the same one for 18 years and have never gotten sick. Love it. Worth the $$$.

sawyer purifier
I just bought a 4L purifier that is a gravity fed in line filter. The thing i like about it is the large amount of water you can treat in a short amount of time.Oh yeah, it has a .02 micron filter as well to remove viruses.

Filter then Steri
I filter which takes out and big stuff. The pen tells you to clear up the water as well as you can first before you light it up. The UV kills everything else and it’s small enough to carry in the filter bag.

Filtering is usually a necessary first
step. For the second step, UV devices like the Steripen seem to me too prone to failure. I’d rather chuck in some iodine tablets.

The last time I did more than one night on the river was on the Dolores in western CO. It contains so much salt from underground domes that one really can’t use it. Side streams are very small or dry. So, everyone carries water.

For that matter, when I’m just day-tripping, why fool with a filtering bottle or any purifier? I just carry water from home.

Works great, no weird taste. Don’t even bother taking anything else with me…

water purification
I’m a big backpacker, so here are my 2 cents.

Water temps (above freezing) - for mucky, silty waters, I use my katadyn hiker pro. Light weight, pumps fast, and the filter lasts a long time. For clear water, we use Polar Pure. Similar to iodine, but you get 2000 quarts, it has an indefinite shelf life, and it only weighs 3 oz. Also, it doesn’t taste as bad as tablets.

Get an MSR 'Autoflow’
I took one out last week an will shelve my pump.

The ‘autoflow’ works fast, 1ltr every 2mins.

It’s easy, fill it, hang it, forget it, 5-6ltrs clean water.

We carried a 5 gallon can for water. It filled it twice last week with no slowing down.

I had a Sweetwater ‘Siltstopper’ that I added before the main filter.

This (IMHO) is the best, and easiest way to make clean water.

,2 micron doesn’t remove viruses

– Last Updated: Jun-28-10 4:33 PM EST –

lol... meant to say, .2 micron doesn't remove viruses...

.02 micron - what brand & model filter is this?

i didn't realize .02 micron was viable for portable water filters yet..... maybe i'm behind the times or just haven't had enough coffee yet....

found it on the sawyer website...
it does appear to be a new product... amazing!
now if only msr will produce backwards compatible filters for their product line to .02 microns rather than .2 microns ......