Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 12 Guests and 66 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3241 Members
13 Forums
5318 Topics
49473 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#11214 - 03/01/11 09:17 AM Water purification
Sublatum Offline


Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 40
Loc: Orange Country, CA
I have my fingers crossed that'd i'll get accepted to spend a few days on Whitney this summer. That being said, what does everyone think of the different kinds of water purifiers? Any to stay away from? Any that are absolute must haves?

Top
#11216 - 03/01/11 11:03 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
I've used a few of these in the past - from some no-name unit in the late 80s and 90s that required the filter to be submerged up to most recently a MSR Hyperflow. None of them are much fun to use, some are faster than others. They all work and all cost a lot of money, and all weight a pound or so. For a short Whitney tour, any will do. Or just drink smart and bring some Aquamira pills or bleach if in doubt.

I've read about water on Whitney and there are several places that are safe to use without filtration. Always go to inlets of lakes or the waterfall at Bighorn Park. On the other hand, the Whitney Zone is one of the highest use areas of the Sierra, so it isn't necessarily the place to take chances.

a water source map for the east side of Whitney:



Been looking at the Steripen for winter use when normal filters are a bust, but I'll probably be melting snow most of the time anyway, or just take my chances. Giardia and many other bugs don't survive freezing temps anyway and are re-introduced each season.
_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
#11217 - 03/01/11 11:11 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 625
Loc: OrangeCounty
I and my friends really like our Katadyne pump filter. I don't know the model number. It's about 8 to 10 inches tall and not too big around, maybe two to three inches. It works beautifully, we've been using it for about 5 years. One filter will filter a lot of water. I personally have the same water filter at home in my emergency gear (in case of earthquakes, etc). In a addition to our Katadyne, each one of my friends and I carry our own Bota water bottle with a built in filter in case we get separated. None of us have ever experienced Giardia or any other type of micro-organism / bacteria. (frankly, I don't know what Giardia is, I'm not even sure I'm spelling it correctly, all I do know is that it can mess with your system biologically). Guess I should head straight for Wikipedia to look up this little varmint. We picked up our Katadyne at REI. Bota bottles are probably available at REI; however we got ours online from Sierra Trading Post. Adventure 16 probably has all these water purifyng devices too and don't forget to check out Campmor.com, I love Campmor, I've been shopping with them for about 30+ years now.

Top
#11218 - 03/01/11 11:43 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
One thing about the standard Katadyne filters such as the hiker or hiker pro is I found that in a durability sense the hiker is superior because the hiker pro is built with a detachable outlet hose system but after a very light drop that valve stem broke and I was unable to repair it in the field so I threw it away. The hiker version does not have this so it is less likely to break on you.

That being said I think the Katadyne Hiker is a decent filter and comes in at about 11 ounces.

The best thing about having a pump filter is it allows you to get water from small trickles that you other wise would not be able to fill a bottle with.
_________________________
FlickR

Top
#11225 - 03/01/11 05:38 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
docdiamond Offline


Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 18
Loc: Raleigh, NC
The Katadyn Hiker or Hiker pro are light and very effective. You may want to also consider a Steripen. It is also very effective, compact and light. The Steripen uses ultraviolet light to kill all of the bugs, so all you do is turn it on and stir the water with it until the light goes out. I don't recommend the tablets because they make the water taste so bad. Many hikers on Whitney don't treat their water, since water quality on the mountain is generally very good. Personally, I always treat water taken from surface water before I drink it. Better safe than sorry!

Top
#11226 - 03/01/11 07:28 PM Re: Water purification [Re: docdiamond]
tdtz Offline


Registered: 08/26/10
Posts: 511
Loc: CA
I have used my steripen a couple of times on the Whitney trail and didn't get sick.

I have drank straight from the source several times and didn't get sick.

I just have a rule of drinking from rapidly moving water...preferrably from a water fall....or the spring on the switchbacks.

Top
#11227 - 03/01/11 08:04 PM Re: Water purification [Re: tdtz]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: tdtz

I just have a rule of drinking from rapidly moving water...preferrably from a water fall....or the spring on the switchbacks.


I have not decided which rules apply when there is a dead mouse at the bottom of the stream staring back or how close the human fece should be to the water source before all previous rules are null and void crazy (both witnessed at the same water source during the low season on Whitney)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

Top
#11228 - 03/01/11 09:12 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Quote:
I just have a rule of drinking from rapidly moving water...preferrably from a water fall....or the spring on the switchbacks.


Actually I have heard the standing water such as in lakes is better because the UV rays from the sun pound down on it all day and serve to sterilize it. I could be wrong though.
_________________________
FlickR

Top
#11230 - 03/01/11 11:39 PM Re: Water purification [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
Just to give equal time to the "Dip and Drink" people...

It really doesn't matter to me whether you carry a filter or treat your water or do nothing, but here is some worthwhile reading from old discussions:

    Water and Giardia around Mt. Whitney (especially the 60000 liters part)
      and
    Filter question

I have hiked nearly all the JMT without treating the water. It is quite a feeling of freedom to carry the old metal cup, and just dip the water and drink. My pack is lighter, and water stops are simpler and more frequent. Since filtering is not an issue, I don't carry a filter, and I don't carry a load of water (Whitney area above 12k is an exception). The next water stop is usually just a short distance up the trail.

Top
#11235 - 03/02/11 05:32 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Just to give equal time to the "Dip and Drink" people...


I am a "dip and drinker", and I got giardia last summer to prove it grin

I'm far off the 60,000 liters, but I probably was getting too comfortable with some sources I should have been more careful about. From now on, anywhere in Yosemite below 8000 feet is filter/chemical country for me.
_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
#11249 - 03/02/11 01:48 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I have to admit I love dip and drink. No weight or hassle from a filter. Dip your bottle in and it's full in a couple seconds.

Sediment free water can be a problem though. Especially if your on a shore line of a lake and the wind is blowing in your direction.
_________________________
FlickR

Top
#11250 - 03/02/11 01:56 PM Re: Water purification [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Sublatum Offline


Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 40
Loc: Orange Country, CA
So a water filter may not even be necessary, that is what i am taking from most of this, along with a 'at your own risk' factor...

Top
#11252 - 03/02/11 02:01 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Exactly...

This debate isn't even really about filtering mountain water but it's more about Whitney Zone water.
_________________________
FlickR

Top
#11253 - 03/02/11 02:18 PM Re: Water purification [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
Exactly...

This debate isn't even really about filtering mountain water but it's more about Whitney Zone water.


I think this comment is very important because 1. there are no pack animals on the Main Trail 2. there are not herds of deer, either (both candidates for gastrointestinal buggers)

On the other hand, the idea of drinking the Yosemite water below 8K gives me the chills....ever notice the "apples" on some of the trails....or the hordes of deer in the meadows at night or morning. To each his own (I could care less what other people do regarding their health, as long as it is not contagious), but the odds definitely are in favor of picking up something with abundant carriers around the water (example: the trail next to Tuolumne River/Falls is rank with pack animal droppings...next to the water...)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

Top
#11255 - 03/02/11 02:48 PM Re: Water purification [Re: docdiamond]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
Originally Posted By: docdiamond
I don't recommend the tablets because they make the water taste so bad.


I usually carry a filter with me... but something to take into consideration that doesn't get bantered around alot in these discussions is this...

The iodine tablets that are used in the chemical treatments kits can be dangerous to people with certain health issues.

Top
#11256 - 03/02/11 03:15 PM Re: Water purification [Re: SoCalGirl]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
As a callow youth, I bushwalked the Southern Alps from Murray's Gorge in Victoria to Mount Kosciuszko, the highest point in Australia. My companions were Bob Jones & Bill Zytnik. We weren't even sure we could even survive at lofty elevations of 7000'.

The Alps, are of course, the backbone of the continent, so you would think you would need to carry a lot of water. In fact, the rolling terrain was mostly hummocks of some kind of grass.

We were told that we didn't need to carry a lot of water, just a plastic tube. As we all worked in a research laboratory, we had plenty to choose from.

So here's how it worked. In the sides of the grassy hummocks you would find a myriad of holes. These were the burrows of yabbies (freshwater shrimp). So you just stuck the tube in & sucked. Water! Sometimes a shrimp. As we jumped from hummock to hummock, sometimes our impact would eject a yabbie right out of it's burrow.

All of this happened before algore invented the Internet - so I can't find any references. But it really happened.
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

Top
#11265 - 03/02/11 05:03 PM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Mmmmm Yabbies....

I thought Yabbies were crayfish / craw dads or what ever they are called where you live in the world.

When it comes to pack animals I am less concerned with catching something then I am with rodents as I "think" they are the highest percentage of carriers.

I stayed at Wallace Creek once in September where the PCT crosses it and the meadow was completely covered in horse droppings. I went right over and got unfiltered water from the stream and was fine.

The reality is the chances of catching something any where in the Sierra is fairly low but still there is a chance. Even drinking right out of the Merced in Yosemite Valley is probably better then allot of the heavy metals and toxic waste that comes out of our tap water on average.
_________________________
FlickR

Top
#11272 - 03/03/11 04:21 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Bee]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Bee
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic
Exactly...

This debate isn't even really about filtering mountain water but it's more about Whitney Zone water.


I think this comment is very important because 1. there are no pack animals on the Main Trail 2. there are not herds of deer, either (both candidates for gastrointestinal buggers)

On the other hand, the idea of drinking the Yosemite water below 8K gives me the chills....ever notice the "apples" on some of the trails....or the hordes of deer in the meadows at night or morning. To each his own (I could care less what other people do regarding their health, as long as it is not contagious), but the odds definitely are in favor of picking up something with abundant carriers around the water (example: the trail next to Tuolumne River/Falls is rank with pack animal droppings...next to the water...)


you need to get our earlier in the season. On our return hike up to TM, we actually met the first horses that crossed Cathedral Pass last summer (trail crew cutting trees for the season), and they almost didn't make it. Deer and bear were out in force, though.

Giardia needs to be re-introduced each year. It doesn't survive freezing temps. So there's some thought behind my madness to drink unfiltered water down there last year. I was the only one who got sick, and it isn't even certain that it came from that area, as the incubation time is several weeks. Maybe it was the tap water at Reds. Who knows? Yosemite just happens to be the place I was in 3 weeks before it started to get ugly and I can think of one place that wasn't as safe a water source as I thought it was when I used it.
_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
#11277 - 03/03/11 05:55 AM Re: Water purification [Re: Sublatum]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: Sublatum
I have my fingers crossed that'd i'll get accepted to spend a few days on Whitney this summer. That being said, what does everyone think of the different kinds of water purifiers? Any to stay away from? Any that are absolute must haves?


There are some locations along the main Whitney trail where the risk of contamination is low as there is little/no human or animal activity upstream. However, unless you're quite familiar with the area, or go with someone who is, the prudent thing is to carry a water filter or drops. The advantage of a filter over drops is the water is available to drink immediately and doesn't add chemicals to the water. There's a difference between filtration and purification - you can google it to learn more. Since the last reliable water source (Trail Camp) is in a high use area, I always carry a water filter for this location. Mine is now sold as Katadyn Hiker Water Filter and adds about 12 ounces to my pack weight. There are several good models available. I've used the combo filter/water bottle and found they break easily, so don't recommend them for regular use.

Improper hygiene is more likely source of contamination/gastrointestinal illness (not washing your hands after taking care of business) than water-borne illness, so it's prudent to take care of both. If you use a water filter, it's important to make sure your hands are clean before you use it, and to keep some components in a ziplock bag before placing it back into its stuff sack.

Water filters are a bit like seatbelts. Most of the time you'll never need it, but when you do ...

Top
#11278 - 03/03/11 06:12 AM Re: Water purification [Re: KevinR]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Since the last reliable water source (Trail Camp) is in a high use area, I always carry a water filter for this location.


nothing wrong with the water flowing into the small tarn/lake. Just don't take it out of the lake.

Also, unless you're up there in late season, Trail CAmp is the last "reliable" water source. Check above map - switchback 23 - and ask hikers who come down about it. Saves some weight at least for the first few hundred feet, and if you know where that switchback is, you won't have to filter either unless you find a wag bag right in the spring.

_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >