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#18928 - 10/04/11 01:55 PM filtering water question
JG1975 Offline


Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 29
Loc: California
A nice man at REI suggested getting a collapsible water bowl, just in case there's a lot of sediment in the stream. I could fill up the bowl, let the stuff settle and filter off the top. Do you feel this is necessary? The nylon bowl doesn't weigh too much, but I would rather not carry it, if I don't have to.
Any comments/suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

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#18930 - 10/04/11 02:04 PM Re: filtering water question [Re: JG1975]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
You don't need a bowl if you are hiking in the Sierra. I suppose if you are up there during a storm, and the streams are running brown (I have seen that), then it would be a good idea.

But wouldn't you also be carrying a pot or two to cook with?

Those REI people... they do like to sell stuff.

...but then, I don't carry a filter or any other treatment method, either.

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#18931 - 10/04/11 02:31 PM Re: filtering water question [Re: JG1975]
+ @ti2d Online


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Pack some coffee filters...

Better yet, don't get your water in a muddy stream!

No filtration necessary except through your teeth. grin
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#18935 - 10/04/11 04:20 PM Re: filtering water question [Re: Steve C]
JG1975 Offline


Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 29
Loc: California
I'm day hiking, so no pots. The REI guy didn't sell me the nylon bowl; got it at Big 5. I won't take it. Thanks much.

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#18940 - 10/05/11 01:17 AM Re: filtering water question [Re: JG1975]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
Originally Posted By: JG1975
A nice man at REI suggested getting a collapsible water bowl, just in case there's a lot of sediment in the stream. I could fill up the bowl, let the stuff settle and filter off the top. Do you feel this is necessary? The nylon bowl doesn't weigh too much, but I would rather not carry it, if I don't have to.
Any comments/suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.


A paper coffee filter over the intake gizmo will catch virtually all sediment. If the sediment is big stuff then pouring the unfiltered water through a hanky prior to filtering will get that and the swimming things out.
_________________________
Mike

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#18947 - 10/05/11 08:44 AM Re: filtering water question [Re: JG1975]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
The typical sediment load above treeline in the High Sierra (including Mt Whitney) is decomposed granite (sand) with a small amount of fine material (silt) and very little organic material. The sand sinks to the bottom, but the fines might be in suspension and hard to see. Organic matter can be invisible, but there is very little organic matter above treeline. The water is mostly clear above treeline and you're only on Whitney for 1-3 days. However, with 17,000 people on the Whitney trail every year, I recommend some type of insurance against water contamination in this area. Filtering seems like a heavy option. Consider Aquamira drops, a UV penlight, tablets, or other lightweight methods instead of filtering.

I really like the Aquamira drops. Mix the two parts and then go get your source water. By the time you fill up your container, the 5-minute premix is done. Then there is a 20-minute delay before you can drink, but the taste is clean, its very convenient, and lightweight. I usually go with about 1/2 the recommended concentration unless the water is sketchy.

I can share a few lessons I've learned the hard way over the years using a variety of filters. This is mostly applicable to popular camp locations at lower elevations below treeline where some slow creeks (and many lakes) might have organic matter (mush) at the bottom and/or a higher concentration of fine material (silts). This stuff will clog your filter quickly if you aren't careful with the location of the intake in the source water. This may require you to be hunched over in a pretzel position with a third hand to hold onto the clean water container. Prefiltering is usually a very good idea in this situation. Use the prefilter that comes with your filter, or any decent prefilter that connects to your intake hose. Bring a spare prefilter especially for a long trip or big group. Coffee filters with a rubber band or twist tie to seal around a prefilter will help extend the life of the prefilter, but will increase pumping resistance and its another hassle to deal with, but it seems to work and its lightweight.

You can do as REI recommended and pour the untreated water through a bandana or other cloth before filtering (coffee filters are too slow for drip filtering). This technique allows you to sit down on a rock or log while pumping. You should still use a prefilter and perhaps a coffee filter depending on the fine sediment load. This approach requires an additional container you are trying to avoid, but your cookware might work for small batches. Platypus makes a large bag container with a ziplock open top which can be useful and not too heavy. This approach is surely overkill above treeline especially when dealing with snowmelt as the nearby source.

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#18955 - 10/05/11 01:01 PM Re: filtering water question [Re: SierraNevada]
QITNL Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 22
Loc: CA
If you are considering a bowl, you might want to try one of these:

Backpackers Pantry Lightweight Pack Bowl



I carry one in my filter kit. It's 1.2 oz and wraps around my Hiker filter so weight/space is fairly negligible.

It's handy when you can't find a comfortable place to pump directly at the water source. Fill up the bowl, find a nice place to sit, and pump there. And if the intake tube to your filter happens to detach, it won't get washed down Yosemite Falls.

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#18958 - 10/05/11 03:53 PM Re: filtering water question [Re: QITNL]
JG1975 Offline


Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 29
Loc: California
Oh, that lightweight pack bowl looks pretty cool. Thanks!!

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#18962 - 10/05/11 06:03 PM Re: filtering water question [Re: JG1975]
docdiamond Offline


Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 18
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Most filters have a foam pre-filter on them anyhow. For Whitney, the water is not cloudy to begin with, so it should not be an issue. As for me, the Steripen works great.

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#18977 - 10/06/11 06:00 AM Re: filtering water question [Re: docdiamond]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
What's a water filter? wink

My Pur Hiker has been gathering dust for a half a decade.

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#18978 - 10/06/11 07:05 AM Re: filtering water question [Re: wbtravis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
wbtravis wrote> What's a water filter? wink

I'm in the dip and sip group too. Time to trot out Bob R's 60,000 Liters of Water Consumed -- Untreated and the study: Giardia lamblia and Giardiasis

There are more links in the first post in the Reference forum.

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