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Old July 23, 2021, 06:20 AM   #1
gaseousclay
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Water purification

I just ordered myself a Travel Berkey water purifier yesterday after watching reviews. Got it mainly for SHTF scenarios but was curious if there are any other brands out there worth looking into? The Travel Berkey is actually quite large when assembled, so I’m also looking for a smaller, portable one. I heard Sawyer is a good brand. Any others?
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Old July 23, 2021, 09:44 AM   #2
4V50 Gary
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I have a backpacker Katydyn but a Royal Berkey at home.
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Old July 23, 2021, 10:55 AM   #3
HiBC
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Minimalist backpackers seem to like the Sawyer filter that will screw on a water bottle.

MSR offers the options I would probably choose for a packable unit.

Be careful not to let any of them freeze. They break.

Good tool.

Someplace I found a 1 gallon or so nylon cloth collapsible bucket.

Picture scenario of squatting on a steep,muddy,slick bank trying to pump/suck a quantity of water with your filter. Likely you will get your boots wet .

Using the bucket and a stick you can reach out to deeper,cleaner water,carry it to a secure spot and filter from the bucket.

Any system can fail. Carry backup purification tablets.
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Old July 23, 2021, 01:36 PM   #4
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Carry a small container of Chlorine Bleach. Eight drops per gallon of water.
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Old July 23, 2021, 03:46 PM   #5
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Carry a small container of Chlorine Bleach. Eight drops per gallon of water.
As a backup plan in case everything else fails.

There are too many really good, inexpensive water filters out there that don't take up much space.
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Old July 24, 2021, 10:12 AM   #6
pootershooter87
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Steripens are nice and small but a bit high tech. Worst case SHTF scenario bleach is your friend, but it won't make the water taste all that nice. Combine a general filtration device and you can turn pond water into something semi respectable.
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Old July 24, 2021, 11:34 AM   #7
gaseousclay
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I'll probably go with a Sawyer for the portable. I watched a Youtube video the other night and some guy in Australia did a proper field test using filthy dam water in the outback. The water was brown and after using the Sawyer it came out reasonably clear. I think he said it had a slight tinge to it but he drank it and he said it was fine. I suspect if there's a tinge to the water then you'd simply have to filter the water twice.
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Old July 24, 2021, 03:53 PM   #8
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A couple of points to remember about water filtration. Bleach kills LIVE organisms. So does the traditional "10-15 minutes at a rolling boil".

Filters strain out particulates, of a certain size or larger. MAYBE this includes the more common chemical contamination or biological agents, but MAYBE it doesn't. You need to research what your filtration system is rated for.

They are not all the same. Doesn't do you a lot of good to have a system that filters out dirt but leaves in deadly bacteria or chemicals.
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Old July 24, 2021, 04:55 PM   #9
ghbucky
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Fortunately for us, in North America we do not need to worry about viral contamination. So that leaves us generally with bacterial or chemical. I can't speak to chemical, but I can speak to bacterial.

The BEST method is boiling. It solves your problem in a straightforward and simple manner and purifies the water in your container.

FILTRATION: I personally used a Sawyer Trailshot filter last week to filter 4 liters out of a stagnant mud puddle. (Yes, I was that badly dehydrated and that little filter saved my bacon). These filters use mechanical filtration to exclude bacteria sized objects from passing through a membrane (or membranes).

Now a VERY important point about any filtration method is that it is very, very easy to cross contaminate and void all your filtration efforts. Think about getting your hands wet in dirty water, and then allowing a drop of that water to touch your clean outlet from your filter or enter your clean water and BAM, all the work is wasted. Having a disciplined methodology that YOU HAVE PRACTICED is just as important as the filter.

Carrying a small bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer can help here. Collect the contaminated water in a dedicated 'dirty' bottle, then sanitize, then filter from that container to a clean container.

PURIFICATION:

In addition to the filter, I carried 2 very tiny bottles of iodine tabs and an iodine neutralizer. The iodine tabs allow you to sterilize water in a container (and the container itself). After the iodine has done its work you use the neutralizer to get rid of the taste.

I used the iodine in my hydration bladder after I touched the inside of the bladder with the filter body just for insurance.

Steri-pens were mentioned previously. They use UV light to render bacteria sterile (they are no longer able to reproduce). The downside to them is that they only are reliable in clear water. If bacteria is shadowed by any particulate from the UV, it won't be effected.

Personally, boiling is the best option AFAIK, but for portability, that sawyer filter combined with the iodine was bullet proof. However, I did speak with a very experienced backpacker who said those sawyer filters were great until they wore out, at which point they "went downhill very quickly".
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Old July 25, 2021, 12:59 AM   #10
ghbucky
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Edit to above: I mis-identified my filter. It was not a sawyer product.I use an MSR Trailshot.

https://www.msrgear.com/water-treatm...ter/09385.html
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Old July 25, 2021, 04:52 AM   #11
Carl the Floor Walker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghbucky View Post
Fortunately for us, in North America we do not need to worry about viral contamination. So that leaves us generally with bacterial or chemical. I can't speak to chemical, but I can speak to bacterial.

The BEST method is boiling. It solves your problem in a straightforward and simple manner and purifies the water in your container.

FILTRATION: I personally used a Sawyer Trailshot filter last week to filter 4 liters out of a stagnant mud puddle. (Yes, I was that badly dehydrated and that little filter saved my bacon). These filters use mechanical filtration to exclude bacteria sized objects from passing through a membrane (or membranes).

Now a VERY important point about any filtration method is that it is very, very easy to cross contaminate and void all your filtration efforts. Think about getting your hands wet in dirty water, and then allowing a drop of that water to touch your clean outlet from your filter or enter your clean water and BAM, all the work is wasted. Having a disciplined methodology that YOU HAVE PRACTICED is just as important as the filter.

Carrying a small bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer can help here. Collect the contaminated water in a dedicated 'dirty' bottle, then sanitize, then filter from that container to a clean container.

PURIFICATION:

In addition to the filter, I carried 2 very tiny bottles of iodine tabs and an iodine neutralizer. The iodine tabs allow you to sterilize water in a container (and the container itself). After the iodine has done its work you use the neutralizer to get rid of the taste.

I used the iodine in my hydration bladder after I touched the inside of the bladder with the filter body just for insurance.

Steri-pens were mentioned previously. They use UV light to render bacteria sterile (they are no longer able to reproduce). The downside to them is that they only are reliable in clear water. If bacteria is shadowed by any particulate from the UV, it won't be effected.

Personally, boiling is the best option AFAIK, but for portability, that sawyer filter combined with the iodine was bullet proof. However, I did speak with a very experienced backpacker who said those sawyer filters were great until they wore out, at which point they "went downhill very quickly".
Great Info. I do carry the Sawyers but have not had to use them. I did drink some bad water once and can tell you right now, it is something you never want to experience in your life. I was wondering if I was even going to make it through the night. Shivers, Fever, extreme body weakness, rapid heart beat etc.
I am going to make a file of your advice and pass it on. Thanks
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