wanting some advice on what people do to purify water for long day hikes when fast and lightweight is a priority mainly in uk hills / moorland?
Like the look of the MSR trail shot, but it seems to have some poor reviews.
any help or suggestions appreciated.
This one might get the debate raging. Personally I always fall on the side of added caution and take my old Katadyn mini filter as it's supposed to filter out things at a very small level compared to a lot of them. It's a real task to pump.
Sheep can carry some nasty things and there's no total guarantee you can filter everything out unless you boil it to death. I've got friends who just drink directly out of streams and have never had an issue, I have others who use a Sawyer mini squeeze bag thing and then someone like myself who takes a pump. It's risk management.
Sourcing the water from the safest place is a start. Upstream away from fields full of sheep, avoid downstream from popular camping spots, water that runs through stones and gravel rather than peat should be better and I'm sure there's other good advice.
I often drink a lot of fluids before a trip to get my body well hydrated before setting off, take 2 ltrs of water and plan where I'm heading and where I will likely need more water.
I use a MSR water filter. Mainly in Scotland but also on foreign trips. Used in Patagonia on Torres del Paine, in a campsite that looked fine only to find the next day that the sewage outlet was just upstream from the main campsite. No sickness in our group, just be careful not to contaminate the inlet end.
Other retailers are available.
Thanks for the info, I have drank straight from selected clear looking fast flowing streams high up before, but only when really needed and would like a better option.
I usually hydrate well before hand and take a couple of litres on big days, but this weekend went through my hydration bladder faster than anticipated and was left short of water for the last 7 or so miles.
so something small I could take along to filter water in that kind of situation is what I am after.
Thanks for the info, that is the one I was thinking about, read a few reviews complaining about reliability, and it stopping working after only a few uses, how has yours been?
Myself and my partner used it for 8 days straight plus an additional 20ish days elsewhere without issue "on trail". Neither had any bouts of shitting the tent or sleeping bags so probably fairly reliable of used correctly.
Careful cleaning of the filter in clean environments, when available, probably helped. The filter is good to 0.2 microns which is pretty good from a microbial point of view considering its a piece of field kit.
Like olddirtydoggy says, it's quite a personal decision in terms of how cautious you choose to be.
Having had cryptosporidium in the past (not from drinking mountain water) I tend to be fairly cautious.
I've had an MSR trailshot for a couple of years and now I have adjusted my expectations and learned how to look after it, it is a good bit of kit. (For its weight and size)
The issues people have are with flow rate and it clogging up. It is only natural that such a small filter will start to slow quite quickly and proves it is doing it's job.
To help combat this always select the cleanest water source you possibly can. Don't try to simulate the unrealistic MSR advert where someone drinks out of a filthy puddle!
Also, after every single use or at least after every 2 or 3 litres filtered, carry out the backflush procedure shown in their video (it only takes a minute). If you do this it helps stop it clogging.
It isn't a rapid filter, but for the weight and size it gets the job done and forces you to have a few mins rest when you need water.
I also carry chlorine tablets in my first aid kit. I only use them if I'm forced to use a particularly dubious water source. They are so small and light that carrying them is no hardship.
Hope this helps
Delivered today was a Lifestraw kit: the main filter and a bunch of nozzles to fit different bottles. My internet research lets me think it'll be good.
Here's the link:
For the last 40 yrs I've been drinking from streams - even glacier outflow, which I later read is a big no-no... But increasingly risk averse, I thought it time to play it safe-er.
Lifestraw has a good reputation and the kit seems practical.
I use a sawyer mini. It filters smaller particles than some alternatives and has a decent enough flow rate. The water bag that comes with it is terrible though and they are known to pop fairly easily (you can get a more durable bag called a cnoc vecto which makes collecting and filtering much easier).
Depends what you call a long hike. I'm with the dog here,take what I need. eg Chew Valley rim, 11 miles, 2 litres; then an extra litre per 5 miles. Saves messing about and your pack gets lighter as the day progresses. Long walks I take water and fresh orange juice.
I use the Katadyn BeFree. I have used this for a long time with no issues. I sill try to take my water from sensible places to have double confidence.
As a bonus, we also use this on holiday to filter tap water rather than buy bottles.
> Thanks for the info, I have drank straight from selected clear looking fast flowing streams high up before, but only when really needed and would like a better option.
> I usually hydrate well before hand and take a couple of litres on big days, but this weekend went through my hydration bladder faster than anticipated and was left short of water for the last 7 or so miles.
> so something small I could take along to filter water in that kind of situation is what I am after.
If it is just emergency use then just take chlorine dioxide tablets. Weigh next to nothing. These are what I always use (although am thinking of getting a purifer).
For quick and easy use, I love the katadyn befree, recommended by another above. I’m on my second and wouldn’t look further for regular use. I tried the MSR trail shot, which was better than others I’d tried before, like the various straw systems, but still a bit of a faff on the move.
In the UK you’d be very unlucky to ever need more than bacterial/cyst/Protozoa protection, so vital filters likely overkill, and usually slow.
Hi, I am talking about 25 mile plus days. On a side note chew valley is a great place love walking / scrambling there.
For the last 20 years, I've taken iodine crystals in a aqueous solution. Initially I had a bought one (no longer available in europe) but now I make my own. Pure iodine crystals from a chemical company (ultra high purity), with a small quantity placed in a test bottle (the type you take to the doctor with a pee sample).
Its done me well for those 2 decades and is super light. For dodgy or hot areas where I need to do more water purification, I take two... still smaller than a pair of glasses. Needs to warmed prior to use in cold climates though to ensure sufficient concentration (I.e. keep in a pocket for a bit beforehand).
Chlorine dioxide tablets or nothing, depending on the situation and location.
The only time I've used a water filter in the UK was in the the Flow Country in NE Scotland, where the water can be a bit slow moving.
> Sheep can carry some nasty things and there's no total guarantee you can filter everything out unless you boil it to death. I've got friends who just drink directly out of streams and have never had an issue, I have others who use a Sawyer mini squeeze bag thing and then someone like myself who takes a pump. It's risk management.
I carry a Sawyer Mini on big munro circuit days and overnights. It's compact, light and can be used as a 'straw' as well as with a squeeze bag or inline on a bladder tube (though I've never wanted to fill my Camelback with dirty water). For occasional/emergency it feels like a good cost/weight/capability balance. The filter size is smaller than the Lifestraw IIRC, at 0.1 microns.
> I use a sawyer mini. It filters smaller particles than some alternatives and has a decent enough flow rate. The water bag that comes with it is terrible though and they are known to pop fairly easily (you can get a more durable bag called a cnoc vecto which makes collecting and filtering much easier).
And Hydrapak also do soft bottles with 28mm screw tops - also much better than the crap bag that comes with the Sawyer mini.
I have used Iodine in the past. You need to test it in advance as some people are allergic to Iodine and you don't want to find this out when you are stranded in the middle of nowhere.
I find the Drinksafe Sysems Travel Tap very good. It's simple to use, light, cheap and comes well recommended. I've found it effective, so far as I can tell, on water from stagnant Highland lochans, Croation irrigation ditches, run-off from Pennine bogs and Lakeland streams. I trusted the latter until a few years ago, but I'm less sure about them now.
Another vote for the Sawyer Mini - used in-line on a hydration bladder. Was mainly a precaution than a definite need, but still! Just don't let them freeze, or it shatters the filter and renders them useless, so not ideal in winter.
I've also got a "Water to go" filtration bottle, which I carry occasionally in my rucksack, but not really used. Really annoyingly, for the use I bought it for (cycle touring), they don't fit very well in a bike bottle cage and the mouthpiece just got sprayed in crap from the front wheel, which rather ruined the concept.
Also carried chlorine tablets as the back-up's back-up, but not in this country.
Sawyer micro squeeze is a great compact filter. You can bin most of the kit and simply use two standard drinks bottles, as the threads match the unit. One for dirty water and one for clean.
> I have used Iodine in the past. You need to test it in advance as some people are allergic to Iodine and you don't want to find this out when you are stranded in the middle of nowhere.
I use iodine or a filter abroad if necessary (never use anything in Scotland). Chlorine tablets make me feel nauseous (not uncommon I believe).
I have a BeFree. Nothing to comapre against but it's tiny, flow rate is v quick, nice wide opening so very easy to fill up. Downside is I got a pin pick hole on the first outing. Still worked fine but squeezing hard when holding it in a certain way did lead to an eyeful of spray.
So, great filter but slightly fragile bottle.
I use the TravelTap but I chuck in a chlorine tablet as well into the 'dirty' water on the grounds that it costs next to nothing, they claim chlorine will get filtered out, and it can't hurt to kill any nasty viruses and bacteria as well as trying to filter them out.
I've recently bought a Survivor Pro which they claim filters to 0.1 microns, fine enough to filter chemicals and viruses. The pre filter filters approx 100,000 litres and the final filter treats the same amount. The middle carbon filter treats 2,000 litres. Not tried it in anger yet so cannot comment personally.