MSR MiniWorks Filtration System

11:36 a.m. on August 19, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Hi All, I'm just getting back into backpacking now that my boys are boy scout age. I used to (shock) drink mountain stream water. Now I gotta buy a filtration system. Bought a MSR MiniWorks as recomended by the salesman at REI. Any comments on this system? It says to lubricate the o-ring on the compression pump but it hard to get the screw out of the pin holding the lever on. What's the story here? It has a groove on one side for using a screwdriver (or dime) but the other side just rotates freely without anything to stop it. Do they really want me to crimp it with pliers just to get the stupid thing off?

3:29 p.m. on August 19, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

You should ask MSR: http://www.msrcorp.com/contact/

Miniworks is not the lightest filter or the fastest but it is easily field servicable when it clogs. I have one myself and I've purchased them for a Scout troop. Unlike other filters you can't mix up the clean hose with the unfiltered intake hose. It also survives a lot of unintended abuse - I've seen it dropped more times than I can count onto rocks, etc.

9:27 p.m. on August 19, 2002 (EDT)
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An interesting URL on water quality in the hills

There have been some extended discussions of water purification and quality on mtncommunity.com under their Backcountry forum. You might want to take a look at a writeup of research results on the prevalence of giardia and other beasties at http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/Giardia.htm

But keep in mind that different parts of the country are different, and there is always the idea of "better safe than sorry", especially when it comes to your and other people's offspring who are in your charge (how do you tell Mrs. Jones that little Johnny died from contaminated water drunk during the trip you were the adult leader for?)

11:53 p.m. on August 19, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: MSR MiniWorks

> .... Any comments on this system?

I use one all the time, and I think it's great.

> It says to lubricate the o-ring on the compression pump but it hard to get the screw out of the pin holding the lever on. What's the story here? It has a groove on one side for using a screwdriver (or dime) but the other side just rotates freely without anything to stop it. Do they really want me to crimp it with pliers just to get the stupid thing off?

It isn't stupid. That's not a screw, and you don't need pliers nor screwdriver. That's just a pin, which is split, and you are seeing the split end of it. The ring around it holds it on by snapping into a groove in the split pin. Squeeze the ends together and push the pin out of the ring. Don't lose either one of them.

I take that pump part apart and put a little silicone grease on it about once a year. After each trip, I take the entire filter apart except for that pump chamber, and wash the plastic parts in dish soap. I pump water through that pump chamber and run water through the hose (don't lose the spring and especially the little pith ball...).

I clean the filter element according to the instructions,-- no soap, just remove the surface dirt with an old toothbrush and scrub the ceramic lightly with the scrubbing pad. Then I let it dry for a couple of days, putting it out in the sun when the sun is shining. I store the filter element inside the housing, without screwing the top on and without putting the red O-rings on (they stow nicely inside the clean side cover) so that air can circulate around it.

In the field, cleaning the ceramic filter element is easy with the old toothbrush and the scrubbing pad. I use a handkerchief around the pickup to help keep silt and dirt out.

A maintenance kit with both O-rings, a pith ball, and silicone grease is handy to have, just in case, and it only weighs a fraction of an ounce.

The Miniworks and the Waterworks II are a couple of the best designed products I have seen. Enjoy.

2:26 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
Giardia and filters

http://www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/Giardia.htm


Whoah - Bill this is one of the most interesting things I have read in a while. My wife will not skinny dip in mountain lakes cause shes scared of giardia yet she swims in a pool twice a week and swims in her sisters marin pool with her tiny niece and nephew who go to preschool, which according to this article is 10,000 times more apt to give you giardiasis than drinking unfiltered water in the Sierras.

How often do we learn that our ideas (Totally lacking in real research)are exactly backward of right? Like people who think a plastic sheet under their tent will keep them dry - wrong - it will make you wetter.

I thought I had giardia once - turns out I'm lactose intolerant and it wasn't the water - it was the cheese burger at McDonalds on the drive up! Also seems that my "altitude sickness" has largely been lactose intolerance.
Jim (:->) YMMV

July 25, 2014
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