12:43 a.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
126 forum posts

there are a lot of beginners afraid to get involved,you're not gonna get chewed down by experts they want to help and give you their knowledge.there is a huge wont find a better place to get unbiased opinions,all user based.and it's free. Get your feet wet here! 

5:07 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
1,389 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Every experienced hiker I know is all too happy to share what they know! Maybe it's all the time spent alone on the trail, or perhaps just the memories of the blisters and bumps they got earning their stripes.

2:33 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

And today's questions is ?

8:43 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
594 reviewer rep
183 forum posts

Ok, water treatment I don't know if I'm overkill or not.  I use Sawyer Squeeze filter with Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablet, the tablet I let set for 15 min. before I drink the water.  I know there is many topics about this, and I watch were I get my water from, but I am concern about viruses.  I feel the Sawyer Squeeze gets the rest, except for metals, things from farms ect.  I put the filter water in a 1 liter bottle before using the tablet.

9:59 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

i guess I'm old school about water. I don't use fancy chemicals or UV lights, or even a pump. I always carry a lightweight backpacking stove and fuel with me. I boil the water I need, boiling for a few minutes kills everything.

I also have a Sawyer in-bottle filter for emergencies. Use a sock or handkerchief over the opening to make sure water gets in but debris doesn't, and then simply suck through the straw. The 1 micron filter takes care of most pests as the water is sucked through it and it was used by relief workers in Haiti after the major earthquakes.

11:03 a.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Yuuum foot flavored

1:19 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
3,173 reviewer rep
2,276 forum posts


Nah, I don’t think it’s overkill if you have concern. And besides, peace of mind has a value.

I’m somewhat hesitant to say this (but Ed whomeworry has said it also so I’m not alone in this) but there are places that I drink freely with no concern. There are certain high elevation (for my area) water sources that I’ve been drinking from, untreated and unfiltered, for years now with no issues.

In fact, I have less concern from some of those sources than I do from the water from the tap at home that I shower with and brush my teeth with. I always feel like I should issue a disclaimer and say: “I don’t recommend that anyone does this!”, but I’m just being honest.

However, I never go without something to treat or filter with in case I need it. Like many others I’ve extensively used the old heavy MSR mini-works (it is a reliable work horse of a filter), and have more recently been using Aquimira drops.

But again, if you’re worried about it, do it to it and be at peace about it!

6:11 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
1,389 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Katadyne Micropur kills viruses that might be left over after the Sawyer Squeeze, but remember the dwell time for the chemicals is dependent on temperature. 15 minutes is only long enough if the water is warm.

6:19 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
1,389 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

One point on any filter: many viruses are small enough to get through a 1 micron filter, including, for example, Hepatitis A which can be as small as 24 nm. Depending on where you're getting your water, viruses might be a real concern.

If you hike at any significant elevation, you might also want to note that exposure to even weak viruses (the kind that might only give you a cough under other circumstances) can increase your risk of high altitude pulmonary edema.

6:58 p.m. on May 4, 2012 (EDT)
136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts

peter, not many viruses on earth, and not many bacteria or organisms either, can survive boiling water. That's why I always boil over any other method. I don't have to worry, I don't have to taste chemicals, and I don't have to time anything. I just watch it boil, wait a few more minutes, and on my way. With boil times on my stove, I can boil 2 cups of water in my small mess kit in around 2 minutes, in my larger mess kit 4 cups in about 6 minutes. If I plan well for a trip, I can make my camp near a water source and won't have to refill my bottles until I'm resting for the night, and then I can spend 1/2 to 45 minutes making a couple more liters of clean water.


The straw filter bottle is for emergencies only, when getting water with the chance of something getting through the 1 micron filter, is better than dehydration and death. In fact I've had it for 2 warm hiking seasons and haven't needed to use it yet.

9:25 a.m. on May 5, 2012 (EDT)
1,389 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Yes, boiling water is certainly the best way to go. It takes time, though, (as do most other treatment methods) and you have to have carried enough fuel (or have dry firewood available) to do it.

I was only pointing out the concerns with the OP's proposed methods, and he was particularly concerned about viruses getting through. His way works, too, as long as the chemicals have sufficient dwell time. If he's using Micropur tabs, though, the Sawyer Squeeze is probably redundant.

1:28 p.m. on May 5, 2012 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

2 out of three aint bad

10:42 p.m. on May 5, 2012 (EDT)
594 reviewer rep
183 forum posts

Thanks for the info, I'll keep my setup.  I am only day hiker, but have gone through 5 liters in Anza Borrego in one hike, and still didn't have enough water. I was stupid but had a water source on the trail.  My problem is elevation, the highest part of San Diego County is 6300 feet, but there are many springs in the backcountry. 

1:11 p.m. on May 6, 2012 (EDT)
134 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

Jumping on the thread, I have used the Mini-Works for ever.  But on this upcoming trip I will be using bleach drops.

Dose anyone know how much to add?  Like is it 2 drops per liter or more?  I know it won't require much.  My plan is to fill up the camalback at night / evening, add the drops and leave it overnight and then use it the next day on the trail.  Water for the night and morning will be boiled so I am not worried about that. 

By the way, has anyone looked up the difference between Sterilization your water (boiling) vs. Pasteurization of your water?  It's very interesting in the difference and the amount of heat required.

1:30 p.m. on May 6, 2012 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Add less than you think.

A couple / three drops per Quart may be enough.

12:55 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
1,389 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Just because it's so hard to be sure about the proper amount, I would carry water treatments tabs instead of actual bleach. Besides, do you really want your drinking water to have all the extra chemicals (like perfumes) that bleach manufactures add?

You could also get Pristine or something similar. At least that's meant for human consumption.

1:19 p.m. on May 7, 2012 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Hey at least your teeth will be whiter

12:23 p.m. on May 8, 2012 (EDT)
640 reviewer rep
1,184 forum posts

Unscented Chlorox bleach is an acceptable way to render water bacteriologicaly safe to drink. According to their website, the suggested treatment is 2 drops per quart. As peter points out, you should not use scented bleaches or bleaches with foaming additives (added for laundry bleaches or kitchen cleaners). You could certainly add a few drops more if the water is cloudy or very cold. Contact time varies widely according to turbidity, temperature and what you're trying to eradicate.  Viruses may be gone in seconds, but tougher bacteria and encycsted nasties like giardia can require as long as 4 hours. The only thing I can say with certainty is that a 4-hour contact time is the best way to kill the most pathogens, especially in cold or cloudy water.  For warmer, clearer water, a shorter contact time may very well work.  How much shorter? I haven't seen any good data on this, but in north America, I'm comfortable with a 30 minute contact time.

I haven't used bleach for water myself, but it is certainly a sound method.  It's used on a larger scale for many municipal water systems.

One method I've heard of for administering the proper dose is to use a eye drop bottle or something similar.  I've had a few thru-hiker friends who resupplied their bleach supply at hotels by asking the housekeeping staff to top off their bottles!

9:44 p.m. on May 10, 2012 (EDT)
290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

eye dropper is a great idea

February 24, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: worst lost in woods story Newer: Looking for hiking partner
All forums: Older: Need help picking out a weekend pack. Newer: New Mountaineering, Thanks Euli!