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Subject Topic: Water filters Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by crayfish on 02/4/2012 at 11:44am
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Hi,

I'm looking for an affordable water filter for wild camping in Scotland - there seems to be a wide variety of models ranging from a fiver to several hundred pounds....   Does anyone have any experience of these?

Im particularly interested in what granularity of filter I should be looking at, and whether I should still be boiling water that I filter... I'll be wild camping so even a mild upset stomach could be very annoying.

I was looking at this Pellor unit which claims to be 0.1 micron filtration and very lightweight.

Any advice on this topic would be gratefully received.

Thanks

Message posted by sanhozay on 02/4/2012 at 2:48pm
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With upland wild camping in Scotland the water should be pretty good as it comes. I use a Travel Tap for Lakes and Snowdonia for extra peace of mind and to take out colour and taints. There's no need to boil as well.

Perhaps more important than water in terms of avoiding upset stomachs is cleaning your hands with an anti-bacterial. Plenty of these now in the supermarkets.

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Message posted by Sceptical Camper on 02/4/2012 at 6:03pm
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As Richard says, the Travel Tap by Drinksafe Systems should fit the bill for you.

You can read a review here and it is also worth checking out use experiences on fellwalking forums - such as this thread.

I use a Drinksafe Travel Tap and I can thoroughly recommend it. I don't boil the water once it has been filtered.

For hot drinks made with water that has had a couple of minutes rolling boil, I wouldn't normally use the filter (unless the water source was cloudy or likely to be chemically polluted - unlikekly in the high fells) because boiling is sufficient to kill micro-organisms.

I'd also endorse Richard's point about using antibacterial alcohol hand gel when preparing food or drink on the hills.

Message posted by robnchar on 03/4/2012 at 11:05am
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One small point you only need to bring water to boiling point to make safe not boil for minutes . Saves gas fuel etc and you'll drink safe . Good way to prep water for morning !
The Katadyn silver tablets work if in doute . Only ever used a filter in Where water was really short so never in UK .

Rob

Message posted by crayfish on 04/4/2012 at 2:02pm
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I always use anti-bac gel whenever I'm camping, even at a campsite, so thats not a problem :) Thanks for the links to Drinksafe, I'll check them out.

Cheers

Message posted by camperscamp on 09/9/2017 at 6:41am
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Erm well heres a free filter the shipment charge drops off also as you go throught to actually pay it to about $3 more or less

Message posted by camperscamp on 09/9/2017 at 9:25am
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i nearly forgot the link but I cant remember it anyway lol but the shop is called rainbowtap

Message posted by ultraquasar on 27/9/2017 at 1:07am
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So I've tried this http://www.military1st.co.uk/fa015-highlander-miniwell-outdoor-water-filter-olive.html

http://miniwell.en.alibaba.com/product/1737518107-221099484/miniwell_portable_water_filter_for_adventure_water_treatment.html?spm=a2700.8304367.prewdfa4cf.5.39317a2eFedmOZ


Spares can be got from here.
http://miniwell.en.alibaba.com/productgrouplist-221099484/L610_portable_water_filter.html

bought direct from Miniwell when they first appeared.
Also tried various cheaper "soldier" water filters like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/PureEasy-Soldier-Portable-Filter-Purifier/dp/B005EJMQEU

Also looked at the Kattadyne stainless water filter like this https://www.katadyn.com/en/de/89-2010000-katadyn-pocket

So the various "Soldier" filters doesnt filter that well, water still came through mucky so in Scotland you would notice the peatish colour much more. You could still drink from it, but its more a one time use expedition tool, dont expect them to last, in fact you might want two just so you have a backup, they dont take up much room.

Got the Miniwell next was impressed with the ink test video. Works well but like the soldier as both are plastic they have weak spots so can be prone to breaking easily so effectively just land fill.

The Miniwell did clean the water very well, you could still taste some tastes, like for example I filtered my own urine and you could still mildly detect it was urine but nothing that would kill you.

So whilst the 0.01 micron claim in the Miniwell is good, things to bear in mind with using filters like this in dirty water, they block up easily and this is when its likely to break. The miniwell has what is like a cotton thread bob much like you would see in a sewing basket which helps to filter the worst of the dirt, the largest particles, and then you get the ceramic filtering to filter out even smaller stuff. The top layers of sediment which kick up easily will bloke the ceramic filter easily which is why the miniwell has some foam to act like a float to stop the cotton bob from stirring up the sediment.

One nice touch with the miniwell is the clear plastic lid can be used a drinking vessel, ie you have a built in cup to drink from which might make it a nice touch for those odd days when you just want to go hiking and dont fancy carrying many water bottles or a large bottle.

Both the miniwell and soldier sorts are made from the same plastics, so if you plan on getting one, take at least small tube of superglue as this can help fix most breakages or splits whilst out in the field, not to mention be useful for gluing skin together if you experience that sort of injury, its what surfers use when they cut themselves as its the only thing that works in the wet and I'm sure you could find other uses for breakages like ripped tent fabrics or poles, boots, jackets, trousers etc etc.

Having looked at the Kattadyne, I might look at that again as the cost was off putting, but having taken it apart and looked it over, its very well built which you would expect for that money but most of the time I just boil water, with the option of putting in some drops of lugol iodine which is potassium iodide and iodine which can help clean the water anyway.

I was wild camping in the Cairngorms just off Ben Macdui over Easter in the snow and I was just melting snow for water, nothing more. Would only recommend that area when its frozen and snowed as theres too many boulders making it difficult to pitch a tent unless you pitch near a frozen watercourse or marsh which is what we did.

There used to be a saying in medical circles in the 1800's "if ye dont know what when or why, prescribe K & I" with K being potassium & I being iodine. Theres still a lot of truth in that even today, even dental fillings stay bacteria free for longer if iodine is used to clean the cavity before filling and your mouth is one hell of a bacterial mine field if you have looked at the different types of bacteria that live under fillings! Some nasty stuff there.

Me personally, having grown up on a farm, caught anthrax from sheeps wool and drunk from numerous streams and rivers direct, sometimes even dirty puddles lying around the forests here, I think the concerns can sometimes get hyped out of all proportion if you are reasonably sensible in where you select your water from. Sure you cant tell what is upstream, but free flowing and clean is usually good enough for me.

Now whilst I'm not suggesting you should ignore "expert medical advice", its best to get things into perspective and make informed decisions about any risks you might decide to take if you are forced to due to equipment failure.

Worst case scenario, if you catch something it will either be viral, parasitic or bacterial. Copper kills 99% of bacteria so increase you copper & iodine intake by eating liver & seaweed or sea food, viral can be weakened by increased Vit A & D & iodine as blood flushes through the thyroid every 17minutes killing bacteria weakening viruses, and parasitic well that can be nasty, but even dog worming tablets can provide some relief if its got to that stage. We dont have German flat bottomed toilets but those would be useful for checking out if one has something like worms.

You know the ancient Egyptians used to treat syphilis by getting patients to fast on just water! Parts of your immune system goes into hyper drive when you fast on just water but other parts are reset, effectively wiping out the vaccine memory the adaptive immune system builds up when you are given a vaccine according to recent MIT study. Not tried that yet myself.

Anyway some info on the filters and what you might catch if you dont treat your water with care. The superglue trick is one worth remember imo its got so many uses when camping or just out and about.

Edit.

One other advantage of the miniwell and Kattadyne is you can throw the intake tube into a water source that you cant reach with your arm, which might also be useful over other devices which you need to insert into water not to mention possibly dirty up the container and hand holding it in the water.

Post last edited on 27/09/2017 01:19:16

Message posted by Ewen c on 27/9/2017 at 6:25am
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The trouble with melting snow is it takes for ages and uses a lot of fuel. A pot of snow gives you hardly any water.
As an afterthought, why melt snow on Macdui? You can carry clean water in and there are sources just off the plateau.

Post last edited on 27/09/2017 06:51:33

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Message posted by ultraquasar on 27/9/2017 at 9:07am
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It wasnt safe.

Re melting snow totally agree, we did carry in water but as it was snowing heavily enough at times to not see more than a few feet in front of us, a good white out with decent wind & failing light we decided to pitch camp somewhere reasonably flat and sat it out when visibility gave us the opportunity to find somewhere to pitch.

In the morning I was glad not to have gone looking for water even though I could have located it on the map & compass because the ice would have made it hard to get some water without ending up quite likely soaked in some way even if just boots & feet got wet as the ice was very variable over the marsh.

Message posted by Ewen c on 27/9/2017 at 9:45am
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Good call then. The Macdui plateau plays tricks on your sense of direction even when there isn't a white out.

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Message posted by ultraquasar on 27/9/2017 at 10:26am
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I noticed the sound was different up there, no echo's so even when talking, our voices sounded different not only to ourselves but each other. Thats a weird experience.

Message posted by Ewen c on 27/9/2017 at 11:32am
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A theory about am fear liath mor is that people hear echoes of their footsteps in the snow. They stop and they hear a few crunches behind them. They feel something is there... It can be a pretty eerie place, especially in a blizzard. Quiet, like the eye of a storm but not quiet...and then you arrive at cairngorm and the busy crowds.

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Message posted by ultraquasar on 27/9/2017 at 2:16pm
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Just found the link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am_Fear_Liath_M%C3%B2r

I think its the sound doing it because I noticed when we were up there, the sound is very different to other parts of the countryside and I wonder if its to do with all the granite boulders and the general landscape. I cant think of any other place much like this region with all the boulders like they are to test this theory, its almost like being in an anechoic chamber.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anechoic_chamber

Message posted by Ewen c on 27/9/2017 at 3:49pm
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It probably happens more on older crust. When you break through it you get a noise. Braeriach doesn't have that air of, almost, menace.

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