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Posted: 5/27/2007 5:52:57 PM EST
I realize this has probably been discussed here many times before. I am looking for water filter for my survival preps. Ideally this would be something to keep for bugging-in, but it would be good to get a model that is somewhat small and portable to take on the road if necessary.

I've been looking at various Katadyn and MSR models and there are so many to choose from. Here's my critera, so hopefully some of you guys could reccomend a specific model.

Ceramic filter
Good cartridge life to price ratio
Hand pump is fine (doesn't have to be a gravity drip model)
Easy to operate
Durable
Lightweight (if possible)

And what's a good place to find these at reasonable prices? I've checked Dick's sporting goods and they have a very limited selection and the prices are likely not very good.

Thanks for the help!
Link Posted: 5/27/2007 6:08:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/27/2007 6:17:09 PM EST
Those filters work great, but they don't work against viruses and pesticides. I went with the first need because it removes more of the bad stuff. If you are in any kind of urban area you will need to do some more purifying after it comes out of the Katadyn or MSR filter to make it safe, where the first need on the other hand needs no extra preparation.
Link Posted: 5/27/2007 7:09:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/27/2007 7:12:13 PM EST by EXPY37]
Check out this comprehensive list posted by another member some months ago. An excellent find that should be tacked.

Be sure to read the detailed description of each product on the far right side of the page.

Everything you could hope to find, all on one site.

ETA to add link...

usachppm.apgea.army.mil/WPD/CompareDevices.aspx
Link Posted: 5/27/2007 9:08:34 PM EST
Since you mentioned that the water filter is for SHTF purposes, I think the small, portable filters fall generally into two categories.

First, the Katadyn Pocket filter. It's a category unto itself because of its track record and filtering capacity. Almost nothing comes close to coming close. Downsides are they cost almost three times as much as most filters, and they are a little bit bigger and heavier than most.

Second, all the other name brand models. Most of which are pretty good, as far as I know, but I'm no expert here.

As someone noted, most filters won't kill viruses or remove pesticides and other chemicals.

If you're worried about viruses, add 8-10 drops of plain, unscented bleach to every gallon of filtered water and wait at least 1/2 hour before drinking, longer if it's cold. If you're worried about pesticides and chemicals, you can go to rei.com and get an activated carbon pre-filter element (for the Katadyn, but I think most hose sizes are similar, could be wrong here) and then go to a pet store and buy some activated carbon in the aquarium area because it's about 10 times cheaper at the pet stores, and you're set.
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 8:47:38 AM EST
Tag for picking my filter for BOB.
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 8:53:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2007 8:54:19 AM EST by Aim4MyHead]
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 9:29:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By EXPY37:
Check out this comprehensive list posted by another member some months ago. An excellent find that should be tacked.

Be sure to read the detailed description of each product on the far right side of the page.

Everything you could hope to find, all on one site.

ETA to add link...

usachppm.apgea.army.mil/WPD/CompareDevices.aspx


I second the tacking. Or better yet, someone who has the time and motivation should consolidate info on portable water filters and then tack it...
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 9:33:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2007 9:34:20 AM EST by Essayons]

Originally Posted By Aim4MyHead:
this is my water fliter selection in my BOB.. I think i paid $60-80 for the hand filter.
[img=img.photobucket.com/albums/v83/jrhack79/bob3.jpg]img.photobucket.com/albums/v83/jrhack79/bob3.jpg

J


That's what I use. I've had great luck with the Pur/Katadyn Hiker and Guide. They are faster (liters/pumps) than most of the competitors. Their new model, the Vario adds a ceramic prefilter. I'd definitely check it out.
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 10:18:42 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 10:43:05 AM EST
MSR is local to me, and I like most of their stuff, but I had the lever on one of their filters break on me while I was out on the Olympic Coast. We ended up boiling water for the rest of the trip
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 10:48:40 AM EST
I use the sweetwater. I really like it since it pumps on both the up and down strokes. I use the anti-viral drops as well....I have no desire to be sick out in the middle of no where.
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 11:00:32 AM EST
From what I read on the above link, it appears that the MSR Sweetwater has the best coverage. Am I reading that right?

Anyone know anything about this unit? Weight, size?
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 11:03:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By KBL:
From what I read on the above link, it appears that the MSR Sweetwater has the best coverage. Am I reading that right?

Anyone know anything about this unit? Weight, size?


www.msrcorp.com/filters/sweet_system.asp
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 2:42:10 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/6/2007 9:31:45 AM EST
So, would a layered process like straining, boiling, then filtering through one of the better units, be a more comprehensive method? Is there a pre-filtering method that anyone uses along with boiling that enhances the performance of the filtration unit by not stressing it as much with straight from the pond water? I'm speaking of this in conjunction with a non-chemical filtration device. It just seems that anything done to remove the obvious large particulate matter first, would be of some benefit before pouring it into the filtration unit. It's not like there are many pristine clear running water sources in my neck of the woods. It's mostly murky, fairly stagnant water that's found around here.

Obviously, I haven't had any experience with any of these units mentioned, so I have a steep learning curve here.
Link Posted: 6/6/2007 10:05:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2007 10:12:04 AM EST by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 6/6/2007 10:14:50 AM EST
Would be a good tack for survival forum. Get some good info and keep it around.
Link Posted: 6/6/2007 10:15:48 AM EST
I have used a Katadyn filter for almost 20 years in Alaska, the Pacific N/W and Canada besides MI and it has never failed to protect me. I never go hunting, hiking or camping without it and my sons borrow it when they go out. Yes, it costs more, but it is rugged, reliable and one of my wisest investments. There is a reason why the Red Cross uses it aorund the world for their workers.
Link Posted: 6/6/2007 10:46:49 AM EST
When backpacking (usually in southern Ohio) I carry an MSR Miniworks



To use when I'm in a hurry. As backup or in addition, I carry Iodine in my first aid kit (both tincture and povidone Iodine, 8 drops and 4 drops per liter, 30 minutes, respectively)

When I'm not in a hurry, I prefer and usually use a homemade gravity fed water filter similar to that described Here(). No moving parts to break. I set it up when I set up camp, and let gravity do its work overnight then have plenty of water the next day.


I use Emergen-C to mask the Iodine taste

I let untreated water settle whenever possible, prefiltering through my bandanna or whatever when possible. Anything to reduce the amount of work the filter itself has to do.


Originally Posted By TomJefferson:

Originally Posted By KBL:
So, would a layered process like straining, boiling, then filtering through one of the better units, be a more comprehensive method? Is there a pre-filtering method that anyone uses along with boiling that enhances the performance of the filtration unit by not stressing it as much with straight from the pond water? I'm speaking of this in conjunction with a non-chemical filtration device. It just seems that anything done to remove the obvious large particulate matter first, would be of some benefit before pouring it into the filtration unit. It's not like there are many pristine clear running water sources in my neck of the woods. It's mostly murky, fairly stagnant water that's found around here.

Obviously, I haven't had any experience with any of these units mentioned, so I have a steep learning curve here.


There's a number of methods for prefiltering before you use your main filter that help.

Some people like filtering through cloth to get the larger suspeneded solids out prior to filtering. Some filters have screens which vary from metal mesh to silk. The basic idea is limit clogging.

For stagnant ponds or slow moving creeks, I personally like digging a hole directly beside the water. Allow the hole to fill through the soil and sediment settle, then filter. This works much like a well by using the ground as a sand filter/Earth filter. How long it takes is dependent on the soil quality. Sand is pretty fast, however soil can be quite slow to settle and often you have to skim off the floating material.

In stagnant or slow moving water, always try to take your water from just below the surface. The heavier suspended solids tend to drop with time. In swamps, you will often notice a few inches of what looks like somewhat clear water then a few inches of murky water. Many filters have floats on their intake lines to help with this.

None of these methods eliviate treating for micro-organisms/germs but will increase you filter life or slow the clogging process. Please keep in mind that there is no universal rating for water quality for determining manufacturers filter lifes. How they work varies all over the place depending on water quality. The trend the last few years has been to become much more conservative with these figures. They sell more filters this way.

Many of the filters rated for 125 gallons for example just two years ago were rated for 400 gallons and really in clear mountain water would do ten times that. You have to use your own good judgement.

A couple miscelaneous things is typically activated charcoal after being wet is considered to have a life of six months regardless of the amount of water it did not see. Ceramic filters loosen up a little on pour size with each cleaning.

Now we'll talk micro-organisms a bit. Most filters are 0.02 microns nominal. For all practical purposes that means they will filter gram negative rods (fecal bacteria) and parasites pretty good on their own. Gram positive cocci like strep or staph they won't filter as well. Virus they won't at all. Now for a bit of good news, virus has a very short lifespan out of its normal environment which is organic matter and temps close to body temperature. I use approximately 60 degrees as my rule of thumb.

What that means for most water sources that do not have human habitation upstream or a dead animal, the filter will work fine without secondary treatment.

Boiling is still a very effective way to kill germs/parasites in water. The general rule of thumb is 1 minute for every 1,000 ft of altitude. Though definately not as high tech as the MSR Miox or Steri-pen, its actually faster and just as effective.

Chemical after treatments work, however how long or how much varies by brand so you need to follow the directions on the bottles.

Link Posted: 6/6/2007 10:51:12 AM EST
Thanks Tj, that was very informative...

So, like many things relating to survival, it's a combination of good equipment, knowledge, and a large dose of common sense and ingenuity...
Link Posted: 6/6/2007 10:52:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2007 11:00:12 AM EST by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 6/17/2007 4:55:19 PM EST
TJ, you mention the MIOX, which is something I'm looking at putting on my chest rig. I've got an old Scout pump filter that I will probably be replacing.
What is your take on the MIOX from MSR?
Link Posted: 6/18/2007 10:09:10 PM EST
I have always pre-filtered water through cloth of some type. Now I pre-filter through sand placed in a coffee filter. Then boil the filtered water.
I am now interested in conserving fuel and looking at solar energy. I am really interested in solar water pasteurization for survival.

Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 6/18/2007 10:49:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By m24shooter:
TJ, you mention the MIOX, which is something I'm looking at putting on my chest rig. I've got an old Scout pump filter that I will probably be replacing.
What is your take on the MIOX from MSR?


MIOX takes batteries and salt to work and it takes 30 minutes to clean a liter of water. Not very good imho.
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