Mar 14, 20183404 views

[Ongoing] Hydration Discussion

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HYDRATION Water is the elixir of life, so it’s of utmost importance that we keep our bodies hydrated. It’s especially necessary when we’re hiking, exercising, camping, backpacking, or traveling abroad.
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BlooRinz, theanghv, and 4 others

The Rotopax 1 gallon water container is the best storage solution imo. It fits perfectly inside a backpack and can be frozen so you'll have a cool back for a day or so which helps in summer camping. Ultra durable.
I’m doing the JMT this summer and can’t decide what treatment to rely on. On short trips in the past I’ve used tablets to purify and carried 2-3 litres. I just purchased a katadyn BeFree filter and 2L hydrapak, but am a little disconcerted by how quickly the water flows through the filter. Is it really working? There seems to be no stop on the flow And the cap looks pretty flimsy. I’m also considering the steripen...the one that uses ultraviolet light to purify but needs charged. Any thoughts on any of these systems would be greatly appreciated!
I've used all available methods that I am aware of for making water safer to drink... mostly in pretty clean water, but sometimes on some really horrible looking ponds.
You mentioned tablets (I assume iodine, but they may have been chlorine-based). First of all, yuck on the flavor. Yes, you can make it "better" with vitamin C but that's like sprinkling some salt on garbage to smile through it. Tablets are by far the lightest method... but you have to wait to drink, it tastes bad, and has some health risks if used long term.
The BeFree is an interesting filter. (Along with the MSR TrailShot). They are using a 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane filter which, simply put, is a loop of porous tubes. Take a look at this crude illustration:

The pores are small enough that water can flow through them... but most bad things can't. The estimate is 1,000 liters of reasonably clear water before the filter pores will be clogged/plugged by sediment and/or bacteria.
As for the flow rate, there is SO MUCH more of the loop exposed to the dirty water with these newer filters that they can supply clean water without the burden of pumping or dealing with a slow flow. Remember, it's the number of pores that water can enter that determine the flow rate.
The Steripen is an awesome tool I use when I travel. It only works in clear water and because I am more paranoid than most, I always run it for twice the number of time that is recommended. The rechargeable model is the only one I would recommend for your situation but it does nothing to affect taste from sediment.
I know that this post probably comes across as biased.... but it is. I built the bias to filters over years of trying other methods. When camping in a group I bring a gravity-fed filter. When camping alone I bring a personal filter.
All Hail The Mighty Hollow Fiber Membrane Filters!!

Now, depending on your personal taste, I'd recommend the BeFree or an MSR TrailShot. The biggest difference there is that you are either always carrying the dirty water or you are only carrying clean water. I prefer clean water with me which is why I usually bring the TrailShot.
Don't fear the flow rate... celebrate it. I don't know how long you've been cleaning camp water... but the old days of pumping an MSR SweetWater in the thick of mosquito season have no appeal to me. It truly is the best time to be camping and hiking.
Thanks so much for the detailed response. I’m leaning towards the filter with pristine tablets as back up. The steripen will be returned!
An ultralight discussion should have when to use No filter. It's the only one I use in the Pacific Northwest, drink from streams and lakes without problem (not stagnant pools but a fellow hiker does with no filter nor illness. But maybe that's our older immune systems.)
I realize giardia can be found anywhere in varying amounts, have heard that 90 % don't get sick but believe that's in lower concentrations. It would be helpful to see data or at least anecdotes, any of yougotten sick? Where and what conditions? Did you use a filter? Thanks.
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If you felt queasy and ill within 2 or even 20 hours after consuming the water it was not cryptosporidium or giardia.
I have been hiking in the PNW my entire life and always drank directly from running water sources. I still do but I carry a Sawyer gravity-fed (and Aqua-tabs in my emergency kit) because I've typically got my kids with me now and the trails are much more trafficked these days. I have had giardia once but I got that from hiking in Mexico--I drank filtered water but unknowingly brushed my teeth one night with unfiltered water--so I'm not sure you can make yourself immune from it since I obviously wasn't. I just grew up being told where to get water and where not to get water and either those teachings were correct or I just got lucky.
In reviewing comments, ( and thanks everyone for sharing your experiences...always good to learn from others) I haven't seen any comments about hydration and altitude. I carry a 3 liter camelbak when hiking and last year in Tetons on long day hike, it wasn't enough. I'm an older female of 50+ in decent shape but I've noticed I don't do as well in high altitudes as hiking partner. Any thoughts on hydration and high altitude? Thanks.
Rather than increasing the amount of water you carry (3 L is more than I would typically carry for any sort of adventure except maybe desert situations where water is scarce), I would consider water purification of some sort. Water is very heavy!
At high altitudes where the water is typically frozen (snow/ice), a small lightweight stove and fuel are still lighter than 1 L of water...
Hey folks. We have a winner of the Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System. Congrats to Marianna Miller! The giveaway has concluded, but if you have any questions (or answers), keep them coming. Thanks y'all.
I have been reading through the discussion and noticed a few things that people are forgetting. 1. Loaction of hike 2. Water availabllity at location/ along trail 3. Types of water sources.
1. Location of your hike is paramount to know what your bringing for water purification. I hike in the high sierras and there is no way in hell I am bringing my ceramic filter due to the weight of my filter. I pack it with my car camping stuff that I use in the undeveloped camping areas I use. Temperatures range between 60 deg in the day down to 20 or less in late fall through early spring.
When end I go hiking I usually use my katadyne pro and my platapus gravity. both of these 2 filters will filter all but virus. In the high sierras there is little chances of viruses however there are high chances of gwear diva and these 2 filter it out perfectly.
2. water availability is how you decide on the type of filters to bring. Both of my katadyn filters great However tend to use a lot of water on my hikes. I normally use about 4 liters every 8 miles but it would be a pain in the butt if all I had was a Sawyer squeeze to filter that. So I decided a long time ago that I needed more filtering power. Some stretches there is 15-20 miles between water sources and I use my gravity filter to filter about 8-10 liters for those stretches.
3. Types of water sources are dependent also on your type of filter. The new services straws. Well are pointless in my areas. in a small stream i normally make a small dam to build a pool of water then I use my pump filter since I can control the flow of my pump. My gravity filter would not be able to collect enough water to be useful.

When end you decide on a filter please look at what your doing and the amount your going to be filtering.
I hope ole this helps some people decide on what to bring where and Why.
well typing this out on an Iphone sucks I see. lol.. oh well. I hope you all get the point I was attempting to make.
What is the quickest way to filter water? In the morning for coffee.
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2 points to make here...
1.) There's a variety of Sawyer filters... many of them are compatible with Smart Water bottles which is super convenient. I would probably look for more of the membrane to be exposed for a higher flow rate. An example of that would be the Katadyn BeFree or an MSR TrailShot.
2.) Sleep with your water bottle next to your body if you can spare the warmth and your boil times will be less than air temp water. Be the first with the morning brew which will make you the envy of the rest in your group. ;). ......or share the tip and be a hero.
What virus, bacteria, protozoa, or bug is not killed by boiling water? I wish using boiling water potentially causing bitterness was the only problem with my camp coffee--mine is a powder and I'm just thankful it's warm and has caffeine! LOL
The sawyer is currently my main filter due to its versatility. I can attach it to the squeeze bags or softdrink bottles and squeeze out water, hook it up to a water bag or bucket as a group filter, inline from a hydration bladder or a faucet adapter when I'm travelling even in hotels. I do have the GRAYL but its more of a backup at the moment even though it could be the primary for a solo or small group.
I very much like my Sawyer filter, but could anyone please recommend a filter or method to address viruses? Thank you in advance for your suggestions!
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If you use Aquamira you will end up with Chlorite in the water but it will kill viruses. If you run the treated Aquamira water through an activated carbon filter, you can remove the Chlorite.
Yes, simply boil your water after filtering it! Filters like the Sawyer Mini can only take out Protazoa and bacteria, and viruses can pass through if they are not bound to larger particles but most viruses are killed by boiling. Also, the Mini does not take out toxins like industrial chemicals or poisonous heavy metals like lead, or improve the taste of stagnent water...You need to use an additional Activated Charcoal filter for that...Sawyer don't make one for the Mini but you can make your own very cheaply though.
Sawyer squeeze and a pair of hydrapak seeker 2 liter are a fantastic setup. Very light and allows for carrying a lot of water.
Coincidentally, totally the same set up I use.
Make sure you have more water than you need and the ability to get more should you need it on any outing. This is one area where I won't question additional weight. That's about all there is to my philosophy on hydration.
Has anyone had any experience using the Grayl filter?  I thought it seemed like a good idea for day hikes near water sources, or as an emergency back-up to the main system.  Looking for thought/feedback or reviews.
I have a Steripen, an MSR pump-type filter, and a Grayl. The Steripen is small, but doesn't filter, and on long trips I carried an extra battery. The MSR took longer than I liked to fill up a water bottle, so my favorite is now the Grayl. Why just as an emergency back-up? I used it for a 10-day trek in Nepal, and used it to fill another water bottle. It's super-easy to use (yes, you still have to push hard to filter, but pushing down on the inner bottle is a lot easier than a pump) and it serves as a small water bottle as well as a filtration system, so I just use it as one of my two water bottles. I personally LOVE it!
I was thinking about it as a backup because until I read your comment I was only thinking of it as a filter as you use it solution like the LifeStraw TBH. I was thinking as I read “because when I hike I need more water to move between water sources so I need a filter to to clean water that I can the pour into the 2 later nalgene I carry...pour into...filter... Damn.” Then I felt foolish and sad for not thinking of pouring water from the Grayl in the first place. Sometimes I guess we focus in on one thing (filter, then use as a water bottle!), rather than a big picture solution (filter, re-fill, then use as a water bottle!). Thanks very much for the input!
I always carry a sawyer straw filter as it is light and takes up little room. Love the fact it will attach to the top of almost any water bottle. Prefiltering with a rag or cloth helps prolong the life of the filter as large debris makes sucking water through the straw difficult. Admit that most of my hikes/pack trips are planned around stopping points that allow me access to water. The straw I carry for those times my plans go awry.
I use a 4L Sawyer gravity filter and I love it. It filters quickly, has durable bags, the clean bag can be used as a reservoir, and is easily backwashed in seconds in the field. They make filters for the bag that will remove everything but viruses and ones that will remove viruses as well. The virus one is a little slower when filtering but that is to be expected with the smaller pore size. The bags for these filters have changed somewhat since I bought mine so I can't speak to how durable the new ones are but I would definitely suggest this filter. The 4 L one is enough for a long day of hiking for 1 person and 2 people in camp. They also make a 2 L version. Traveling abroad in less developed countries Sawyer also makes squeeze that will remove toxins and heavy metals as well as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.
I used the sawyer filter when I did the Oregon section of the PCT in 2016. It worked great, and I kind of enjoyed the extra time that it took to process it into my smart water bottles. Gave me a chance to stop and realize where I was (tremendous beauty) and to rest up. I had never given hydration much thought before, mostly took it for granted. Southern oregon in August, being 58, temps close to 100, and starting out with a low milage output changed my outlook to say the least!
Yawn..... Really!
Nobody in this discussion of hydration has brought up the subject of how age and health have an impact on hydration especially if you live in a hot area with high humidty. For this population the advice to wait till you are thirsty to start drinking is not good advice. A lot of people in this population will loose water faster than it can be absorbed by the body after drinking. This is particularly true for people on medications to control high blood pressure and that is a huge slice of the population. A lot of these meds work by keeping people in a constant state of mild dehydration. Additionally they leach salts out of the body. Add that to the fact that many of lower blood pressure by dialating blood vessles which means these people have lost a means of cooling their bodies during periods of prolonged exertion. Staying hydrated for this populaion is much more important because they are more vulnerable to issues associated with dehydration. These people need to be drinking a bit at a time constantly. Even then most will end up somewhat dehydrated at the end of the day. I hike with a group of older people people and after a 7 - 9 hr backpack up and down mountains (there is virtually no flat ground where we hike), many are playing catch up over night with their hydration needs based on the amount of fluids they drink at night. Also, a lot of older people may be dealing with arthritis which makes using either pump or squeeze filtration more difficult if not painful. Gravity filters are the only way to go for this population. They look for a filter with water bags big enough so that they do not have to make multiple trips to the water source at night to have enough water for drinking, cooking and washing up. They look for models that are easy to hook up and take apart with stiff fingers. Since nobody wants to be the last ready to break camp in the AM, they look for filters which work quickly because they know they may not pack up as quickly as a younger hiker. MSR and Platypus filters appear to be the most commonly purchased by this group. Think many still think of Sawyer filters as just squeeze models and the BeFree as not as versatile as filters made by other vendors. People may not think of this group as being a substantial portion of the buying public but that was made very clear to me when I attended a presentation on hiking the AT at Amicola State Park by Springer Mountain in GA. The majority of the group making plans to hike the AT were retirees rather than the younger college aged person I expected to find.
I have tried a bunch of water filters over the past few years and nothing is better than the Katadyn Be Free. I used to have a Sawyer and a Life Straw, and it took so much work to get a drink out of those two. The Be Free flows so much better and I can actually hydrate myself quickly.
I have drops, tablets, sawyer mini, msr trailshot, grayl, msr gravity filter, lifestraw, steripen and the new Katadyn BeFree. The BeFree is BY FAR my favorite! So much faster than the mini with much less effort required.
For our honeymoon, my wife and I went to Yellowstone. One of our back country hikes turned into hell and we did NOT pack enough water. Luckily our camp site was right on the water so we were able to purify some with iodine tabs.
After we returned from our trip I bought a gravity filter, two new packs with hydration pockets, two more bladders, and an insulation pack. Running out of water will never happen again.
I'm using the MSR Guardian water filter, and love it! Ok, it's not for gram-counters, and it'll set you back several hundred dollars. That said, it's military-grade, filters to .02 microns--which takes care of everything including viruses--has an incredible flow rate, it's nearly maintenance free, and the water tastes fine. As an assistant Scoutmaster, I primarily got it to refill water bottles and bladders for the boys entrusted to my care, and the peace-of-mind it gives makes it worth every penny to me. Chemically contaminated water (e.g., petroleum, nitrogen, bleach, salts [sea water], pesticides, etc.) cannot be filtered by the Guardian.....
when I was first introduced to backpacking many years ago the “Go To” methods at the time were chemical purification. While keeping a few tabs on hand for a 5 day trip in the Sierras was light and efficient - I don’t know how much I like adding chems to my water.
Intro the filtration methods. Nowadays we have moved from chemicals to super ultra fine micron ftration systems that really pack a punch. While I won’t get down to the nitty gritty technical specs I will give you my tips and sure fire recommendations for the first time backpacker to the expert trying to lighten his load.
Filtrrs I recommend and why:
1. Sawyer mini squeeze - my favorite water filter comes in a miniature size! Lighter weight and effective this is my go to filter to teach your young child about how to drink water safely in the backcountry. The cool part? They fit on the end of a smart water bottle, or inline with your water bladder.
Pros: super compact, easy to use, light weight, great for little kids learning how to filter their own water (especially when Mom or dad will likely be filtering the “Bulk” of the water that’s consumed). Amazing backup filter that takes zero space.
coms: it’s super tiny! I almost lost my regular size sawyer I can only imagine the mini. The filtration rate is too slow for many adults. Does not kill viruses.
2. CHLORINE DIOXIDE CHEMICAL TREATMENT - be it tabs or drops these are a sure fire way if you find yourself drinking out of a cow pond. Often times when you get into backpacking you’ll find yourself praising not so yummy water sources. When in doubt, a few drops of these and your 20% cow pee water is now safe to drink (ok don’t quote me on the pee to h20 ratio point is...this will kill all protezoa, bacteria, and viruses. Many people emplor a filter and a chemical treatment.
Pros: it’s the sure fire way to kill all the bad stuff. Super ultralight
cons: it’s chlorine. It’s a chemical, it won’t remove any gross floaters. It’s chlorine.
Note: in the sierras I never take chlorine drops with me - I only filter and it’s fine for me. Up to you.
3. The sawyer Squeeze - the last and not least is my go to ultra light filtration system. You can use this inline, as a gravity filter, with a smart water bottle (my fav) and hands down a great easy to use filter I’ll bet my life on.
Pros higher fllow rate + all the pros of the mini version. Filtering and chemical treating is the safest bet. Using this and drops and you’ll be safely drinking out of the nastiest water holes in the world.
Cons does not remove viruses - some chance for user error if not stored properly (can’t be stored below freezing - but jsut sleep with it in your sleeping bag and it’s a never issue.
Hope this helps! Rather than give you 100 options this would be my go to no brainer review.
I like the versa flow. Very easy to use. Cheap at $20. Quick filtration. And can be pretty much used forever
In our group, all of us carry water filtration of some sort and some people carry a back up in case their primary fails. We might share getting water in the evening or the morning but we all have our systems with us. Most of us in the south will consume about 3 L of water per day plus what we use for meal preparation and clean up. Some observations: If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. You need to be sipping regularly so as not to get thirsty or to end up with a head ache or heat prostration from dehydration. Second observation is that you need capacity and to carry more water than you think you will need. Just because there is an indication of a water source on a map, it does not mean that the water is either accessible or that the source has not dried up. If you are backpacking, you should be able to carry enough water to survive a dry camp if you need to. I carry a rigid bottle, a soft side bottle, and a hydration pack in addition to dirty and clean water bags for my gravity filter. I also generally carry a SteriPen because water filtration does not get all viruses and I feel I need the extra security when getting water from some lakes and rivers in our area especially in late summer. As for convenience, I want a system that permits me to filter directly into a bottle or my hydration pack as well as the clean water bag. If my clean water bag can serve for extra storage on the the trail or can be used as a back up hydration pack, so much the better. As for size, I prefer a 3 L capacity. 2 L means 2 trips to the water source when making camp and a 4 L in a single bag can be cumbersome if filled to capacity and if you are climbing down/up a steep slippery slope to get water. It might sound like overkill but the rigid bottle is a necessity to carry an electrolyte solution during the day and store plain water in a tent at night. The soft side bottle is a convenience for cooking and washing water at fireside or extra capacity if we are making a dry camp. The filtration system stays suspended by my tent to refill whatever needs refilling. The ability to hang your filtration system once and refill a variety of differing containers as needed is a real convenience when choosing a system. Most of us have been backpacking for many years and have gone through the chemical treatment, the pump and the squeeze filtration systems. Compared to previously used methods for water treatment, gravity filtration is the cat's meow.
I have a combo method. Usually I hike with a group, or at least my wife. We have a Sawyer Mini. On the trail we use that. At camp, we are with more people, we have a platypus gravity. I like to have 1 filter for every 2 people, just in case something goes wrong and if we need more volume. On my sawyer mini, I have 2 extra dirty bags that I picked up at trade shows, that I have cut the bottoms off and use to hang my sawyer mini and drip into a clean bottle. It works ok, but not as well without the squeeze. Bottles look like these -
I’m interested I hearing some creative solutions folks have come up with where people have found a system that serves as both filtration while hiking (which reservoirs are you using for dirty water, which filter are you connecting to it, which hoses and mouth pieces), and filtering at camp. Ideally I’d love to have a reservoir i can fill and drink from along the way while hiking that can serve as a system at camp. Bonus points for being ultralight. What are you all using out there?
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Thanks! I will take a look at the video!
I agree that it's frustrating that things don't seem compatible and the options are overwhelming, which is why I wanted to post the discussion. Thanks for everyone's feedback!
With the new Sawyer Select bottles out there, has anyone tried ditching the foam bottle, taking the mini black version of the Sawyer Squeeze (they call it the Micro Squeeze Filter) from that bottle, and attaching it to another bottle like a Smart Water? I want to know 1. Does the threading work on the Smart Water (or any generic bottle)? 2. How long does the Micro last compared to a regular full sized Sawyer Squeeze? 3. Are all the Micro Sqeeze Filters on the S1, S2, and S3 bottles the same? 4. The number of uses seems very low (1600 for the S1). Is this a factor of the foam bottle itself? 5. After 1600 uses, does the Micro Squeeze Filter still have lots of life, and if so, for how long?
The full sized Sawyer Squeeze used to claim 1 million gallons (before they were sued and took the number off their packaging), so I imagine the Micro to last way more than just 1600 uses. If you calculate 1600 uses x 20 ounces, that's only 250 gallons.
I've found that the threading works sporadically on various other bottle mouths. Most of the time there's a small drip but not a huge problem. I've had to live with the drip although annoying. I'd love to have a good fix for this. Also my Sawyer has lasted well in the past 3 years however I do have to backflush it about every other use. This has been the case for a while so I just make it a part of my routine.
Try keeping a small amount of teflon tape with u. It can be baught at any home improvemnt store.
I think there is a huge difference in how people use systems. Which means there really is not a “best” system
Apart from sticking with a hydration device that allows insulation for long days at class and the office, I generally find that using baking soda and vinegar have a good impact on getting rid of unpalatable odors which can arrive from coffee or hot chocolate in a double walled mug.
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C & O Tow Path - what a nice path to bike down. Don't tell me you got your water from the C & O Canal?
LOL. Most of the canal is green slime. There are water pumps about every 5 or 10 miles along the trail by grassy areas equiped with Porta-Potties and a picnic table where small groups can camp. Water comes from the Potomac River. Water is already idodine treated when you draw it so there is no need to filter water but it does taste of iodine. Most of the trail is packed gravel and its a lovely ride or hike. We started out on the Great Allegheny Passage, rode over the Continental Divide and down onto the C & O finishing our ride out at the Airport in DC. A trip well worth grabbing your panniers and getting on the trail. We did our jaunt in fall when the Pawpaws were ripe and the leaves turning. The weather was mild for all but one day where a storm blew through that dumped 4" of rain. Next day was a bit of a rough ride because we encountered soft spots on the trail and had to lift our bikes over several downed trees. All in all, a great trip and one worth doing a second time. I might consider a charcoal filter of some sort or an inexpensive and disposable bladder next time.
PSA: Drink When Thirsty
I recently read an article about over-hydration and how people have been systematically programmed into doing something harmful. The article talks about "Drinking When Thirsty" is a mechanism your brain and body has finely tuned since the beginning of time and that the propaganda of recommend x-cups-of-water-per-day or forcing yourself to drink water before exercise is actually something that sports drink companies have been shovelling down everyone's throats without any medical evidence.
Take a look at these articles and Google all the multitude medical journals that talk about this issue:
Basically your brain has several mechanisms that activate during exercise that divert water to where it is needed. Organs such as stomach and kidneys shut down, blood is diverted to muscles/limbs that need it, and urine production is reduced. Naturally when exercising your urine will be darker and yellow. In this state, if you force yourself to drink more water than necessary, it will put unnecessary strain on your body to get rid of the water, potentially causing life-threatening issues.
Furthermore, for millions of years, animals and humans have been relying on their thirst to tell them when to drink and if the species hasn't died off then we must be doing something right. Also apparently dehydration doesn't occur for hours after the thirst signal begins, you would have to ignore the thirst for hours and continue doing exercise before dehydration sets in (assuming you're not losing a lot more water due to heat/sun-stroke/humidity). Dehydration also has not been shown to have any statistical correlation with muscle cramps so that myth is blown out of the water.
So, please, do yourself and favor and only drink when thirsty. Don't over-carry water, figure out how much water you actually consume doing regular exercise, extrapolate for future hikes/excursions, and consider just carrying a water filter and drinking directly from the source.
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I wonder how the “drink before you’re thirsty” mantra began. I’m guessing that it was a response to several reports of hikers ending up at the Emergency Room because of dehydration (which can be a serious issue). In an attempt to prevent additional cases, someone proposed the “drink before you’re thirsty” concept - which worked at preventing dehydration, but did not address the root cause.
Hikers need to be aware of their surroundings and their bodies. Stay aware of your surroundings and learn to listen to the messages your body is sending.
" So, please, do yourself and favor and only drink when thirsty. Don't over-carry water, figure out how much water you actually consume doing regular exercise, extrapolate for future hikes/excursions, and consider just carrying a water filter and drinking directly from the source. "
^Best comment. K.I.S.S. I only haul what I must. Plan water stops. I use Aquatabs + a small filter.
So here’s a question. Has anyone had to do water stash’s? What’s a easy way to carry 3-5 liters of water extra in a ultralight mind set. My fully loaded kit with drinking water for the day comes in around 18lbs. I’m carrying it all in the UD Fastpack 20. Id like to find something that I can slide inside or strap to the outside. Basically I’m hoping there’s some solution that will allow me to use my fast pack.
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That be an epic trip! Have a great time! You might look at the AZT Class of 2018 Facebook page. People are constantly posting where Trail Angels have stashed public water.
Good thought. I wouldn’t want to use their water though. Good to know in a emergency though. As far as I can tell there’s very little traffic out to cape solitude. So much that the rangers told me it’s safe to not bother with faxing permit requests. Just pick one up when I get there. Ha
How do you guys deal with water filtering? Does each member have their own filter? Do you buy one high volume filter for everyone? Do you stop, fill up bladders with unfiltered water and only filter enough to keep in your immediate consumption vessel?
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I agree with all of this advice. Everyone has some sort of filter, gravity filters are easiest and best for groups (and WONDERFUL in camp), and don't fill your main hydration bladder with dirty water. I also always carry a very small backup option in case of clog/failure of my main filter, like a chemical method that I can throw in my emergency kit.
Give Katadyn BeFree a look. You'd be amazed at how easy it is to use and how efficient it is.