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  1. #1
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Water Filter vs. Water Purifier?

    I'm starting to look for water cleaning devices and am wondering, for an around the world trip, which is prefered: water filter or water purifier? I'm assuming a purifier, but would like to hear from people that have experience. And if there are recommendations on brand and model, I'd love to hear them too. Thanks.
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    For years I have used a Katadyn Pocket Filter for camping. The upside is it is very field servicable - easy to take apart and clean the ceramic filter with a soft abbrasive cloth, and it will purify several swimming pools worth of water before the filter needs to be replaced. Down side is it is expensive, heavy and not the easiest to pump. Also depending were you go it may not get rid of the smallest pathegens. If you are going around the world I would look into models that are field servicable or if it uses chemicals that they are easy to replace.

  3. #3
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    If by purifier you mean those little pills one adds to H2O, then go for the filter. The pill just add poison to dirty water. The filter actually cleans the crap out of the water all the way down to the microbe size.

  4. #4
    Aging Gearhead
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    Purifiers kill pathogens. Filters remove them (OK most of them - not viruses). Purifiers like the Steripen (http://www.hydro-photon.com/) sure look easy but I don't think they do anything for the taste of the water which even the simplest filter fixes. I think you can get combo filter/purifiers, i.e., that kill pathogens by passing water through some kind of micro-nastyphobic membrane and also have a charcoal-like filter to improve taste.

    +1 on the chemical additives; use only in emergencies.

    All that being said, if I were traveling around the world, I'd want something that kills virii as well as amoebae.

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    +1 on the katadyn.

  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    First Need water purifiers are the only mechanical water purifiers out there.

    A filter like the katadyn is expensive. MSR are much more affordable.

    First Need purifiers take it all out, but their filter mechanisms are prone to clogging due to the absolute micron size of the membrane. Pack an extra cartridge per month, and prepare a few more for mail resupply.

    They first Need purifiers work fine, and are backwash cleanable.

    Some filters have ceramic membranes that are field cleanable via scrubbing, like the Katydin and the MSRs.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 03-14-07 at 11:43 PM.
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  7. #7
    Member Sinksand's Avatar
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    I lived and worked in Africa with the Peace Corps. We were given water bottles with filters, or the option to just add a few drops of normal household bleach to every liter of water that we drank.

    I used the bottle filter once. It was heavy. It was nearly impossible to get any reasonable amount of water through the straw without extreme suction. In short, it was useless to me. The bleach, however, was ideal.

    A pin-size hole in the cap of the bottle lets one easily dispense one drop at a time. To carry small amounts a film canister works fine. The water tastes a little like swimming pool water, which was fine with me because I love to swim, and I love the smells and tastes of swimming. Every drop of water that I used for two years was treated in this way. I never noticed any adverse effects.

    If anyone knows of a water tight eye-dropper type container, then bleach is a viable alternative at a tremendous cost and weight savings.

  8. #8
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    We've been pumping all kinds of water through the Katadyn Pocket for nearly six months here in Southeast Asia and have not had any problems. It is pretty much bombproof.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric von zipper
    I'm starting to look for water cleaning devices and am wondering, for an around the world trip, which is prefered: water filter or water purifier? I'm assuming a purifier, but would like to hear from people that have experience. And if there are recommendations on brand and model, I'd love to hear them too. Thanks.
    I have used both. When it has not rained a lot and I know the creeks and streams will be running low but really clear I use Aqua Mira. It is 2 part system you mix right before treatment which makes clorine dioxide which is suposedly safer than clorine or iodine. After heavy rains or when I am not sure what the conditions will be I use the Katadyn Hiker Pro. I reviewd it for BGT and here are my somewhat unscientific findings.

    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...Coy%20Starnes/

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  10. #10
    Slowpoach
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    There are a bunch of options here.

    I suggest you look at
    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...r%20Treatment/
    for a bunch of reviews on
    - Active (pump) filtration
    - Passive (gravity) filtration
    - Chemical purification (chlorine, chlorine dioxide, crystalline iodine, povidone iodine, bleach, etc.)
    - Peroxide/ozone purification (steripen)

    Also consider, throughout most of the non-1st-world, the usual way to obtain drinking water is either to buy it, or to boil relatively safe water (eg. tap water). If you can't drink the water out of the tap where you are going, you can usually buy it at a very reasonable cost, unless you are really going off the beaten track.

    (edit: sorry, cowboy already mentioned the BGT site...)

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I use the MSR Miniworks and carry iodine tablets as backup. The MSR currently resides in my emergency bag (the one I have in case of forced evacuation) I have only used it a couple of times recently when we were on a boil water order from the local water company. Prior to that I have used it backpacking several times. Only issue was making sure the water was fairly clear, mud will plug it very quickly.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Fanstastic. Thank you.
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

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