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Water


Backpacking Water Purification, carrying, and Storage for High Sierra Backpackers.

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Watch Out for the Green Water: Blue-Green Algae News and Safety Information sticky icon

Watch Out for the Green Water

Toxic Algal Bloom
Blue green algae in Klamath River, credit to OSU.
Toxic Microcystis algae grow in a large bloom in the Copco Reservoir on the Klamath River, posing health risks to people, pets and wildlife. Go Beaves, credit to OSU!

 

ANNUAL ALERT
It's that time of year again, as Spring turns into Summer and our extraordinarily warming waters present increasing blue-green algae threats.

The Basics
Do not drink, or allow your animals or children to drink from or play in water containing cynobacteria, otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae. Review the Blue-Green News just below and the safety information at the bottom of this page:


Blue-Green Algae Safety and Identification Information

 

July 2018,
&
August 2015:
Rising heat and declining waters are creating conditions even more favorable for cynobacteria, otherwise known as toxic blue-green algae.

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Filters and Purification: MEMBER's FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking

 Member's Favorites

What are, and how do we select the best Water Filtration, Purification, Treatment, and Usage System for High Sierra backpackers?

The fundamental requirement for me is clean water quickly. By clean I mean taste as well as purity, so chemicals are regaled to emergency status.

Next, I want to purify as little water as possible. I will filter only the water for drinking, while my cooking and cleaning water will remain unpurified. Thus I need a system to bring unfiltered water to camp for cooking, cleaning, and to provide stock for purified water.

 

Build Your Backpacking Water Systerm
Water Filter/Filtration Basics

"The Alex"
Water System
&
Gear List

 

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Bladder Systems for High Sierra Backpackers

Members Favorites

Backpacking Water Systems

I have a very specific system for maintaining hydration on the trail and in camp. There are others. The main one I see generally employed is the rubber-bladder system.

The second most common is now the most common PCT solution, which are the synthetic-material bladder/filtration systems, such as the Sawyer Squeeze Bag System.

Some rubber-bladder systems now use in-line filtration as the Sawyer System.

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SteriPen UV water purification Backpacker Review

I don't remember seeing anyone using Steripen on the trails in the Sierra Nevada prior to 2009. Since then I've seen a growing group of Steripen users.

They seem satisfied. A few are ticked off because the units just stop working.

Aaron in the Tuolumne Meadows backpacking camp liked his steripen, once he figured out how to keep it going!

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MSR Sweetwater Water Filter backpacker review

Sweetwater was bought by MSR which was eaten up by Cascade Designs.

MSR Sweetwater Water Filter

The new MSR Sweetwater is a different design of the same engineering principals as the orignal white housing Sweetwater Filters, as far as I can tell. 

I used the original white housing with red trim Sweetwater Filter in the early 1990s, until frustration drove me to the Hiker Pur, which I've used religiously ever since.

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Katadyn (Pur) Hiker backpacker water filter review

Katadyn Hiker Water Filter
Information and Review

My old Hiker Pur filter is shown below. It is exactly the same as the Katadyn Hiker. Katadyn bought the Pur filter company in 2001, and continues to manufacture exactly the same Hiker Water Filter with interchangable replacement parts.

Katadyn Hiker = Pur Hiker.

It still works like a champ in 2014.

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MSR miniworks filter review Ari

MSR miniworks water filter review Oct 22 to 26, 2011 in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Citation:

 Carson Iceberg Backpacking Loop: Gear

Quote:
"Ari started cursing at it. He was working like a dog to make Noble Lake's crap water filter. He wanted to spend his energy hiking, or at least enjoying the view."

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Sawyer Squeeze Bag Water Filter Review

Sawyer Squeeze™ Filter System.
I've seen lots of happy backpackers using this filter system.

The concept behind the system relies on a lightweight synthetic hollow fiber filter material in a small filter cartridge unit that screws onto lightweight mylar sacks of 16, 32, and 64 ounces.

The filter is operated by unscrewing the filter cartridge from it's mylar sack, filling the sack with water, restoring the filter cartridge to the filled sack, and squeezing.

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Best Backpacking Water Filter Options, with a close look at Filtration and Purification Basics

We are going to identify the best backpacking water filter or system of chemical purification for you. To do that we need to identify two things. Your needs as a backpacker and the threats.

 

Patterns of Use

Selection Criteria

Water Filters

Water Purification Chemicals

Bladders-Squeeze Bottles

UV

 

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Nothing is Waterproof

Here's the deal: NOTHING IS WATERPROOF.

Not even rubber-coated nylon. Anyone who backpacks in rubber-coated fabrics know that the hiker's sweat inside the rubber is as wet as the rain outside. And much nastier...

The classic "breathable" waterproof/water resistant materials can be "waterproof" for up to three days. That's the longest I've ever gotten any "dry" conditions to last. After three days in driving rain everything is wet. Everything.

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High Sierra Water Purity Information: Giardia Lamblia, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium

High Sierra Water purity and contamination information and resources for backpackers.

Giardia and Cryptosporidium are generally recognized as the basic threats to backpacker water purity in the High Sierra. Our first line of defense is knowledge. Below we will get a range of information supporting a range of responses.

To treat or not to treat, that is the ultimate question.

Below Dr. Rockwell insists Sierra Water is safe, further down we see Dr. Derlet finding indications of widespread contamination.

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