[Ongoing] Hydration Discussion
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On Massdrop, whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a seasoned expert, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
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.
ASK QUESTIONS • How does a survival straw work? • What’s the best hydration pack to bring with me on a run? • How much water do I need to bring on a hike?
Find your answers by asking the community. There are members here who are experts in pretty much every area you can imagine, and they can help you go from beginner to pro.
Ask your question/s by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many of you in the community have valuable information to share. We encourage you to help those who have questions or open the topic up for debate.

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thumb_upBlooRinz, theanghv, and 4 others
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MrDave
0
Jul 30, 2018
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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.
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Jul 30, 2018
tazistar
0
May 19, 2018
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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!
May 19, 2018
Cuylar
199
Core Outdoors/Ultralight Member
May 31, 2018
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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:
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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!!
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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.
May 31, 2018
tazistar
0
May 31, 2018
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Thanks so much for the detailed response. I’m leaning towards the filter with pristine tablets as back up. The steripen will be returned!
May 31, 2018
oreamnos
7
Apr 23, 2018
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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.
Apr 23, 2018
donnahikes
16
May 31, 2018
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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.
May 31, 2018
donnahikes
16
May 31, 2018
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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.
May 31, 2018
VerdeDragon
2
Apr 22, 2018
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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.
Apr 22, 2018
nilnocd
2
Apr 23, 2018
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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...
Apr 23, 2018
Duncan
3616
Apr 16, 2018
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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.
Apr 16, 2018
Garyp
7
Apr 7, 2018
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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.
Apr 7, 2018
Garyp
7
Apr 10, 2018
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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.
Apr 10, 2018
Magarara
1
Mar 28, 2018
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What is the quickest way to filter water? In the morning for coffee.
Mar 28, 2018
Cuylar
199
Core Outdoors/Ultralight Member
May 31, 2018
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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.
May 31, 2018
donnahikes
16
May 31, 2018
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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
May 31, 2018
foomankk
7
Mar 27, 2018
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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.
Mar 27, 2018
FlyteRN
0
Mar 22, 2018
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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!
Mar 22, 2018
MasterRo
86
May 4, 2018
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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.
May 4, 2018
MarmotTungsten
0
May 8, 2018
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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.
May 8, 2018
projectmx
6
Mar 22, 2018
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Sawyer squeeze and a pair of hydrapak seeker 2 liter are a fantastic setup. Very light and allows for carrying a lot of water.
Mar 22, 2018
donnahikes
16
Apr 4, 2018
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Coincidentally, totally the same set up I use.
Apr 4, 2018
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