Monday, February 14, 2011

Overview of my Camping Gear-Part 5-Water

So, the list goes on. In this post I’ll show you the water filtration and storage equipment that I use. These are items listed at numbers 15 and 16 in Part 1 of my post.

The water filtration/purification system as well as the water storage equipment that you use will be heavily guided by your environment. There are areas of the country where you can walk for ten minutes and find a good source of water. There are other places however, there water filtration would be useless because there is no water to be found.

In my area, during some parts of the year, there are good sources of water. During other parts however, almost all the water dries up. The availability of water is a function not only of temperature, but also the type of soil in the area. Here, we have very rocky soil, so all the water quickly drains. During those parts of the year, I am forced to get my water from small puddles or swamps. That guides the tools that I use. For more information about different ways to treat water, you can see my post here.

The first item you see is the MSR Miniworks EX water filter. The reason why I use it over all others is that it can deal with the worse water problem in my area, sediment. The water that I get from puddles or swamps tends to have a high level of small particles, suspended in the water. They can clog up any filter within minutes, including this one. The advantage of the MSR Miniworks Ex however, is that it uses a ceramic filter, which can be easily cleaned just by wiping it down. This way you can keep it working under conditions which would kill another filter. The MSR Miniworks EX retails for about $90. You can find more information about it in my post here.

The next item you see is a bottle of MSR Sweet Water. For all practical purposes, this is just chlorine bleach. I only use it in addition to my filter if I suspect there may be viruses in the water. Filters will not remove viruses, so if you think they are an issue in your area, something like this might be a good idea. It costs about $15 per bottle.

The next item is the rubber hose with pre-filter attached. The pre-filter helps remove some of the sediment before it inters the filter. You can see more information on my pre-filter in my post here.

The next two items are just a sponge, which I use to clean the filter, and the repair kit for the filter. In the years I have been using it, I’ve never had to repair the filter.

The last item is the MSR 6L Dromedary water bladder. I had one for a long time, but I had to replace it because the water in it started tasting funny. I bought a new one, but even after the first use, I had the same problem with the taste of the water. I don’t know what’s causing it. Maybe it has something to do with the water in my place. I’m going to have to consider some other options soon, which is a shame because it is a very durable water storage system. The bag retails for about $35.