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mblankford


Dec 5, 2002, 4:33 PM
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Any Advice?
I have a sweetwater guardian, and I kinda want to take it back...so;

purifiers vs. tabs?

I would just assume that tabs are better because of weight and cost, but what about threads becoming contaminated, as well as silty water? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


ontario_guide


Dec 5, 2002, 4:40 PM
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I'm all about the MSR Waterworks.


bvoborsky


Dec 5, 2002, 4:50 PM
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I have MSR Waterworks, works great


spork73


Dec 5, 2002, 4:52 PM
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MSR waterworks


djmeat


Dec 5, 2002, 5:46 PM
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filtration is always healthier. When you add a tab your mearly introducing a toxin that kills microbs. When you filter you can remove microbs, toxins, heavy metals, silts, and other particulates. Its up to you carry less an get more garbage in your glass. Or Carry more and drink much purer(is that really a word) water.


wlderdude


Dec 5, 2002, 6:34 PM
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Which water cleaning method you use depends so much on what conditions you are using them in.

Here in the mountians, all you really need to worry about are the big things like Cryto and Giardia, so a cheap filter works great. You just get one that is part of a water bottle and you are set for short hikes to backpacking.

If you are somewhere where water is not as clean, like a swamp or 3rd world country, you will want the best filter money can buy! In Russia, you may even want one of those super fancy ones that even reduces the radiation in the water!

But if you just want something for emergencies, just keep the tabs. Push comes to shouve, they work fine. But they take 20 mins to work, ruin the tastiest water and you still have all the dirt and junk in the water. All of which I am willing to live with in an emergency, but not on a day hike.

It all comes down to the risks you are willing to take. If you want to eliminate your chances of getting the runs, you really have to boil the water.

So, I don't know what you need. I have a water bottle with a cheap filter I can put on it. I won't be dropping $100 on a water filter until I need it.


moey


Dec 5, 2002, 6:38 PM
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Why do you want to return your guardian?
If it is just for weight then djmeat is right . If you can't find anything deep enough to scoop out of (one advantage to a pump filter) or water that is not full of silt/mud/dead bugs then you are sorta screwed with tabs.
Tabs are great for travel where you will have access to plenty of debris-free water (say, in asia or some other urban area).
If you want really clean water, treat the water that comes out of your filter and then you will get the viruses as well as all the rest.


[ This Message was edited by: moey on 2002-12-05 18:40 ]


mnutz


Dec 5, 2002, 6:53 PM
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Another vote for MSR Waterworks. I've had mine 3 years and it has never failed me. Easy to use, easy to maintain, screws right onto a wide-mouth nalgene or an MSR Dromedary bag.


orangekyak


Dec 5, 2002, 7:12 PM
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I use the MSR miniworks, like the waterworks but lighter. i think maybe it doesn't filter as small as the waterworks but it takes care of giardia.

Another concern for iodine is the amount you use it. Not good for you to use for long stretches at a time.

If you aren't happy with your sweetwater and are thinking of tabs, go buy a $5 bottle of tabs before you get rid of it. As far as the threads of your waterbottle, a couple minutes into the idodine treatment you treat the threads. to do this you turn your waterbottle upsidedown and unscrew the cap just enough to let the active-iodine water seep into the thread area. it's a science but is easy to learn.


boz84


Dec 5, 2002, 8:12 PM
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Don't go iodine tablets they are TERRIBLE!

If you dont want to go the filter route (which is fine, if youre saving weight), go with Polar Pure.

Way better than tablets, a little harder to use, but it basically never runs out as long as you keep refilling it. Also, it doesnt taste nearly as badly of iodine, if you arent fond of that taste. Its pure iodine crystals in a little bottle, and you fill it with water, let it wait 30 minutes, then its ready to use, probably fill up 4-5 water bottles on one little bottle full. Put 2 capfulls of the strongly concentrated iodine water in the nalgene, wait like 20 minutes, and youre good to go. I have two bottle, and make sure at least one of them is full, or getting recharged at all times.
It was hard to get for a while, cause its used in making Crystal Meth or something, but if you see it on the shelves, pick it up, its well worth it.


monkeyarm


Dec 6, 2002, 12:50 AM
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Yeah i Have the Polar pure thing too and it definitly tastes alot better then tabs. There is a child lock thing on it though that gets annoying that you may wanna rip out.


deafclimber


Dec 6, 2002, 3:52 AM
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PUR Hiker


marshall84


Dec 6, 2002, 6:23 AM
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I've used the Sweetwater one for a few years now. I love it. It's super easy to clean and I can usually filter about a gallon in 5 minutes. I'll take the extra couple of ounces over the taste of the tabs.


bradhill


Dec 6, 2002, 8:48 AM
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Depends where you go. I just drink the water unfiltered or use a bandana. Really. I'll take a filter if I'm camping near cattle, beaver ponds, lots of people, marshes or other stagnant water where the risks are high, but I don't bother with remote and high mountain lakes and snowmelt streams.

You have to be smart about where you pull your water from, pick fast moving places upstream from beaver dams, etc... But it's so much nicer and feels so much more right and free to just bend down and scoop up a drink of water out of a stream.

The mindset of treating a mountain stream like toxic waste ruins my wilderness experience. The risk from giardia is so much less than tbe risks I accept climbing, driving, etc., that I prefer not to bother or worry about it.

In reply to:
"Neither health department surveillance nor the medical literature supports the widely held perception that giardiasis is a significant risk to backpackers in the United States. In some respects, this situation resembles (the threat to beachgoers of a) shark attack: an extraordinarily rare event to which the public and press have seemingly devoted inappropriate attention."
[\quote]

*Welch, Thomas R. and Welch, Timothy P.: Giardiasis as a Threat to Backpackers in the United States: A Survey of State Health Departments. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 6, 1995

Let the flames begin!

It's just a quality of life choice for me. Make your own choices as you feel the risk or your perception of the risk merits.


cloudbreak


Dec 6, 2002, 9:21 AM
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I'm with Marshall, why take the SweetWater back? Are you unhappy with the way it works. I've had mine for nearly 4 years, and love the way it performs.


fixxervi6


Dec 6, 2002, 9:30 AM
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I know in West Virginia that racoon fever (don't know what else it is) is in most streams, I've had it several times, not fatal, just keeps you running for a bit, I think its from animal droppings and stuff that get washed into the streams, you drink it and you get the runs, or as us hillbilly's call it, racoon fever, sometimes it can make you pretty dang sick, most WV water needs to be filtered, but I usually use tabs and or boil it.


bradbaker


Dec 6, 2002, 9:53 AM
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Aqua Mira. Very light, no bad taste, works in cold water, etc.


boz84


Dec 6, 2002, 1:56 PM
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No flaming here dude, but seriously...

Have you ever HAD Giardia?

I can honeslty say I would KILL to never go through that again. Kill the germies that is...

True I have and will continue to drink straight from the stream, but if im at a rest stop fillin upo my bottles, i purify, no doubt.



bradhill


Dec 6, 2002, 2:30 PM
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Here's an interesting article on the subject.

Hand sanitizer gel used after bowel movements and before cooking is far more important and effective at preventing backcountry illness than a water filter. Weighs less, too.


mnutz


Dec 8, 2002, 1:43 PM
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I have had giardisis. I NEVER want to go through that again! It felt like my entire insides were coming out. You remember that scene from the movie "Alien" when it pops out through the stomach? That is what I felt like.

I was in the hospital for 3 days. Then had to go back for daily IV drips for a week because of severe deydration.

Horrible, horrible pain. I really thought I was dying.

I got it drinking unfiltered water from a stream in southeast MO.

My Waterworks is used all the time now. I will never risk that again.


galt


Dec 8, 2002, 2:26 PM
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  I'm going to go with BradHill on this one. I don't carry a filter unless I know the only source of water is going to be stagnant. I do, however, boil my water before drinking. It doesn't take that long and it is a great way to purify it! Whenever I get the fire going I simply boil water and fill bottles to use the next day. Leave outside during the night and "TA-DA" the water is purified and cool.
(Note, I've heard that the moment you have a "Rolling Boil" all bacteria that can harm humans is destroyed. No need to boil for 5 min.)
Obviously this doesn't work if you are packing with a large group (it would take hours!) or if you are mainly using a stove to cook from (fuel consumption would make this very impractical.)
If I need water through out the day I find a decent source and add 1 cap-full of bleach for every 1 liter of water. Shake well, let sit for a minute... insta water that doesn't taste bad. My WFR instructor taught us that trick.
Hope this helps someone!


bradhill


Dec 9, 2002, 8:35 AM
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I'm really only talking about mountain areas like the high Rockies, Sierras, Cascades, etc...

Anywhere I'm going to be downstream of cattle, agriculture or lots of people I filter or boil.


mcfoley


Dec 10, 2002, 12:45 PM
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I have owned the sweetwater guardian since 1996 (or so)...it's a great thing to have. I have used tabs before and they aren't bad...however it really depends on how long of a trip you are going on...1 week of drinking iodine treated water f#$%ing sucks!!!
Not to forget the warranty issue...I smashed the hell out of my guardian (broken handle etc...) and they sent me replacement parts for free!!! Sweetwater, formerly owned by cascade designs, is now owned by MSR (just like MOSS and WALRUS Tents)...Why because THEY KICK ASS!!!
mf

[ This Message was edited by: mcfoley on 2002-12-10 12:46 ]


heelhooker


Dec 10, 2002, 12:54 PM
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I'll also throw my two cents in for Sweetwater. I have one as does one of the other guys I travel with. Of the four different filters we've tried it is the favorite. It flat puts out the water.


space_monkey


Dec 10, 2002, 1:15 PM
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my two cents: I personaly use the pure hiker. You just cant replace the taste of a filter.


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