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I'm thinking of getting a purifier with my upcoming paycheck.

Just wondering what you guys use or think is good/bad etc.

I'm looking for something:

Not too expensive

Not a pain to maintain

Not too expensive to maintain

Iodine vs. not, what do you think

I want to be able to purifier mud if i need

Thanks for your help.

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I've had a Sweetwater from Cascade Designs, but just replaced it with a Mini-works from MSR (now, of course, owned by Casacde Designs).

Big thumbs down on the Sweetwater. Fragile, slow to pump and needs a lot of maintainence. Plus, I just found out that the iodine system was recalled because it wasn't safe. I guess now you use chlorine drops, another thing to lose or forget.

I looked at the PUR hiker too, since it was much lighter, faster and less bulky than the Mini-works, but wasn't convinced that it would purify as reliable over the life of the filter.

My only bitch about the Mini-works is that it's designed to screw onto the top of a wide-mouthed Nalgene, which makes it a little awkward to pump.

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Here is the way to go...don't buy one. Thats right don't buy one.

They weigh too much, they take up too much space, they cost too much, they break/clog, and they say right on the package to carry iodine tablets in case it breaks/clogs.

Now think about it. Why not just carry iodine tabs. They don't taste bad now-a-days and many have the neutalizing tabs that kill the bad taste. They are lightweight, cheap, don't break, and don't take up space.

Filters are a scam. Especially in North America. You just don't need them. Over seas a really good purifier can come in handy...but I still use bottled water and just treat other water with iodine and have had no problem.

In all honesty I do not know one climber that carries one in the States/Canada.

If you want to waste your money go ahead. They all suck.

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Thanks a lot for the input. I think i'm going to take your advice and go for the mini-waterworks.

Rodchester, I highly appreciate your opinion and understand your point. But next time i'm backpacking and filtering some murky, pond water w/little critters swimming around, i will be glad to not have taken your advice and carried the extra weight.

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Regarding water purification, the MSR mini or their larger filter work very well and very tough, but you all might want to buy a MIOX disenfectant pen when they come onto the market next year. Only as big as a magic marker, brews up the same mix used in municipal water treatment plants, refill with salt tabs and camera batteries.

It's being developed for use by US military, I'm positive climbers could figure out how to use it!

I tested it earlier this spring and this product ROCKS! totally Beckproof!


You can read a little blurb about it in last month's Outside magazine.

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I've had good luck withthe Pristine system, as has a un-named guide who did a two month stint in Borneo organizing an adventure race. He said nobody on his trip got sick using it. Best of all it's not Iodine based, it's buffered chlorine something or rather, f#*ked if I know what I'm a History grad. But it's cheap and lightweight. Only real downside is sitting around for the 5 minutes while it unbuffers itself. (See history note above)


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Places like established climbing areas with water sources would be the exception, so no I would not drink unfiltered water from the Crooked River. I would always carry enough water for those occasions, which by the way is 100% filtered tap or trusted spring water.

I would be more concerned about drinking tap water that has chlorine and flouride, and other chemicals like pesticides, ect. Also, how good is ingesting iodine, especially long term effects? I've been drinking only filtered or quality spring water (Poland Spring mainly) since the early 90's, if I drink unfiltered, city water now it tastes like pool water!

Dan E.

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True, many things cause cancer and are bad for us. Water is so key to life, since we are mainly water, I think drinking water that is free of impurities is key to trying to live healthier. Of course this will only matter if I don't end up getting killed while climbing! One can only hope...

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Drinking DDW (distilled de-ionized water), the purest form of water out there, chemically containing nothing but H2O, will eventually cause health problems.


Because it is so pure that it leaches out minerals from your bloodstream by reverse osmosis!

Fortunately given the effort required to produce water of this purity it is unlikely humans will ever supply enough of their drinking needs with this for it to become a health concern.

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