Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#185547 - 06/04/14 03:25 PM Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
The water in my area is dirty and no doubt full of pathogens and possibly pollution as well. I can't justify purchasing a water purification system for this hobby, even the Sawyer, so what I'm planning to do (still haven't been backpacking - though I've done lots of backyard and car camping) is somehow collect water at every crossing (unless my containers are already full), filter it through a cheap charcoal filter (Brita bottle filter), and boil it when I make camp. This of course means I've got to carry enough clean water, per person, for drinking and cooking, to last until the next boiling, and I've got to carry at least the same amount of unboiled water so I can prepare it for the next day and transfer it to my clean containers.

Unless I'm overlooking something? Maybe some tricks to make this lighter and easier?

Perhaps I could always make sure to camp close to a source so I only have to carry drinking water and collect again for cooking and next days beverages, but then what if I don't know what the conditions ahead are like?

How many dirty bottles should I carry, and what sizes. How many clean?

Would you boil once a day, or also stop for lunch and boil then as well?

Step me through your process if you boil, or what you would do if you had to boil.

Top
#185548 - 06/04/14 03:45 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: 4evrplan]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Hoowee, this is a lot to consider. I'll interline some thoughts.
Originally Posted By 4evrplan
The water in my area is dirty and no doubt full of pathogens and possibly pollution as well.


What kind of pollution? If mining runoff or agricultural chemicals, you might not be able to achieve safe drinking water. "Regular" dirt isn't a threat, per se, but harbors bacteria and makes water unpalatable, so you still want to get rid of it.

Quote:
I can't justify purchasing a water purification system for this hobby, even the Sawyer, so what I'm planning to do (still haven't been backpacking - though I've done lots of backyard and car camping) is somehow collect water at every crossing (unless my containers are already full), filter it through a cheap charcoal filter (Brita bottle filter), and boil it when I make camp. This of course means I've got to carry enough clean water, per person, for drinking and cooking, to last until the next boiling, and I've got to carry at least the same amount of unboiled water so I can prepare it for the next day and transfer it to my clean containers.


How well do Brita filters remove the suspended dirt? They will help with taste and odor, but you might want something else, or in addition, to take out the dirt and not clog the Brita filters.

Quote:
Unless I'm overlooking something? Maybe some tricks to make this lighter and easier?


Are you boiling on a stove or over a campfire? Stove means lots and lots of fuel, while campfires double your work gathering fuel, tending the fire, etc.

Quote:
Perhaps I could always make sure to camp close to a source so I only have to carry drinking water and collect again for cooking and next days beverages, but then what if I don't know what the conditions ahead are like?


I try to never dry camp for just this reason, but in desert conditions it's not always possible. And yes, you'll need double water containers for the dirty/clean sides and that means double the weight at 8.3 pounds/gallon.

Quote:
How many dirty bottles should I carry, and what sizes. How many clean?

Would you boil once a day, or also stop for lunch and boil then as well?


My rule of thumb is 1 gallon per person/day, more in hot and dry conditions. Plus, this water has to cool off at some point before drinking.

Quote:
Step me through your process if you boil, or what you would do if you had to boil.


Honestly, I'd rethink the whole thing and devise a system to remove debris through settling or filtering, then chemically treat. As a starting point, here's what the NPS recommends for the Grand Canyon.
Quote:
Silt particles inhibit disinfection. If the water is muddy or cloudy, allow the particles to settle undisturbed for several hours. Alternatively, add a small amount of a clearing agent such as alum (aluminum sulfate). The suggested dosage for alum is 1/5 teaspoon per gallon. Mix vigorously and allow to sit for five minutes, stirring twice. Once the silt has settled, either pour the cleared water into another container or draw directly from the top.

Filter the clear water through a minimum of an absolute 1-micron filter or one labeled as meeting American National Standards Institute (ansi/nsf) International Standard #53 for "Cyst Removal."

Filtration alone is not sufficient to guarantee safe water. Disinfect the filtered water by adding two drops of household bleach or five drops of tincture of iodine per gallon of water. After addition, allow the water to sit for 30 minutes to give the chemical time to kill any organisms. Very cold water should rest even longer. Another option is to follow the manufacturer's instructions for commercially prepared products.

OR

Bring the cleared water to a roiling boil for one full minute. At elevations above 6500 feet (2000 meters), such as on the canyon rims, increase the boiling time to three minutes.

Treated water must be stored in clean and sanitized containers.
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#185552 - 06/04/14 05:44 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: Rick_D]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Rick_D

What kind of pollution? If mining runoff or agricultural chemicals, you might not be able to achieve safe drinking water. "Regular" dirt isn't a threat, per se, but harbors bacteria and makes water unpalatable, so you still want to get rid of it.

I'm not even sure how to find this information. The area I'm interested in is Davy Crockett National Forest and other places in and around East Texas. This area has a pretty low elevation, mostly below 700 feet. Just thinking through it logically, I would expect agricultural chemicals from farms and ranches upriver, if anything. The Neches River and small creeks and ponds would be the primary water sources in Davy Crockett.

Originally Posted By Rick_D
How well do Brita filters remove the suspended dirt? They will help with taste and odor, but you might want something else, or in addition, to take out the dirt and not clog the Brita filters.

I haven't tested the filters yet, as they only have a one month shelf life once you start to use them (though I wonder if anyone's ever tried backflushing and drying them out for storage, but I digress). I do intend to prefilter them through clothe, like a bandana, but that'll only take out the big stuff.

Originally Posted By Rick_D
Are you boiling on a stove or over a campfire? Stove means lots and lots of fuel, while campfires double your work gathering fuel, tending the fire, etc.

Using an alcohol stove was my plan, though I'm not averse to using wood if the rangers say it's okay there.

Originally Posted By Rick_D
I try to never dry camp for just this reason, but in desert conditions it's not always possible. And yes, you'll need double water containers for the dirty/clean sides and that means double the weight at 8.3 pounds/gallon.

My rule of thumb is 1 gallon per person/day, more in hot and dry conditions. Plus, this water has to cool off at some point before drinking.

By "dry camp", do you mean a site far from any source, or a do you mean a site without a spigot?

Originally Posted By Rick_D
Honestly, I'd rethink the whole thing and devise a system to remove debris through settling or filtering, then chemically treat. As a starting point, here's what the NPS recommends for the Grand Canyon.
Quote:
...


I suppose I could hold off on using the Brita filter until the bottles have had a chance to sit in camp and settle for a while, depending on how silty the water is. Then, of course, I'd boil.

Top
#185553 - 06/04/14 06:51 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: 4evrplan]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
Contact the ranger office and ask what the recommended water treatment procedures are for the backcountry. It sounds like you're developing a very complex procedure (that requires you to carry around a whole bunch of water) to save a few bucks. How much are you saving when you add up the cost of the water containers, the brita filter, and all of the extra fuel compared to a Sawyer mini at $25 http://www.rei.com/product/866577 ( and less than $20 at places that don't carry the REI guarentee)?

There are also chemical treatments that can be pretty cheap.

Top
#185554 - 06/04/14 07:25 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: BZH]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Sigh. Let's just say I can get away with very small purchases here and there, but $20+ create family stresses. Yes, I know it's a false economy, but it is what it is.

It sounds like I may as well haul in all of my water unless I'm staying at least three days. That means carrying at least 33 pounds of water (half for my son). I was really trying to stay away from chemical treatments, but I may have to consider it.

Top
#185555 - 06/04/14 09:54 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: 4evrplan]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Dry camping is a site well away from water, so you have to haul it all in. More typical here in the late summer/fall as streams dry up and ponds evaporate/become vile.
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#185564 - 06/05/14 10:18 AM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: BZH]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I just talked to the ranger office and the only recommendation they would make was to bring your own water, and there's no "designated" water pick up areas. Upon pressing her about it a bit (politely), she said it was because of availability, but I have a feeling this is a liability thing, as I've seen lots of water there before.

Top
#185565 - 06/05/14 12:30 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I've used the Britta Activated Charcoal Filters made for the "Britta Squeeze" bottle for several years now. They work very good.

I'm doing exactly what you describe, the only difference being the source of water. We have lots of good clear water here, but we also have feral hogs and other critters than do contaminate it in some areas, so filtering plus boiling is a fine option.

I use collapsible water bottles. Enfamil, the baby formula company, makes some, and there are others out there. All of them I've found accept the Britta filter perfectly.

My advice is to camp near water when you can. If that's not an option bring extra collapsible bottles and fill them as opportunities present themselves. They don't weigh much and they pack down to hardly larger than the size of the bottle cap.

I quit using expensive filters about 4 years ago. There's really not a lot of advantages over the method you're wanting to use, and my own experience it that it is a lot more reliable.

The only thing I'll offer is don't squeeze the water through the filter as fast as you can, be gentle. The longer the water is exposed to the charcoal the better it filters it.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#185567 - 06/05/14 02:59 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: billstephenson]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Thanks Bill! That's very reassuring!

So are all of your collapsible bottles used for untreated water and then something else for potable water? Great tip by the way.
Do you ever use alcohol stoves, or do you exclusively use wood fires?
Do you have an idea of how much you collect per day if you have to dry camp, including water for cooking, cleaning, and other extras?
Do you filter and boil water for cleaning?
Plus, have you ever tried to store a used filter, or do you stick with Brita's one month recommendation?
Sorry about bombarding you with so many questions, but it's cool to hear from someone with practical experience on this method.

Top
#185568 - 06/05/14 03:54 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: 4evrplan]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
A couple responses.
--If you can dry it out completely, you can store and reuse any filter cartridge. Stored wet they tend to develop mildew and bacterial films, which can sometimes be reversed with a bleach solution, but it's better to dry them.
--Alcohol fuel has less energy than white gas or cartridge fuel, and it will take LOTS to boil many gallons of water. You can ballpark the amount needed by running some tests using your stove and a measured amount of water in the intended pot, then extrapolate to your cooking and drinking needs.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#185580 - 06/06/14 10:04 AM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: Rick_D]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Since you boil cooking water anyway, extra boiling would be for drinking water during the day. I have coffee with breakfast (boiled) and tea at dinner (boiled) as drinks. I actually only drink 1-2 quarts of water that would need to be boiled beyond what I do with meals. I think the 1 gallon per day is over estimating what needs to be additionally purified.

On a short trip of 2-3 days the extra fuel for boiling would not be a big issue. However, it would be for a 10 day trip.

You could also boil up water and have tea at every rest stop.

I just got a Sawyer squeeze filter at Walmart for $29. It is a smaller capacity (1 liter) but may be within your budget.

You should check with the agency that monitors water quality in your area and find out exactly what is in the water so you can decide what level of purification you really need. If there are really nasty contaminants that do not filter out or mitigated with boiling, then you may have to consider hauling water just like desert backpackers do. In most states, the really nasty water is under pretty detailed monitoring programs. USGS also monitors some streams.

Top
#186443 - 08/04/14 05:55 PM Re: Recommend a Daily Procedure for Boiling [Re: 4evrplan]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
back before I had a filter, I would boil, and use ClO2. Now-a-days, a package of ClO2 is the same price as a Sawyer Mini.

Anyways, when I boiled, I would not dry camp. I would boil and drink as much as possible at breakfast, then pack 1-2 liters. Then at lunch, I would repeat. It took a lot of time.

Another option is to cache water. Look for roads that cross the trail you are on. Then bury buckets of water and mark the location so that only you can find it.

$19 for a Sawyer mini. I have never looked back.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Rockfalll on El Capitan in Yosemite
by balzaccom
09/28/17 09:47 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 31 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21, Pasquale, Rahultravel
12423 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com