water filter

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Littlesister 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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    What kind of water filter you are using?

    I am thinking here more about water filter that you can carry with you, in BOB for example or similar.

    I noticed long time ago that many preppers who even have good water filters are not so sure in it, actually they having it more to “cover” that topic, then to really use it if needed.

    Did you test it?


    no money

    I like the Sawyer Mini https://sawyer.com/water-filtration/

    I am very impressed with their Extractor Pump Kit  https://sawyer.com/products/extractor-pump-kit/





    • I just got a go berkey it works well, but it’s stupid expensive because it uses full sized black filter that goes for a long time.  I do own Sawyers but mostly a trade item.


    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  namelus.


    I run all my water for cooking or drinking through a royal berkey, the go berkey I have used stowed and used with months in between getting out about 5 gallon total.so far. The royal  I have been using for 6 years same fliters and it still passes red dye test.



    Still running an old Katadyne filter from years ago.


    OldMt Woman

    I chose Katadyne Pocket filter because it was portable, has had good reputation with decades of users, and it filters a LOT of water before needing a new filter.  I have a spare filter.  As long as I don’t drop it /lose it/ leave it behind…we’re good for a long time.

    I also have 2 water filtering bottles…forget which type.  Long before a lot of these other companies produced their own filtering bottles.  They are in the vehicle…to get home.

    Have not needed to use either.  Have done the recommended flushing of the filter – and dried it.  Bottles are simply fill and drink…don’t contaminate the mouth piece.  Katadyne is simple too.  I reread the directions now  and then to refresh memory.

    If we lost power long enough to run out of my stored water, we’d use the Katadyne with creek water.  Well pump wouldn’t work and dont’ have a genny.   Pre-filter first, for the larger impurities.   I found an OLD dead dog carcass in the creek years ago.  VERY aware of the nasties possible in that creek.  I located a seepage but flow is truly only seepage.  Might be able to dig it out to increase it…??  It’s not a “spring”.




    Mouse Wizard

    It depends on the situation. For a survival / two-day pack, the Sawyer Mini can’t be beat. Hands down the winner IMHO.

    For longer term situations where base camping is the rule, then a gravity feed filter of some type is the way to go.

    For your BOL, a Berkey or home-made similar filter is the one.

    And I still have my old Katadyne ceramic filter from decades ago. Still works fine; just keep the gaskets lubricated so they don’t dry out. It’s a brick, so it’s a backup thing, but I’ll never get rid of it.



    I have a Sawyer Mini and a Lifestraw for when I’m on the go.




    I would dig out seepage widen and run into pre prepared pool lined with hardened clay and a bit of washed gravel, have a flow out  area, so it’s not random.


    If you plan to use year round make sure it is dèep enough not to freeze up solid. If not enough for drinking can make into a fish pond with trout and duck weed. Some cat tails in run off area…. you still win.




    OldMt Woman

    Mouse Wizard….Thank You for tip on lubricating gaskets in Katadyne.  In arid climate…I should have thot of that.  I even keep ordinary rubber bands, etc in the fridge to keep them from dehydrating!  Will be checking that soooon!  {what do you use to lubricate the gasket, please?}

    Namelus…we already have a big pond so the seepage is a back up.  Both are in livestock pastures but if I needed better water in a summer’s bad drought, the seepage might be worth the effort to enlarge for use.  Currently trickles year ’round into the creek.

    I know a particular place in the middle of a road that one would find water not too far down…..it’s a bad spot every springtime.  It’s good to take note of water places…especially in our arid region.

    Course for purifying water, there is always unscented bleach – I write the drops-per-gallon on every new bottle I buy. Rather not use it but….

    And boiling if you have the fuel.  That’s harder up in very high altitude to actually achieve HOT.  Boiling [water movement] up here isn’t actually HOT enough.  My dairy thermometer tells me the real temperature.

    Solar Pasteurization ….but that’s too iffy up in these altitudes most of the year.





    If storing bleach it decays as a liquid  over time about 1 percent a year so 5 percent bleach  after a year is 4 percent. Get a bag of sodium hypochlorate powder if store cool dry out of sun last a very long time 2 tsp flat in a gallon of water makes 5 percent bleach 50 lb bag is $40. 21 percent bleach can be used to clean up from vx nerve agent.  https://www.nap.edu/read/5274/chapter/10


    At high  altitude you can use distillation to get clean water, if in sunny time you can put one empty bottle buried in cold wet earth above the bottle filled with watery liquid, you can use urine as source.  The liquid bottle is in sunlight ( blacken for better results) .connect with a hose of some kind.


    To do faster you can heat a pressure cooker with no safety valve (attach the hose to safety valve hole) and another pot in water source or again in cooler environment  and let the liquid flow from convection it’s not super fast but the water is pure after. To speed the process up cool the hose or heat the starter pot more, also a longer hose made of metal works better.  This is a basic still set up you can distill alcohol from mash if you use a thermometer to make sure you are getting the ethyl not methyl alcohol. One is happy one is blind. The methyl alcohol (blind)has non drinking uses, lock de ice windshield wash fluid in winter, cleaning agent, alcohol stoves and lanterns gas line de icer wear gloves it can go through skin. Waste not want not.


    Over long periods of time your body will need mineral salts to make up the stuff lost in sweat, pee and evaporation, that water has no mineral content like reverse osmosis water.

    Honestly that is why I spent money on berkey water systems gravity fed and cleans almost any type of water and last a long time plus cleanable. You can sometimes find the black filters on sale online for $90 a pair of black filters, you can use two 5 gallon buckets as the water containers to not spend on the stainless steel berkey, don’t waste money on the plastic berkey it breaks (personal experience).

    If you filter the water through a shirt to remove large particle dirt and get a primer hand pump you can back flush and keep filters going for up to 6000 gallons per filter. When you look at it that way it is cheap. Easy to tesst failure you put red food dye in water filter will take it out of not change filter.

    I personally have tested the berkey filters by putting contaminated water in and drinking the water on bottom. U have used beaver infested  swamp water, rain water collected off roof with turkey poop and rotten leaves. You will find filter plugs up but once you back flush it it is good as new. You can tell how clean your water is by how fast it glows through and how long between cleanings the bird poop rain water was once every 4 gallons the filters where slime coated with brown dirt. With our well water we clean once every 6 months just because we decide to fliter is barely dirty.


    The bird water 4 gallons takes a day 24 hours, well water 4 gallons in 3 hours. Beaver pond was 6 hours.








    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  namelus.

    Crow Bar

    I use a Platypus Gravity Works water filter for the BOB.

    I liked the idea of a straw type system, until we had a drought one year.  Then, a number of water sources dried up.  So, if I had to hump it home, those sources would not be available.  Whereas with the gravity filter, I could fill up 3L (the clean bag is also my water bladder) of water and have that range (I figured 1L an hour, 3 hours range time before needing to find water again).

    If I was using a straw system, I would either have to drink as much water as possible, my stomach being the storage.  Or suck and spit 3L of water into a bladder.  I was not into that idea.

    This scenario was under the assumption of prolong drought conditions, the heat and humidity experienced during that year, carrying a pack, and hiking it home,5hrs.  Lot of hills.


    Mouse Wizard

    @oldmountainwoman: Vaseline is the recommended lubricant.

    @namelus: I’ve done steam distillation and built several systems over time. Had several sub-par solutions before I got it right. The recurring problem is dumping enough energy out of the steam to get condensation to occur. Everything works fine for a little while but then the condensation container heats up above boiling and all you get out is steam. So you have to cool the condensation container somehow. Air-cooling a bare copper coil like you see in Hollywood moonshine sets doesn’t work well. I guess if you had a huge enough copper coil, but I’m too lazy to do the math on that.

    There are two approaches. One is to have a condenser that uses a pan of water as a lid and let the pan of water absorb the energy. You need to change out the water periodically when it starts steaming on its own. Bigger pans of water require fewer changes over time. The other is to use a coiled tube style condenser and encase it in a water jacket. Then you can circulate cool water through the jacket. I built one that is packable out of 4″ PVC pipe but it depends on long hoses and a flowing stream to maintain the circulation. That’s really a base camp / BOL solution because you’re going to be building a support framework for everything on site.

    Bottom line, I wouldn’t go to the trouble unless I had a situation where I needed to remove VOC’s and other contaminants that would ruin a typical gravity filter or sand filter.


    OldMt Woman

    Thanks Mouse Wizard!!!

    OldMtWoman will have to reread this thread….to tired for comprehension tonite!



    To dump  the heat Use a thick towel and wet wrap the line keep it moist the hill billy way. They affix a 5 gallon bucket over it with ice water in it wit a drip on to towel.


    Or mimic a lab glass coil the copper tight enough so it fits in pvc pipe not touching edges  the copper leads out top and bottom  epoxy in place the drill and insert two  ribbed plastic tubeing  nipple into the pvc pipe at 180 degrees from each other at opposite ens so one is facing sky ward  and one is facing down earth ward put the pipe at a 45 degree angle to help the water inside the  copper flow out.  Attach a super low volume fish tank pump to the bottom nipple and slowly pump water into jacketing pvc once full have another line run off top so you can direct the over flow. Do not pup back into feed line for bottom as it will be warm and the bottom feed water should be cooler. The fish pumps come in 12 volt DC.  That is how to cool the lines efficiently. Having a set water amount limits effectiveness as water heats ip. Even water in a stream on hot day will be cool enough to make the condensate happen very fast.


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