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PKH
2007-07-21, 19:31
Having just had my second encounter with Giardia in several years, I am biting the bullet and reassessing my zero water treatment policy. I am particularly interested in the newer ultra violet treatment methods, specifically the Steripen Adventurer and the Aquastar Plus and have read a number of reviews. Both products look promising and if they work as advertised are convenient and simple to use. I note from various reviews that both pieces of kit seem to have problems with battery life, as well as other technical difficulties. On the other hand, some reviewers are very happy and can say nothing wrong.

Is there anyone out there with practical experience of either the Steripen or Aquastar Plus? All comments, positive or negative will be appreciated. For me the primary consideration is reliability; I am well aware of the comparative weight, bulk and ease of use of the two pieces of kit.

Cheers,

PKH

Iceman
2007-07-22, 03:24
Actually, I am interested in hearing your horror story of two encounters with the beast! Do tell....

PKH
2007-07-22, 11:43
Yeah, the beast. There's not much to tell of course. The old sad story of sucking back untreated water in confirmed and certified moose country. The first time was in the depths of the Chic Choc mountains in Gaspe Quebec, and the more recent disaster was close to home in the Polletts Cove/Aspy Fault wilderness in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Both are chunks of wild country where human encounters are almost unheard of, and moose meetings are normal.

If you do the crime I suppose you have to be ready to do the time, and now my time involves a course of antibiotics and a short leash to the toilet. Twice in fifteen years of backpacking is not too bad I guess but nevertheless I am going over to the dark side and will treat my water in the future.

I am fortunate that my cases have not been too severe. Many people are absolutely prostrated by this affliction, whereas I can easily mask the symptoms (for a time) by simply taking a couple of Immodium tablets. The thing is; it will never really go away without treatment.

Now, if someone will only give me the scoop on UV water treatment, I'll be happy.

cheers,

PKH

JAK
2007-07-22, 12:56
When I was at km0 of the Fundy Footpath a lady hiker from Nova Scotia had one of those but I neglected to take a good look and ask her about it before she moved on. Does aqua mira not protect againt Giardia, or is there an issue with frequent use of chlorine dioxide?

http://giardiaclub.com/aqua-mira.html

Take-a-knee
2007-07-22, 14:08
Giardia is a protozoan, as such, it is large enough for a quality filter to remove it. I also use Micropur tablets, they kill cryptosporidium (another protozoan) so I'm fairly certain they'll handle Giardia with enough contact time (four hours).

This is my current setup. Read Peter Pan's post for details:

http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1651&highlight=seychelle+filter

Bear in mind that your "dirty" platypus will require a purification tab after you collect water in it before you can drink from it.

toddhiker
2007-07-22, 21:26
I have used my Adventurer for about a year and am happy. I have no clue if it really works, but I haven't been sick:biggrin: !! Battery life is less than quoted, but ok. Don't buy the charger: 2 extra batteries weigh less, and you can buy tons of them for what the charger cost. Not to mention, the snap-on protective case works great, I don't even carry the nylon holster.

Here's how I use it, and how I avoid the "but what about the contaminated rim of your bottle" issue, and what my water kit consists of:

-my water bottles or bladder (depending on the trip)

-a small used Platypus w/the top cut off for scooping water from the source (especially useful w/shallow creeks)

-a 2L Platy zippered water carrier w/handles

-paper coffee filters

**I haven't weighed the kit but aside from the Adventurer it's very light***

First, I scoop w/ the chopped Platy
2nd, I carefully pour thru a paper filter into the zip carrier
3rd, I zap the H2O via the opening in the water carrier
Last, I pour via the spout into my water bottles/bladder

The entire kit packs smaller and weighs less than any pump filter I've used. And after a paper filter dries, it can be reused if you want, not that extras are expensive.

oops56
2007-07-22, 21:41
Check this out a 35 film can for a filter
http://www.therangerdigest.com/Tips___Tricks/Filter_and_Purifying_Water/body_filter_and_purifying_water.htm

PKH
2007-07-23, 06:08
Thanks Toddhiker - just what I was looking for.

Cheers,

PKH

GGS
2007-07-24, 00:50
Check this out a 35 film can for a filter
http://www.therangerdigest.com/Tips___Tricks/Filter_and_Purifying_Water/body_filter_and_purifying_water.htm

Interesting. I wonder how small the particles, in microns, could you filter with a squished cotton sock filter?

Not sure if I would take one of these over my Katadyn but it does make an interesting emergency filter. Just wondering how effective it is...

Take-a-knee
2007-07-24, 09:49
It would be very effective combined with bleach. Virulent bacteria attach themselves to organic matter, they are looking for a carbon source, not going for a swim. This would allow the use of less bleach to achieve the needed 5 PPM in solution.