1. Darryl & Jenika
    Darryl & Jenika November 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Hi again Ray. Last summer I used the steri-pen Adventurer Opti for the first time. It took 2 CR123 batteries. (on sale now at REI now for $65). Much lighter than the classic but after 3 days my batteries were dead. Waste of money unless you go to Mexico, etc just for a few days.

    What we usually use & will go back to using in 2014 is just the Playtpus repalcement cartridge. Remove the rubber ends and install in-line from your bite and the bladder. The Sawyer Squeeze is much cheaper & can be found a Walmart for $29 but it is twice the size and much heavier. These cartlidges will easily last 2-3 years.



  2. geekgirl
    geekgirl November 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I too, had issues with the steri-pen, and ended up returning it, (thank goodness for REI). Sawyer now has a “mini” version, which is only 2oz. and very inexpensive (my scale says 1.8 oz). I much prefer it to the steri-pen, which ate batteries and conked out on me 2 days into a 5 day trip. A replacement steri-pen bit the dust after the 6th use, and I gave up. I’ve used the platypus cartridge inline also, and that worked great, but it bit the dust when I dropped it once. The Sawyer mini is comparable to the platypus, (and just a tad lighter on my scale) but is cheaper to replace, if like me, you are clumsy.

    1. Darryl & Jenika
      Darryl & Jenika November 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks Geek girl.

      Sawyer mini — $24 at REI. I’ll chek it out. Can you install it between your bite valve and baldder?


      1. geekgirl
        geekgirl November 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        Yes, you can install it between your bite valve and bladder. That is exactly how I use mine. I do like the lower cost, (I carry an extra one on long hikes) because I’m a bit of a clumsy person, and I’ve dropped filters, (and cameras) more than once. They normally fail once dropped from any kind of height.

  3. Chris Hauser
    Chris Hauser November 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    On this summer’s JMT hike, I used a “LifeStraw Personal Water Filter”. It instantly filters water as you drink, up to 1000 liters of water total, for about $20. No pumping, no chemicals, no batteries. Just suck the water through the straw out of a cup or wide-mouth bottle (Gatoraide bottle). It worked great.

    Since I was trying to go lightweight, it was great that I only needed to carry water twice, which saves a ton of pack weight. With most water treatment systems, the treated water becomes a precious commodity… so much time and energy has gone into treating the water that it is inconceivable to just pour the extra water out. You end up carrying treated water over streams and past lakes, sometimes until the very end of the day. To me, it seems really inefficient to carry water past water sources. With the LifeStraw, I would use the straw to sip water whenever thirsty, and I only needed to carry water for 2 long dry sections of trail.


  4. Nick Knight
    Nick Knight November 26, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Back to Steripens, we also took an Adventurer Opti with the supplied two CR123’s plus two in each of three re-supply buckets and an extra pair just in case and came back to the UK with four unused batteries. Each pair lasted nearly ten days and we were getting through 6 to 10 litres between us a day. (Boiled water for cooking) However we did meet a guy with a failed one at MTR. Strange anomaly that may be down the the manufacture of certain component perhaps?

  5. Colter
    Colter December 2, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Good post. I have to say that it’s likely a person will drink from water sources with giardia in it at some point along the JMT, but most likely won’t get sick. That said, there is significant risk. I know because I got giardia on my first time hiking through the Sierra on the PCT, and there were several other PCT hikers who got giardia in the Sierra that summer as well.

    I make my argument against the infamous Rockwell paper (which downplays the risk of giardiasis in the Sierra) here: http://bucktrack.com/Giardia_Hiking_Water.html

  6. Water Quality in the Sierra Nevada
    Water Quality in the Sierra Nevada April 27, 2014 at 3:32 am

    […] More on water purification can be found here. […]

  7. Dave Ayers
    Dave Ayers May 15, 2014 at 7:19 am

    There is no need to carry a 4 oz Nalgene bottle just to fit a Steri-Pen. Mayo and Applesauce bottles come with wide mouths. A 32 oz. Mayo bottle weighs ~2.0 oz, just 0.2 more than a Gatorade bottle.

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