Author Topic: Do I need a water filter  (Read 3381 times)

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Offline hirakukibou

Do I need a water filter
« on: May 10, 2012, 06:36:06 am »
Hi,
My partner and I will be doing the Northern Tier connecting to Lewis and Clark and then down the Pacific coast.  Do I need to get a water filter?  I am thinking not, that there will be water along the way. . .  Any thoughts?  And if so, which one should I get?
Thanks!
Hirakukibou
"Why walk when you can bike!"

Offline staehpj1

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 06:45:20 am »
I have found that on most routes it isn't worth carrying one.  I have not done the NT, but on the Pacific Coast, the Trans America, and the Southern Tier I didn't think it was worth carrying.

I did find it worthwhile on the Southern half of the Sierra Cascades because towns were infrequent, it was hot, and there were cold mountain streams everywhere.

My guess is that the NT is in the first category, so I myself would not carry one.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 07:30:09 am »
I did not need one on the Pacific Coast, nor the NT. I did beg water once from an RV on a hot ascent of Washington Pass in the Cascades.

Fred

Offline bogiesan

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 08:42:06 am »
Looks like the best advice is to make sure you have adequate water on the bike. When I'm riding on the desert on supported rides I try to force myself to top off my water bottles at every opportunity and I carry a small spare. It's not an easy thing to do at every stop, force yourself to fill up, because you 're thinking, "Heck, I'm okay, it's only forty miles to the next water." But stuff happens and weather changes and bottles leak or they fall off the bike. Plus, you could be another cyclist's savior by having water to share or to rinse out some road rash.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 09:10:13 pm »
I did not need one on the Pacific Coast, nor the NT. I did beg water once from an RV on a hot ascent of Washington Pass in the Cascades.

Fred, I was just about to post that a water filter would be a good thing to have climbing Rainy and Washington Passes!

The alternative is to take 2 2 liter Platypus bladders, and fill them before you start the climb.  One nice thing about the ACA maps is that they'll give you notice when there's a long stretch without services.  That's a clue you need to fill the bladders before you hit that stretch.  Otherwise, they fold up small and light in your panniers.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 10:31:02 pm »
I wouldn't carry a water filter all the way across the country because I might need it for one day. When I know there's a long, dry stretch coming up, I carry as much as I need. With a combination of water bottles, water bladders, bottles of Gatorade and other beverages, you can carry as much as your bike and legs can support.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 10:36:45 pm »
Fred, I was just about to post that a water filter would be a good thing to have climbing Rainy and Washington Passes!

Yeah, I knew my three tall water bottles would be stretched, and made Washington pass OK. Downhill then to Mazama, but there was this nice couple getting out of their RV. I asked about a fill-up from their tank. The lady said No way! You come in here and get some ice water from the fridge! A bunch of grapes and a nice chat followed. Begging can be fun.

Fred

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 12:30:03 pm »
A tiny bottle of iodine pills weighs nothing and can be used if  you need to purify water.  I've never used a water filter in over 40 years of climbing, biking and hiking all over the northwest, but I've used the iodine maybe 20 times.  Several times I've been with partners with filters and they have malfunctioned.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline hirakukibou

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 09:11:02 pm »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.  The iodine pills sound like a reasonable back up plan. 

Cheers,
hirakukibou
"Why walk when you can bike!"

Offline bogiesan

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 11:27:45 pm »
Iodine tablets, I was trying to remember what the chemical was. Potable Aqua seems to still be in business and their product is chlorine-based. You can use these products for a very limited time or you end up with a LOT of iodine or chlorine in your system. 
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Mark Manley

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 05:44:59 pm »
I have an aquamira water bottle with a removable filter in the top, it is the same size as a bicycle water bottle and I use it like a normal bottle putting the filter in when needed, the filter takes up little room when not in use. It is the one pictured on their homepage.

http://www.aquamira.com/

Offline bogiesan

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 08:46:53 am »
You can also get ultraviolet radiation treatment systems form the likes of REI and other suppliers. Effective microfiltration that removes viruses requires pressure only obtainable with a pump. Drip systems from Katadyn are well-known for efficacy but they require a good gravity drop to do the job overnight.
Water filtration is easily researched. There are many levels of cleanliness and protection.

One of the critical aspects of water purification that is often ignored by users of filters is keeping the system clean to the point of sterility. If you dip your bandana in a creek and wipe your facewith it, you have totally compromised the disease prevention aspect of your water regime. Might as well leave the filter home. If you are fitlering for debris and some huge molecular contaminants, you must keep the system clean by washing it with purified water thoroughly and often.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Bclayden

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2012, 09:53:26 am »
Just returned from a solo unsupported ride across the most remote part of the Lower 48, The Great Basin.  Didnt bring a filter but did have iodine tablets just in case.

Carried plenty of water for the longest days without services, over 100 miles, and never busted out the iodine.  Turns out it was a good thing too....there was very little running or standing water anywhere to be found in Central Nevada.

Offline rcrampton

Re: Do I need a water filter
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2012, 12:09:51 am »
I wouldn't carry a water filter, I'd just carry some Aqua Mira drops. They're light, small, and work well without making water taste funny. They can take a long time to treat cold water, seems like I had to wait > 1 hour in winter:

http://www.amazon.com/Aquamira-Water-Treatment-Drops-1oz/dp/B000OR111G

Or iodine tablets. I forget why I stopped using those years ago. Taste? I use drink mixes a lot. If I didn't care for the taste I could throw some mix in. Iodine tablets probably have a really long shelf life. Aqua Mira drops can quietly expire and I don't notice :)