I promised you a gear report for today, but I already have a REALLY COOL item from my afternoon walk for tomorrow, so be sure to come back!
With the final demise of the water filter that we have been very happy with for years, the Sweetwater Guardian, Marie and I knew at the end of last summer that we would have to make a change. The Steripen had been recommended to me, and we visited an outfitter and got a lot of good information about the device. We decided this spring to buy one. It arrived this week, and I needed to check it out. Of course the real test will be how it performs over the long haul on the hike, but here's the preliminary report.
The first change we were going to need to make was to take a wide-mouth bottle. We've been using empty soda bottles for years (that's another gear story). I had one wide-mouth nalgene bottle, so I went to the creek and filled it with water. Of course, you want to be careful not to get sediment in the bottle. To make the test easier, I carried it back to the kitchen.
The Steripen works by treating the water with ultraviolet light. This is actually a very good way to kill germs, and more metropolitan water treatment plants would use it except it's difficult to treat those quantities of water in a reasonable amount of time. However, for camper quantities, it's great. You turn on the pen (it has two batteries in it- an odd size), being sure to choose either the quart or half-quart setting. This bottle is a quart. Then you insert the pen in the water. The contact with the water will complete a circuit and you will see the wand light up. You need to agitate the water to be sure it all gets treated. When the water is all treated a small light turns green. If the wand light goes out but the small light is red, you need to treat it again. I think that the small light is going to be difficult to see outdoors, and it's also in a somewhat awkward location. I was surprised that it took over 2 minutes to treat this quart. I think it took about that long to filter a quart so this won't necessarily be slower, but I don't think it's going to be a lot faster, either. That said, the creek where I got this water is not very pristine, so I think there were a lot of germs to kill.
Then I needed to decide how to pack it up. It has its hard case, and then a padded case too. It needs to be wiped dry after every use, so I decided that it should have a dedicated cloth that travels with it. Then I decided that I did not like the blue water bottle. I preferred to be able to more easily see how much sediment I had picked up, and also the blue bottle is heavy. I settled for a wide-mouth plastic Miracle Whip jar. This will be for water treatment, and then the water will be poured into our other bottles. Also in the water kit is a small pile of coffee filters. We've found that these are great for those times when you really have to pre-filter water to get a lot of sediment out.
It all packs in the mayo jar, for a nice compact water purification kit. The whole thing weighs 8.6 ounces. The old filter kit weighed 14.5 ounces. That's a significant savings.
|Hike Planning Report|
|Added more details to our custom guide from another source. |
Did errands all afternoon... getting new first aid stuff, cable and cord fix for the cache rope, a few groceries at a store I don't usually visit, and several other boring things.
Walked 3 miles with 42 pounds. Fell down hard on one knee, but it seems to be ok. (whew, PTL and all that!)
|SSee Hanging the Cache for another gear story|
|if you like this blog, click the +1 |