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Thread: Jet Boil vs. Water filter

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bluethroatedone's Avatar
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    Jet Boil vs. Water filter

    So I have the MSR waterfilter. Its about a pound, and takes quite a bit of time to filter the water....Now I recently bought a Jet Boil...so on my last hike I said screw the filter - I'll just boil the water. It ended up being faster than filtering, the only downside was having to bring a little extra fuel.

    Anyone know if there is a downside to boiling vs. filtering in terms of killing germs. One downside I can think of is that I can't use nasty pond water (or I can but I don't like eating dirt)....but I try to stay away from that when I can...

  2. #2
    Senior Member ripple's Avatar
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    One downside I see, is having to wait for the water to cool before drinking.
    Once in a while you get shown the light
    in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
    ---- Robert Hunter

  3. #3
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    taste

    doesn't the water taste crappy after boiling and cooling?
    Interesting idea though...
    - Mike

    How bad can it be?
    Bobby

  4. #4
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluethroatedone
    Anyone know if there is a downside to boiling vs. filtering in terms of killing germs. One downside I can think of is that I can't use nasty pond water (or I can but I don't like eating dirt)....but I try to stay away from that when I can...
    From a water safety standpoint, boiling is even better than filtering. Boiling is an old traditional method.

    * Typical filters don't stop viruses (generally not a problem in the US)--boiling does.
    * Ceramic filters can be damaged by freezing (can cause cracks which can let unfiltered water through).
    * Filters can clog.

    Doug

  5. #5
    Senior Member Papa Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluethroatedone
    So I have the MSR waterfilter. Its about a pound, and takes quite a bit of time to filter the water....
    I have the MSR filter also. It is heavy and slow (but reliable). After my first 2 week AT section hike I replaced it with a "PUR Hiker" (now "Katahdin Hiker") and it's lighter and faster (but the filter clogs more easily so I replace it each year). Most thru-hikers I've run into use the "Hiker".

    What I am saying is, with a different filter you may not be thinking about the "boil vs. filter" question.
    Last edited by Papa Bear; 07-26-2005 at 11:24 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Bear
    I have the MSR filter also. It is heavy and slow (but reliable). I replaced it with a "PUR Hiker" (now "Katahdin Hiker") after my first 2 week AT section hike and it's lighter and faster (but the filter clogs more easily so I replace it each year). Most thru-hikers I've run into use the "Hiker".

    What I am saying is, with a different filter you may not be thinking about boil vs filter question.
    I have the MSR and this weekend I got to use the Kathadin...what a difference! A lot easier to pump, a lot lighter, and at least twice as fast.
    - Mike

    How bad can it be?
    Bobby

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    Senior Member spaddock's Avatar
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    Like ripple said, I can't imagine waiting for the water to cool down before drinking it. On a hot day I don't even like drinking the warm gatorade in my nalgene.

    Plus wouldn't you have to do quite a few boils to fill up all your bottles?

    If you're in a big group the filter weight stays the same, as your group size grows so does your fuel consumption.

    In terms of germs I agree boiling is fine.... that's what we all do in the winter anyways...


    -Shayne

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    Senior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Having sucked down boiled & triple bandana filtered scummy pond water once, I wish to never go back....

    I would much rather carry the filter and treat myself to cold stream water pumped along the trail on a hot midafternoon rather than continue to slog my lukewarm water boiled the night before.

    I don't look at my filter as extra weight, since I wouldn't have to carry as much water during the day if I knew there would be stream crossings on my route.

    I had a Pur Scout for a number of years and replaced it with an MRS mini-works II, which was a little heavier and slower, but much more field maintainable.

    Boiling is my backup in 3-season.
    Rick

  9. #9
    Senior Member woodstrider's Avatar
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    Boil vs Filter vs Chemical

    Boiling is definitely better then any other method of water sterilization. It kills everything. But it is inconvient on day hikes.

    A filter can fail (I had that happen when my Hiker's filter got a hole) - and the ones that kill the most broad range of microbes usually clog. Yet sometimes the only way to reach a water source is with somekind of a syhponing devise.

    Personally I feel that I have enough toxins in my body- so I don't like using chemicals to sterilize.

    Boiling is great in the winter- (and you can't use a filter then, and also chem. work slower in the cold) and I like to have a hot drink anyway. But-it's a drag to start the day with hot water in the warm months- I usually boil up the next days water the night before.
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    Senior Member Bluethroatedone's Avatar
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    Good pt re hot water

    Yup, that the water is hot is definitely a downside. What we did was always do a couple bottles a time. That way while the second was boiling the first was sitting under the spring/in the lake cooling down. By the time we were done drinking the first the second was pretty cool.

    The taste was actually quite good...although now that I think about it might have had to do with the powdered Gatorade we added . My wife also suggested adding a tea bag to make it more "normal" to drink hot water :-)

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    Senior Member tonycc's Avatar
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    In order to save weight, I've switched to pristine/aquamira. Tastes much better than iodine or boiled water, but still has a hint of chlorine. It is not as tasty as filtered water, but sure beats carrying that pump. The only problem I have run into is the chunkies. Those ones with big eyes don't seem to be impacted by the stuff.

    Tony

  12. #12
    Senior Member spaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluethroatedone
    My wife also suggested adding a tea bag to make it more "normal" to drink hot water :-)
    Wouldn't tea act as a diaretic? Thus helping you dehyrdate?

    -Shayne

  13. #13
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluethroatedone
    Yup, that the water is hot is definitely a downside. What we did was always do a couple bottles a time. That way while the second was boiling the first was sitting under the spring/in the lake cooling down. By the time we were done drinking the first the second was pretty cool.
    When you are cooling the water bottles, make sure that you don't get any spring/lake water on the threads or cap--people have picked up parasites/pathogens from just that little bit of untreated water.

    Doug

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