Water Filter cleaning

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     I got a question from Larry, a blog reader, on the way to clean a water filter pump. I’ve covered this in past blogs, but we have a lot of new readers so it’s worth going over it again.

     Good water filter pumps are essential on the Half Dome hike.  I stay hydrated by guzzling 7 quarts all day. You should get one this spring and practice using it. Katadyne, MSR and First Need are among the leaders. Figure on about $70. (REI is having their 20% off one-item sale soon.) They will easily treat over 200 gallons in their life span. They are pretty light and are hard to break. When filtering, try to use still water. You want all the sediment to have settled where you are pumping. If not, your mesh filter will get clogged and it will be real hard to pump. I had one go that way.

   They are effective because the meshwork is in the order of .2 microns. Teeny tiny. This is way smaller than the prevalent Giardia and Crytosporidium we encounter in the Sierra. These are intestinal parasites that will give you diarrhea 7-10 days after your return and could kill you if not treated. The odds are really high but why take a chance.

   Now when you return, I suggest getting a 1-gallon plastic milk container and cutting out the lid so both your intake and filling tubes can be immersed in water laced with 1 tablespoon of household bleach like Chlorox. Then pump and circulate the water for about 5 minutes. The chlorine will kill any hitchhiking critters. Open it all up and let it air dry. You can also do this before your big trip. Many good filters pass the water through carbon particles to help with taste. When first used, pump and discard a quart before doing a bottle for real. And don’t forget to add electrolytes during the day. 

     One last thing. I like to put my “clean” connection end of the tube in a plastic baggie so it doesn’t get contaminated by the water you pick up from the stream.   


Unrelated thought worth quoting: A man does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with him and leaving something of himself upon it.”  – Sir Martin Conway

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


3 Responses to “Water Filter cleaning”

  1. Suman Says:

    Thanks for sharing such great information about water filter cleaning as clean water helps to make people free from water diseases. Really this water filter cleaning helps to provide clean water to people.


  2. Phil Grahm Salt Says:

    I think it will really be a great help to the community if people start using water filter pumps instead of the traditional pumps.

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