The art of packing light

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Drop_Center, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. gianttrack

    gianttrack Been here awhile

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  2. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    Trying again. Original was first time copy & paste from Drpbox.

    If you spend the night camping, one of the heaviest items you carry is water. At over 8 pounds per gallon (1 Kg/L) it can end up weighing more than your tent and camping gear. One way to reduce the amount you have to carry is to carry no more than you need and replenish as needed, or even make a short water run after making camp.

    Up until recently I carried a Steripen to kill all the cooties that might be living in a water source. One advantage of a Steripen over a filter is that it will eliminate viruses along with bacteria and protozoa. That may be a real benefit if you're travelling in many places around the globe but waterborne viruses are not a concern if your water source is a backcountry lake, stream, or puddle in North America. The downside of a Steripen is that it takes about a minute and a half of constant swirling to sterilize each liter of water. That's a bunch of fiddling around if you want several liters. Another disadvantage of the Steripen for offroad motorcycle travel is that the glass bulb is a little fragile.

    Following the lead of a riding buddy I rigged up a gravity filter system that will filter several liters at a time, works without monitoring, and weighs the same as a Steripen with spare batteries (8 oz.). I already had a big Platypus for unfiltered water and a fresh water bladder so all I needed was the filter, a little tubing, and some quick disconnects.

    Gravity water filter 2.JPG

    Gravity water filter 3.JPG

    There are lots of filters available but I chose the MSR because, unlike some, no syringe is needed for backflushing. The MSR comes with quick disconnects but I wanted one more so that I can take the filter off without the Platypus draining and to connect directly to a small hydration bladder I carry in a daypack. The disconnect Osprey sells doesn't flow when disconnected. That way I can walk down the to water source with just the Platypus bag and carry it back to where I want to filter it.

    Gravity water filter 1.JPG
  3. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    I have enjoyed a similar setup for several years now. As was mentioned also, it works best where water is plentiful. I could not find water a couple times in Utah and ran out. Both times I was lucky to make it to civilization to get some. And on that ride I had 2 - 100oz bladders in my pack.

    On my Platypus water filter setup, it came with a dirty and a clean water bag. I don’t bother with carrying the clean water bag now. I just pull off the bite valve from my camelback and connect the clean side hose from the filter right on to it. I pull the bladder out and let gravity do it’s thing. I can actually fill the bladder more full this way than by removing the lid and filling it at the sink. If I think I need more water at camp or something, I bring the full dirty water bag with me. Not carrying the clean water bag saves me a few oz and a tiny bit of space.
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  4. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    Steripen downsides.
    Doesn’t kill larger stuff like tapeworm eggs
    Doesn’t clean dirty water (chemicals, etc.)

    I have a lightweight katadyn filter (w/ prefilter and active coal) and micropur forte tablets (chlorine dioxide, silver ions) for treating the filtered water.
  5. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    I also have a Steripen but only use it for tap water when travelling internationally. I use a filter (pump or gravity) when using natural water sources.

    The Steripen is also of no use if the water is turbid (suspended dirt/silt and even tannins) because it blocks the UV light.

    Since I am mostly in the dry west, I usually just carry water with me.
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  6. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    I have all three. Each serves a purpose. I keep tabs in my pack no matter what, and usually a filter. I reserve the UV light for clear water on paddling trips.

    I have my doubts about how well any portable filtration system deals with "chemicals," and how much water they can pass before that performance drops off. I recall a filter ad boasting of its abilities in a voiceover as the cool kids were pumping water from what looked like a mountain village's main sewage discharge, complete with whatever swarf was flowing from the roadways. Thank you, no.
  7. Big Tall Bastard

    Big Tall Bastard Voice of Reason

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    20211015_211707.jpg

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  8. Big Tall Bastard

    Big Tall Bastard Voice of Reason

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    I wear a 15 and I'll bet the pair don't weigh 2lbs. Plus you can smash them down in a bag pretty well.
    I did buy another pair of shoes from them that are just slip on and you can fold the heel down and wear them like slippers. They still have a real sole as well
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  9. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    What a rabbit hole. Reminds me of the early years of "Beaver Fever" when you could no longer just scoop water out of a mountain stream. Seems like some new pathogen is always trying to kill us. Life is uncertain. Better to drink whiskey instead.

    From the US National Park Service:

    "SteriPENs and other UV purifiers have not been manufacturer-tested for hydatid tapeworm, a common parasite found in Isle Royale waters and cannot be considered effective. Hydatid tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus) is a parasitic tapeworm that requires two hosts to complete its life cycle. On Isle Royale, moose host larval tapeworms, which form hydatid cysts in their body cavity. In wolves, larval tapeworms mature and live in the small intestine. Adult tapeworms produce eggs which are expelled from wolves in feces, and consequently, the waters of Isle Royale."

    "Cyanobacteria occur naturally in the environment, but under the right conditions can form a bloom. Some species of cyanobacteria are toxic to humans. If ingested, it can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and damage to internal organs. Skin contact can cause irritation. Filtering or boiling will not remove toxins and may add them." I'm sure UV light does nothing for toxins either.

    From the CDC:

    "People who accidentally swallow the eggs of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm are at risk for infection. Dogs that eat home-slaughtered sheep and other livestock become infected with the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus and the tapeworm eggs can be found in their stool. Direct contact with infected dogs, particularly intimate contact between children and their pet dogs, may lead to human infection. Ingestion of soil, water and vegetables contaminated with infected dog feces may also lead to infections. Echinococcus granulosus eggs can survive snow and freezing conditions.

    Humans can be exposed to these eggs by “hand-to-mouth” transfer or contamination.

    By ingesting food, water or soil contaminated with stool from infected dogs. This might include grass, herbs, greens, or berries gathered from fields. By petting or handling dogs infected with the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm. These dogs may shed the tapeworm eggs in their stool, and their fur may be contaminated."

    "Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is found in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America. Highest prevalence is found in populations that raise sheep. In North America, Echinococcus granulosus is rarely reported in Canada and Alaska, and a few human cases have also been reported in Arizona and New Mexico in sheep-raising areas."

    "Avoid ingestion of food, water or soil contaminated with stool from dogs. This might include grass, herbs, greens, or berries gathered from fields."
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  10. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    The more you read the less you know :lol3
    My comment about tapeworm was just from the top of my head, thinking uv light easily kills small stuff (viruses), but has to work harder for the larger ones.
    Same goes for water purification tablets, a few minutes to deal with virus, half an hour for small bacteria and then it’s like ”wait a day before drinking” for the tough-to-kill stuff.

    Edit: I read that if one need to kill virus and don’t have pens/tablets/etc., putting water in a plastic bottle and leaving it in sunlight for a few hours does a good job. Any idea how well that works?
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  11. Cheshire

    Cheshire Been here awhile

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    If you're already packing a stove, why not boil the water after filtering instead of packing & restocking 3-4 different types of filter & treatment methods?
    Filter for chemical, sediment, heavy metals, etc...then the standard sustained rolling boil for biologicals.
  12. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    Personally I doubt it plus it would depend on the type of plastic. The sun shines all day on lakes and streams but the pathogens survive. Acrylic transmits UV light but polycarbonate does not. That's why UV protective sunglasses are made from polycarbonate. PET (store bought water bottles) are somewhat in between. UVC (100-280 nm) is germicidal and does not pass through most plastics or even water. That's why you can use a Steripen in a plastic bottle without worry of exposure, and why you have to keep swirling it.

    Boiling is the most effective measure but not very convenient for getting a quick drink while taking a break along a mountain stream.
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  13. NoelJ

    NoelJ Long timer

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  14. Sunaj

    Sunaj Been here awhile

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    So let me get this right. We leave our kitchen at home for weight saving as we can get food every day and some gas station.

    How about taking two liters of water for that 12/18 hours in between gas station / food stops and not bother with all the water filtration issues?

    Personally I take 2,5 liter in my camelbak during the day and 1,5 liter of water for the campsite. The 1,5 liter is always full if possible, so I carry that on the bike at all time. In dessert environments I double that the total amount. It’s the best weight to carry in my opinion.
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  15. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, MICN Supporter

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    Fresh water, from a reliable source, it the best weight to carry imho.

    Tahoe
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  16. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    The sources aren't mutually exclusive. If a known-good water source is available, I'll use it, but I'm also prepared to make questionable water potable when the need arises.

    If someone rides in the backcountry, I think it's worth the few grams of weight penalty to have emergency water treatment tabs in the pack. They're almost foolproof. A piece of clothing can be used as a crude filter, and it may be possible to use another container to allow sediment to settle out before treating the water - same goes for boiling. I've had a water bladder leak while backpacking, and I was glad to have a way to replenish it before making it to the next faucet.
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  17. krax

    krax Adventurer Supporter

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    The Lems soles are very flexible. It's kind of their trademark. They're thicker and softer than the soles of a lot of other barefoot-type shoes though. I think I'd be tempted to pack trail runners (Altra Lone Peak are my preference.) if I thought I'd be doing any serious hiking.

    I like the Merrill Trail Glove for camp shoes because of how flat they get when packed. I'd be comfortable hiking in them so long as it was at a pace that I could choose my footing well. They're the same shoes I wear in the gym too mimic not wearing any shoes and could be used as running shoes on the road for shorter runs.

    I guess I'm a diva, because I pack the Lems (nylon Boulder boot), the Trail Gloves, and foam flip flops for a total of 3.5 pounds of footwear options.
  18. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP Long timer Supporter

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    You say that, but my first thought was that a fellow rider could save weight by borrowing a pair. : )
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  19. krax

    krax Adventurer Supporter

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    That rider would need size 13 feet.

    Of all of the shoes, the camp shoes are the only ones I'd take every time out. If I know I'm not going to stay in a hotel, there's no need for the Lems or the nicer clothes. If I know I won't be using campground showers or swimming, I can ditch the flips.
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  20. ERU

    ERU Been here awhile

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    OMG 2 pages of water filters, you guys must have vary bad waters around. I have never used a waterfilter advriding or even hiking. Maybe because i grow up with tap water, hek back then it wasn't any other kind of water avaiable.
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