Q:

What’s the best way to keep plenty of filtered water on hand for a large group?

Our group of four to six people takes a yearly fly-in fishing trip on a remote lake in northern Ontario. I'm in charge of water filtration. I have two MSR pump filters and still come up way short on water supply. Do you have any recommendations for a large group that can’t stand the taste of iodine? Ed Hburg, New York

Aug 5, 2008
Outside
Outside Magazine
Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter System

CleanStream Gravity Filter System

A:

Those must be thirsty folks! I should think two MSR filters would keep up with that. My advice: Fly in more beer. After all, hardly anyone drank water during the great age of seagoing exploration. It just didn’t keep. So they drank beer. And that’s what brought the Pilgrims ashore in a place where they didn’t want to land—they were out of beer.

Anyway, what you clearly need is a Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter System ($80). The name pretty much explains what it is: a water-filtering tool that uses gravity, not a pump action, to force water through a filter. The whole kit consists of two four-liter Platypus bags, some tubes, and a filter. You fill one bag with water from a lake or stream and hang it on a tree or something. Then, gravity forces the water through the filter and the other four-liter bag. It filters out dirt, protozoa, Giardia, and other stuff you don’t want in the water.

The system is capable of filtering four liters of water in 2.5 minutes, and even though it probably slows down as the filter fills, that still should be plenty of output for your group.

Sawyer makes a similar system ($90) that also hits the four liters-in-three-minutes mark, and that actually has a slightly finer filter. You use your own bottles or bags for outflow.

Good fishing to you!

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