Submitted: 01-02-2009 by rikjohnson
Being a desert paddler, I am familiar with the adage, "Hydrate or Die". Having spent too much time overseas with the Air Force, I have seen and drunk a lot of bad water (and lost a lot of weight because of bad water) so was in the market for a small dependable water filter. I chose the Katadyn Hiker simply because my local store recommended it as the best all-purpose system for the money and size @ about $80. I bought two (one at a yard sale with a new filter) and tossed one in my camping bag, one in my emergency bag and forgot them.
Normally, I carry a gallon of water in my boat for day trips (two gallons for summer paddling) but this time we planned a 3-day campout. About halfway to the campsite, Joann fell apart so I took from her 45# of her drinking water, then an hour later, another 15# of her water. Thus lightening her boat but overloading mine.
THAT is when I decided to test my Katadyn.
I found a clear place on the lake, poured water through a handkerchief to filter most of the gunk (why stress the katadyn filter?) then tossed the filter that comes with the filter into the 'clean' bucket and pumped water into my drinking bottle. I then refilled my 'clean' bucket as needed.
The filter was simple to use, easy to use, filled my drinking bottle within seconds and I never got sick. One suggestion though... it is important to NEVER switch the intake with the out-flo hoses. So as soon as I got home, I took my sharpie and wrote on both ends of both hoses "intake" and "outflo" so I would never mix them up. I figure that a combination of this plus a UV Steripen would be the best solution to the problem of drinking water.