APPLICATION TO TEST THE MCNETT AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM
November 2, 2003
Name: Michael Wheiler
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Age: 47 years old
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
Weight: 175 pounds (79 kg)
I have read and understood the current requirements in the Survival Guide (version 1202) and agree to comply with these requirements as a tester. I have submitted a signed tester agreement to Shane and I believe he has that agreement on file. I have also completed the required test reports as listed below.
Additional Personal Biographical Information:
I have had more than 36 years of outdoor experience. I've been car camping/hiking/backpacking since my early teens; mostly weekend trips but some week long trips. I try to take a week long trip at least once a year. I am currently a scoutmaster over 12-14 year old Boy Scouts. We camp/hike every month regardless of the weather. I also spend time camping with my family--more in the summer and occasionally in the winter. Typically, Southeastern Idaho is considered to be the Siberia of Idaho. We can have freezing temperatures even as late as July. Last winter we didn't have much snow but we did have some fairly cold temperatures. Temperatures ranged from 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (11-22 degrees Celsius). I currently use either an MSR Waterworks or a SweetWater pump filter to purify my water. I have used iodine tablets in the past but did not like the taste, the floaties, or the amount of time I had to wait to drink the treated water. Most of the time, the water sources I use do not require pre-filtering.
I have been a "traditional" backpacker but thanks, in large part to BGT and its members, I am converting to a much more light weight pack.
Most of my camping occurs in the southeastern Idaho area but spills over into western Wyoming (Grand Teton National Park) and western Montana. The elevations of the areas I frequent generally range from 5,500 feet (1,670 m) to 8,500 feet (2,591 m) above sea level. The weather in southeastern Idaho is fairly typical of a high desert plain. Winters are usually cold sometimes reaching -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 Celsius). Snow depths vary greatly. Summers are typically dry and warm (80 to upper 90 degrees Fahrenheit (27-32 Celsius) though this past summer we saw fairly consistent temperatures over 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) with occasional thunderstorms. Fall weather is actually the best--crisp mornings, warm afternoons and cool evenings with little moisture.
Field Testing Information:
In November, the Scouts and I will be camping in the high desert near Idaho Falls and assisting with the Scouting For Food campaign. In December we are planning an overnight snowshoeing trek in Harriman State Park. In January we will be building snow shelters/camping in the Island Park, Idaho area. I will be camping in February, March and April as well but have no definite destinations in mind yet. My family and I try to take in at least one winter outing as well. Most all of these outings, will be in very mountainous terrain--5,500-8,500 foot (1,670-2,591 m) elevation.
If selected to test the Aquamira Drops, I will treat water from the South Fork of the Snake River in November and the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in December. Both of these water sources are large rivers with potential for numerous types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. I may also be able to treat water from Warm River or the Buffalo River in January. In additional to the claims that the drops are effective against all types of these nasty critters, I especially like the claim that the Aquamira Drops "work quickly ... without the unpleasant taste or odor." I quit using iodine tablets because of the 30 minute delay in using the treated water and the less than pleasant taste. I really like the taste of ice cold river or stream water which only passes through the filter and into my Nalgene bottle before going into my mouth. I most certainly will be reporting on just how much difference there is in the taste of the water treated with the drops. I will "pump filter" some water from the same source for taste and time comparisons. I will also report on how "quickly" the manufacturer claims the treated water can be used and compare that to using some of my old iodine tablets. I plan to report on just how easy it is to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the drops. It appears that the two chemicals must be mixed and I will report on how easy it is to mix the proper amount of each chemical in the "pre-mixing caps" and then add the mixture to water container (generally a Nalgene 32 oz. bottle).
The manufacturer also claims that the packaging is "convenient." In light of the fact that most of the testing will take place during cold winter weather, I will report on just how convenient the packaging/pre-mixing caps are while using gloved hands. I will also be interested to see if the drops themselves will freeze when subjected to sub-zero temperatures. Is there anything in the manufacturer's instructions regarding exposing the drops to sub-zero temperatures? I plan to report on the bottles containing the drops. For example, I will try to answer the following questions: do they leak, do they need special protection inside the pack, will they crack or break if frozen, can I get the lids off if subjected to sub-zero temperatures? All of this testing can be done while on one or more of the outings planned in the next three months.
I have posted the following two complete report series:
GoLite Hex 2 Shelter:
Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone Backpack:
Other Reports/Work With BGT:
Current Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock Monitor.
Current Leki Ultralite Ti AirErgo Pa Trekking Poles Monitor.
Current Xikar Knife Monitor.
Lawson Hammock Monitor.
Clark Jungle Hammock Monitor.
Sawyer Insect Repellents Initial and Field Reports:
Six Moon Designs Europa II Tent Initial Report:
Mountainsmith Wisp Sleeping Bag Initial Report:
Adventure Medical UltraLite .9 First Aid Kit Initial and Field Reports:
Princeton Tec Impact Flashlight Reports:
RainShield Jacket and Pants Reports:
Backpacker's Pantry Reports:
Psolar.EX Face Mask Reports:
Victorinox Classic Knife Reports:
PackFlat Grill Reports:
Polar Dome Owner Review:
Leatherman Wave Owner Review:
Slumberjack Expedition Sleeping Bag Owner Review:
GoLite Fierce Sleep System Owner Review:
CMG Bonfire Owner Review (no longer in the system).
MSR Whisperlite Stove Beta Test.
After sufficient experience with the products in the field, I also plan to do owner reviews on the REI Half Dome tent, the MSR Dragonfly stove, the Brunton Sherpa Atmospheric Data Center, and the Brunton Helios Stormproof Lighter.
Thank you for taking the time to read my application and considering me for this test series.
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