Here's my FR for the SteriPEN. I think I got all the conversions! Thanks in advance for the edits.
HTML Here: http://tinyurl.com/2dgajex
Field Report August 3, 2010
I have carried the SteriPEN AdventurerOpti on 17 day-hikes in the two months since my Initial Report, and used it on three of them. As well, I've used it while camping on three nights. The details of the times that I used the SteriPEN follow:
May 21-23, 2010: 3-day climbing & camping trip, around 15 C (60 F) with some rain. I used the SteriPEN in camp to purify water that wasn't going to be boiled. I treated four 1 L (32 fl oz) batches of clear water.
May 29, 2010: 10 km (6.2 mi) hike in the Purcells at around 15 C (60 F) with some rain. Used the SteriPEN in a 1.5 L (50 fl oz) hydration bladder with clear water from a creek, which was about 5 C (40 F). I purified between 0.5 L (16 fl oz) and 1 L (32 fl oz) of water.
June 5-6, 2010: I carried the SteriPEN on a 2-day search & rescue exercise, which included a pack inspection to see what we were all carrying. The evaluator was impressed that I actually had a water treatment method in my pack (most didn't).
June 21-23, 2010: 3-day climbing, hiking, and camping trip in the Selkirks. Temperatures were 20-25 C (68-77 F) and I used the SteriPEN on three 1 L (32 fl oz) batches of clear creek water which was around 5 C (40 F).
June 26, 2010: I carried the SteriPEN on a 15 km (9.3 mi) dayhike up to an alpine lake. The temperature was about 25 C (77 F). My hydration bladder leaked all over the place while I was up there, so I suddenly had no water for the hike down. I used the SteriPEN to put another 1 L (32 fl oz) of clear lake water into my bladder.
July 17-18, 2010: I used the SteriPEN to purify creek water while camping on the side of a forestry service road. The temperature was about 20 C (68 F) and the water was about 7 C (45 F). I purified 2 L (68 fl oz) in three batches.
July 18, 2010: On a dayhike up to some alpine lakes I used the SteriPEN to treat 600 mL (20 fl oz) of water, which was at about 5 C (40 F). The ambient temperature was around 25 C (77 F).
I have had no trouble at all using the SteriPEN AdventurerOpti. It has worked perfectly every time I've tried to use it.
I really enjoyed the quick purification time using the SteriPEN. It's much faster and easier than any other method that I've used, and I didn't hesitate to get the unit out of my pack and use it. That's a great change for me, since I usually didn't treat my water at all (depending on the location) previously. Previously, I didn't carry anything for water purification for day-hiking, and now I never go without the SteriPEN. Although there isn't the sense of having mechanically done something to the water (like with a filter), I felt like I was being a conscientious hiker. I haven't gotten sick yet this year, so either it's working or I'm still lucky!
All of the creeks and lakes that I've gotten water from have been clear. There have been a few floaties once in a while, but no turbidity. I haven't needed to do any pre-filtering of the water.
Although I was given the reasons why the SteriPEN isn't intended for use in hydration bladders, on two of the day-hikes that I used it on, I found myself suddenly with little water and not carrying a separate bottle. I kept the hose and mouthpiece out of the water source and stirred the water as much as I could during treatment. Better than nothing in a pinch, for sure.
I have found that in sunshine it can be difficult to see if the lamp illuminates once I put the wand into water. If I look through the side of my bottle it's more obvious, but I can't tell from the top. It has turned on every time, though.
Although the battery compartment seal is water-resistant, I have been cautious about getting too much water on it. Trying to keep enough of the handle out of the water to keep the seal dry and to keep a good grip on the unit means that I need to have my water bottle almost full to the brim to effectively use the SteriPEN, and has led to pulling the sensor just above the surface of the water several times. The lamp has immediately turned off, just as it's supposed to. That's a great safety feature. I re-started the full treatment in all cases.
I used the flashlight once while going down to the creek to get water in the dark. I had a headlamp on, but the extra light from the SteriPEN was nice. It was bright enough that I could certainly find my way to a water source with it, but I'm not sure what I'd do while I was actually treating water in that case...sit in the dark, I guess.
I have used the SteriPEN to treat 13 batches of water that were between 0.5 L and 1 L (16 to 32 fl oz). This is well below the 100 0.5 L (16 fl oz) treatments that is specified by the manufacturer for disposable batteries, so I'm not surprised that the original batteries are still going.
I have used a small microfiber cloth to wipe off the unit after each used, and stored the SteriPEN in its neoprene case. It still looks brand new.
I am really enjoying using the SteriPEN AdventurerOpti. I am carrying a water purification unit with me all the time, which means that I can get more water on day hikes as well as in camp overnight. The unit has performed flawlessly so far. I'm moving to a new area of British Columbia shortly, so I'll have new terrain to get out and explore, and I'm looking forward to the SteriPEN going exploring with me. My outlook on water purification while hiking has shifted from "almost never" to "always", which is much more intelligent.
Thanks to Hydro-Photon and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the SteriPEN AdventurerOpti. Check back in approximately 2 months (late September 2010) for my Long-Term Report.