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FR - Hydro Photon Steripen Adventurer - Colleen Porter

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  • Emma Eyeball
    it s also in teh Test folder: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/SteriPen%20Adventurer%20FR%20-%20Colleen/ or http://tinyurl.com/34sc2n
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2007
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      it's also in teh Test folder:

      or http://tinyurl.com/34sc2n


      Field Report - March 5, 2007

      The Adventurer has proven to be a tough item to test - not because of
      any problems with the unit itself, but because we are currently having
      the driest winter ever on record. As of the beginning of February, we
      had less than 20% of what our average rainfall usually is by then.
      Creeks that should be running in flood by now were so dry the
      creekbeds cracked. I've gone on hikes every week, carrying the
      Adventurer and hoping to find water, but still carrying all the water
      I'll need because I know the chances of finding water are so remote. I
      did find water on two of these hikes - in the holding tank at Pigeon
      Spring (San Mateo Canyon Wilderness, in the Santa Ana mountains) and
      in lower Borrego Creek (Whiting Ranch Park, Orange County California).
      Unfortunately, the water at Pigeon Spring was clouded and smelled
      horrible, and the water in lower Borrego Creek was suburban runoff. I
      simply couldn't work up the courage to drink from those sources.
      There is a certain mental bias at work here as well - when I actually
      see water passing through some sort of filtration device, I have to
      believe that some of the disgusting stuff in the water (in addition to
      the parasites) is being removed. With the Adventurer, I know that the
      "bugs" in the water are being neutralized, but nothing has actually
      been removed. This may be slightly irrational, but it was enough to
      dissuade me from drinking the water in Borrego Creek, which I knew had
      to have pesticides, motor oil and soap in it in addtion to any "bugs."
      The water at Pigeon Spring was what I call desperation water - only
      if I was in danger of death by dehydration. I would have been loathe
      to drink it even with a traditional filter.

      But finally, within the last 10 days, we have had some rain. I dashed
      out in a desperate attempt to find water in the wilds. I found a
      small stream, dipped my bottle, pushed the button on the Adventurer,
      placed it in the bottle to treat the water - and then the battery
      died. I had made a test run on some water at home the night before,
      in order to make sure the batteries still had juice, but apparently
      they had only enough juice for the test run. Well, I had brought
      enough backup water that I wasn't in any trouble, but I did bring the
      "wild" water home so that I could treat it (after putting fresh
      batteries in the Adventurer), drink it, and offer myself up as a human
      guinea-pig. Hydro-Photon (the manufacturer of the Adventurer) was
      kind enough to supply me with an extra set of rechargable Lithium
      CR123A batteries, which were very easy to put in and worked right
      away. Since the Adventurer has been very lightly used in the last two
      months (though not for lack of trying), I must draw the conclusion
      that it is draining some energy out of the batteries even when not
      being used. I wonder if storing the Adventurer with the batteries
      removed is a better idea. I'll be trying this in the next two months.

      I have found one problem with using the Steripen Adventurer so far.
      As a quasi-ultralighter, I have ditched heavy Nalgene-style
      quart/liter bottles, which weigh around 6 oz/170g, in favor of re-used
      Gatorade or Vitaminwater bottles, which also hold a quart but instead
      weigh around 1.5 oz/42.5 g. The problem here is that so far I have
      not been able to find a re-used, quart-size bottle whose opening is
      wide enough for the Adventurer to fit through! The Adventurer fits
      through the opening in a standard Nalgene quart/liter bottle with no
      problems, but rather than go back to carrying those I have elected to
      use a Nalgene Cantene, which has a wide opening but is lighter than
      the standard polycarbonate Nalgene bottles. The problem with this is
      that a water source has to be deep enough that I can dip the bottle in
      to fill it up. Very small creeks present a problem, as it is
      impossible to dip a bottle deep enough. I used a bandana as a
      pre-filter, and because of the shallowness of the water there was
      simply not enough pressure to push water through the bandana and into
      the bottle. If I had been carrying a small cup, I could have dipped
      the cup and then poured water through the bandana and into the
      Cantene. It seems I've inadvertently stumbled onto the most clumsy
      way to use the Adventurer, and I'll have to keep experimenting to see
      which water containers & pre-filters work best overall.

      However, I'm not giving up hope. This is a new process, a new
      technology for me, and so it's not surprising that I have to re-think
      the process of how I carry & treat water. The benefits of the
      Adventurer (light weight, speed of treatment) make it, in my opinion,
      worth the learning curve. Look for my Long term Report here in early
      May 2007.
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