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APPLICATION TO TEST - Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter - askLarry

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  • larry
    Please consider my application to test the Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter system. I have read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide version
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2009
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      Please consider my application to test the Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter system. I have read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide version 0609, and I will follow all requirements.

      Biographical Information

      Name: Larry Kirschner
      Age: 45
      Gender: M
      Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      Weight: 205 lb (91 kg) and fluttering up and down
      Email address: asklarry98 at hotmail dotcom
      City, State, Country: Columbus, Ohio USA

      Backpacking Background

      I've been an intermittent camper/paddler since my teens, but now that my kids are avid Boy Scouts, I've caught the backpacking bug. I typically do 8-10 weekend hikes per year, and have spent time over the past few years backpacking at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico canoeing the Canadian wilderness, and camping out in the Florida keys. I like to travel "in comfort", so I used to pack heavy, but I've progressed down to medium weight, and continue to work toward going lighter and longer. With all of my investment into these ventures, I expect my wife and I will continue to trek long after the kids are gone. We are already planning our 1st section hike of the AT after our youngest goes to college (in 4 years!)

      Info specific for this test:

      This filter seems too good to be true—I would love to have oodles of clean water without having to spend the energy to pump. This test comes at a good time for me, as I will be doing a lot of canoeing over the next few months, which means plenty of access to water for filtering. I will be sprinkling in some hiking/backpacking over the course of the test to make sure I can test how this functions on the trail, too.


      If selected for this test, I will take the CleanStream with me on each of my trips over the course of the test. Although I may bring some water from home for short treks, my goal is to use this filter as much as possible so I can test not only its ability to filter, but also its longevity before the filter needs changing. This filter may be put to a severe test, as I know that the water in the Boundary Waters tends to be very tough on filters.

      Upcoming trips over the course of the test period will include the following: I will be taking a weekend canoe trip the weekend of May 15th and another one on June 11-12. The first one will be on the Scioto River in southern Ohio, and the second will likely be in northern or western Ohio (details are not complete yet—obviously). In July, I will be taking myself and a group of 8 others gear on a 10-day canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the border between the US and Canada. This will be completely backcountry camping, so we will be living on filtered water. As mentioned above, the last time I went to the Boundary Waters, we clogged 2 filters (and broke a third), so I will be interested to see how the CleanStream hold up. After I return from that trip, I have.a backpacking trip to the Ohiopyle State park in southwest Pennsylvania planned at the end of July and a trip in mid-August to hike the Antietam battlefield in Maryland. In September, I am trying to arrange another weekend trip to the Lake Erie coastal area, but I'm not how that will work out yet. In October (if the test is still going), I am planning on a 4-day trip to Mammoth cave although details are still sketchy at this point.

      I don't know exactly what the weather will be over the next few months, but I don't expect it will be anywhere near freezing, which is probably the most relevant fact for this test.

      My goals for testing the Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter are as follows:

      • Speed: Is the filter really able to filter 4 liters in 2.5 minutes? Even if it does not quite hit this benchmark, a rapid filter rate close this would be tremendous if no pumping is required.
      • Taste: How does water filtered with the CleanStream taste?
      • Clogging: Does the CleanStream have a tendency to clog? Does it require a pre-filter to be effective? If it clogs, how easy is it to un-clog?
      • Filter life: The specs indicate that one cartridge can filter 1500 liters. I'm not sure I will get to this many liters over the course of the test, but I will at least see if it poops out early. I also want to know how I will be able to determine if the filter is used up.
      • Transfer of clean water: This set-up does not include a water bottle adaptor. Is it difficult at all to fill water bottles from this system?
      • Problems: If there are any problems with the filter, how easy is it to fix in the backcountry?
      • Durability: Any problems with packing the filter into a backpack? Do the reservoirs have any trouble with typical field use? Are the hanging/carrying handles sturdy enough for extensive use?
      • Flexibility: Can I use this filter system with other water reservoirs, either on the clean side or the dirty side?
      • Ease of filling: Are there any special precautions for filling the dirty side? Can I just dunk it into a stream or lake and go from there?
      • Packability: Does the CleanStream pack as small as indicated? Any problems if I crush it into the corner of my pack?
      • Maintenance: Are there any special tricks needed for cleaning and maintenance of the CleanStream once I get off the trail?
      • Since the system does not remove viruses, what is the recommendation for this level of sterilization?

      Previously Written Reports can be found at


      Freeplay ML-1 Mini Lantern (LTR posted 28 April)
      Royal Robbins Zip N'Go Pants (IR uploaded 4 April)
      Kelty Pawnee Pack (IR uploaded 25 March)
      White Sierra Trabagon rain jacket (awaiting arrival)


      Red Ledge Parable Jacket


      None at the moment

      Currently mentoring: Ahmet Erten

      Thank you for considering this application and thanks to Platypus for providing this intriguing filter apparatus for testing

      -larry kirschner
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