- Aug 20, 2013I've used my Steripen exclusively on several high sierra trips, including my recently completed JMT. I think it's an ideal solution. You get a treated liter of water in 90 seconds, it kills the nasty things like Giardia (unlike some filters), you can drink it immediately (unlike the tablets) and there's no taste. Since the Sierra water is clear to start with, all you're really looking to do in the Sierras is kill the nasty things like Giardia and it seems to me that the Steripen is ideal for that. A filter certainly has its advantages for dirtier water sources, but you don't see that in the Sierra if you're at all selective about your water sources.
The manufacturer says that a high quality set of batteries should treat 50 liters. I found that Energizer 0123A (which are Lithium) would do at least that. My battery had not run out by MTR where I put a new set of batteries in and that set took my all the way to Whitney so I used two sets of batteries for an 18 day trip and neither battery set ran out. I figure I got at around 45 liters out of each set (and neither had yet run out). Keep in mind that if you're boiling water at high altitude for meals to purify it, you will want at least a 3 minute rolling boil. At sea level, just getting to a boiling temperature is enough. I personally used purified water for cooking, preferring to use and carry less fuel.
I saw many people on the trail with filters that, when seeing me treat water with my Steripen said something like: "I've got to get one of those for my next trip".
If you're going solo, then backup is an interesting question. My trip was planned with 3 other people and one of the others brought a second Steripen. When everyone else left the trail at MTR (so I was solo for the second half) and they needed their Steripen as they were getting out of MTR, I decided to proceed without a backup. If I was planning a solo trip, I'd probably take tablets as backup.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Kyle Arn <arn.kyle@...> wrote:
> Has anyone taken only a steripen for water treatment? I have a filter, and boil my water for meals, but it would be nice to just pull out a steripen to sterlize a bottle of water real quick on the trail and keep moving. I don't have a steripen yet, but I am considering purchasing one.
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