- Jan 4, 2015
I've had filters clog in exactly that situation before, which is one of the biggest reasons why I prefer drops to filters. I've never had issues with chocolate milk messing with my gut. Alkaline water may be a different story though. Coffee filter or two, plus letting the water settle overnight, can really help. Some folks also bring alum, which I've never tried but seems interesting.I used to use the tablets, but at some point the taste started to really bother me so I switched to the filter. An added benefit to the filter is that you get the clean water instantly instead of waiting, so from a weight perspective it is actually a little lighter. But I agree that the simplicity of the tablets is awesome.
I know you've done a lot of desert hiking; do you ever have issues with silty water since you just use tablets? Maybe I'm overly paranoid about the murky water thing. I did one trip in Grand Gulch a few years back where the water was the color of chocolate milk, and I was very worried that my filter would instantly clog and that I basically wouldn't be able to drink that water (or that it would mess with my digestive system a lot), even though I had the tablets with me as well. It turned out to be fine---the sawyer did surprisingly well with some backflushing---but I'm always worried that I'll encounter a situation like that in the desert where all I have is super-silty water that I can't filter. This worries me more if I have my son with me (like he was on that trip).