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Has Any1 Used Katadyn BeFree or Sawyer Squeeze on EBC Trek?

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
7 posts
14 reviews
Has Any1 Used Katadyn BeFree or Sawyer Squeeze on EBC Trek?

I am considering one of these options for my upcoming EBC trip in addition to Water Purification tablets from Katadyn. Wanted to know how these options worked for fellow trekkers who used them on their trip.

Thank you!

12 replies to this topic
Port Perry, Canada
Level Contributor
257 posts
12 reviews
11. Re: Has Any1 Used Katadyn BeFree or Sawyer Squeeze on EBC Trek?

Another vote for Steripen if you haven't already purchased a filter. We have used ours in Annapurna and EBC/Gokyo without any issues. Even when drawing from taps that are not at a lodge. I would be very hesitant to use something that freezes when at altitude. Our water in bottles has only frozen a handful of times but it is an issue. Water in something small like the tube from a water bladder will freeze quite easily if you don't blow it out.

As stated above, bring enough batteries from home. The ones in Kathmandu are not good.

Edited: 16 April 2018, 20:52
Western Australia...
Level Contributor
501 posts
12. Re: Has Any1 Used Katadyn BeFree or Sawyer Squeeze on EBC Trek?

Rethinking the solution with the OP’s Katadyn filter and similar products, if the water inside the container was treated with chemical, allowed to rest for 30 minutes to kill smaller virus that pass through the filter, while filtering bacteria (killed already by chemical anyway) and the large Protozoa giardia/crypto that are chemical resistant. This is very simple and doesn’t introduce too much complication. The filter container needs to be about 0.8 - 1.0L volume to supply enough water between stops. Potential freezing of the filter can be addressed at lodges with some hot water, which ordinarily is available at lodge kitchen flasks, or if not possible on the trail between stops one can still rely on the chemically treated water at a push.

I have not used UV methods and all the positive reports here and the concept itself is good. There is a little extra complexity, weight and bulk associated (size of UV unit, extra batteries, weight vs chemical and filter method, remembering to ensure batteries are not affected by cold, all the while still having the chemical as backup).

A UV system costs about $60+, two sets of batteries, and chemical backup vs a filter/chemical system about $30 plus chemical. If you are adding filtering to the UV system to remove particles and larger objects that will further add to its complexity and cost, though still very workable. Looking online there is a product called CAMELBAK ALL CLEAR that simplifies the UV system by intergrating the UV device into the water bottle lid so that it is one unit, although no filtering is included. Another simple large particle filter product exists called a pre-filter which may address the issue of water particles and objects potentially defeating a UV device. If all intergrated into one object that would be near perfect.

In terms of gravity filters not being able to remove giardia/crypto that appears incorrect, as they are products available online though perhaps not as top down filters as I described at the head of the water bottle. Giardia and crypto are larger bugs than bacteria and therefore more easily filtered, but none so by a pre-filter mechanism intended for large particles that I observed in the bottom of my clear bottle on regular occassions in my recent Langtang trek.

Edited: 18 April 2018, 18:22
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