On many if not most of our outpost trips the water available in the cabin is not potable. In general, you can tackle this in 3 ways: 1) Bring bottled water 2) Boil water first or 3) Bring a water filter. We have always opted for option number 3. Bottled water = less beer and boiling water = less time fishing or relaxing. For the last few years our group has utilized the Katadyn Base Camp 10 Litre and I thought I would share a review.
The Katadyn Base camp is a bag system which slowly filters the water into the receptacle of your choice. Our first few trips we used collapsible water jugs, but they never lasted more than a few days before we had to break out the duct tape. On our Ogoki Lake trip (Ogoki Trip Report) we brought a 5 gallon plastic jug – much better! Here is the full description from MEC’s Website (Katadyn Basecamp Pro)
“A big hit with campers who prefer to let gravity do the work. The fine pores in the filter element strain out gunk, bacteria and cysts, and the design doesn’t require back flushing. Plus, the high flow rate delivers 2L of water in less than a minute. So, you’ll have more time to whittle a perfect toasting fork or rig a tricky food cache.”
Element capacity is up to 1,500L, depending on water quality.
0.2 micron (0.0002 mm) glass-fibre filter removes bacteria, cysts and sediment.
Carbon core reduces unpleasant taste and odours.
Cleanable sediment trap increases filter element life.
Water level indicator window shows when a refill is needed.
Outlet hose removes with an auto shut-off valve to prevent contact with contaminated water during refilling.
Strap for carrying from the water source.
Katadyn provides a one-year Guarantee against defects that cause the filter to clog.
Good: The first time we used the filter there was an issue with it after a few days. Basically the filter component was gummed up and water barely flowed through. A quick email to Katadyn and we were sent a replacement filter at no charge and since that upgrade is has performed very well.
Excellent! The beauty of this system is the ease of use. Fill the bag with water (from the lake or from the sink), hang it, ensure the spout is connected to your receptacle and within 20 minutes or so you will have filtered water. Our system was to fill the bag in the morning while coffee was brewing and leave it while we headed out to fish. When we eventually returned to the cabin, we would repeat the process and fill the 5-gallon jug. Rough math would say we did this about 4 times during the week (depending on meals, how hungover I was). In terms of filtering while I have never conducted any form of testing, I do know that in 5 trips none of us have had any issues like Beaver Fever. Prior to using the gravity system we had a Katadyn Hand Pump filter and while it worked great it was a lot of work and took away from the important stuff like drinking beer and drinking beer!
Excellent At $120 this is a good investment IMO. Our group has used this bag for 5 trips to date and the filter (after original issue) is still working great. If I had to guess our group would require at least 6 or 7 cases of bottled water per trip so it won’t take many trips to be worth it. Plus think of all the beer!
Yes – I would totally recommend this water filter. As mentioned, we did have an issue on our first trip with it but it was addressed quickly by Katadyn. If you have a different model in mind no worries but I would recommend the gravity bag system. IMO the blend of easy to use and passive collection is awesome, lazy guy that I am.