Water is a big deal when you trek out into the woods. I remember a trip my brother and I went on where we decided to go extra minimalistic. So, for a four-day trip, we only carried one pound of dried beans and a #10 tin can for cooking. We didn’t bring any water and only brought this nifty little pump-style water filter that we had gotten for Christmas. 4 hours into our trip, we were thirsty and decided to pump some water. The creek we were going to use for drinking water with our water filter was completely flooded. In south Mississippi, the water is very sandy and muddy. With it being flooded, it just made the grit and grime even worse. Well, I broke out the little pump water filter, and guess what? It clogged up on the first use. It was utterly useless. The only way we would get some water to drink was to boil the water and let it cool down. So… we went to bed. Later that night, a thunderstorm came through, and we collected the rain from our tarps to drink. This taught me a precious lesson regarding water and water filters. Before you use your handy dandy store-bought commercial water filter, you still have to filter your water. The sand and debris in the water from a natural water source will clog up your commercial filter. When the river or lake water is muddy looking, that is precisely what it is, mud!
Over the years, I have used a cotton handkerchief to get the grit and grime out of my water before I use a filter or boil it to drink. This has served me very well, and will continue to do so in the future. I will not run water through my filter before i “Pre-Filter” my water. Is it possible to find clear and clean water? Absolutely not! But, most of the time here in Mississippi, the water is tea stained and muddy. I have used countless gravity-fed water filters over the years, and they work great, but all have the same problem, the filter clogs up with mud and debris. Even your store-bought water filter straws suffer the same fate. Some filters come with a giant syringe to backwash them and remove the grit and debris when you return home and have access to clean water, and some even come with an adapter to hook up to a garden hose to backwash them. The backwashing process is excellent, but eventually, your filter will permanently clog regardless of how much you backwash it.
Pre-filtering your water is a must! You have to run your water through some sort of filter before using your commercial water filter or purification process. Water can be boiled straight out of the river or stream, but personally, I do not enjoy grit in my drink. One morning I was fixing my cup of coffee. Like most people, I have a Keurig, but I do not buy the little K-Cups or pods; I buy regular coffee and use a k-cup coffee filter. I looked at this filter and realized, “this thing will work perfectly for filtering water” So, it was off to the woods to test it out. I grabbed my water bottle, and the filter fits perfectly inside the opening of the water bottle. I always carry a metal water bottle while trekking in the woods. A single-walled container is perfect for boiling your water if needed to make it drinkable. You can not use an insulated or double-walled water bottle to boil water. Your bottle will explode!
The K-Cup coffee filter is perfect for filtering out grit, grime, and extra protein like tadpoles and bugs. It will give you the cleanest possible dirty water to use with your commercial water filter or boil. I carry a personal straw water filter from membrane solutions and use a gravity filtration system for larger quantities of water back at camp. To be able to pre-filter large amounts of water is a game changer. You could use a Milbank bag or handkerchief, but carrying one of these little filters in your backpack or water kit is just as easy. Plus, if you bring coffee, you also have the added benefit of using it to make your next cup of coffee.
Here is a quick video demonstrating this little filter in action. This bottle has not made it into a fire yet. I picked this little water bottle up at a local 5 below store.