• 2014
  • Sep
  • 15

JMT - John Muir Trail 2014 - Gear Review - Water System

For our hike of the John Muir Trail this summer we were using a water filtration system.
I want to document some of the lessons learned.

The Equipment

The water filtering equipment is all from about 2006:

New for this hike is that the the Camelbak mouth pieces have been replaced with the Camelbak HydroLink Filter Adapter in order to easily allow filtering straight into the reservoir.

The metal weight attached to the pre-filter of the katadyn guide pro has been removed.

On the trail

Filtering the water into the reservoir worked perfectly fine. When hiking in excess of 10 miles we made it a habit to filter an additional 30 pump motions (about 1l) at lunch time per reservoir - this worked fine without even removing the reservoir from the backpack. And on the JMT creeks are usually easily available and close by the trail to allow for easy access. The long hoses on the filter also made connecting the water sources and the reservoir very easy.
The direct connection between the filter and the reservoir streamlined the entire water filtering process.I can only recommend to use the filter adapter.

The 2l platypus bottle was only used once in order to filter some extra water when we wanted to leave camp with full reservoirs and not spent time filtering in the morning. But in the past we have encountered larger dry areas when hiking the sierra in late summer, so it makes sense to be prepared for these situations.

When hiking up to Mt.Whitney I used the cloth-line to turn the 3l unbottle into a summit-pack and carried water for both of us up to the top. This worked great and would have been impossible with a “reservoir only” setup.


The water system worked perfectly. The new more lightweight water reservoirs would probably have helped reduce weight, but since we are also hanging the unbottles from trees or a hiking pole tri-pod we like the added protection the sleeves give it.

The only downside of the 2006 unbottle versus the current model is the now significantly improved lid of the latest model.The 2006 model is very hard to open especially in cold conditions, but with the filter adapter this is not an issue.

The water filter is good for roughly 200 gallons of fresh water - and even though stored outside the tent in freezing temperatures worked as expected. Replacement cartridges are available online.

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