I'm thinking of buying the Katadyn Base Camp Gravity Fed filter. I can't stand spending all that time pumping at the edge of the lake. Has anyone else used this filter and if so, what were your impressions?
I used one last year..........for a day, until one in our party broke it(it had a ceramic filter) but for that day it worked great for base camp purposes. don't expect immediate water from it....it is a drip, so have alternate water available while you wait for the gravity filter to catch up to you, but if ya keep it going, you will have plenty of water, and no pumping, at least it appeared it was heading that way while I had it
bottom line: like the name says it is great for Base camping but not so great for daily traveling..........
I recommend it, in fact I am buying (rather the person who broke mine is buying) a new one this year
He, who would give up freedom for security, then neither deserves nor will receive either. -- Ben Franklin
I agree,we have used one the last 2 trips along with a pump filter Once we get basecamp setup,we use the pump the first day and by the next morning there is plenty of water from the gravity filter.We take along one of those clear collapsable 5 gallon water containers.As long as we keep it filled up the gravity filter almost handled enough water for 6 guys.I think we only used the pump filter once or twice the rest of the week.
We just got back from a 6 day, 7 person trip off the Gunflint doing a loop from Seagull to Sag. We used the Katadyn Base Camp gravity water filter. This one uses the same filter as the Hiker. Two years ago we used one with the ceramic filter that did drip rather slowly. The water coming out of the Base Camp was a steady stream. The company claims it can filter 2.6 gallons of water in 20 minutes. That is what the bag holds. Several times we caught the water running over our containers because it filled them so fast. We only pumped twice all week when we did lunch out in the knoos while we were paddling. We did not have to replace the filter all week, although it was running considerably slower by the end of the week. Hands down this was the best piece of new gear to make our trip. The guy who bought it said he got it at a Gander around the Cities. Cost about the same as the Hiker. It weighed and packed up into a sack not much bigger than the Hiker.
I'd have to agree with Knoozer. It's (gravity filter) great for camp, but a pump filter is better while your on the move. I've used the Hiker on several trips and pumping gets to be a drag. I bought the Katadyn Basecamp (uses the Hiker filter) before my last trip and was very happy with it. The filter got slow after 5 days, but cleaning the filter protector sped it back up. It's going with me every trip.
3 years ago my party of 8 had to rely on my single Hiker pump for 4 days. After the trip I bought the Katadyn Base Camp (Hiker filter) and I have never pumped since. I bring a collapsible 2.5 gallon jug and it easily handles 8 of us. However, I'm not a big fan of the Hiker filter in general. Fast for the first 8 gallons. Slows down real quick after that.
Thunk1-Do you put a prefilter over the intake on your Hiker??
The Hiker (as will most water pumps) will slow down dramatically as the element clogs with all the "stuff" found in lake water. The larger particles like algae, sand, plant material etc. is the biggest issue.
To reduce this effect I place a paper coffee filter over the intake with either rubberbands or twist ties. This filters out the majority of the stuff and can be easily replaced as it clogs with the stuff. Using this technique I get plenty of water without the pump slowing down or becoming a real chore to pump. I know some who use nylon pantyhose or other filter media. Coffee filters work fine for me.
Try it on your next trip and see if it helps.
"When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."
Sigurd F. Olson
If you dread pumping and prefer to base-camp...get a base camp model. We had one on a 5 day trip with little camp movement...it worked great to start and actually barely functioned by the end.(a lot of water was filtered.)
I myself wouldn't buy this product...the filter elements are spendy ($35 for a one trip??)...I can get years out of my pump hiker filter.
I actually don't mind the little arm workout pumping.
The base camp uses a Hiker filter. The camp model uses a ceramic filter good for about 5000 gallons and it's easily cleanable. I think it's more of an issue of where a person gathers their water for filtering. We usually go out a ways on the lake and pump. With a base camp you could bring some water to shore with a pail.It just seems like kind of a hassle with a Base Camp. You have to bring a large capacity receiving vessel or they're kind of worthless. I know a 2 1/2 gallon collapsible jug doesn't take up too much room, but it's another thing to bring.Plus you need something to bring water to shore with to avoid getting all your water from the shoreline.
bogwalker - Yes I use coffee filter on my Hiker pump. I didn't use them the first year I had it and learned my lesson. I also recently got the Hiker-Pro upgrade kit with the plastic screen that fits around filter. However, I haven't tried it yet as I'm using the grav filter. The base camp model also uses this Hiker-pro version of the filter, but there isn't an easy way to pre-filter the water before putting it into the base camp bag.
I use the Katadyne Base Camp on all of my extended trips and have found it to be very effective and convenient. You should bring along a small pump, such as the Katadyne Guide so you can pump water while in route.
For those interested (not to advertise) I am an outfitter and guide.
I switched to Aquamira after fighting pumps for several years and replacing the hiker filter at least a dozen times. I tried the coffee prefilter thing too - that didn't seem to have much effect on the life of the filter. I also tried manufactured prefilters. I never tried a sweetwater or other ceramic filters - but bottom line is I am done with filters. I am chemically dependent and I will never go back. Auquamira takes about a half hour of waiting instead of a half hour of pumping. That is valuable fishing time. Furthermore, it is much cheaper than replacing hiker-style filters. One $15 kit will last a month.
We use (2) Hiker pumps on Scout trips, but I always have my bottle of Polar Pure because you can talk until you're blue in the face but unless you supervise them directly at all times, it is not possible to keep teenage boys from pumping "dirty" water and clogging the filter!
Don't feel bad Mark. As seasoned vetrans that know better,we still pump from shore all too often :(
I think I'v Knoozer has sold me on the 20 minutes to fill 2.5gal. Pumping water has been the least favorable of camp chores for our party. We've recently been using the little zappy pen thingymajiggy in the evening on a 6L platy so we have water in the morning and that has been a blessed discovery.