I know a lot of folks have converted to Steri-Pen use. Here is a question for you: How do you know it "works well"? You put it in the water, the water doesn't change color or appearance, so how can you be sure it has killed any organisms? How do you know there is not some electrical malfunction that is not immediately apparent, which is causing it to do nothing to the water? At least with a filter you know that there is some physical barrier that is giving you some level of protection. If your answer is that you don't get sick after drinking the water, I would counter that since I have never gotten sick drinking unfiltered BWCA water in 40 years, that is no guarantee of effectiveness. What say you, loyal users?
I haven't used mine yet, only have it for emergency use--most of the time I just dip straight from the lake, but UV light is known to kill items in the water that make us sick. You can actually just put a clear water bottle in the sun for a certain amount of time and it will do the same thing. So as long as the UV light works then you can be fairly certain the unit is killing everything. So I feel it is as certain as anything out there right now.
I was going to ask the same thing as you, but did not. They said on the other post it works well and have fresh water. First how do you know it works and second you do not have fresh water. At best you have drinking water with all the dead stuff in it, and pine pollen, algae, and who knows what. With a filter you remove the nasties and some have a carbon filter to remove the taste to nothing but pure water. I used to dip right out of the water, then I saw a five inch tapeworm swimming in the water about the size of a thread. That thing did not start out five inches long, it started out very small. Would a Steri-pen kill one of those? UV does work because they use it to treat public water, I'm just not sold on the idea yet.
RARE you would have to drink nasty stuff and couldn't find clearish water in BW... maybe elsewhere. But once when the "squigglies" were too visible, I used a fine dish cloth to pre-filter the live stuff out. Worked for me.
Now, I bought a steri-pen pre-filter for that purpose, but haven't used it yet and cannot comment.
Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -Thoreau
The science behind the technology works. As long as the light/tube is glowing then the steripen is doing it's job of killing the bad bugs. The glow of the light tells you it is working. I only use mine during the day, at night I use my base camp filter, and filter water for cooking and drinking and filling up nalgene's. I put the Steripen in my thwart bag and use during the day.
I like the taste of filtered water better, as there is a carbon center to the filter and it really is better tasting water, and the filter takes out any "solids" or floaties that are in the water.
Dad Always said "We don't Always catch fish...but we ALWAYS have a good time"
I used mine a couple weeks ago, I used it when traveling to dip from middle of the lake... which I would drink anyway, just an extra precaution. I keep it in my PFD as part of my ditch kit.
BTW, if you swim or wash up near your campsite or shore you can get the nasties... I laughed when my brother commented he wouldn't trust the SteriPen & then latter was spitting water out of his mouth every time he surfaced while swimming.
A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness.
-William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
I believe the science behind it is sound. Giardia nailed me in the middle of the night once and I couldn't find my way out of the tent. Now I'm a belt and suspenders type of guy. Call me paranoid but I filter with my Katydyn and then treat with a Steripen. I'll do anything I can to avoid illness on my precious BW trips.
Make sure after your water has been treated when using a steripen that you close the lid of your water bottle almost all the way, turn it upside down, and rinse off the lid, mouth and top of the waterbottle with the treated water to flush away any untreated water (if you used your bottle to dip untreated water).
"The trouble with the world isn't that people know too little, but that they know so much that just ain't so."
Same way you know your filter (either gravity or pump) works. Or for that matter, iodine or boiling.
An act of faith. I'm told it works so if I use it as advertised, I expect it does. Same w/ my gravity filter. Since I can't see the bacteria, I have to take the mfg's word on it.
The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945