Since I have this Middle Fork trip in August (light boats) plus a Grand Canyon next August I've been thinking about investing in water filtration. A search for filter only pulls up info on coffee filters and filter plant. Does anyone on here use water filtration on the river?
I have looked around and since there are ~14 people on the MF trip, I want a high capacity system. I started to look at the Katadyn Expedition
($1200), Aqua Sun Responder S
($1800), and First Need Base Camp Purifier
($489.93). Now I really like the Aqua Sun Responder S because of the connivence (no pumping, solar charged), speed (1gal/min), and UV sanitization. I know it is enough to offset the >$1300 price differences. I like the Katadyn Expedition over the First Need Base Camp Purifier because of the 'barrel' pump set up. Once again it is not worth the ~$750 price difference.
I started to think about building my own set up before I found the First Need filter for relatively cheap. I determined I could build a complete solar powered, reverse osmosis and UV sanitization for ~$1000. The only issue was I could only get 3.75gal/hr with a decent size setup. Then I looked closer at how the Responder S got 1gal/min and noticed that it was just a carbon filter and UV. Then I looked at the Katadyn Expedition and it is just a ceramic filter. I've also seen the Katadyn Base Camp
($84.95) which is just a gravity system but uses glassfiber, activated carbon granulate.
I now know there are many different ways of filtering water but here is the million dollar question, what is necessary on the river? Will just a carbon system work? Do I need UV? Do I want ceramic? Reverse osmosis is overkill?