3 Considerations For Best Gravity Water Filters
For those of you new to wilderness group camping it can be difficult to know what to buy. To help I have laid out three big factors to picking the right gravity water filter for your needs. They are as follows:
This is the main factor for group camping, it’s the volume of water the filter is capable of cleaning. Single bag systems filter less contaminated water than 2 bag systems.
2. Flow Rate
A flow rate is the through put or speed a water filter can clean water through the filter media. The faster you can filter water the better, especially in hot climates.
This is the weight of the device, at empty. It’s important because you have to carry it and other gear to the campsite. Sometimes over a long distance if camping in remote areas.
Step by Step Cleaning Your Gravity Water Filter
To prolong your new gravity water filters’ life expectancy you need to clean it. Cleaning your gravity filter will stop the growth of mold and help restore flow rate. You need to disinfect the filter before and after long-term storage. Long term storage equals at least two weeks.
Some manufacturers give you specific cleaning components like syringes while others provide none. It’s best to follow any instructions you get for methods of cleaning if there are special parts. For models that don’t come with special cleaning parts, below is a simple step by step cleaning method.
1. Disconnect the hose (attached to filter) from the dirty reservoir and clean reservoir. Flush both the dirty bag and clean bag with tap water. After reconnect hose to dirty bag and move on to next step.
2 a. Fill a container or the dirty reservoir with 2 liters of distilled water. Next add either 2 chlorine dioxide purification tablets or 2 drops of bleach.
2 b. Pour container solution into dirty reservoir.
3. Swirl the diluted bleach solution in the dirty reservoir bag for a minute. Hang up this bag and let the entire amount of solution flow through cartridge (into sink or container). Use the same process as filtering water for camping.
4. Disconnect the filter from the hose and back flush with clean distilled water. After shake out the filter or I like to use a blow dryer set on low to dry out the filter.
5. Using long bamboo skewers or other material prop both reservoir bags an hose an allow to dry 100%. This can take many days.
6. Store the entire system in its carry case in a heated area to prevent freezing.
Benefits & Precautions For Gravity Water Filters
The obvious reason to choose a gravity water filter is to keep hydrated. Proper hydration is critical for your health and enjoyment while camping. But using a gravity water filter has many other benefits, such as the following:
- No need to carry a heavy water filter while exploring around camp. Remember water is heavy, about 8.3 pounds, that’s a pain to lug around in your pack. Not having clean water limits the areas you can camp.
- Other than hanging the reservoir, the water filtration process is effortless. It doesn’t need any power to operate or effort. Fill the dirty bag and let gravity do the work.
- Gravity filtration is a simple and efficient process that makes little to no noise. Let it work while you sleep in the tent.
- Less internal mechanical parts equal less problems compared to complicated pump filters. Nothing is worse than a seized pump filter while camping.
- Easy maintenance. You do need to back-flush the filters and clean the system for storage. But other than replacing a filter cartridge before heading out, cleaning is easy.
- Don’t have to pack batteries as gravity filters don’t use them.
Precautions For the Best Gravity Water Filters
Bear in mind, your new water filter can be at risk of contamination over time if the filter gets damaged. Filters that get damaged let harmful pathogens bypass the filtration, rendering it useless.
Look for gravity filters which consider future damage and protect against it. Better brands provide a special housing around the filter, protecting it from impact. I recommend you take an extra filter with you on long trips out in remote areas. Nothing is worse than being out in the middle of nowhere without clean drinking water.
Remember to back-flush and clean the gravity filter to reduce clogging the filter. Clogging slows the flow rate and over time damages the filter. Another cleaning tip is to ensure to clean the spigot attachments because mold can build up inside of this part.