Saturday, September 1, 2012
The Katadyn Vario From Beginners Perspective
Firstly, I should have written this post months ago as that was when I originally purchased it and tested it, but laziness on the matter and other "more interesting" posts lured me away from this post and essentially almost made me forget it all together lol. So, the katadyn vario micro filter is in one word, good. Where I live we have extreme cold in the winter, so the river, Hay River, for which my town is named after freezes solid during the winter, leading to a big thaw in spring which usually breaks up in late may leading our town to have a boil water advisory. This usually leads to four to six weeks of the townspeople buying water either in bottles or bottled 5 gallon jugs). So needless to say, being a newly formed prepper and recent katadyn vario purchaser, I decided to try this filter out on some good old fashioned dirty river water lol. So, I tried two samples. Firstly I tried water from the tap that was coming out with a pretty good brownish tint to it, and secondly, water directly from the river. However, for science sake lol, I did these two samples about a week apart to see if either samples would make me sick haha. So I took the safer road and tried dirty water from the tap. Right off the get go, I was pretty impressed how fast the water was going through the filter, after a minute maybe a little longer I had almost a gallon of clear water. Made me feel pretty good about the filter right away...fast, clear water. Now sniff test lol, I smell it and say to myself, self that smells like regular water...so at this point I decide to take a drink and slowly drink my way through a 16oz glass slowly appreciating the clean flavor of good drinking water. Did it taste as fabulous as the filter ed water from the store, no, but was it good, yes. If I had access to no other water this would be completely satisfactory to me to drink for the whole rest of my life, for sure. So now that it was filtered and drank, I waited haha. Thinking that maybe the next day I would wake to have "problems" I kinda worried a little, not having any experience with filtering dirtied water myself....that's why I pay the city to do it lol. But after the first day with no ill feelings and with each prevailing day afterward I determined that it must have worked swimmingly. After about a week, I crossed the street over to the river and got me some "wild" dirtied water haha. The water was pretty sedimentary, brown is what I would call it. This worried me a little...I don't like being sick, even a little. So when I hooked it all up and pumped out a glass of water (even with more debris in the water this time the filter still filtered pretty damn fast...impressed again). Again the water came out crystal clear. Sniff test number two, smells like water. Clearly watery smelling as the first test, but couldn't explain what I thought I might be smelling as it was so faint. After tasting the water I thought I tasted a bit off, but after remembering something I had read about oxygenation, I poured the water from the cup I had brought to another cup, back and forth to oxygenate the water (which my faucet had done for the first test). Second taste test...brilliant. Amazing how important oxygenating your water is for the taste of it. So now on to stage two, the waiting haha. To my amazement, nothing happened. Filtered the crap out of the murky dirtied "wild" water. Can't say anything to the science of what microns are filtered and what "bugs" it can and cannot handle, but I can say that it handles river break up and what not lol. I would trust this filter in a post SHTF scenario. One note though, the second time, with water from the river, I noticed some very minimal leaking from some of the seals, may have had something to do with the added sediments in the water and maybe the speed in which I was filtering. I would imagine next time I use it I try the slower setting for murky water. Like I imagine the manual would have said lol. So with all that being said I would recommend this product to other beginner preppers or just regular campers for that matter. I can't attest to the fact that I would live up to the high high standards of more veteran preppers. Especially when you throw on the price tag of $95 Canadian on amazon.ca with free shipping. I love you Amazon.ca and sometimes Amazon.com when I can't find what I'm looking for on .ca except for when its militaryish which makes it unavailable to me cause I'm in Canada lol.