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Yes, their equipment is expensive, but well worth the extra $'s. Our troop has several of their items. Check directly with companies and see if they offer discounts to Boy Scous. For example, Eureka & several other tent companies (I can't recall their names right off the top of my head) offer a discount for tents & repair parts. Cabela's offers a discount for Troops. I would imagine REI & the like would also, if you spoke to the right person.

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I (and the Troop) has the MSR Water Works and wouldn't use anything else. The MSRs aren't as fast as some, but they are completely field servicable. The ones that use replaceable cartridges work really well, but when the filter clogs, you're screwed unless you packed in a replacement cartridge. With the MSRs, it's simply a matter of unscrewing the cartridge and wiping with the included scrubbie, reassembly and you're good to go.

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I have one. Used it to filter water for our 8 person crew at Northern Tiers for a week. Flawless operation. Would filter about 8 liters before needing to be cleaned, just slows down. Cleaning requires taking the filter element and scrubbing it with the 3M pad. Not designed for a large crew, but it was sufficient for our needs. Typically, we would have one scout assigned to pump water and they would take 45 minutes to fill all the bottles and cook gear. Weighs less than a one liter Nalgeen (FULL). If I bought one for the troop, I'd look at the larger version. For personal use, its probably the best system out there.

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An excellent alternative is one that some of the boys in my troop use: the First Need Portable Water Purifier. It's a little more expensive ($94 list, but can be obtained a little cheaper), but it also removes viruses without the need for iodine. Here's the blurb from the firstneed website (www.firstneed.com). In my book, given how people don't like the iodine taste, this is the best solution.



Chemical free water purification for the outdoors


Tired of the expense and hassle of bottled water... Want pure water straight without chemical after taste, holding time or hassle? First Need water purifiers cleanse water instantly and effectively providing clean, great tasting water instantly without chemicals, hold-time, electricity!! General Ecology drinking water purifiers utilize our proprietary "Structured MatrixT" technology for chemical-free cleansing to provide safe, great tasting and refreshing drinking water. Relied on by customers for 30 years in over 40 countries world-wide.


A letter of confidence to our customers




General Ecology water purifiers utilize our unique, proprietary "Structured Matrix" chemical-free technology to offer the highest level of water purification instantly without chemicals, pretreatment, double pumping or hold time. General Ecology's water purifiers remove viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, plus many organic and inorganic chemical and aesthetic contaminants at the highest "purification" micron level (0.4 microns absolute) to provide great tasting water while protecting against water related disease. First Need Deluxe Water Purifiers like all General Ecology Water Purifiers are certified to meet EPA Microbiological Purification Standard against cysts, bacteria AND virus!


By comparison, even the very best water filters only remove certain protozoa, and perhaps bacteria and possibly certain aesthetic contaminants and provide a lesser standard of protection than that of General Ecology water purifiers.



I'd be interested to hear others' experiences with this filter.

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