How I Can Get Clean Water, and How me and Kevin Callan are Best of Friends.


There’s a certain sense of community within the realms of the campign world, and fortunately for me I’m in the very heart of one of the best places for us all to get together and share our experiences.

This whole thing started with my debate over what kind of filter to get for camping.  Water is the most critical thing you can have on a trip, and anyone who’s had “Beaver Fever” knows that you should invest in a proper filter.  But which one to get?  There’s basically two types, pump and gravity fed.  The pump ones are nice and compact, forcing water through a ceramic filter and out through the bottom past some threads which screw right into a standard Nalgene.  Long story short, you can throw a little hose off the canoe, pump a handle for a while, and have it go straight into your water bottle ready to drink.  The other looks like a 10L bag which you can fill up, hang it from a tree, and wait as gravity forces the water through a filter, into a hose, and down into a waiting container.

Example of a Gravity Filter

Both have their benefits and disadvantages, but I just couldn’t make up my mind.  I mean, the pump you can use anywhere at any time regardless of your situation (in the middle of the lake, along a portage at a stream, on a barren rock island).  The drawback is that it takes about 1.5 minutes of pumping to get one litre done, which can pile up when you’ve got more than 2 people on your trip and only one pump.  With the gravity filter, you can filter 10L at a time, and some of the faster-flowing ones can basically give water on tap (which is great!).  Unfortunately, you will most likely have to haul a lot of water around and the filter’s are more prone to breaking than the pump’s hard case enclosed ones.

An Example of A Pump Filter. The water comes out the bottom of the cylinder.

So I went to the proper source, Mr. Kevin Callan.  This guy has at least 6 or 7 published books on canoeing in Ontaro, he’s been on TV, spoken at expos, etc. etc.  What’s even more impressive is that he’s genuinely fun to watch and read.  I sent him an email asking what he prefered, and unfortunately apparently he brings both.  But he said I should probably get the pump.  I’m going to have to trust him here, but I do have a very popular model on loan from one of my friends, so we’ll see how it goes.

Many thanks to Mr. Callan for getting back to me, I highly suggest everyone take a look at his youtube videos as well as his website www.kevincallan.com

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