The leaves are turning and the snow is starting to fall in the mountains which means for most of us, backpacking season is coming to an end. It’s time to get your summer gear ready for long-term storage and whether you know it or not, there are a few extra steps you want to take with your water filter before packing it away. This will not only ensure a long life for your filter but fresh-tasting water when it’s time to use it again.
If you have read your water filter manual closely, you will see that the manufacturer most likely recommends that you disinfect your filter before and after long-term storage (meaning 15+ consecutive days) to eliminate the growth of bacteria or mold and help restore flow rate. I was reminded of this when visiting the MSR factory earlier this month. And don’t worry — I am just as guilty as you are at forgetting to do this religiously. But here’s our chance.
Before you pack away your water filter this fall, follow these steps as recommended for most Platypus and MSR filters. But be sure to first read the instruction manual for your own personal water filter before blindly following these steps.
1. Mix a solution of 2 mL (~1/2 tsp) of household bleach (free of dyes or perfumes) with 2 L of water. 2. Pump or run most of this solution through the filter, stopping before air can enter the system. 3. Wait 30 minutes. 4. Flush 1-2 liters of clean water through the system to clear any remaining solution from the filter. 5. Purge excess water from the system. 6. Dry out all parts as you normally would when returning from a trip before storing.
Note: if you own a Guardian Purifier, be sure not to fully disassemble and dry the Filter Cartridge. As it is a purifier and not simply a filter, the dry cartridge will not work properly.