Disclosure: I’m providing affiliate links to specific items in this post. Clicking these links will take you to Amazon. Your purchase of these items from Amazon will not cost you more and helps me to fund more research and development. If you wish to remain on this page while following the links, right click the links and open them in a new tab.
The Aquamira Tactical Frontier Emergency Water Filter System is available from Amazon for less than a couple of latte’s from Starbucks and is rated by the manufacturer to filter greater than 99.9% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia from up to 50 gallons of water.
It attaches directly to a variety of hydration systems and standard water containers with 28mm threads.
It comes with a few accessories including a draw tube and 4 replacement prefilters.
The draw tube allows you to use the filter with common water or soda bottles. Simply attach the tube to the intake side of the filter, insert it into the bottle, screw it on and suck on the bite valve end.
If you figure a gallon of water per person, per day (that’s a minimum); one of these filters should provide clean drinking water for a month and a half of constant use by one person.
Plus, with the 28mm threads mentioned earlier, the Frontier Pro can easily be turned into a gravity filter to provide water without pumping (or sucking).
In addition to the filter, you’ll need the following to make it gravity fed:
• Two empty 2 liter beverage bottles (I used sparkling water because I didn’t need to wash them after emptying them.)
• Something to punch holes with I used this 1/8 Inch Hand Punch
• Two pieces of Duct Tape, each approximately 2” long. I’ve used Gorilla Tape in quite a few projects and it will show up in upcoming blog posts.
• Approximately 18” of paracord, fish line or whatever you have that can be used as a handle. (I used the Berkley Leader Crimping Kit. This will also be used in the upcoming post titled, “A Fistful of Snares”.)
• A supply of #4 Cone Coffee Filters
Remove the labels and caps and cut the bottoms from both 2 liter bottles.
Fold a 2″ piece duct tape over the edge created by cutting the bottom off of Bottle #1.
Fold the other piece of duct tape over the edge directly across from the first piece. This reinforces the plastic so the handle doesn’t tear out when you fill it with water.
In Bottle #1, punch a hole about ¼” down from the edge through both layers of tape (inside and outside the bottle wall) and the bottle side. Punch a second hole directly opposite the first hole (as best you can).
This is where you’ll attach the cord for hanging the reservoir.
Using a hole punch makes a nice clean hole.
Simply poking a hole with your knife leaves sharp corners where a rip or tear can radiate out from when you add 4 lbs of water.
In a pinch, you can heat the end of a nail in a fire or with a lighter and push it through the plastic.
Now tie one end of the cord through each hole, creating a loop/handle that the bottle can hang from with the cap end pointing down. This is where I used the Fishing Leader Kit.
At this point, I also punched corresponding holes in the bottom I cut off of Bottle #1 earlier. I threaded the handle/loop through both sides of the bottom so it could be used as a loose fitting cover for the reservoir, helping to keep debris from falling into it when filtering water.
Now tie the cord (or loop and crimp the fishing leader) into the other hole on the opposite side of Bottle #1.
Insert one #4 Cone Coffee Filter into bottle #1. This will become your disposable/replaceable prefilter and should buy you some more use from your Frontier Pro.
Slide the cone end of Bottle #2 inside bottle #1 and push it in as far as you can, without poking a hole in or tearing the coffee filter. Once you have assembled it, you can replace the bottle cap to keep the threads clean.
Screw the Frontier Water Filter onto the exposed threads of the Bottle #1 (after removing the cap).
You can remove the bite valve from the end of the Frontier Water Filter by simply pulling it off.
Once that’s out of the way, attach the hose from your hydration bladder to the fitting on the Frontier Water Filter that was exposed by removing the bite valve.
In the spirit of doing things on a budget, you can also use empty plastic beverage bottles to filter water into. Simply attach one end of a piece of Latex Rubber Surgical Tubing to the Bite Valve end of the Frontier Pro water filter and let the other end hang down into the beverage bottle.
If you’re careful, you can just hang the filter with only the draw tube inserted into your filtered water container.
BTW, Latex Rubber Surgical Tubing has about a bazillion other uses too (think slingshots).
For filling the reservoir, I took the another 2 liter Bottle and cut the bottom from it and used that to scoop water from whatever source I want to filter and dump it into the hanging system. If you hang the assembly about shoulder high and there isn’t a lot of crud in the water you’re filtering, it’ll filter 2 liters within minutes (with no pumping or sucking). The coffee filter prevents a lot of crap from getting to the Frontier Pro, theoretically increasing its service life. When it’s time to replace the coffee filter, simply pull the two 2 liter bottles apart and replace the dirty coffee filter with a new one.
Coffee filters are inexpensive enough that you can replace them every time if you like.
This hack allows you to filter water while still being able to do something else. Just pour the water into the two liter bottle and let it filter while you take care of other things.
My “belt and suspenders” philosophy also has me treat the resulting filtered water with Iodine, just in case.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health web site (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-iodine.html) “Iodine can be used as an antimicrobial agent for the emergency purification of water. Tablets and solutions are commercially available. Effects generally occur within 15 minutes.”
One form of commercially available Iodine for water purification is Polar Pure.
“It will destroy water-borne pathogens including Giardia cysts and microorganisms that pass through filters when used as directed. One bottle will treat up to 2000 gallons.” The bottle has a dosage chart on it and the cap is used for measuring and decanting the solution.
It is a self contained package that also has an indefinite shelf life.
While Iodine can leave an “objectionable” taste in the water, Vitamin C helps to neutralize the taste.
ELECTRO MIX by Alacer is an electrolyte replacement powder that doesn’t contain the sugars that most sports drinks do. By combining one packet of Electro Mix with one packet of Emergen-C in 1 liter of water, you can cover the iodine taste, replace important electrolytes and get 1000 mg of vitamin C and some other vitamins all at once.