92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2006
In 2004 during my hike of the Appalachian Trail, my water filter was nothing but headaches, clogging and maintence. I replaced the filter 2 weeks into my hike with Aqua Mira and used it extensively for the rest of the trip. I found only a slight chlorine taste, no worse than some city water I've had. The only issue was I couldn't drink my newly gathered water immediately, as one could with a filter. Water management had to be planned. I would take my breaks at or near a water source so I had the aloted time for parts A & B to mix properly. Then once at camp, first thing I would do is get and prepare my water, then move onto setting up camp. By the time I was done, I had water.
During my hike (and afterward) I used it without any problems and without contracting any sicknesses.
I liked the product so much, I'm back to purchase some more for an up coming hike I'm planning on the Ouachita Trail, in AR and OK.
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2005
I've used Aqua Mira on 2 backpacking trips thus far and it has been better than iodine. The only problem is spilling it when you mix both parts together and also keeping track of the time. Eventually, if you use this for over 2 weeks, you'll begin to taste it because it will build up in your bottle, however if you rinse your bottle out well, your water will barely have any Aqua Mira taste, if any.
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2011
I've been using Aquamira drops since 2001 over hundreds of miles of hiking and backpack trips. So far, I've never been sick. Most of the water I've treated comes from high mountain streams and I suspect most of that water is pretty clean. In those cases, I have lowered the dosage from 7 drops per quart down to 3-6 drops, depending on my "gut feeling". Not very scientific, I know, but so far, so good. I have a very sensitive nose and palate, so yes, I DO notice a slight chlorine smell to the water (hence my desire to lower the dosage). I do prefer the pure taste of filtered water, but like others have said, this stuff is just so light, much lighter than a filter and unlike (from experience) filters, it doesn't break down. It does have an expiration date on it, but over the 10 years I've used the stuff, I've spent less on it than I ever spent on filter systems.
I did use Aquamira once on Kauai'i, in an area known to harbor Leptosporosis, which has similar symptoms as Cryptosporidium. In that case, I did use the drops at full strength, but never got sick.
And do note, CHLORINE (as in bleach) and CHLORINE DIOXIDE (Aquamira) are not the same thing. The latter is what is used in most municipal water supplies for purification.
The only time I used a filter over chemical treatment was in an agricultural area. Besides the masses of cow p**p and urine being washed into the lake, the lake was chock full of fish, algae and probably lots of nasty chemicals as well.
The wait time (20-30 minutes, depending on temperature) of purifying is something I just got used to. I don't even notice it now. What I do now is when I come to a fill up spot, I mix my chemicals, have a snack and then go fill my bottle(s). That'll be about 5 minutes for the chemicals to be ready to dump into the water.
If you want to read a technical paper on how well this stuff works, google for "Efficacy of Water Treatment Technologies" by the Ryan Jordan of Backpacking Light Magazine.
A tip: When you buy a second package of Aquamira after your first one has run out, be sure to save the mixing cup from the first one, then you'll have two handy mixing cups. Plastic water bottle caps also work well for mixing, just be sure to let the two chemicals mix well if there is any sort of ridge inside the cap.
Another tip: These are concentrated toxic chemicals, no doubt about that. When you've dumped your chemicals into your water, cap your water bottle and shake a few times. Then remove the cap and pour a tiny bit into the mixing cup, swirl around and dump back into the bottle. Pour, swirl and dump again. This way you will be getting all of the chemicals into your water, out of the mixing cup and less chance of the chemicals ending up in the waterways or environment.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2009
I first used these drops when I spent two weeks with the American Red Cross post-Katrina in Southern Mississippi. Since then I've taken multiple back-packing trips and used these drops.
I've never gotten sick.
These drops are lightweight and have none of the headaches (or price) associated with mechanical water filters.
The only downside is that you have to wait a bit for the chemicals to mix with each other, and then with the water. The only time this was a problem was when I got off to a late start from a trailhead in the mountains of West Virgina, and ended up setting up a dry camp in the dark. (But that's just me being a bonehead.) I was pretty dry the next morning, but quickly found a stream and went to work. (Water never tasted so good! ;-)
I'll gladly plan my water stops out a bit in exchange for not having to deal with the expense and headaches of mechanical filters.
I'm taking my 11-year-old daughter on her first backpacking trip this spring, and I'm using this product.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2011
There are many ways to get clean water these days. Filters, UV lights, charged salts, chlorine, iodine, etc. They all have PROs and CONs. I prefer the Aquamira drops over the other methods because I never have to worry about dead batteries, dead UV bulbs, broken equipment, foul tastes, or clogged filters. I keep several sets of these around. Some in my "go bags", some around the house, and some in my emergency kit in my vehicles. Each set can make up to 50 gallons of drinkable water. I prefer the drops over the tablets for packing space and the amount of clean water you get from such a small amount of product. Highly recommended if traveling to con tries with less than optimum water purification facilities. If traveling to these places, I would also recommend purchasing a 1L platypus bag/bottle.
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2011
I used this water treatment kit to purify swamp water from the Florida Everglades and it worked very well. Since it's the dry season and the water holes are rather small with no flow whatsoever, the water had a 'swampy' stagnant smell to it (did not attempt to taste untreated water but I imagine, based on the smell, that it would be an unpleasant taste). After treatment, the water was not only clearer (it was turbid to begin with) but the taste was great. I used a combination of the treatment drops and the Frontier water filter (same brand) and the water was simply great! no aftertaste, no unpleasant chemical flavor and no ill after-effects. Other people in my party used Iodine based purification tablets and complained about the taste of the water... everyone wanted to drink my water instead!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
I used this treatment on a five day backpack recently. We treated all of our water with the drops and had no water ailments.
If you create a ratio of the time and inconvenience needed to treat water with various systems versus the quality of the results obtained, you would have to rate the Aquamira drops very highly. The treated water has only the slightest noticeable flavor, not enough to bother most people. It only takes a few minutes to treat your water, and it is drinkable within 15 minutes. No elbow grease required!
Unfortunately, one of the bottles leaked into an outer pocket of my new backpack and bleached out the fabric color! Other users report a similar problem with a leaky bottle. That is why I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5. Make sure you keep the two bottles inside of a couple of sealed ziploc bags, and you should be OK. Why hasn't the manufacturer fixed this problem yet?
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2009
The difference in wait time is minor compared to the hassle of pumping, which also takes a few minutes and a lot more effort. I pre-mix the drops in the cap before heading to the lake or stream for raw water. The five minutes of pre-mix time is often over by the time I get back to my pack. I then mix it into the hydration bag and head down the trail. Fifteen minutes later I'm drinking great tasting cold water from a tube as I'm hiking down the trail. For me, conserving energy by keeping it simple and light is more important than a few minutes without water. When you get tired of digging into a pack and getting a pump going while hunched over a shoreline and then repacking the pump and then cleaning the filter and then changing the prefilter - try the drops. Keep it simple. Keep it light.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2010
I use this stuff routinely when camping. It is much more cost effective than chlorine dioxide tablets if you need to purify larger quantities of water.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
I used these and a rubbermaid filter bottle to drink river water for 4 days and it worked fine. They are a pain though. I was in a kayak and you have to drop several drops from each bottle into a cap and let it sit for 5 or so minutes before adding it to water. Not real convenient in a kayak. My friend bought the kind that come in one bottle and you squirt into the drinking water then wait five minutes. that much easier than worrying about the little cap sitting somewhere for five minutes.