[pct-l] Water Filter Pumps

CHUCK CHELIN steeleye at wildblue.net
Sat Oct 9 11:46:11 CDT 2010

Good morning, all,

Years ago I used water filtration pumps quite a bit for hiking, and I still
have three of them which I use occasionally.  All of them are the
ceramic-element type which can be cleaned on the trail to restore their
effectiveness. The first one is too heavy for my hiking style, so it was
held in reserve for use during business trips to some of the dirt-bag areas
of the world where water quality was suspect – or worse.  I quit carrying
the filter after airline security was dramatically increased in the wake of
“9-11”.  I just got tired of trying to explain to inspectors what that thing
was with a chamber, some tubes, and a sinister-looking plunger
apparatus.  Fortunately,
about that same time, I moved up to traveling to some better locations in
the world.

The other two pumps are identical/interchangeable. As designed, the water
just squirted out a little spout into one’s container – a slow and
aggravating arrangement while bent over a water source trying to
simultaneously to hold the pump, push the plunger, and hit a tipsy canteen.
I soon modified them to have an exhaust tube running to the canteen.  I also
installed a float to keep the intake hose fitting off the bottom of the
water source, thus avoiding most of the silt that so quickly clogs a filter.
I think most of the modern filter pumps are now designed with both those

Being light-weight, the pumps were made substantially of plastic, which is
good, except over time the plastic moving parts became sticky and difficult
to move.  The plastic piston with a rubber seal operates in a plastic tube,
and the plastic plunger moves in a plastic guide.  Sticky:  Very
aggravating.  I needed some kind of lubricant for the moving parts.  The
answer was simple, cheep, effective, readily-available, highly water
resistant, and suitable for use with potable water:  ChapStick.

Enjoy your planning,


Hiking the Pct since before it was the PCT – 1965



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