BWCA.com Gear Guide
Gear for the Boundary Waters, Quetico, and Canoe Camping Locations
Katadyn Base Camp Filter
For large groups or just lots of water, the Katadyn Base Camp microfilter offers effective gravity-fed water filtration--just fill and hang! Easy-to-use dry bag-style design provides safe, potable water for large groups, base camps and families. Large vo
Reviews for Katadyn Base Camp Filter
Their has been a issue for some in the months of July and beginning of August which Katadyn called the "Red Algae", slowing filtering down after as little as 4-8 gallons of water. While Katadyn has admitted the issue and offers a replacement filter for those who report the problem, they have been very slow or non-responsive to SOLVING the issue for those canoe tripping during those weeks. I have asked if they would be willing to offer for sale filter sheets for drinking water which block down to 20 microns (the Red Algae is reported to be 23 microns and above). Sarah (A nice customer rep for Katadyn) has indicated her boss has sent this request to headquarters in Switzerland for review. So nothing for now.
If you canoe trip during the months of July and early August, you need to be aware of the issues with this system. Our canoe tripping is typically before and after those dates, we are still operating with our original filter and are very happy with this filter.
I will be much happier if Katadyn becomes pro-active and offers a real workable solution. Otherwise, if you trip during the time of the Red Algae you need to consider the merits of a field cleanable system - which Katadyn presently does not offer, hmmmm.
At the end of a season we run a gallon of tap water with 6 OZ of bleach thru it and allow the cartridge to dry before storing for next season.
They take the same filter. I would put a pre-filter around the orignal as someone else posted, as will extend life of main filter (coffee filter with rubber bands or panty hose)
Otherwise the filter may plug pre-maturely and you will cuss the slow drip, drip, drip you get as oppossed to a good flow. We take colapsable water containment for catching water out of base camp hose. So fill it, hang it up, and let it fill the container. We take different size water container for around camp depending on groups size 1gl, 2 gal, or 5 gallon and then have it drip or run right into these "pure water collapsable holding tanks"
I love it.
Collecting water is somewhat of a pain. If you collect from shore, it's easiest with two people. One to hold the bag, and one to fill it with a kettle. Trying to scoop water with the bag will only get you more debris that will plug your filter.
I usually tie the bag up with a strap around a tree, high enough so the hose end is a couple inches off the ground. I then lay a 6 liter MSR bladder on the ground (a bladder will fill to the top without overflowing if the fill end is slightly higher. Since the ground is slightly elevated at the base of the tree anyway, this works well.) and place the filter hose end in the bladder spout. I can then do other camp chores while keeping an eye on the bladder. Once full, I then hang the bladder for all to use to fill their personal water containers.
Overall, I prefer the gravity system over pumping. During the day, I just dip in the lake and usually don't need a pump besides. If I do need a pump, someone else has usually got one. I hope that Katadyn addresses the issue and makes a prescreen to fit over the actual water filter element. This would be a big plus for their sales of their gravity filter.