Katadyn Base Camp

In prepping for my family’s 20 mile backpack trip into the Cloud Peak Wilderness of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains I only had 2 major concerns: sleeping bags and water!

This was my girl’s first backpack trip with me. I have a lightweight Big Agnes sleeping bag and they all have heavy ‘truck camping’ bags. I couldn’t afford to just go out and drop cash on 4 new bags for this trip so we would make do with what we had. A couple of my kids are still fairly young and couldn’t carry a full pack with sleeping bag and pad. My older 2 had smaller packs with insufficient space for a big sleeping bag so I was nominated as the beast of burden. My pack was big enough that I ended up with 3 bags crammed inside. One bag was big enough for my youngest 2 daughters to share so that left my wife to pack her own bag and one daughter to pack my lightweight bag. By the end of the trip I was wishing Santa would have been a little more pro-active over the years.

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Loading up at the trailhead
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Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming

With our bag problem ‘solved’ it was time to focus on water. I’ve been using a Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter for many years and am impressed with its size, speed and  utility. I am typically solo on my backpack trips and the Hiker Pro is perfect for those situations. With 5 additional hikers, this trip  would be different. We were planning  on setting up a base camp 7 miles in and then hiking up to the surrounding lakes above  timberline to fish for golden trout. My Hiker Pro filter would be perfect for those  day hikes but I also wanted to make sure there was  ample water for everyone around camp without spending all our time filtering water. I jumped on the Katadyn website  and saw an  awesome solution to my dilemma: The Katadyn Base Camp. Basically, it is a heavy duty bag with a filter placed inside. Fill the bag  with  water, roll down the top  and elevate. Gravity will filter the water out of the attached hose valve and into your desired container.  The bag holds 6 liters of water and the whole system tips the scale  at 11 ounces. Katadyn shows output at ½ Liter per minute.

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Creek crossing with my most precious cargo!)
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Katadyn Base Camp

Once we arrived at our destination, my girls were so excited to try out the newly arrived Base Camp. They  ran to the creek while I finished setting up our tents.

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Filling with water in Paintrock Creek

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I believe it’s still a smart idea to filter all drinking water – even frigid run-off at 11,000 feet elevation.

By the time I finished putting on the rain fly, they were filling water bottles. Every water bottle they could find!

My girl’s verified that all 6 liters of the Base Camp can, in fact, be emptied in less than 3 minutes. Just to verify their findings they would run back to the creek and fill it again! The Base Camp is easy to use, fast, lightweight and tough. It also meets industry standards for reduction of bacteria (99.9999% Klebsiella terrigena) and protozoan cysts (99.9% Giardia and Cryptosporidium). We hung it on a tree in camp where it filtered 5 or 6 full loads in 3 days. It was the perfect solution for our family outing.

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Optimus Elektra FE comes with a Crux Lite gas stove, FE (fuel efficient) heat exchange pot, piezo ignitor and clip-on windshield all weighing in at just 16 oz.)

The Base  Camp  Filter was an absolute hit on our family backpack trip  but would I use it on my solo hunting trips? YES! I have several hunting  locations where the Base Camp will be very OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA efficient. During early  season deer hunts there is a small lake 1,500 vertical feet below where I  camp. I typically only come off the lofty peaks to stalk a mule deer or to  filter water. By filling the  Base Camp and carrying it up to camp, I’ll  ensure an extra 2-4 day supply of water. Now I’ll only have to come off  those lofty peaks to stalk velvet bucks!

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For this trip I also packed an Optimus Elektra FE cook system for all of our cooking. The Cruz Lite stove really will boil 1 liter of water in the FE Heat Exchange pot in just over 3 minutes – at  10,000 feet! I was truly amazed and will be writing a review shortly.

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Rainey and I pondering “What’s for Dinner” along the trail.)

None of my girls had eaten freeze dried food before. We packed a couple brands but the hit of the trip was Natural High in Chicken Teriyaki and Natural High’s Cinnamon Apple Crisp for dessert. I will  be sampling  some of  Natural High’s new  products  throughout this hunting season and will  report in on what I find.

 

 

 

 

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