Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Praxis: Upgrading your 1 quart canteen or Camelbak.
Once you have your own basic gear in place, as you get further down the road -- testing and evaluating as you go -- you will find that if you have the resources you might want to upgrade your gear a bit at a time.
The other day I received in the PO Box a care package from Total Survival Enterprises containing one Nalgene Oasis Canteen in Forest Green as pictured above for evaluation (although the sample sent me is a darker, yet still transparent, green).
Made from Eastman Tritan, a tough, extremely impact-resistant polycarbonate, this canteen holds 32 ounces of water (although I have seen it advertised as a one liter canteen, which, to be precise is 33.8140226 Fluid Ounces). It is BPA free ("we don' need no steenkeeng carcee-no-gens!") and the cap is guaranteed leak-proof. The Tritan material does not retain tastes, odors or stains. It fits in standard canteen covers and is shaped like the GI canteen, thus you can still nest a canteen cup and stove on the bottom.
The fact that you can see through the Tritan inside the canteen helps you keep track of the water level, as well as facilitates cleaning. It weighs less than the GI canteen and can be safely frozen (mind you don't fill it completely up), microwaved and is dishwasher safe. It is also available in Coyote Brown.
TSE offers these for $7.95.
When I went to the TSE website, I also noted that they sell the Seychelle Advanced Filtration Canteen.
This is a larger capacity (38 ounce) military-style canteen which still fits into most (but not all) standard canteen belt pouches. (I have a buddy who uses this canteen regularly and who tells me that he had to relocate the snaps on his old GI canteen cover. When he saw the new canteen cover/multi-use pouch -- see below -- he kicked himself for going to the trouble.)
The Biosafe filter is attached to the cap, removes up to 99.99% of bacteria, virus, contaminants and pollutants found in fresh water supplies and is replaceable. The canteen is filled from the top and produces up to 100 gallons of potable water without the hassle of purification tablets. It can do more than 700 refills, which equals 757 half liters of bottled water. Biosafe also has an indefinite shelf life.
TSE offers this canteen for $29.95, which is slightly less than most places I found in a quick survey of the Net. Pricey, but well worth it according to my buddies who use them.
There is also available (although I didn't see it offered for sale at the TSE site) a Seychelle Inline Filtration System with a three-phase filtration available in a kit that you can retro-fit your current Camelbak system with, if you use that means of hydration and not the canteen. It too is offered for sale on the Seychelle site at $29.95.
One militia formation here locally standardizes on the collapsible one-quart canteen. A half-filled hard shell USGI canteen can make noise on patrol. This can be dealt with by having the fire team or recon element all drink out of one man's canteen, passing it around at the water break until it is empty. This has two disadvantages. The man whose canteen is emptied now has no water if he is separated from the team and if one man has a cold, or anything else communicable by mouth, the whole team gets it. (See "The Curse of the hard-shell plastic G.I. Canteen.")
The collapsible canteen is the solution to this problem. As you drink the water, you simply squeeze the canteen to maintain the water level at the top of the spout as you thread the cap back on. No air space, no slosh, no noise. I've seen these for as little as four bucks a piece.