Water Treatment Kit Shopping Tips
Ensuring that your water is clean and safe to drink has gone beyond boiling it in a pot to kill off all the bacteria. There are now plenty of options that will not only lessen the amount of time needed to achieve clean, drinkable water, but are also lighter and easier than using your traditional boiling method...Read More
I know I said there are plenty of options other than boiling but boiling still remains a solid and reliable option.
• Hurray! – You might just be carrying a pot for food so you’re not looking at taking up any additional space. It’s also still a very effective and easy way to get clean water.
• Boo! – If you’re really thirsty it may seem like it takes forever to get the water clean and the higher the altitude the longer it will take. This could also burn up a lot of fuel (stove fuel or wood) just to get a pot of clean water.
Mmmm….chemicals. While chemicals aren’t as popular as they may have been they are still an excellent way to get rid of bacteria.
• Hizzah! – They aren’t terribly expensive and they are very lightweight. Simple to use, you just toss it in your water bottle and wait.
• Nay! – Waiting. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour before the water is safe to drink plus it won’t clean out the silt. The water’s taste may also be affected.
Chemicals are an excellent backup if all else fails.
These aren’t like the Brita filters that you use at home, the filters that you take camping are lightweight options that involve hand pumping or immediate filtering. This pump pushes the water through a screen that filters out germs and silt.
When purchasing a filter see how many liters/minute can be filtered.
• Bueno – Super easy and get rid of the silt that might linger when doing a chemical treatment.
• No Bueno – They can get quite pricey and may take up more room in your pack than you are willing to use up. Also, they are more liable to break or clog up.
Purifiers use iodine or electrostatic functions in order to kill off dangerous bacteria and viruses. Some say a purifier is essential if you are traveling in places that may have high water contamination levels. Some work via hand pump like a filter.
Even better, some are the size of a small wrench that sterilizes a liter of water quickly. They aren’t heavy and won’t take up too much room.
• Pros – Easy to use and kills just about any bacteria, virus or protozoa that may have contaminated the water. They are getting more compactable and can purify a healthy portion of water (16 oz) in under a minute.
• Cons – Like the filter, they can be quite pricey and some can take up a lot of room. You also have to contend with it breaking or clogging.
Each step in cleaning your water carries its risk. While filters and purifiers may break or clog, you may run out of fuel or not have the means to boiling water. It’s best to consider where you are going and the duration in which you’ll be there. You’ll have plenty of options that accommodate a variety of conditions and it is usually best to have more than one option available.