Drinking water taken from the wilderness can pose serious health risks. It is therefore essential to bring along something with you during hiking trips that would make the only available water potable. You can choose to bring halogens (Iodine and Chlorine) with you or you could invest in a good Bottle Purifier or Filter. They can provide you with an extra amount of water when you run out of water supply, while ensuring you that the water you are drinking is potable.
This section focuses on the most common Water Purifiers available in the market. Refer to this Buying guide so you can be sure that you are using the one that actually fits your needs.
Chlorine and Iodine
These halogens come in either tablet or liquid forms thus making them very easy to carry during camping trips. They are suitable for very short hiking trips where you wouldn’t need to use them frequently. Remember that these chemicals should be applied to water in their recommended amounts. Anything more than that could be fatal.
To know more about the pros and cons of using Iodine and Chlorine, please refer to the Water Purification Methods page.
Water Filters and Bottle Purifiers
Water Filters and Bottle Purifiers are bulkier to carry as compared to the small Chlorine and Iodine tablets but they are more practical to use in longer camping trips. Therefore, when buying one, you should look for models with filters that can be easily replaced.
From there, we move into the important considerations when buying a Water Filter or a Bottle Purifier. They are the following:
This is where the microorganisms are filtered out along with the silt and other debris. It comes in different materials which can greatly affect its performance. The materials can be:
Structured matrix – it is made up of a honeycombed material that effectively filters out the contaminants in the water.
Iodine resin – it is a chemical layer that is incorporated into the purifier’s filtering medium which inactivates viruses.
Ceramic – this filter medium is ideal for those who go camping often because it is long-lasting and can be cleaned several times before it needs replacement. But one should be careful when handling this kind of filter because it is very fragile and requires careful handling.
Ceramic with a carbon core – a layer of carbon core is added to the ceramic to help filter out the taste brought about by chlorine and iodine.
Fiberglass – it is effective as ceramics but not as long-lasting.
A filter’s effectiveness depends not only on the filter medium but also on its pore size. Thus, it is also important to consider that when buying a Water Purifier. Aside from that, check its absolute pore size which is the largest and least effective holes in the filter. The most effective filters in the market have the pore size of 0.2 microns.
Keep in mind that in dealing with Filters and Purifiers, the higher is its pump force number, the harder it is to pump. Take this into consideration because you may not be able to use your Filter or Purifier as effectively as you should if the pump force is too high for you.
For a more detailed discussion on Water Filters and Bottle Purifiers, you may refer to our section on the different Water Purification Methods.
Choose wisely when Buying Water Purifiers. Remember that it is not only an issue of what is economical but also of what can effectively clean out your water during your hiking trips. If safety is your main concern, then buy the most effective Water Purifier you can find.