Most effective backcountry water purification technologies

If you plan to venture out into the wilderness for hiking or camping, it’s a good idea to bring a portable water filter from gowakiwaki. With these handy devices, you can turn cloudy river or lake water into fresh drinking water, filtering out bacteria and other contaminants that would otherwise make drinking water undrinkable.

Most options are relatively inexpensive and take up minimal space, so even if you plan on bringing your own drinking water, it’s worth buying just in case. You can purchase a lightweight filter that fits and removes potentially harmful particles and contaminants that they hide in your tap or fountain water.

Types of Water Filters for Backpacking

The main difference between water purifiers and filters is the size of the microorganisms they remove. Portable water purification systems typically use boiling methods, chemicals like chlorine and iodine, or ultraviolet light to kill pathogens like protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Most water purification systems do not filter suspended solids in the water, resulting in cleaner, but sometimes “thick” water. Chemical drops tend to be a low-cost option, but they are the least effective against some seriously dangerous bacteria. Water purifiers filter out protozoa and bacteria by passing dirty water through a filter, but they usually don’t remove viruses . The water from these systems does not contain sediment or solids, but it can contain viruses, so care must be taken with the source of the water. These options are more expensive than chemical drops because they require equipment.

Boiling water

It is one of the cheapest and most effective backcountry water purification technologies. Fill a pot with water, boil for at least a minute (according to the World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency), and pour through a clean tissue or paper coffee filter into a water bottle. The cons are stove, fuel, paper or cloth. filter media and a long time. Also, it is a waste to drink hot water on a hot day.

Chemical purifier

Using iodine or chlorine drops to kill waterborne pathogens is a fairly cheap and easy process. Simply add the required amount of chemical decontaminant to your water bottle and wait for the specified time, usually 30 minutes to 4 hours. . The advantage of this method is its low cost. The water generally tastes like chlorine or iodine, which has many disadvantages. It’s often “thick” because there’s no filtration system involved, and it can still give you shit. Chlorine is low to moderately effective at killing giardia, but effective at killing bacteria and viruses. tends to be tall. Neither iodine nor chlorine is effective in killing Cryptosporidium. We recommend using these methods as a backup to your main backpacking water filter system.

Ultraviolet purifier
Several manufacturers, such as WAATR and SteriPen, produce water purification systems that use ultraviolet light to destroy pathogens, including viruses. Cloudy water is less effective because harmful microbes can hide from light behind particles in the water. These systems require batteries and charging, so they are not suitable for long trips.

Pump filtration system

These systems are outdated and most backpackers no longer use them. One of the advantages is that they usually have a siphon hose that facilitates access to very shallow water sources, and very few eliminate viruses. On the downside pumping is a pain in the butt, they tend to be more expensive, bulky, slow and heavy. It is also difficult to clean in the field. For this reason, it is not recommended for backpacking in most cases.

Hollow fiber filtration system

Most modern backpacking water filtration systems use some type of hollow fiber filter tube housed in a filter cartridge. These systems essentially work by filtering out particles larger than a few microns to contain most pathogenic protozoa and bacteria. Almost all do not exclude viruses. Some of these systems require you to squeeze a bag containing the water to be filtered through the filter bowl, while others are designed so that you can simply place or hang the dirty bag over the bowl and let gravity do the work. . they require backwashing as the filter becomes clogged with silt, sediment, and other suspended solids. There are also all-in-one units that combine a filter and reservoir, such as the Katadyn BeFree. Others are individual units like the Platypus GravityWorks system.

Other considerations

Gravity pump filters and water tablets are the three main ways to filter water in the field, but not all filters are created equal. There are a few other things to consider when choosing a water purifier.

First you need to filter out everything you don’t need. Second, how much does it weigh? Sometimes a stricter filter is needed and it may be worth giving it more weight. Another aspect to take into account is the duration of the filter.

Some water purifiers can be repaired on site and some cannot. If your water filter is clogged with sediment or dirt, we recommend that you take it apart for cleaning. Alternatively, it may be fine to carry a tablet as a backup.

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