When going on a hike, clean drinking water is an important factor to consider and there is nothing worse than having a stomach parasite. If you are going on a long hike you will need to have some way of filtering and purifying your drinking water and on your search for this you will find many options to choose from. Here are a few filters that will do the job.
1. Chlorine Dioxide
Chlorine dioxide water treatment is a must pack for hiking. The easiest and most convenient way is in pill or drop form and can be useful if your main filtration system does not work, breaks or loses battery.
There is not really a taste or smell when using chlorine dioxide, provided you stick to the wait time, which can range from 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the water source. The drops are more cost effective per litre but you will need to pre-mix the water and wait for 5 minutes before adding it to your water. The pills are easier to use, but are more expensive, all you need to do is add one pill into a litre of water.
2. SteriPen Ultra
The SteriPen Ultra is a UV light purifier and is fast and convenient. All you need to do is place the SteriPen in your water bottle and turn it upside down, shake gently for about 90 seconds and your water will be clean and ready to drink.
It is battery powered and will last to purify around 5 days of water for two people using the internal rechargeable battery. The SteriPen does not work in murky water so make sure you have a backup plan like pills or drops.
3. MSR Guardian
The MSR Guardian is best for hiking in harsher conditions and it is a purifier that can get rid of viruses, bacteria and protozoa. It is the most useful option for really contaminated water and especially when travelling internationally.
It is self-cleaning so it back flushes with around 10% of each stroke, which keeps the flow rate high and is one of the fastest filters on the market. The Guardian is however very expensive and heavy but will stand up to harsh conditions.
4. Platypus Gravity Works
The Platypus Gravity Works purifier is great for large groups and is easy and convenient. To use the Platypus you fill the dirty water bag and then hang it above the clean reservoir and gravity will push the water through the filter.
The hollow fibre technology gives a flow rate of around 1.75 litres each minute, which equates to 4 litres in 2.5 minutes. The Platypus is expensive and heavy so you may need to win big online betting to invest in it, but when hiking in a big group, the weight can be shared.
The LifeStraw is cheap and lightweight and is useful for shorter hiking trips and to have in an emergency.
The only downside to it is that it needs to be laid on the ground, which is not really practical, and even though there is a LifeStraw bottle system it does not help with filtering many litres for your hike.