Water is elemental to human survival and especially important when you are exerting yourself in the back country. Whether you are backpacking, climbing or trekking outdoors there is a good chance that you may end up with symptoms such as stomach cramps from microorganisms in the water you drink if it hasn't been filtered. There are several methods for filtering water.
General Pump Micro Filters
Small filters such as the Katadyn Hiker (11oz) are great because it has an output of 1 liter per minute and a .3 fiberglass microfiltration. Filters that have a pore size of 1 micron or less are best to have. There are also general filters made of ceramic, such as the MSR MiniWorks EX have a ceramic gauge that indicates when to replace the element.
Water Bottle Filters
Many companies are now making water bottles that have their own filter inside. Models such as the Katadyn Extream are filled and then the water gets filtered while you wait a minute. These are ideal for day hikes.
Ultra Light Pump Filters
Some filters (more expensive of course) pack a punch for their size. The MSR Hyperflow Microfilter for example weighs only 7.4oz and will pump more than 3 liters per minute. Water filters are some of the most popular methods for purifying drinking water but no matter how small the filter pore size they will not get rid of viruses.
Boiling is still sometimes the best way to disinfect water and kill heat sensitive microorganisms like giardia, amoeba and cryptosporidium. It also kills pathogens. Make sure the water reaches a strong boil and then, after cooling, it is ready to drink.
Article Written By Naomi Judd
Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.