Proper hydration is of utmost importance when it comes to outdoor activity. Unfortunately for outdoors enthusiasts, the wilderness doesn't have water fountains. For long treks, bringing along your entire water supply could prove cumbersome and drinking water straight out of whatever source you find may prove uncomfortable. However, advances in water purification have made drinking water in the wild a much more enjoyable experience.
Katadyn Hiker PRO
The Katadyn Hiker PRO water filter ($79.95 as of 2010) is a pump-handle water filter that uses a glass fiber/carbon core filter to remove viruses, protozoa and bacteria such as Giardia and salmonella.
The majority of the user reviews on REI.com are glowing, noting the Hiker PRO is "easy to use" and produces water that "tasted great." Other reviews mention the rugged durability and light weight of the filter, and at 11 ounces, the Hiker PRO definitely won't weigh you down.
SteriPEN Journey LCD
The SteriPEN Journey LCD ($99.95 as of 2010) might be the simplest way to purify your water. The SteriPEN's ultraviolet light kills the salmonella and E. coli bacteria and viruses such as hepatitis and poliovirus. In addition, the SteriPEN Journey LCD displays, via an integrated LCD screen, the SteriPEN's battery status and the amount of water being filtered. The screen also features a countdown timer and keeps track of uses to let the user know when the lamp has reached its life limit.
Rick Allnutt of backpackgeartest.org posted on his review that the SteriPEN LCD is "an easy to use, light-weight and very effective water treatment device."
With its rugged design, MSR's Miox water purifier ($139.95 as of 2010) can take a beating and still clean out your water. It's field cleanable and submersible. It purifies without iodine, using salt and an electrical current to remove protozoa, bacteria and viruses. At 7 inches by 1 inch and 3.5 ounces, it's small enough to slip into a pack.
User reviews are hugely positive, with one user on trailspace.com stating the Miox is "small, highly portable, quick and efficient," another saying it was "a great design, light and capable" and yet another user noting its reliability in the field.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.