Whether you’re planning a backpacking adventure or a trip abroad, one of your biggest priorities will be access to clean water. Having consistent drinking water sources isn’t always possible, so why not purify your own? Depending on your needs, different products and methods of water purification will be more suitable. We’ve compiled this list of the top ways to purify your water when you’re on the go.
An added benefit? Filtering your own water instead of grabbing bottled water is also an eco-friendly move. You’ll have clean, fresh water without using single-use plastic!
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This popular UV purifier comes in a variety of styles, some that come with rechargeable batteries for long outings and others are extra lightweight, which is especially helpful for backpackers. Additional benefits of the Steripen are that the purification takes under a minute and it’s highly portable. However, it does rely on batteries. Since this bottle uses UV light to purify water, you shouldn’t use it on murky water that you can’t see through because it can’t filter sediment.
Boiling water is an easy and free way to sterilize water in areas where it may not be the safest to drink. Although it’s easy, getting your water to a rolling boil is not the most ideal method for hot climates. It can also be time-consuming as you’ll still need to filter the water beforehand to remove any particles.
As one of the cheapest (and lightest) option on this list, iodine tablets are a popular choice for those who travel frequently. Despite the popularity of this water treatment, there are a few downsides to this method. You will be able to taste the iodine (though it definitely beats getting sick). It’s also not the fastest method. The iodine takes about 30 minutes for efficacy, so it isn’t ideal for on-the-spot thirst quenching.
LifeStraw can filter out 99% of parasites, bacteria, and microplastics, and it lasts up to 1,000 gallons. There are a variety of LifeStraw products that will suit every consumer’s needs from community filtration drums to small, portable filters that are perfect for emergency situations. Splurge for the products that have the added carbon filter as they help to remove heavy metals and chemicals like chlorine.
This fantastic on-the-go solution provides both a filter and purifier to ensure the cleanest drinking water, removing bacteria and viruses. It’s ultra-light, contains a filter that lasts for up to 40 gallons of water and the french-press style of activation makes it quite satisfying to use. Voilà! Water ready for human consumption.
The most impressive feature of this filter is the ability to use it one-handed, making it especially useful when brushing your teeth or cleaning off a dish with treated water. The filter also happens to be removable, which is convenient to collect water in places where you don’t need water disinfection, just a fill up.
This pump system is very popular among outdoor trekkers and those who consider themselves disaster-prepared. The three-stage filtration and purification process removes viruses and protozoa. It kills bacteria, and the filter can last up to 100,000 gallons!
Looking for more ways to travel eco-friendly? We’ve got a list of resources in this article.