Water Treatment and Filtering

One of the biggest problems in the back country is finding safe drinking water. Especially on backpacking trips, carrying large amounts of clean water with you is not an option. So, what options do you have? Here are a few:

  • Boil Your Water. This is not a recommended source for drinking water in most cases, because it uses large amounts of fuel, and does not rid the water of pollutions such as pesticides, chemicals or toxins. However, in a pinch it is definitely better than drinking water without boiling it, and will rid your water of bacteria and other pathogens.
  • Use a Water Purifier. Do your homework and know what you need before buying one. Talk to friends and try different kinds out before taking the plunge.
  • Use Water Purification Tablets. Available online and at camping stores. Most tablets or water purification powders combine chemical disinfectants (like chlorine or iodine) with something that makes the water clear and improves its taste.
  • Drink Nothing, and Die of Dehydration. Not an option I would endorse.