A must when backpacking
If you are hiking, water filters are an absolute must unless you plan to carry a gallon of healthy water.
This site has brought up many situations that can lead to dehydration.
Close to the top of this list is hiking.
Drinking from the water you run across while hiking is not an option. So an absolute must is to bring along lots of freshwater that you bottle at home or water bottle filters that will allow you to take reasonably clear water and make it drinkable.
Why not drink nature’s water?
It is simply too risky to drink the water you are likely to encounter along with your hikes. As much as you might wish you were hiking in the Garden of Eden, a quick slug of the local water is likely to taste bad and possibly be quite contaminated.
One of the biggest problems with nature’s water is the giardia.
Giardia, pictured right, is a parasite that can be ingested if you are not careful.
This microbe can be found in soil, food or water that is contaminated by feces from infected animals or humans.
It is not deadly but can lead to serious diarrhea, gas, greasy stools, stomach cramps and nausea.
Symptoms of giardia are more likely to be severe if the victim is in ill health or age.
Symptoms are usually experienced 1 – 2 weeks after ingestion. They may persist for 2 – 6 weeks.
Boiling water will kill off giardia.
More conveniently, decent hiking water filters will easily trap this microbe as it is relatively large.
Water filters for backpacking usually use carbon technology which removes giardia in addition to other contaminants.
When purchasing water bottle filters, make sure to ask what the filter eliminates and in particular if it eliminates giardia.
Another tip, since you can not know the quality of the water you will be filtering, bring extra filter cartridges in case the water causes filters to clog quickly.
Good backpacking water filters will be able to filter chlorine, lead, bad tastes and odour.
Go to any sporting goods store to purchase water bottle filters or order from a reputable manufacturer.