Traveling often comes with the inconvenience of not having drinkable tap water. Or when in the outdoors: having water sources available (hopefully), but not being able to drink from them without treatment. In this guide, we will show you the best ways of treating water.
Why you need water
Water is essential in daily life. Depending on the environment you are in, people need to drink about 2-4 liters of water per day. Besides this, you need more water to cook your meals. Fortunately you don’t need to carry all of it.
Planning and preparing your outdoor adventure is essential for not getting lost, but also for finding water resources along your route. Most water sources aren’t drinkable without treatment. This makes water treatment a very important factor, as this allows you to refill your water anytime you come across a stream or river on the trail.
How to treat your water?
There are several options to treat your water. Here are the most common and practical ones.
Boiling is by far the best option to kill parasites and bacteria in the your water. will not evaporate all forms of chemical pollution, but it is still one of the safest methods of disinfection. Five minutes of a rolling boil will kill most organisms, but ten minutes is safer.
How: Use your gas stove or make a campfire
Another easy and quick option to treat your water is by adding a disinfecting tablet in it. Most backpackers use iodine tablets and it takes about half an hour before the water is ready to drink. The main disadvantage is the iodine flavor that comes with it.
How: Add tablets to the water (follow instructions) and wait half an hour before drinking
There are several types of water filters to be found for outdoor activities. While some use a pump to fill their bottles, there is an easier way: the Lifestraw. This is a refillable water bottle with replaceable 2-stage LifeStraw filter technology for outdoor recreation and travel. It allows you to fill your bottle at any source and is safe to drink with the straw.
How: Stop at a river, stream, or even a puddle. Fill up the bottle, screw on the lid, and sip filtered water through the mouthpiece. It’s as simple as that.