Water treatment types for hiking and backpacking?I firmly believe that some of the best family memories happened outside. When I think back to my own childhood, the most immediate memories include family camping trips, me and my siblings by the fire, long walks through the woods, and boiling endless water to kill “water bugs.” Yes, we were worried about water pathogens even 20 years ago. This has become an issue with natural water sources, but there are multiple water treatments available to keep you and your family safe so you can focus on creating outdoor memories instead of experiencing bad ones.
Why can’t we just drink from natural sources?
Water quality, even in more remote areas, has declined as the environment has deteriorated, along with increased livestock, foot traffic on trails, and wildlife near water sources. Even if the water from a natural source looks clean and clear, and you can see every tiny living thing and rock at the bottom of the water bed, it can still be hiding pathogens like protozoa, bacteria, and viruses that can make you and your family very sick. These pathogens can cause myriad digestive problems (such as diarrhea, vomiting, and so on) or worse, depending on the type of pathogen you’re dealing with. As a result, studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have concluded that you should always filter and disinfect water from natural sources.
What water treatment systems are available?
Not all treatment systems are created equal, and all have pros and cons. Below are some common approaches and the pros and cons of each. I’ve divided them into two categories based on activity but can cross over depending on the situation.
Camping and Backpacking: The amount of water and time required is not a factor
1 Boil (purify)
Pros: The least technical and easiest of all the techniques mentioned here is boiling water. Bring it to a “boil” for one minute (or three minutes at altitudes above 6,500 feet). It’s also cost-effective (in most cases) because you probably already have a kitchenware avrupa yakası escort bayan set.
Cons: Requires fuel, either gas tank or wood. The gas can be heavy, and if it runs out, there is no way to replenish it far from civilization (this is especially true if open flames are not allowed). Between boiling the water and waiting for it to cool enough to drink, this is a slow treatment option!
2 pumps (most use filtration, a few also use purification)
Advantages: The pump usually has three main components: the filter, the hand-held pump, and the tube. The inlet pipe (or “dirty” pipe) is place in the water source and the outlet pipe (or “clean” pipe) is placed in the water container. Then you get to work, pumping water from the source through a filter into your container. Or better yet, getting the kids involved can make this a fun and educational experience for them (if you play it right and call it a game or competition, you may not have to do any pumping yourself!). . This technique is fairly fast, depending on how fast you are pumping, and works well in shallow water. It is also suitable for single and multiple uses and filters out sediment so that your water is not rough.
Cons: Pumping can be tiring, especially if you’re pumping for a group of people. They are bulky, with tubes and filters taking up a considerable amount of space. This isn’t a big deal if you’re car camping in a remote area, but it adds quite a bit of weight and takes up valuable space when backpacking (especially if you’re carrying extra gear for your kids on a family backpacking trip).
Chemical water treatment (purification)
Pros: This is what many consider “old school,” but still very effective water treatment. You simply drop a tag or drop into your water container, shake it, and wait the prescribed amount of time for the chemical to kill the pathogen. They are lightweight, inexpensive, and very easy to use. If you choose a different water treatment method, many outdoor experts recommend carrying this treatment option as a backup in case your equipment fails. Chlorine dioxide is often the chemical method of choice due to the disadvantages of iodine tablets (unpleasant taste, danger to pregnant women and people with thyroid problems, ineffective against cryptosporidium parasites, etc.).
Cons: Chemicals can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to work. Large amounts of water require more chemicals, which can be a problem if you don’t bring enough water with you.
Pros: This is a very similar approach to pump filters, but it lets gravity do the work for you. Most gravity water bag
Each comes with two water sacs (one for “dirty” water and one for filtered “clean” water) and a series of hoses and filters. You fill the “dirty” bag with water from a natural source, then hang it from a tree or tall rock, then connect the hose and filter and the “clean” water bag at the bottom. Then you can relax, set up camp, play some family games, practice yoga, and do whatever you want while gravity filters the water at a fairly rapid rate (about 2 liters per minute). The gravity filter does not require power, so you can use it anywhere.
Cons: It can be more difficult in shallow water because you need to fill the water sac.
Hiking – Requires less water, but needs it fairly quickly
1 Squeeze (strain)
Pros: Does your child like to squeeze things (my little one likes to squeeze bags, squeeze glue, squeeze mud, anything squeezable)? If so, this might be a good choice for you! An extruded filter consists of a bag, a compact filter unit, and anything else you want to squeeze water into, whether it’s another bag or straight into your mouth. You simply fill the bag with water from the source and squeeze it through a filter. They are easy to use, lightweight, and provide instant water supply. The most important thing is to make it fun for kids to use! Filters prevent microplastics, parasites, and bacteria, and reduce chemicals and heavy metals like lead.
Cons: Depending on the water source, they can clog up quickly and require cleaning or backwashing. They are not suited to large amounts of water, making them a more suitable treatment option for hiking rather than camping or backpacking.
Water bottle filter (filter or purify depending on the brand)
Pros: Water bottle filter (filter or purify depending on the brand): These water bottles have a built-in filter or purification element. Some use the suction you provide as you sip from the bottle, while others work like a coffee machine or use ultraviolet light to filter/purify the water. They are easy for the whole family to use and reasonably priced.
Cons: Like squeeze filters, they can get on the road and need cleaning. Clean by blowing air through the mouthpiece until water drains out of the bottom of the filter to recoil and prevent it from clogging. The amount of filtered water is limited by bottle size, so this method is more suitable for families hiking near a water source than camping/backpacking.
Straws (mainly filter, though some high-end models offer purification)
Pros: This method is similar to squeeze and water bottle filters, except instead of attaching to a bag or bottle, the filter is placed directly into the water source and you can inhale it like a straw. They’re lightweight and fairly small, so they don’t take up a lot of space in your bag.
Cons: Can’t store water, so it’s better for hiking along water sources (which is why it’s not good for camping or backpacking). Many reviews report that it is difficult to absorb water through a straw, which is not a good option for children. They can get, forcing you to clean on the road. It’s embarrassing to crouch down every time you try to drink water with your face almost submerged. I usually keep one in my backpack as a backup, but it’s not my first choice for filtering water.
Uv purifier (purification)
Pros: You simply place the pen-like device’s probe into the water container to treat and rotate it for a certain amount of time (usually about 60 seconds) to neutralize the pathogen in it. Unlike most filters, you don’t have to clean or replace any parts on this device (except perhaps the battery), and it’s very easy to use.
Cons: The device requires batteries, and one of the main complaints from users is that the batteries drain too quickly. There is a risk of failure as there are no parts that can clean or secured (which is why it is always good to bring a backup treatment!). Since you did not filter the water, the sediment found in the water has nowhere to go. This makes the device take longer to purify the water and means you will ingest the sediment unless you filter the water another way first. Multiple treatments need to purify large amounts of water, and if the water sits around for a while, the neutralized pathogens may become active again (making it more suitable for hiking than camping and backpacking).