Choosing a Suitable Water Filter for Backpacking
Water availability or lack thereof can be the determining factor on whether your adventure trip is exciting or not. As you plan your trip, you always have to factor the water issue. Is there enough water at your destination? Is there a water source close by? Is the water safe enough to drink? Trying to figure out all these questions can be tiresome; hence the reason why you need to find a solution fast that will make your backpacking experience worthwhile.
The use of water filters and water filtration techniques has really transformed hydration issues for backpackers over the years. As the availability of clean safe water is becoming less and less guaranteed, backpacking water filters are a big value that cannot be understated. There are various types of water filter solutions, which you can choose based on your exact needs, price, functionality and any other aspect you would want to put into consideration.
Types of water filters
1. Bottle filter
A bottle filter has a built-in filtration element. Some of them use a suction which is provided when you sip from the mouthpiece, while others work like a coffee press appliance. There are others that also use the UV light. An example of a bottle filter is the Aqua Vessel Insulated Filtration which is best suited for daytime hikers who can refill the bottle at a water source while hiking.
- The treatment process is quite easy and you can drink the water immediately.
- The element can be replaced easily.
- It is lighter and costs less than other methods of filtration such as pumps or gravity filters.
- It is not suitable when large amounts of water are needed.
- Proper cleaning of the element is required.
2. Straw filter
This method is best suited for when you need water on demand. The cylinders have an inbuilt element that allows you to sip directly from the source. It was originally designed as an emergency water treatment method, but its use has grown in popularity especially for long distance runners. An example of this filter is the LifeStraw which has a hollow-membrane filter that cleans the water as you sip.
- It is suitable for when you need to drink water immediately.
- It is affordable in comparison with other filters.
- It is light to carry around.
- It can only be used by one person at a time.
3. Gravity filter
This method requires a reservoir. Most models come with containers and an inline filter, though the actual setup provided in the water containers can vary from model to model. An example of a gravity filter is the Platypus Gravity Works model.
- It operates via gravity.
- You can treat large amounts of water at a go.
- The element is replaceable.
- The treatment process is slower than the other filter methods.
Of all water filter options available, there is none that can be described as the best, because each is dependent on different needs. However, the technique used is the same for all of them. So you can settle for a suitable choice and enjoy your backpacking adventure!