How to Purify Water When Backpacking

Water purifier systems are a necessity if you are going on longer hikes or backpacking. Those cold, mountain streams are natural sources of drinking water but may contain viruses and bacteria. You need to filter those out. Boiling water for a good minute is one way to purify your water but it is time and…

Water purifier systems are a necessity if you are going on longer hikes or backpacking. Those cold, mountain streams are natural sources of drinking water but may contain viruses and bacteria. You need to filter those out.

Boiling water for a good minute is one way to purify your water but it is time and fuel consuming.

The most popular method for purifying your water is to use a portable water purification system which is both easy to use and lightweight.

A good hiking water purifier will provide you with peace of mind about the water you need to drink, especially when you're hiking in hot, sunny weather and climbing to higher altitudes. A reliable water source is vital for pumping the water you need. But it does not have to be a raging river, we've actually pumped water from a very tiny and shallow stream. Backpacking water purifiers must be good enough to filter out almost all viruses, bacteria and common protozoan parasites.

You want to be able to filter water from a shallow stream, rushing river or a very still lake. Pump your water and go! is what you want from it.

There are many different manufacturers to choose from and it's worth researching each of them. Make sure the water filter purifier you use is sturdy, reliable and capable to filter out most viruses and bacteria. The cheapest is not always the best way to go. A bit of research will really pay off.

The best water purifier we have used is the MiniWorks by MSR. It's small, fast and very lightweight. Perfect for backpackers! It's also very easy to use. What we also love about this hiking water purifier is that the base fits perfectly onto many types of water bottles so you actually pump your water directly into your bottles. What could be easier.

Screw the base onto your bottle, place the end of the hose into the water source and pump. You'll have clean, reliable drinking water in no time.

When you get home take the system apart (very easy to do) and dry out completely. Then store for next time.

Check out other makes and models but please keep the MSR in mind, we think you'll like it as much as we do.

The Steripen water purifier is a third method of purifying water along your hiking trip. This method uses a penile sterilizer held into your water bottle and uses ultraviolet light to kill off any bacteria. We do not own one yet ourselves but have seen a few hikers with them now and we are considering adding one as a backup or secondary system in our hiking gear.

Last are the water purifier tablets which we do keep as our back up at the moment. These are inexpensive, easy to use and very lightweight. You do need to wait for approximately 20-30 minutes before your water is ready to consume and there will be a bit of a chemical or aftertaste to it. But they make a great back up system.

Depending on your needs and what suits you best make sure you bring along a water purifying system to keep your drinking water clean, safe and ready to drink!

Happy Hiking!