Purifying water on the trail.

I have been backpacking, hiking and running in the mountains so long I didn’t used to need to filter my water. “Get it from the fast part of the stream” was pretty much the advice we were given and it worked like a charm.

Over the years I have pumped water through ceramic filters, charcoal, used iodine pills, boiled pot after pot of water.  Now through the miracle of modern technology I have a Steripen.

A Steripen review:

My first encounter was with a friends Steripen. After so much pumping and carrying, swirling a glow stick in my water bottle felt, well, silly. We were not convinced that this was going to work at all, but for the sake of carrying less weight and bulk, we were prepared to curl up in a ball with major intestinal illness. That’s just who we are.

So off we went on a 3-4 day quick trip through the sierras.

No illness. No curled into a ball.

https://i2.wp.com/www.steripen.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/d/ado.jpgSo a few years later I got my own Steripen.  I did not get the solar charger, but I did spring for the smaller pen since I am a little obsessive about carrying less. This time, off to the Rockies which I would like to say have some very very crowded trails.

No illness. No curled into a ball. Success!

Would I recommend them? I would and am.  Things to ponder, carry extra batteries or a solar charger on long trips.  Also, unlike the ceramic pump filters, if something goes wrong, you can’t take this apart and fix it out on the trail. Maybe someone can, but not your average person. Pop a few iodine pills in the pack just in case of… whatever, but really ours took a fair amount of abuse and had no issues at all.

They have a nice site, too, so check it out.

2 thoughts on “Water Purification on the trail – a quick review

  1. I bring extra stove fuel just in case, I learned that lesson after misjudging what I had and facing a cold bowl of oatmeal. If anything goes wrong with my steripen, I can boil my water.

    That said, I love my steripen for the weight and the fast purification. The water tastes like water should, and has never got me sick after years of using the “magic” pen. I attach mine to one of the shoulder straps on my pack, so I don’t have to take it off to fill my water bottle.

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