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Hiking and Backpacking Water Filters - Much Better Choice Than Iodine Tablets

Updated on February 15, 2021

What are the best water filters for hikers and backpackers?

Hiking or Backpacking is a great way to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. On your next trip, ensure you have a highly reliable water filter if you plan on venturing out a significant distance away from a fresh water source.

Lakes and rivers can look inviting, even clean and appear safe to drink, but there are parasites and other bacteria lurking inside that could make you sick. Filters help remove the contaminates through a highly effective process.


My Experience Backpacking through Yosemite National Park without a Filter

I started out by going to Yosemite National Park, but getting away from everything can also mean not having the conveniences that you've gotten used to and having water filters for hiking or backpacking will ensure you stay hydrated throughout your journey.

Purified or drinking water may not be accessible in some campsites and bringing a water filter is important in these situations. Carrying your own water will also only get you so far and think about the additional weight that the water adds to your overall pack load.

You could always pack iodine tablets, but speaking from experience I've tried using these before but the are more of a last resort versus simply using them to purify all of your water that you get (since the taste is horrible). It was a huge mistake when I tried camping in the wilderness and decided to pack iodine tablets instead of taking a real solution. After that experience, I vowed to never go backpacking without a good quality water filter.

Below you'll see a review of two of the water filters that I have used in the past and hopefully they will make life a lot easier as you pursue the exploration of the outdoors.

Water is life, and clean water means health.

— Audrey Hepburn

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter - Best for hiking and urgent water needs

The LifeStraw is a very clever and compact product. As the name suggests, it looks and functions much like a straw. All you have to do is stick one side into the water, and suck it up from the mouthpiece. One of the things I like most about LifeStraw is how compact and easy to pack within your bag.

The straw then filters and cleans the water before it touches your lips. The great thing about this item is that it does not require any batteries, chemicals, or mechanical pieces so you won't have to worry about breaking it or running out of power.

And while the idea of a water filter like this sounds too good to be true, the LifeStraw has met EPA standards and can remove 99.9% of bacteria and other harmful things in water.

The LifeStraw weighs about 2 ounces which makes it perfect for the camper or hiker who wants to pack light. The only downside of this product is that it can only accommodate one person at a time but you can still share the device. It can filter up to 1000 liters of water according to the manufacturer so it can last you a long time before it needs to be replaced.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Blue
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and Travel, Blue
This is the water bottle version from LifeStraw. It's great because it features the all in one capable bottle plus filter together.

Survival Using the Lifestraw

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter - Ideal for backpacking or camping, used this one during my trips to Yosemite

The MiniWorks EX Microfilter is a lightweight water filter designed for frequent use. Its Marathon EX carbon/ceramic element allows the device to deliver clean, tasteless water really fast.

One great thing about the MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter is that it can be easily cleaned over and over again without needing any tools. And because of its AirSpring Accumulator, this device can filter a liter of water in just one minute ensuring that you’ll have water when you need it.

This item is perfect for a small group of campers. Its carbon core removes any taste or odor that the water may have so you can drink the water comfortably. The MSR MiniWorks has been my personal choice of water filters since returning from that hike to Yosemite. I have been back and used it to filter the water there and it has worked very well.

When I'm ready to store the MSR, I take out the carbon core and make sure to dry it and the plastic casing that surrounds the pump. This ensures that no mold grows inside and keeps the filter going longer.

Miniworks Review of the EX model

Water filters provide a source of drinking water

When you want to get away from all the distractions that constantly surround us in the city, then you should consider visiting nature and the best way to do that is by going hiking. My favorite places are America's National Parks. Let's face it, we all need some time away from everything that stresses us out. But don't forget to bring a water filter when you actually get around to making the venture into the wilderness or mountains so that you'll have a safe and clean source of water.

© 2014 ClaytonDaily


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