Adventure Gear Essential: The Water Filter

Two years ago, before a six-month trek around Asia, including two months in India and Pakistan, countries not quite renowned for their sanitation systems, I spent the better part of an afternoon in the San Francisco REI learning everything I could about water filters.

The filter is pretty much an essential item there. One report I read found that almost NONE of the BOTTLED waters sold in India meet the EU standards for drinking water. So I settled on the Sweetwater pump filter with a .1 micron filter and anti-viral drops to be extra safe. Our trip started in Thailand, and before we even got to India, the filter’s tubes developed something that looked like mold and our back-up iodine tablets had been contaminated as well. I ended up drinking that nasty bottled water for lack of another option and getting sick at least once while doing who knows what other damage to my guts.  Bottom line here: take extra special care of that filter!

Follow the filter’s direction for operation and maintenance to the T. Get it has dry as possible after use and store it the driest part of your pack. Wash it whenever the soap and boiling water to do so presents itself. Use the Anti-Viral! Have a back-up that takes care of both bacteria and viruses! It might taste nasty, but the alternative is much nastier!

For more info on filters, start here at BnA’s Travel Gear Store