While the casual car camper may consider a portable water filtration system a nice-to-have accessory, anyone who steps off the beaten path should consider it a wise-to-have outdoor essential. Today, finding a right-sized system is easy, and buying a quality system is relatively inexpensive. If you ever find yourself questioning whether you should drink the water, the answer should be “NO” unless you have a filtration system to make certain it’s safe.
Here are a variety of options worthy of consideration by even the casual outdoorsperson:
Weighs only five ounces and is built to stow in the stash pocket on your pack or jacket. Easy one-handed operation filters approximately one liter per minute directly from any trailside water source.
Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System
Let’s you drink safely from any water source. Incorporates an activated charcoal filtration system to pass water through tiny, intricate pathways to filter more than 99.9 percent of bacteria and microbes. Use like a straw to pull the water through the filter. Lasts for 30 gallons filtered.
Rather than a mechanical filter, the SteriPEN uses germicidal ultraviolet light to destroy more than 99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa (giardia) in water. Purifies a liter of water in 90 seconds. Runs on four AA batteries. The pre-filter system removes particulates and debris to create clear water you then purify with the UV unit.
Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
This is the Cadillac of camping water filters. It’s made of rugged, heavy duty materials and built to last a lifetime. Comes with a 20-year warranty. It incorporates a 0.2 micron ceramic filter and will purify approximately one quart of water per minute over its 13,000 gallon life expectancy. The ceramic filter is cleanable.
Designed to serve the needs of an entire camp the no-pump system touts a purification flow rate of two liters per minute. All you need to do is fill, hang, and use. It’s Katadyn’s highest capacity gravity filtration system. Comes with multiple quick connects to easily fill most hydration resevoirs.
Life Straw Personal Water Filter
Perfect for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and more, this system weighs just two ounces, yet exceeds EPA standards for water filtration. Will filter up to 264 gallons by simply putting the lower part of the straw into the water source and sipping water through it.
Fill up bottle from any source and drink immediately. Comes with Sawyer’s One-in-a-Million guarantee to remove particles, bacteria and protozoa down to 0.1 micron in size. There’s such little resistance you can squeeze water out of the bottle. You can also adapt the standard 63mm cap to your existing bottle.
Sawyer 3- Way Water Treatment Filter
This unique system with filter water straight from the lake, from a hydration reservoir, or household faucet. Works inline with your hydration pack so you don’t have to worry about trying to clean the reservoir in unsanitary conditions.
Delivers four liters of filtered water in just two and a half minutes without pumping. Reservoir to reservoir system keeps filtered water ready when you need it. Doubles as a water transport system carrying up to eight liters.
Selected for service by the Amphibious Raids and Reconnasissance Division of the U.S. Marine Corps. Ultra-compact, light, easy to use, yet purifies one liter in two minutes. Total unit weighs a little over one pound.