Just because you’ve found a source of fresh water is no guarantee that you are safe from dehydration. This is both a critical piece of insight to take to heart before venturing into the great outdoors and a hard lesson learned for thousands of campers throughout the world.
At our online store, we specialize in filters and filtration products that make your water taste better, fresher and cleaner. But when it comes to our selection of camping filters, the benefits go much deeper than better taste.
Quite simply, any source of untreated water in the wild is a potential home to a number of bacteria and viruses, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
The CDC offers this resource for backpackers sharing more about where these bacteria derive from and what they do to your body. Those more curious about these down and dirty details are welcome to click on the link above.
Those accustomed to reading between the lines need to know only this: when your body comes into contact with these contaminants, it will expel them in every way possible. In the process, your body will also lose a ton of water, very quickly transforming that source of drinking water you found into the root cause of your dehydration.
So how does a camping filter help if the job of a water filter is primarily to improve taste? This is where the deeper benefits come into play.
Take for example the Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System, pictured to the left, in use below and available for purchase here. This is a basic, $10 camping filter that is, essentially, a straw. For up to 20 gallons of use, this straw will reduce 99% of Cryptosporidium and Giardia, in addition to unpleasant taste and odor, from virtually any water source. For anyone embarking on a short hike or backpacking trip, this is a lightweight addition to your bag that will do more to keep you safe than just about anything else you carry with you.
While this $10 filter is an ideal camping filter for shorter backpacking journeys, longer or medium length trips may need a little bit more in terms of filter life. For those preparing for longer camping trips, we’re happy to offer everything from water pumps in the $30 range to mini-microfiltration systems from Katadyn in the $100 range. While larger in size than a simple filter straw, these types of systems will still tuck nicely into a gear bag and be ready to provide you with anywhere from 100 to 500 gallons of drinking water, all virtually free of the contaminants that can result in dehydration. (Several of these Katadyn microfilters pictured, in fact, were donated by our store to members of Safari Club International as they embarked on humanitarian Blue Bag Drops in Costa Rica. Each drop delivered portable water filtration equipment, like the Katadyn camping filter systems, to families in areas suffering from extreme water contamination issues.)
Finally, for those going on longer excursions with larger groups or families, we are also happy to offer surprisingly portable countertop ceramic filtration systems from Doulton (pictured below) and larger Expedition Systems. Before clicking through to these products, note that these are in the price range of $200 – $1,500. These are hard-core systems for hard-core journeys.
As our purpose in sharing this information is to educate you on the risks of untreated water and share potential solutions, rather than simply trying to sell you camping filters, it’s important to note that a great deal of the water you’ll find in the great outdoors is safe to drink – especially at higher elevations. REI shares this information in its article on understanding the risks you’ll face when backpacking. That said, this same article also informs readers that even if the risk of infection from contaminated drinking water is small, it is a risk that should be avoided. As Steven Bower of North Country Canoe Outfitters reminds us, when deep in the great outdoors, you are your own primary care physician. And as every primary care physician has said since the beginning of time, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
‘Be Prepared’ is a simple, two-word mission statement that’s been shared with virtually every Boy Scout. Barring any copyright issues, it’s a statement that could also find itself at home on virtually any type of camping filter, from a gravity pump to a filter straw. If you are about ready to hit up the great outdoors for one last summer excursion, I urge you to let us help you be prepared with a camping filter both perfectly suited for your gear bag and perfectly priced for your wallet.
See our full selection of camping filters, most of which will ship FREE same day, by visiting our online store. If you need help or have any questions, I invite you to leave a comment below or to call our customer service team at 1-800-277-3458.
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