Your Full Guide To Water Purification Options

water purification

It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re hik­ing in your local area or if you have trav­elled hun­dreds of miles to check out a new hik­ing trail; either way, you need to know about the dan­ger­ous bac­te­ria that could be liv­ing in the water.

Some of the most com­mon water pathogens and bac­te­ria are E.coli, Sal­mo­nel­la, Pro­to­zoan cysts, and virus­es includ­ing hepati­tis A. Most of these bac­te­ria can live off human waste, includ­ing food, soap suds, and sweat, so they can be dif­fi­cult to avoid—but you will def­i­nite­ly want to try and avoid them, as they can cause nau­sea, sick­ness, cramps and seri­ous infec­tion.

Thank­ful­ly you can make water safe for drink­ing by using a water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem. A water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem will kill bac­te­ria, Pro­to­zoa and virus­es such as polio and hepati­tis A, as well as neu­tral­is­ing any dirt.

If you want to find the per­fect water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem for you, here are some of the most pop­u­lar options for you to choose from.

Boil­ing The Water
Boil­ing water is one of the most pop­u­lar types of water purification—it’s cheap, easy, and effec­tive. Boil­ing water will kill off the path­o­gen­ic organ­isms and you only need a pan and some form of fire, but it’s impor­tant to boil the water for at least 5 min­utes to ensure that all the pathogens and bac­te­ria have died.

Iodine Based Water Treat­ments
Iodine based water treat­ments are also a very pop­u­lar option as they’re fair­ly easy to use, and they tend to be the most effec­tive way to kill all pathogens. How­ev­er it’s worth not­ing that the treat­ment should be left for a while to work prop­er­ly, and you should avoid this option if you’re preg­nant or have thy­roid prob­lems. The treat­ment also makes the water taste a lit­tle strange!

Water Neu­tral­is­ing Tablets
If you used an iodine based treat­ment you may also want to use water neu­tral­is­ing tablets. The tablets must be used with anoth­er fil­tra­tion method, such as a water purifi­ca­tion liq­uid or an iodine based treat­ment, and the tablet will help to remove the taste of iodine from the water. This makes the water taste much bet­ter (but they’re not essen­tial).

Water Purifi­ca­tion Liq­uid
Water purifi­ca­tion liq­uid is often used by campers, as you can add the liq­uid to a tank of drink­ing water to kill bac­te­ria. This option is very cheap, as nor­mal­ly one 250ml bot­tle can be used to treat over 600 litres of water—impressive! This is per­fect for campers, but not ter­ri­bly effi­cient for back­pack­ers and hik­ers as it means car­ry­ing a large quan­ti­ty of water around with you as you hike.

Water Purifi­ca­tion Tablets
Water purifi­ca­tion tablets are a great option for hik­ers as they’re easy to pack and they don’t take up much room, and one tablet can puri­fy around 25 litres of water. This means that one pack of tablets will be more than enough for a week-long trip, so you may want to con­sid­er this option if you like to go on long hikes.

You can also buy spe­cif­ic tablets for cer­tain areas, such as tables that can specif­i­cal­ly remove chlo­rine from the water.

A Water Fil­ter Unit
A water fil­ter unit’s anoth­er pop­u­lar water purifi­ca­tion option that’s often used by hik­ers and campers. The unit’s sim­ply a fil­ter bot­tle that you can use to fil­ter water in a mat­ter of min­utes. This is a great option as it’s fair­ly easy to car­ry and it can puri­fy water for your whole trip, but it’s impor­tant to be aware of how big the bot­tle should be.

If you’re hik­ing alone you will only need a small bot­tle, but if you’re hik­ing with friends or fam­i­ly you will ide­al­ly need a bot­tle with a 10 litre capac­i­ty. This may be too heavy to car­ry around with you, so if you’re trav­el­ling in a group you may want to con­sid­er anoth­er water purifi­ca­tion option.