Backpacking Water Filters
Backpacking Water Filters
It is very important to stay hydrated when you are out hiking or backpacking. Clean drinking water may become a bit of a luxury when you are out in the woods so it is very important to include in your gear backpacking water filters. It is always a good idea to purify your drinking water while you are out in the wilderness, even when the source of the water is a clear mountain spring. No matter how clean the water is, there is the definite possibility that it has biological contaminants in it.
Possible contaminants in the water may include bacteria, protozoa (giardia, cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, Cyclospora cayetanensis) viruses and e-coli. However, the most common source of water contamination is animal and bird feces.
Backpacking water filters are an excellent way to purify your water. When most people think of water filters, they think of a heavy device that would not fit in your backpack. However, the backpacking water filters being manufactured today are made to fit in a small area and to be as light as possible.
Backpacking water filters also come with a water purifier. This is because filtering only is not enough to kill all the contaminants that can be found in water. Though filtering will kill most contaminants, it is not 100% effective against viruses.
The filter in backpacking water filters is now increasingly being made out of fiberglass. Before, most filters were made of ceramic but ceramic is much heavier than fiberglass and therefore not the best for backpacks. Ceramic filters however last longer than fiberglass filters and are more effective in purifying water. However, ceramic also will break if it is dropped, so you need to weigh the pros and cons of the two types of filters before settling on one.
Another factor to consider when thinking of what type of backpack water filter to use is the pore size. The pore size of the filter should not be bigger than 0.2 microns. Filters with 0.1 microns are even better. Few stains of bacteria are smaller than that and therefore will not be able to pass through the filter.
Backpacking water filters will normally come equipped with a hand pump to aid in pumping the water from the source. Some pumps can even extract water from a very small and shallow pool. It is however not advisable to fetch your water from a still puddle of water. The best water is from a fast running source. It is also a good idea to collect your water for filtering as close to the source as possible. Your water filter should be able to purify a good amount of water in a short period of time.
There are many advantages to choosing a water filter as your method of purification. For one thing filtering does not change the taste of the water, unlike other methods of disinfection.