Are you planning your next adventure out in the great outdoors? Traveling can be challenging when it comes to accessing safe drinking water. This applies to camping trips with friends, hiking excursions, and even backpacking through remote areas.
One thing is certain: finding safe drinking water when traveling is a must. In this blog post, we’ll explore five effective and easy methods to purify water on the go.
From basic filtration systems to advanced UV technology, these water safety tips will help ensure that you stay hydrated and healthy throughout your travels.
Keep Calm & Prioritize Water Safety
It is essential to purify water while traveling. Contaminated water can cause various waterborne diseases, like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. These diseases can be severe. Therefore, it is important to take necessary measures to make sure the water is safe to drink.
It doesn’t hurt to be cautious, so do your research on the water quality of your destination before you travel. It is essential that you understand what precautions you will need to take. When travelling abroad, it is not ideal to be confined to a bathroom or hospital stay. I have had the misfortune of this happening to me while in Thailand and Egypt, and it was not a pleasant experience.
Little things to look out for
It is important to be careful when drinking water while traveling. Make sure the water is clean and safe before drinking it. Tap water may contain bacteria and other pathogens. Instead stick to bottled water or water that has been filtered or boiled.
- Avoid ice cubes in drinks as well, as these can also be made with contaminated tap water.
- Sealed bottle: It is safest to drink bottled water from a reliable source. The bottle should be sealed to ensure its safety. This is especially important in areas where the local water supply is known to be of poor quality.
- Brush your teeth with bottled water:
- Avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled. These snacks may have been rinsed in contaminated local water, so it is best to avoid them. Bananas for example are safe to eat, but I would certainly watch out with consuming grapes.
Purifying Water While Traveling: The 5 Methods
It is wise to check the safety of the tap water in your destination before you travel. Ask a local or search online resources for information. Once you reach your destination, it is best to buy bottled water from reliable sources. If that is not possible, boil or filter your own water.
Method 1: Purify Water by Boiling it
Boiling water remains the most effective method for killing bacteria and viruses. Ensure a rolling boil for at least 1 minute to guarantee safe drinking water.
Method 2: Iodine & Ion Exchange
Ion exchange technology, utilizing elements like iodine, effectively removes bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from water. However, it’s essential to note that this method may not eliminate chemical contaminants.
Method 3: Water Filters
A pitcher water filter is one of the most popular choices for traveling. These filters are typically easy to use, require no chemicals, and come in a wide range of sizes. They also work for filtering your tap water at home.
Here are some pitcher filters in today’s market. Some factors to consider include the size and weight of the filter, the type of filter (e.g. activated carbon or ultraviolet), the flow rate, and the cost.
One of the most best water filters is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. This lightweight filter can be used to drink directly from streams or lakes, and has a high flow rate of 9-12 liters per minute. The LifeStraw personal water filter is also very affordable, making it a great option for budget-minded travelers.
Another popular option is the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System. This system includes a 0.1 micron inline filter that can be attached directly to a water bottle or hydration pack. The Sawyer mini filtration system also has a high flow rate, making it ideal for activities like hiking and camping where you need to purify large amounts of water quickly.
Are you searching for a high-quality portable water filter with all the features you need? The Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle with Integrated Filter is the perfect choice. This bottle comes with a replaceable Activated Carbon + Antibacterial Silver Mesh cartridge.
Method 4: UV purification
UV light, available in products like the Larq Water Bottle, offers both disinfection and sterilization, killing microorganisms in water. This method is particularly effective when used in conjunction with other water purification steps.
This process does not remove particles from the water, so it is important to ensure that the water is clean before using this method. UV sterilization uses UV light to destroy all living organisms in water. This process can be used to purify both clean and dirty water.
I always pack my Larq Water bottle everywhere I travel. These bottles use UV-C LEDs in order to purify the water inside of them. They are made out of stainless steel and are double insulated in order to keep the water cold for up to 24 hours. Its built-in filter which will remove any impurities from the water before it is purified by the UV-C LEDs.
Using a Larq water bottle requires USB Charging. Therefore, it is important to charge the bottle before use.
Method 5: Purify Water by Distillation
Distilling water is often done with a still. This device heats the water, which produces vapor. The vapor is then captured in a condenser. Stills come in a range of sizes. Small handheld models are suitable for purifying a few quarts of water. Larger industrial-sized models can provide gallons of purified water daily.
Regardless of the size of the still, they all operate using the same basic principle: distilling water by heating it until it becomes a vapor, and then capturing that vapor in a condenser. There are several advantages to using distillation as a method of purifying water.
First, it is effective at removing impurities from both fresh and salt water. Second, it does not require any chemicals or filters, making it an ideal choice for those who are concerned about adding chemicals to their water supply. Finally, distillation is a relatively simple process that can be easily learned and performed with minimal equipment.
Swimming and soaking
Swimming in contaminated water can be hazardous. It puts people at risk of several illnesses. These include skin infections, gastrointestinal issues, and respiratory illnesses.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from these risks:
- Avoid swimming in water that looks dirty or murky.
- If you somehow MUST swim in contaminated water, take a shower as soon as possible afterwards.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with contaminated water.
- Avoid swallowing any water while swimming.
In case you need to purify it:
- Boil the water for at least one minute.
- Remove any sediment with a coffee filter or clean cloth.
- Adding an amount of bleach (two drops) per gallon of water.
- Let the water sit for 30 minutes before going in.
Adventure Awaits: Hydrate and Conquer!
As you gear up for your next escapade into the great outdoors, remember that staying hydrated doesn’t have to be daunting. With these five water-purifying methods in your backpack arsenal, you’re not just a traveler but a hydration hero!
PS: Check out my Discover Warredal: A Unique Treehouse Resort Experience in Belgium if you like camping or galmping.
Whether you’re boiling water like a camping alchemist, rocking a UV light show with your Larq Water Bottle, or unleashing the power of ion exchange, your quest for clean water is an adventure in itself. So, keep calm, stay refreshed, and let the pure vibes flow. ??✨
Frequently asked questions about purifying water
Water purifier bottles typically use a combination of filtration technology and chemical treatment to purify water. The built-in filters can capture particles, while the chemicals kill or neutralize harmful microorganisms. These bottles are convenient for travel and outdoor activities, providing a reliable source of clean water when refilling from potentially contaminated sources.
Yes, UV (ultraviolet) water purifiers are effective for on-the-go water purification. These devices use UV light to destroy the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, rendering them harmless. UV purifiers are portable, lightweight, and offer a quick and chemical-free way to ensure the safety of your drinking water.
Yes, in emergency situations, you can use natural methods for water purification. Boiling water over a fire can effectively kill most microorganisms. Additionally, you can use sunlight for solar water disinfection (SODIS) by placing clear plastic bottles of water in direct sunlight for several hours. While these methods may not be as convenient as portable tools, they can be valuable in emergency scenarios.
When choosing a portable water purification method, consider factors such as the type of contaminants present in the water, the size and weight of the purification device, the ease of use, and the availability of replacement parts or purification tablets. It’s important to select a method that aligns with your specific needs, the environment you’ll be in, and the level of water purification required for the situation.