Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Backpacking Water Purification System: Tips for Choosing a Backpacking Water Purifier

Having a backpacking water purification system is important for any backpacking trip of length. It is much more sensible to use a backpacking water purifier, because you will be able to purify water as needed. You will only have to filter enough to last you until you get to the next water stop. In order to select a water purification system, you must know a few key things in order to select the one that is right for you.

When selecting a backpacking water purifier, there are two types of filters that you will need to choose from.

  • A pump filter-This type of backpacking water purification system will allow you to get water instantly and fill many containers.
  • A gravity filter-You don't have to do as much work as a pump filter, but it takes longer to get water.
Now, that we have looked at two types of backpacking water purifier systems, I would like to take a closer look at the mechanics of each.





Pumps
  • Filter type-You will want to choose between a ceramic or paper filter. Paper will filter faster, thus giving you water in less time. A ceramic filter is going to be more durable and last longer since you can clean it after use. It's really a matter of personal choice. Both types of backpacking water purifier are going to last as long as you keep the filter clean.
  • How many people are going with you? This will be an important question to ask yourself when choosing a backpacking water purification system.  The more people you are going to have, the more likely you will need a bigger backpacking water purifier. They pump water faster and are more durable.
  • Maintenance is another issue. Do you want a filter that you can maintain while on the trail should something break? If so, these do tend to be heavier than ones you can't maintain.


Gravity Filters
  • When selecting a backpacking water purification system, there are two types of gravity filters to consider, ones that hang, and one that joins directly to the water source. By using hanging filters, you will be able to filter large amounts of water at a time. A gravity filter that joins directly to the source would be one that you would use a hose to drink from.
  •  You will need to decided what type of bags you will need. Smaller bags are ideal for one person, since they are lighter to carry. Of course, for larger groups you will want to use larger bags so you don't have to filter as often.
  • Another type of gravity system you might consider is a gravity fed water bottle. Each person would carry their own bottle and the backpacking water purifier is built in.
Choosing a chemical treatment is another thing you must do when deciding on your backpacking water purification system. Iodine and chlorine are the best options. However, they leave a bad taste in the water. Once option is to flavor the water with a flavored drink mix to mask the taste.

These are just a few things you must take into consideration when thinking about backpacking water purification. By following the tips above, you will be able to select the proper backpacking water purifier.



Backpacking Water Purification-Backpacking Water Purifier

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