Water is the most basic need for the body’s survival, more than half of the human body is made up of water, depending on the person’s age and gender. A normal person can live up to three weeks without food, but can only last three days without water. As such, it is important to keep hydrated on normal days, more so if you plan on doing activities which will make you sweat like jogging or working out at the gym.
In the urban environment, safe drinking water is not hard to come by. Depending on where you are, drinking fountains and bottled water can be found around every corner. However, when you’re out in the wilderness, it’s not as if there would be pit stops with bottles of water for sale, and even if there was a stream nearby, you could never be certain as to how safe the water would be to drink. As helpful as a water container would be, it’s more of a hassle to bring along, quite heavy and bulky when it’s full and it’s takes up space when it’s empty. This is where portable water filters come in.
What is a Portable Water Filter?
Portable water filters are exactly what the name implies they are, water filters that you can use anywhere. They function in a way that removes bacteria, sand, and other particulates in the water to make it safe to drink.
Why filtered water is important
In the wild, water could contain thousands of different bacteria like E. coli and V. cholerae, both of which could cause diarrhea. While diarrhea in itself don’t seem like a big deal, it leads to dehydration which would prompt a person to drink more of the contaminated water, leading to a vicious cycle. Not only that, but dehydration could lead to electrolyte imbalance, which has several side effects like fainting and seizures.
These conditions are easily managed in hospitals, but getting to a hospital would be the problem if a person is far from civilization. If dehydration is kept unchecked, it could ultimately lead to death. This is why drinking clean water is important to keep safe in the wilderness.
Characteristics of a good water filter
Good water filters should be able to keep out big particulates like sand and silt, as well as microbes like G. lamblia and E. coli. They should also not have to rely on chemicals to purify the water as these could have some harmful side effects.
Aside from the technical aspect, a good filter for surviving in the wild would be something compact and light so it would be easy to carry. It should also be easy and hassle-free to use to prevent contamination.
Water filters should also have little to no waiting time for you to drink the water. You can never tell where or how long a water break may be, so having your companions wait for you while your water is still filtering might delay the whole group.
Best Water Filters
The following are the three best portable water filters available on the market. They are marketed as tools to be used for camping or hiking and thus are optimized for such activities. These filters cannot turn salt water into fresh water because the technology for that is an entirely different one altogether.