Archive for the ‘Camping Water Filter’ Category

Purchasing a Water Purifier System for a Healthy Living

Friday, January 7th, 2011

The importance of water for human existence can be estimated from the fact that a major portion of a human body is constituted of water. But have you ever thought about what may be lurking in the water that you and your family members drink every day? Well, it may be bacteria, fungi and other toxic metals that may prove to be extremely harmful for humans in the long run. If you are considerate about the safety and health of your family, then it is the wisest thing to invest in a reliable and effective water filters purifier. It is significant to provide safety to your family and this can be adequately done by giving them safe water to drink.
How to find a water purifier system: As far as drinking water purification systems are concerned, you may be lost in the ocean of options available in the market. While searching for a water purifier for your home, it is wise to carry out a thorough research of all the models available in the market and make a list of ones that you would like to buy. It is a fact that all drinking water purifier systems are not that successful in removing the unsafe chemicals and if you invest in a wrong model of water purifier, then you will just end up wasting your money in a useless piece of equipment. These reviews can be found in different places including newspapers, magazines and classifieds, but the fastest way to find the one is over the Internet. There are literally thousands of sites over the net that offer reviews of models manufactured by different companies. If you are interested to buy a purifier of a particular brand, then you can visit the company’s site and find the one that best suits your requirements, preferences and budget. Comments left by people on such sites may prove to be extremely helpful in choosing the best water purifier system for your household. If you can’t completely rely upon these sources of information, you can ask for referrals from your relatives and friends. These people may suggest you which one to buy and which one not to buy depending upon their experience. If you find that one of your friends is satisfied with a particular model of water purifier, then buying that same model will be wise for you.
Types of drinking water purification systems: While purchasing a water purifier system, you need to give attention to the amount of water you need to purify everyday. The more water you purify, the faster the machine will wear out. There are several companies in Honululu, Hawaii and Oahu that are manufacturing purifiers for different quantities of usage. You can purchase a water purifier not only for your household but also for the time when you are traveling or on a camping trip. Bottle purifiers are portable and can be carried anywhere you go. Other purification systems may include electric water purifiers, water filters, water filter pitchers, water dispensers, single clear purifiers, pure bottle-less water coolers, UV water purification model and reverse osmosis purification models.
Before purchasing a water purifier, make sure to taste the water it produces. This is important because taste of water changes after purifying and you should check whether you are comfortable with that taste or not.

Henry Swann

Family Fitness Fun – Keep Fit & Healthy & Have Fun With Your Family!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

When you make time for fitness, you find the effort more than worthwhile. Not only does your physical appearance improve when you shed those unwanted pounds, you also feel more energetic and more enthusiastic about life. So grab your family and hit the desk with these fitness ideas.

Get everyone in your family involved in monthly fitness activity planning. If you don’t take time to make time, it is unlikely that it will happen, or at least it will be less likely. Find out when each family member is free and schedule a biking trip to a local park for a picnic, for example. Or get on the zoo’s mailing list and attend one of their functions outdoors. Get on mailing lists for your local YMCA, Recreation Center and other activity centers, too, and participate in their activities.

Fitness includes healthy eating, so involve each family member in this, too. Get cookbooks from the library and make copies of recipes to experiment with, asking everyone to share in the planning. Try not only regional and popular dishes but also foreign recipes to add some spice in your life. Then take turns cooking and cleaning up.

Learn low-fat meal preparation methods from books and helpful magazine and online articles. Adapt them to suit the needs of your family.

Try fun fitness activities together like square dancing, joga, climbing, karate. See what’s available at your gym or Jazzercise center and sign up for a trial.

Beverage choices are important. So look into investing in a water filter for your kitchen to avoid spending so much on bottled water. Save sugary soda for Friday fun night.

Take care of your health and teach your other family members to do the same: brushing teeth, gums and tongue after each meal and snack; washing hands regularly to get rid of unwanted germs; using sunscreen for outdoor activities; using good lighting for better eye care; and more.

Ask your family doctor about vitamins and mineral supplements for everyone.

Call local hotels to see about using their pool for family fun. Many places offer day, monthly or other rates for nearby residents.

You could also plan fitness activities with your neighbors. There are plenty of National Parks for camping where you can even rent Tee Pees and small cabins. Plan an outing together and hike, fish, enjoy the beach, swim, ski, go kayaking or canoeing; in short – enjoy the great outdoors.

James Penn

Travel To South America: How To Start

Friday, May 14th, 2010

You set your mind and you’re ready to travel to South America, a
magical place of immense beauty where myth and legend continue
to walk hand in hand. I’ve traveled 18 months in South America
and can give you some tips on how to prepare yourself for an
unforgettable adventure.

Common Sense

We all hear the unpleasant stories and South America has a fame
of being dangerous. I traveled thousands of miles traversing
cities, jungles, islands and mountains. I survived 6 weeks in a
street child care center in the favelas of Salvador da Bahía
(Brazil) and had the party of a lifetime during carnival.
Nothing, I repeat, nothing happened. Use your common sense.
Avoid badly lit streets at night and if your sixth sense is
giving you the “something is wrong” sign then take a taxi to
your destination.

Travel Guide Book

The first thing that you will need is a travel guide book. It
will be your best companion in your search for adventure. I can
highly recommend Lonely Planet´s South America on a Shoestring
to get you started. The book covers all you need to know to get
the most out of your trip and is ideal to plan your journey
ahead. I’ve used the guide extensively during my 18 month
adventure. They offer excellent separate travel guides of all
the countries (besides using the Lonely Planet Shoestring I’ve
used their separate travel guides of Peru and Brazil). Their
guides are the most popular among backpackers.

Other popular guides are The Rough Guide to South America and
the South American Handbook. Ideal, but not practical because
you want to travel light, would be to enjoy the adventure with a
Lonely Planet and either the Rough Guide or the Handbook.

Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese

The most rewarding thing for me was the fact that you can travel
in a huge continent like South America with only 2 languages.
Spanish and Portuguese. If you plan to travel just for a few
weeks you can invest in a Spanish and/or Brazilian Portuguese
Phrase Book. English is not widely spoken and even a basic
knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese makes the trip so much
more rewarding (they’re extremely willing to help you, so don’t
worry, be happy).

If on the other hand you’re planning to travel for a few months
I can highly recommend taking a language course. Ideal would be
in a school in South America (I took lessons in Quito, Ecuador,
and had a private teacher for $2.50/h).

Walking Shoes

South America’s nature is overwhelming. You’ll walk for many
hours day after day. It would be a shame to walk in the
footsteps of the Incas with blisters on your feet. My biggest
recommendation is to invest in high quality walking shoes with

Health Vaccinations

Yellow Fever (if you plan to go to the Amazon Basin), Typhoid
(consists of two injections taken 4 weeks apart),
Diphtheria-Tetanus, Polio, Cholera (only when necessary),

Medical Kit:

Depending on what you plan to do you can include the following:
Antiseptic cream, aspirin, lomotil for diarrhea, antibiotics,
throat lozenges, ear and eye drops, antacid tablets, motion
sickness medication, alcohol swabs, water purifier, lip salve,
foot and groin powder, thermometer (in a case), surgical tape,
assorted sticky plasters, gauze, bandages, butterfly closures,
scissors and last but not least, first-aid booklet

Note: malaria pills are required in the amazon basin, please be
aware that those pills are very b and you should check with your
doctor before departure

Traveling Gear


Obviously a high quality backpack is a must. Choose the type
that has different compartments that can be opened separately.
Very handy if you need something quickly. Travel as light as
possible. A heavy backpack is destined to undermine your
traveling pleasure.


Depends on where you go. If it’s the mountains and the jungle,
get some quality clothing from home. If it’s the beach, buy your
t-shirts there (cheap).

Camping and Climbing Gear: You can rent camping and climbing
material in South America but the quality may be questionable.
Always check the material. Bring your own gear if possible. I
traveled 18 months with my own tent and various camping utensils.


Pictures are something personal. Some people just want some snap
shots, others want to publish in the National Geographic. All my
pictures were taken with a cheap Nikon F50 camera. Have a look
at some amazing photographs at

I had two zoom lenses, a 35-80 mm. and a 70-210mm. I also
dragged a tripod and an excellent flash with me. I used FUJI
slides (100 ASA) but you definitely need 200 to 400 ASA if you
plan to go to the jungle. A polarize filter enhances the colours
tremendously on sunny days.


South America will embrace you with open arms. It’s nature,
people and history are overwhelming. With the right preparation
and set of mind you’re ready for an unforgettable adventure

Mark Van Overmeire

10 Things to Do and 10 Places to Go to for Healthy Living in Houston, Texas

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Good health is something you could get from a wide variety of options. You may end up going to the gym and pay membership fees to avail of discounts for regular visits. You may also spend a weekend with your friends and family in other sports activity centers. You may also want to find a nice place to relax to filter and get rid of stress. While you are in Houston, you have the following healthy places to go to.

1. Bear Creek Park and Soccer Complex. This place is set on a 7,600-acre ground. You may experience all the fun offered in the place together with your peers. Aside from its soccer complex, you could also find biking and hiking trails, tennis courts and picnic facilities. Baseball and softball lovers could enjoy the place as well.

2. Urban Jungle Self Defense. This studio caters to all ages with martial art lessons as their priority. This is a place which could offer you a turnaround from an overweight image to a healthier and fitter look. You may also experience their services online.

3. Heron Lakes Golf Course. This is one of the most ideal spots for golf enthusiasts. Whether you are an amateur or a pro, you will like this place. While enjoying your favorite sports, you will definitely get a good view of the Heron Lakes in Houston.

4. Southside Skate Park. This is your ideal place for your skating needs. Whether or not you have experienced skating yourselves, you will get help from their staff. They will help you boost your desire of keeping yourself fit through this sport.

5. Mz Water Ski and Wakeboard. Wakeboarding is gaining popularity these days. A lot of individuals have been dying to experience it. While in Houston, you could get a taste of it yourselves. Coupled with ski options and other water sports, you will surely get a new profound definition for health and wellness.

6. Bayou City Outdoors. This place gives pride for Houston in terms of the wide array of activities they offer. Primarily made for biking activities between family members and friends, you may also hike around the area.

7. Kidventure’s Safari Overnight Camp. Camping activities certainly offers a good start for being healthy. You get to cook your own food the way you want. You may also experience, fishing and other outdoor activity with a lot of friends.

8. Camp Coyote. This spot lives the tradition of providing great sports events for both locals and tourists. It has swimming pools and tennis courts which you could utilize for your activities. You could also do fishing. You will tremendously get a different, all-natural high while you enjoy the sceneries around the camp.

9. Houston Leisure RV Resort. Just like Camp Coyote, Houston Leisure RV Resort boasts of the various activities you could have while in the place. It has swimming pools and camping trails which could help you maximize your time while getting yourself on a healthy pleasure.

10. Minute Maid Park. This place is a good spot for baseball and other outdoor activities. A walk-up tour is also conducted daily thus making you exercise those feet.

John C. Arkin

Top 10 Ways to Go Light Backpacking

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

The days of packing 60+ pounds in your 6000 cubic inch pack for a 5 day getaway are gone (or at least they should be). The days of lightening up your pack are here. So what is “going light”? There are varying opinions of lightweight backpacking. To some, a 35 lb pack is going light because they previously had a pack that weighed 70 lbs! To others, 35 lbs would be like hauling gold bars in your pack. For some, going light means sacrificing comfort and spending a month’s paycheck on ultra light gear. We don’t want to define what is or is not ultra light backpacking. Our 10 tips are basic ideas to help anyone lose extra weight in their pack regardless if you have a 60 lb pack or a 20 lb pack. These helpful tips and hints can be used for long 14 day trips or short day trips.

Here are 10 tips to help you start your journey to the light pack.

1.Start with the 3 heaviest items you’ll carry. Tent, sleeping bag and pack. If your tent, sleeping bag or pack are more than 5 years old, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to shave 2-5 pounds off each one without sacrificing comfort or function. If you need to upgrade all 3, plan on saving up to 15 lbs.

Healthy target weights for your 3 heaviest items while backpacking from May to September.
a.1 person tent: sub 3 lbs.
b.2 person tent: sub 5 lbs.
c.30 degree down sleeping bag: 1.5 to 2.5 lbs.
d.3000 to 4000 cubic inch pack: 2 to 4 lbs.

2. When you come back from your trip, look at what you did and didn’t use. If you didn’t use the item, consider taking it out. After a few trips, you’ll realize what you keep taking and don’t use. The next time you go out, leave the item out of your pack. It may take awhile before you’re comfortable leaving certain items at home.

3. I learned some very bad packing tips from my Scout Master. Scout Masters are the worst packers. Iron Griddles, 32 oz. can of syrup, firewood, you name it and the Scoutmaster will pack it. They misunderstand the scout motto “Be Prepared”. If I wanted to always be prepared, I would be packing a defibrillator. Being prepared for every possible situation while backpacking is impossible. We’ll leave this up to you to decide what your “prepared” comfort level is. If you need to take a defibrillator because it makes you feel prepared, then I suggest just car camping and you can take whatever you want.

4. Planning your trip ahead of time helps you determine which items you need to bring or leave at home. Is there food, water, shelter or fuel where you’re headed? If so, consider leaving items you know you can buy or get along the way. Case in point. We went on an overnighter back in May up Logan Canyon in Utah’s Cache Wilderness. We left at 6:00 pm on Thursday and we were back at work by 9:00am the next day. My pack base weight, that is the weight of my pack without food and water, was about 13 lbs. My overall weight after food and water was 20 lbs. Six pounds of this weight was about 3 liters of water. Water is 2.2lbs per liter. The hike wasn’t too bad, only about 2 hrs. When we reached our camp, there was a stream about 100 yards away. I looked at my Nalgene bladder and it had about 2.5liters of water left out of 3. Why did I just haul 5 extra pounds of water up the trail when there was a water source 1 minute away and we followed a stream the whole way? If I would have looked at the map, or asked the area expert hiking with us if there was water on the way or at the camp, my pack would have been almost 30% lighter. Bringing along an Aquamira (1oz), MSR SweetWater Filter (11 oz) or some other type of filter/purifier would have made my hike that much more enjoyable.

5. Dry camp vs. wet camp. A dry camp is when no water is available. A wet camp is when a water source is available. If your camp is dry, you might actually save weight by not using dehydrated food. If you’re just going to add water you carried from the bottom to your dehydrated food, you might as well bring whole foods. Plus, the food will taste better and it won’t give you gas.

6. Backpack with your brain. Before I started backpacking with my brain, a friend of mine invited me on a 4 day trip into Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon. I have no idea how much my pack weighed, but I do remember it being pretty heavy. I also remember eating a can of peaches and warming up a can of prepared chicken noodle soup. Food and water can turn a 20lb pack into a 40lb pack. Water weighs 2.2 lbs per liter and food can weight just as much. Dehydrated food is a great way to save weight if you have a water source to boil water. Some meals don’t even require boiled water which means you can leave the stove and fuel at home. The meals taste great too. Mountainhouse, Backpacker’s Pantry, Richmoor, Natural High, and Alpine Aire have done a great job perfecting the science that goes behind dehydrated food. The only time I get to eat Thai Satay with beef is when I’m at 8000 feet.

7. Multi-use gear. Have you ever considered using your bandana as a pot lifter or first aid sling? How about that down jacket as a pillow? Your trekking poles as tent poles? Underwear as a prefilter? You get the idea. Many items in your gear arsenal can be multipurpose in function.

8. Share the load. How many tents does it take to sleep 3 people? Three if you’re camping with 2 other men. One if your camping with 2 other women (make that one sleeping bag also). If you’re backpacking in groups, which is much more fun, you can share almost everything! Items to share: water filters, stoves, tents, matches, toothpaste, camp soap, fuel, sunscreen, first aid kits. If one person is taking an item that everyone can use, leave yours at home.

9. Entertainment. Leave your ipod, ibook, and iEspresso at home. You are hiking at 10,000 ft to get away from all that. Buy the compact binoculars if you must bring them. Bring a small digital camera and leave the Cannon Digital Rebel at home.

10. Buy a pack with less volume, then you’re forced to leave items out.

Durk Price

Advices for your Winter Camping Gear

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Your Survival Depends on it.

The quality of your winter camping gear is very important and in some case critical. You need to be absolutely sure that it will withstand the temperature variations as well as the extreme conditions you may encounter during your camping excursions. The fact is, nobody goes on a camping trip expecting to be caught by extreme weather conditions or fall down an icy embankment and break an arm or a leg, but these things happens, so you need to be prepared for any potential situation if you want to survive.

On top of that if you would have to carry every piece of winter camping gear you might possibly need for every possible situation, you would need a truck, not a backpack. What you need to focus on is bringing the least amount of winter camping gear you need to survive any emergency situation. You won’t bring with you crutches or boards in case you break a leg, instead think about carrying heavy-duty tape that you could use combined with sticks that you can pick up on the ground. This simple trick will do the same as crutches without the excess of baggage.

Another item you might consider bringing along is a small hatchet or o folding saw. Since you won’t be carrying firewood with you, it is a good idea to have the tools that can allow you to cut some easily. Sure you won’t need to have a fire in every situation, but after a couple of days in the cold, having the equipment to prepare hot meals and keep you warm is highly recommended.

You Need To Be Prepared For Your Everyday Needs.

Below are some small tips to help you pack the required winter camping gear. We don’t usually fell thirsty during the winter but your winter camping gear must absolutely include an item to purify water. Some campers use iodine drops or tablet to that effect, you also need to filter the water. Then comes the eating part, most campers bring some dehydrated pouches which are very tasty, but they get old after a couple of days. Always try to have a couple of simple recipes for cooking over an open fire with food items to cook is always something you should consider having in your winter camping gear.

If you are going for a long camping trip you should always plan on a mean to relieve yourself. Also your winter camping gear should also contain hygiene items to make sure you remain healthy during your excursion. Inexperienced campers are often not aware of that, but maintaining your cleanliness is just as important as when you are at home. To that effect you should also plan on having some waterless sanitizing solution so you can wash your hands for time to time. Always make sure you remain healthy and comfortable during your camping trip.

Frederic Madore

Buying Water Filters – Let Me Tell you Something

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

There is a lot of hype and doubtful claims about water filters in the media. It’s hard for the average consumer to understand the different methods and types of water filtration systems without buying into all the sales talk.

Water filtration or treatment in itself is a quite a large topic with many methods and technologies involved. Most household water filters/treatment systems are designed to remove various contaminants such as chlorine, lead, mercury, Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), Total Dissolved Solids (TDSs), Cryptosporidium, Chloramines, pesticides, herbicides, Giardia and other bad smell or taste elements.

Feature and Function Differences
Most water filters work on the same general process. Water is passed through a filtration agent (physical, chemical or ultra-violet) where contaminants are either removed or neutralized. The treated water is then either dispensed out of the system or is stored in a storage tank for future use. Generally, most water filters are fairly simple and inexpensive items that aren’t very different from one manufacturer to the next. Below is a list of features and functions which you should consider before buying a water filtration system.

1). Filtering Technology
The first and most common sort of filter uses a physical barrier to remove suspended particles such as mud, silt, sand or rust as well as micro-organisms such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium. Physical filters are measured by microns. The finer the filter the smaller the micron number and the more types of particles can be removed from the raw water.

Another type of filter uses chemical processes to remove or neutralize potentially harmful contaminants in raw water. Depending on the type of contaminant, the filter elements can comprise of activated charcoal, copper, zinc etc.

The newest form of filtration technology is to use ultra-violet light to destroy bacteria, viruses or pathogens in water. The ultra-violet light is typically encased in a tank where-by the water is treated either when in storage or is run through a ultra-violet canister. The ultra-violet light deactivated the DNA of the organic particulates which ruin their ability to reproduce and cause disease.

Typically, a water filtration system will contain more than one type of filter because each filter has its own specific strengths and together enable a much wider spectrum of filtration.

2). System Types
There are a few basic types of water filters that range from small portable units to units that can supply an entire house or office. Here are the more common types:

Counter-top: These types of filters are placed on top as of the counter as suggested by the name and is connected to the faucet. The system normally has limited capacity while the filtered water is only available at the faucet.

Under-counter: These systems are very similar to the counter-top systems in that they have smaller capacities and only provide treated water to one faucet. The difference is that these systems don’t take up valuable counter space however would require more sophisticated plumbing which makes it slightly more expensive.

Faucet Mounted: These systems are the cheapest and easies to install however offer the least amount of filtration. The system is mounted on the faucet itself and offers treated water to that faucet alone.

Whole House: These water filter systems are typically the most comprehensive and costly filter types that will be needed for a house or office. These systems attach to the pipe mains before entering the house/office which means that they will supply treated water to the entire house/office. These water filters are generally quite expensive to buy and maintain however all water in the house is treated.

Water Softeners: These types of water filters are used specifically to remove only some types of contaminants, namely unwanted elements such as calcium, magnesium, lime, and iron from a household’s water supply. These elements make water taste metallic and salty.

Dispensers/Pitcher Water Filter: These systems are normally very simple filter assemblies that are built into a Pitcher/Dispenser. Again, this type of filter is very simple and cheap however doesn’t filter contaminants all that well compared to the more comprehensive examples.

Portable: These water filters are made to be portable, some are designed for camping and light travel while some are built into sports drink bottles. Interestingly, an ultra-violet light pen is available which should act as a microbe de-activator similar to more complex household systems as mentioned earlier.

3). Capacity
There are generally two measurements for water filters that use “capacity”. Capacity can be used as a measure to determine how much water the filter can actually treat before it needs filter replacements.

On the other hand, capacity is also a measure of the storage tank if the water treatment system is built with a storage tank. This goes hand-in-hand with the flow rate. This measurement is normally in gallons per minute. It should be noted that for counter-top or under-sink applications, flow rate isn’t that important as waiting a few seconds longer to fill a glass of water won’t be much of an issue. However, flow-rate is very important for Whole House systems, you won’t want to be stuck in the shower with no water.

It should be noted that capacity and flow rates are directly related to how expensive the system will be.

4). Costs
When choosing to buy a water filter, you must also consider the maintenance and running costs of the filter. Generally the more complex and higher capacity systems will cost more to maintain and also more to run. Depending on the amount of water treated, water filter systems will need their filters replaced or treated every so often.

Additionally, some complex filters like Reverse Osmosis water filters will only produce 1 gallon of water for every 4 gallons of water supplied which will mean an increase in your water bills too. Further to this, ultra-violet light systems will also require a power source which will also affect your electricity bills.

In conclusion, I hope I have shed some light on buying water filters. The list of points in this article are by no means exhaustive but should serve as a rough guide in the selection process.

Ryan Parker

Camping Water Filters…a Vital Necessity!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Imagine you are hiking through some of the lushest and most beautiful virgin forests in the middle of nowhere. The air is fresh and everything feels so pristine and perfect. You are thirsty and a small stream with clear fresh water is running in front of you. Naturally you feel the need to drink from that water source; however doing so will be ill advised. Most people think that just because water is from a natural source, is clear and tastes “natural” that means that drinking it will be fine. This is a terrible mistake and would expose you to unnecessary risk. Don’t drink untreated water in the wilderness!

For most people, getting a drink of water is just a matter of walking a few feet, turning on the faucet and drinking up. However in the camping or hiking scenario the normally simple task becomes a bit more laborious. Usually the safest option when you are out in the wilderness is to simply bring your own treated water. However, if you are going for an overnight hike or camp-out this simply won’t be an option as you can’t bring the amount required, the only option will be to treat water that you can source from the hiking or trekking area.

Potential Contaminants
Water taken from natural sources such as lakes, river, streams and ponds may look clean and have no undesirable odor or taste. However pathogens found in water are not only harmful, but are also invisible to the naked eye and may be odorless or tasteless. The pathogens in question are bacteria, viruses and protozoa which can cause mild nausea and fever or can develop into more serious illnesses such as severe diarrhea, hepatitis or typhoid fever. Water from lakes, rivers, streams and ponds should always be disinfected and treated before being used of cooking or drinking.

These pathogens may seem out of place in such pristine environments but rotting or fecal matter in the water harbors these pathogens. This means that there is a chance that some animal has either died or excreted body wastes in the natural water source or there could be some contaminated water run-off from a source upstream which would render the water source unknowingly unusable.

Besides pathogens, sediments from mud, soil or sand may also render natural sources of water unusable. The general practice before the advent of portable water filters is to collect the water and let it sit in a bowl of some sort to let the sediments collect at the bottom then pour the remaining water on the top to another receptacle for consumption. This can normally be a very time consuming process and in emergency situation might not be very practical, especially since the water still isn’t fit for consumption, pathogens as discussed earlier may still reside in the water and thus still has to be treated before consumption.

On a more alarming note, the U.S Geological Survey reports that in North American wilderness waters, there are trace amounts of organic chemicals, pesticides, solvents, gasoline compounds, refrigerant and fumigants in the supposedly pristine wilderness waters. The good news is that the levels of chemical concentrations are very low but is an early warning that human activity is having an effect on regional surface-water quality even in remote areas.

Water Treatment Devices for Campers/Hikers
Water treatment devices can generally be divided into two groups following their functions. The first group are water treatment devices to improve the overall taste, smell and appearance of water or to remove undesirable chemicals or minerals, these types of water filters are not as essential to the camper/hiker thus we will not discuss them there. The next group is water treatment devices designed to disinfect water which we will discuss here since the biggest risk for hikers or campers is ingesting water with active pathogens which will cause illness.

Chlorinators, Iodinators and Ultraviolet Light (UV)
These are generally the most practical mean to disinfect larger volumes of water that might be needed for drinking purposes of a large camp site. Chlorine and iodine kills most disease-causing organisms and require short to moderate contact times with the water before taking effect. Chlorine is used widely in municipally treated water and has virtually eliminated waterborne infectious diseases such as typhoid and cholera in urban areas.

However, chlorine and iodine treatment alone will not eliminate all pathogens, protozoa such as Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium Parvum will not be killed with just chlorination. If protozoa are present or suspected, then it is recommended that the water be passed through a water filter with a 0.1 micro-meters or smaller pore size to remove these harmful parasites then treated with chlorine or iodine before consumption.

Iodine is another alternative to disinfecting water, however should be reserved for occasional or emergency use only. Iodine should not be used as a long term solution for disinfection because iodine is physiologically active thus ingesting large amounts over a long period can also be harmful.

Both chlorine and iodine are effective at killing pathogens however research has indicated that long term chlorine usage is dangerous and can be linked to cancer and also brain damage, it is thus advised that these treatment agents be used as a last resort where other water treatment options have been exhausted.

Ultra-violet devices are also effective against bacteria, viruses and protozoa. You don’t have to add anything to the water thus the treated water has no taste or odor, additionally only a few seconds of expose is necessary if the water is clear. This system however is rather expensive compared to the other types of water filters and also doesn’t guarantee the quality of the water beyond the point of use. Basically, once you apply the UV light, you should drink it immediately, it isn’t a long-term solution where you can store the water in a receptacle for future consumption.

Ceramic or Glass Fiber Filters
These types of filters normally come in a canister form for use in camping or hiking situations. They treat smaller amounts of water, suitable for camping with few people or when the water needs aren’t very high. These types of filters can remove most bacteria and protozoa from mildly contaminated water and are normally sufficient for the average camper/hiker’s needs. When presented with heavily contaminated waters, it is recommended that these filters be used in conjunction with the above mentioned chlorinators, iodinators and ultraviolet lights to get a broad spectrum of disinfection and treatment.

There are also portable glass fiber/ceramic filters with iodine-releasing resins designed specifically for campers or travelers to countries where drinking water quality is questionable. Some of these iodine-releasing portable filters also have activated carbon filters to remove excess iodine from the water.

Generally, these types of filters are the most practical when it comes to hiking or camping because of their easy of use and portability. If the camper of hiker is looking to clean the natural water that isn’t overly contaminated, using these types of filters is recommended above the rest of the treatment options.

Distillers and Ozonators
These are point-of-use devices that are suitable where electric power isn’t available such as during a hiking or camping trip. The distillation water filters are effective for the removal of inorganic chemicals including heavy metals and selected organic chemicals. They are often combined with activated carbon for the removal of certain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) such as trihalomethanes and tetrachloroethylene. It should be noted that distilled water is demineralized, there have been quarters that say drinking demineralized water for extended periods will cause illness however there has been no research to prove or disprove this theory.

Ozonators produce small quantities of ozone which is a very strong oxidizing agent that is effective in killing pathogens over a short period of time. Ozonation produces no taste or odor in the water. Unlike chlorine and iodine, ozone does not protect water after the application (however is safer based on research) and is normally combined with activated carbon filtration to achieve a more complete water treatment solution.

These type of filters are normally used in conjunction with ceramic or glass fiber filters when a much broader spectrum of contaminants is present in the water. Generally these types of filters are bulkier, take longer to filter and should only be used where water is known to be contaminated with these toxic chemicals. Under normal circumstances, such a high level of filtrations isn’t necessary.

To conclude, the main objective of campers when it comes to their water needs is to ensure that water consumed is free from harmful pathogens, chemicals and toxins so that they don’t get ill on their trip. As such, water filters which provide the most balanced filtration needs for the camper/hiker would be ceramic or glass fiber water filters, again assuming that the water isn’t overly contaminated.

Ryan Parker

Choosing A Water Filter For Travel

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

When people travel abroad whether it is for a holiday or for business, many will pack the usual items such as toiletries and clothing. Some even purchase travel insurance. Most, though, never plan what they’ll be eating or drinking when they travel. Knowing what you’ll be eating or drinking, however, is probably more important than the clothes you’ll be bringing along. If you have ever gotten food poisoning, you’ll know what an inconvenience it is and how costly it can be. No one would enjoy being hospitalized in a foreign country during their holiday or business trip.

You may be able to avoid food poisoning by ensuring that the establishment you patronize is clean and hygienic. To further guard against it, avoid uncooked or partially cooked meals altogether. So that covers the food. What about the drink? Do you know what is in the water you drink? Many people incorrectly assume that tap water is safe to drink and is clean, clear, pure, and safe. Scientific and environmental studies have shown otherwise. Even if the water from a water source appears to be clear, clean, and safe to drink, consuming water from unknown sources or in countries where potable water cannot be taken for granted could be hazardous to your health.

The potential for harmful chemicals (mercury, lead, arsenic, etc), bacteria, fungi, parasites, rust and other contaminants residing in water is growing worldwide. The kind of fresh uncontaminated water available a hundred years ago is harder and more expensive to obtain due to industrialization and a growing population. If the proper precautions aren’t taken to treat the water, drinking contaminated water can cause severe illness or disease, even death.

That’s where water filters come in. Water filters and water filtration systems have become a popular solution lately for tap water. The right filter will not only treat bad tasting tap water but will also treat contaminated water.

People take a variety of actions to treat the water they drink at home. They may:

- Install faucet filters, sink filters or a complete home water filtration system
- Pour the water through pitchers with a canister filtration systems such as Brita before drinking

All these may work well for drinkable water in developed countries where water from the tap is for the most part, safe to drink. Depending on where you go, whether you are camping or in a foreign country, taking the necessary precautions to treat your water prior to drinking is highly recommended. Boiling water does not remove the contaminants within. A portable water filter comes in very handy for such cases. For the mobile warrior, a water bottle with a built in water filtration system may do just the trick.

Not all water filters, however, are created equal. Would you trust your life as well as your loved ones with just any water filter to get the emergency water you need? Consider this, if you had to go so far as to obtain water from an unknown river or source, would the water be drinkable after water treatment? With so many water filters available, how do you know what’s best? Here are some things to consider:

- What companies or organizations endorse or use the product
- What independent studies or tests has the water company done to demonstrate the ability of their water purifier to remove contaminants
- What government bodies have approved the treatment methods
- What strict quality guidelines do they follow in the manufacture of these water purifiers
- How does the purified water taste after treatment
- How many specific contaminants does it remove
- What bacteria or fungi can it remove

All these are important questions to answer. Be sure to look closely at their product specifications. So, before you go on any trip to a foreign country, remember to pack along with you a proven water treatment system all contained within the convenience of a water bottle.

Arlen Fisher