Many people drink bottled water because it tastes better and may contain fewer chemicals, but you can enjoy bottled water flavor without hurting the environment. Just replace disposable plastic bottles with your own water purification device in a refillable water bottle. The first device is Guyot Designs’ TapGuard®, which fits on a widemouth water bottle (Camelbak and Nalgene) and uses a carbon filter to purify your water as you sip. The filter will remove 95% of chlorine and other unpleasant chemicals that can give tap water a bad taste. Each TapGuard comes with two replacement carbon filters, enough for 200 liters of refreshing, clean water. You’ll love the flavor and the earth will thank you. Purchase a TapGuard at REI or at Guyot Designs’ website. $15.95 guyotdesigns.com
Another great purifier is the SteriPEN, which uses ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria and viruses quickly and easily. Just stick the SteriPEN in your water bottle, shake the water around then 48-90 seconds later (dependent on the amount of water) voila, your water is clean and ready to drink. SteriPEN kills 99.9% of bacteria and diseases in water, so you won’t need to worry about getting sick after drinking from a stream or in foreign countries. But you can also use the SteriPEN day-to-day for extra clean tap water.
There are four styles of SteriPEN’s, but we like the SterriPEN Journey because it’s the most advanced, and coolest, of the SteriPENS. It has an LCD screen to display dose selection (½ liter or 1 liter), battery status and countdown timer. The lamp in the Journey will last for 8,000 cycles, enough to purify one liter of water four times a day for about 7 years! Plus, it’s lightweight and perfect
for camping, traveling and daily use. But if you’ll be using one backpacking, get the SteriPEN Adventurer, which you can purchase with a solar case that clips on to your pack and charges your batteries while you hike.
But what if the water you want to drink is extra chunky, and too dirty to be purified by the SteriPEN alone? Then try the new SteriPEN FitsAll Filter that removes particles from water with a 4 micron screen. Pour the water through this filter first, then treat it with a SteriPEN. The filter’s design allows it to adapt to fit water bottles with a wide range of mouth sizes, including: SIGG, Klean Kanteen, Camelbak, Nalgene and, if you must, disposable plastic water bottles. The FitsAll Filter also works as an adapter with the SteriPEN Journey and Classic styles to use it with a wide-mouth water bottle in the inverted position. It’s also flexible and can squeezed and stored easily but will return to shape when unpacked. Journey $99.95, FitsAll$14.95 steripen.com