One thing that tends to take up a lot of weight in our backpacks when we are hiking with heavy loads is water. Some people, because they don't know how to get safe and clean drinking water in outdoors, will first take all the water they need for the whole trip with them, weighing several kilos. Many heavy-duty hiking routes will have water sources, such as lakes and streams, and although outdoor water sources will inevitably be contaminated by some animals, microbes, or bacteria, we can safely drink them after a series of treatments.
In the outdoors, there are four main water purification methods: boiling, chemical disinfection, physical filtration, and UV disinfection. Then I'll go over these four methods of getting water in detail, including their benefits and drawbacks.
1． The Boiling Method
The boilingling method is the simplest and least expensive way of water purification. You just need to boil the water and let it keep boiling for one minute to kill the microorganisms inside the water. The higher the altitude, the longer you need to maintain the boiling time. For example, at an altitude of 2 km or more, it is recommended to maintain it for three minutes. Although this method is simple, it will consume valuable gas and you will also need to wait for it to cool before you can fill the water bottle or water bag, in addition to cooking time, which is very useful, in the daytime hiking process when you need to rehydrate, this method is not very practical.
2. Chemical Disinfection
The principle of chemical disinfection is to use chemical tablets or water containing chlorine dioxide to kill harmful substances in the water, including bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms. For example, water purification tablets The method of use is to put one tablet in each liter of water on average. Common bacteria and viruses can be removed within 30 minutes, but to kill spores, you need to wait four hours. The advantage of this method is that it is portable and relatively inexpensive. The disadvantage is that there is no way to drink immediately, and the disinfected water tastes like a swimming pool.
3. Filtration And Disinfection
The main principle of water filtration and purification is to adsorb or filter out the impurities and microorganisms in the water through some special materials. There are many kinds of physical water filtration devices on the market, such as water filtration pumps, gravity filters, water filtration soft bags, water filtration straws, and so on.
The most efficient, but also the most expensive, type of water pump is a filter water pump. It can turn the Ganges water into pure water, and some products on the market can even effectively kill the virus in the water. It is the first choice of many professional outdoor adventurers, but it is more laborious and heavy.
A gravity water filter device is the favorite of lazy people. You just need to hang it up to get clean drinking water, but its weight often discourages hikers, making it more suitable for team operations as well as mobile camping.
The water-filtering soft bag is the first choice of many heavy hikers because it is lightweight.
Filter straws require you to lie down to drink water, which, if there is a large backpack on your back, is very inconvenient. Their biggest drawback is that there is no way to filter the viruses in the water, so they can only be used in areas where the water source is relatively clean.
4. UV Purifier
This is a relatively new way of outdoor disinfection, using only a small instrument inserted into the water for a few minutes to kill bacteria, microbes, and viruses. It is very simple, efficient, and lightweight. But its disadvantage is that it is expensive and needs a long battery life, which if you do not have electricity will cause it to fail.
These are the four common outdoor water purification methods. In general, only physical filtration can remove impurities from the water, but there is no way to kill the virus. The other three ways of consuming water can be very efficient in killing the virus inside the water, but there is no way to extract impurities. You can choose according to your actual situation. This sharing is here, and I hope it is useful to you.