Should You Take A Camping Water Purifier On Your Next Trip?
When packing for an outdoor vacation, a camping water purifier is an important part of any supply kit, especially when spending several days or weeks away from civilization and a safe water supply.
It is convenient to have a sizable supply of usable water on hand in the campsite, for washing, cooking and drinking. Even when camped beside a lake or stream, water must be purified before it is safe to drink.
For camping, water purifier systems can take several forms, depending on the length of time you will be camping and the amount of drinkable water that will be needed. For short trips, a relatively small container and water purification tablets or crystals may be all that is needed. When camping for an extended period of time or with a family or large group of people, a larger supply of clean water will be needed.
The type of camping water purifier you use depends on your purification needs and the size of your group. Portable reverse osmosis systems are ideal on ocean voyages or when camping on islands in the ocean. Reverse osmosis is an effective method of desalinization, but it is a relatively slow process, so it is wise to carry enough water to sustain your group until additional drinking water can be produced.
For purifying fresh water, ceramic microfilters as fine as 0.2 microns can successfully filter out even smaller bacteria and
to make water safe for drinking. These filters are available in all sizes, from backpack-sized units to large capacity tabletop units. Simply pour the water into the first compartment and either gravity or pumping action forces the water through an ultra-fine filter made from porous ceramic, leaving impurities behind in the filter and allowing only clean water through to the other side.
The best microfilters are made from ceramic impregnated with silver, which has an additional antibacterial property that kills bacteria as the water passes through the filter.
When in doubt about the safety of your water supply, a microfilter can be used in conjunction with purification tablets to ensure the safety of the water. Pouring the disinfected water through a carbon filter such as a filtered pitcher or water bottle will remove chlorine and any remaining metals, leaving only clean, fresh tasting water.
A water distiller is another camping water purifier that can be useful when camping for a long period of time. Distilling water is relatively simple; it basically uses a heat source to create steam, which is collected as it cools, leaving behind any impurities. There are many designs for water distillers, including ones that you can build yourself. A solar powered distiller uses the sun as a heat source instead of a flame. Distillers work best in stationary camps where they can be set up and left to do their work.
No matter what type of camping water purifier you choose, it’s important to be prepared when travelling away from civilization. It’s best to carry as much water as possible and bring a reliable method of purification as backup.
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