What's in Your Pack? Water Filters

If you have the right pack, clothes and gear you can hike the trails all summer. But unless you have proper hydration, your trek could end abruptly - and tragically. Getting enough fluids into your body to counteract the effects of sweating is vital to your health and the overall success of your activity.

When shopping for a water bottle, first determine your needs. How far will you go? How long do you plan to spend on this activity? How close will you be to fresh water sources? These factors determine if you should carry water with you or pack a filter to replenish your water needs.

Water is always best, but carbohydrate and electrolyte rich sports drinks can give you an extra boost of energy and push you further if you've hit a dip in energy.

  • Katadyn Vario Microfilter -Weighing less than one pound, this water filter contains a two-stage disc and glass fibre microfilter that sanitizes even very dirty water. With two settings, you can filter 4 pints (2 liters) per minute or for a longer filter life, 2 pints (1 liter) per minute. Each cartridge pumps an average of 3962 pints (1875 liters). For more information visit Katadyn.
  • MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter Pump - This small and lightweight pump, ideal for short day hikes, filters disease causing bacteria such as giardia. Quick and easy flow ensures you spend less time pumping the water and more time enjoying your hike. For more information visit the MSR website.

What's in your pack?

Feel free to add to this list. Whether you're a dedicated boulderer, a crazed canoe-camper or an intrepid weekend warrior, the items in these basic categories will get you through the trail.

James W. Coates,
National Park Expert

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