When I venture into the great outdoors, I always have a way to filter my water. At a minimum, I carry two water filters with me. Usually, I use the grayl geopress and a life straw type filter. These filters give me the ability to have clean water no matter where I go or how long I stay. It’s always a great idea to have a way to store your water, especially when you will be in the woods for more than a few days. I have always found ways to keep my water for use and developed a system I like when camping. Years ago, my brother and I went on a ten-day trip with just a few things in our backpacks. We hiked 5 miles into the wilderness area and camped by a creek. The water was high and full of silt and debris and our water filter clogged up on the second day. We learned a valuable lesson, always pre-filter your water. It helps sustain the life of your commercial water filter. After this trip, I realized that no matter how clear or dirty the water may appear, always pre-filter before running your water through the commercial water filter.
The video below demonstrates the use of the Grayl Geopress water filtration system
When I get to my campsite, I set my camp up and then collect my water. I always pre-filter my water with a device such as a bandana or Keurig k-cup filter to get all the grit and dirt out so that my water filters do not get clogged up. Over time, it does not matter what you do; the filter will slow down and clog. After all, they are only rated for so many liters or gallons of water that they can filter. If I stay for a while, I like to use a Milbank bag to pre-filter the water for bulk filtration. It is straightforward to use, and you don’t have to sit and babysit the water; you can tend to other things while your water is filtering.
In the video below, I demonstrate a small item I carry with me to pre-filter my water on the go, and you can also use this to filter bulk quantities of water. This pre-filtered water still has to be boiled or used with a commercial water filter to remove the biological contaminants
I have started saving the plastic bags that the Sweet Tea comes from popeyes chicken. My wife loves Popeyes fried chicken (I pick with her all the time about how she will start sprouting feathers.), so I take advantage and buy a bag of tea from time to time. What I like about these bags is that they are very portable, packable, completely reusable, and easy to clean with a bit of bleach water.
The video below demonstrates using a gravity filtration system from membrane solutions with these bags.
I like to have one bag for dirty or unfiltered water that I can carry or store at camp so that when I need to filter some water, I always have some available. Then, I like to have a bag for clean, filtered water that is always ready to drink. These bags are a little over one gallon each. It is very convenient to have a system to have bulk water available and ready to drink or for cooking. I usually use unfiltered water straight from the river when I cook, and the cooking process will eradicate all the biological contaminants during the cooking process. But, it will still have some grit from the river or stream.
When it comes to the great outdoors, you do not always have to buy the most expensive gear to enjoy your camping or hiking trips. Sometimes you can re-purpose items that make your travels fun, relaxing, and easy. Camping is about being able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and should never break the bank when it comes to gear.
If you are interested in any of the water filters listed above, they can be found here