The Best Water Purifiers for Camping at a Glance:
- Water Purification Tablets – Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets
- Pump Water Purifiers for Camping – MSR SweetWater Purifier System
- UV Light Filter Purifier Pens – SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Handheld UV Water Purifier
Understanding the Difference Between Water Purifiers and Water Filters
Before deciding upon the most appropriate water purifiers for camping, it’s helpful to understand the difference between a water filter and a water purifier.
Whilst a camping water filter forces water through an actual filter and filters out bacteria and protozoa, as well as performing functions such as filtering out matter such as sediment and improving taste, it does not typically kill viruses.
Examples of viruses include Hepatitis A and rotovirus – these are, in general, not considered as large a threat in places like the UK, US and Canada, as they are on other international trips or lesser developed countries, where viruses can become a much bigger concern.
Due to their very small size, viruses are often not filtered out with most of the more traditional camping water filters.
Water Purifiers Protect You From Viruses
Water purifiers for camping or hiking on the other hand is a method that is approved for eliminating bacteria and protozoa AND viruses.
This approach usually involves chemicals, so it can affect water taste. Chemical purification, however, doesn’t filter our matter such as sediment or tiny dead insects. This is why many people opt for a both a water filter and a purification system.
If you are travelling close to home and in an environment where you are pretty certain the water is unlikely to be affected by viruses, a camping water filter will likely suffice.
However, if you’re not sure, or are travelling internationally to destinations where you are not certain of the water quality, opt for a purifier to ensure you do not have any nasty surprises with upset stomachs, or worse.
The Best Water Purifiers for Camping – Your Options
The main types of water purifiers for camping are listed below, along with recommendations of best-selling products.
Both small to carry and very light weight, this option is effective for treating small or larger amounts of water, but it can leave a chemical taste, depending on the product.
They are easy to use and ideal for camping or hiking, as you can simply pop them in your backpack and know you are covered should you need to purify your water supply.
They are not intended for use on a continuous basis, rather for short term or limited emergency use.
Best Selling Water Purification Tablets On Amazon Include:
- Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets – used by the US military for emergency water purification, these tablets take about 30 minutes to take effect and render the water safe to drink.
- Aquamira Water Purification Treatment Drops – Aquamira Drops employ Liquid Chlorine Dioxide to purify water and offers the benefit of no aftertaste.
- Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets – these purification tablets are made by leading camping filter brand Katadyn and are effective against viruses, bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium. 1 tablet treats 1 quart of water and does not leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
Pump water purifiers for camping work by pulling water directly from a water source into your container of choice.
The MSR SweetWater Purifier System gives you protection against bacteria, protozoa, and viruses.
Simply pump the water through the SweetWater purifier, then add five drops of the purifier solution per liter and wait five minutes for the purification process to complete.
MSR’s water Purifier Solution inactivates 99. 99 percent of waterborne viruses, bacteria, and common protozoan parasites.
UV Light Filter Purifier Pens
The UV light process is used by mechanical products that purify water by ultraviolet light, which, like purification tablets, kills viruses. They are better suited to situations where smaller levels of water are required.
The SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Personal,Handheld UV Water Purifier is a best-selling choice and can destroy over 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses, as well as protozoa, including Giardia.
It takes only 90 seconds to purify a full liter of water.
Keep in mind thought, that UV light filters do require batteries or chargers to work and are not the best choice for situations where a lot of water is required, as they can only filter a limited amount of water in one go.
What is the Best Water Purifier for Camping? – The Verdict
Deciding on the best water purifier for your trip depends to some extent on your needs.
If you don’t anticipate needing large amounts of water and are within fairly easy reach of replacement batteries or electricity, should you need them, the Steripen is a good choice. If you need larger amounts of water, try the MSR Sweetwater Purifier System.Water purification tablets will of course also work very efficiently and I’ve used them myself safely and effectively. Remember though, they are not designed for continuous, long term use, as they do contain chemicals.
FURTHER RELATED READING
- What Is The Best Water Filter For Camping?
- Best Personal Water Filter Straw: Why You Need A Lifestraw