Water Filters

Water is an interesting thing. Take it for granted at home.

On the trail, of course, each day is planned, in part, around water. How much to start with, where to get more, how much to have at night to cook, or possibly rinse out your salt encrusted clothing.

For drinking, the experts say you should always filter or treat your water. But I haven't always done that. And to date, with 1600+ miles of the Applachian Trail done, have never had a water borne illness.

Its not that I'm super brave, its just many water sources are spring fed - so the likelihood of contamination seems really low. Or streams deep in the woods. Yes, the signs warn, an animal carrying some nasty bit might contaminate the water upstream, but sometimes I'll just take my chances.

Water treatment on the trail has changed over the years. In 2014, a lot of people were using these straws you'd push into a water source and drink from, the filter was built in. But things were changing. A new system from Sawyer, allowed for water filtering away from the water source. They also had a smaller version that could be screwed on a water bottle to filter real time.

I've been using the Sawyer system since, although for the first two years I had chemical tablets as a fall back. Only used them once.

But after three failures in four years, its about time to find something new. So my shelter-mates from yesterday were singing the praises of the BeFree Water Filter. Have to try that next...