When you are planing for a trip, one of the last things on your mind may be water. When we are home we have filtered water from our sinks or refrigerator, so planning my daily water intake is not a priority among other things.
When we travel, many of us end up buying tons of plastic bottled water. Aside from being bad for the environment, buying water is in general an unnecessary expense, and most plastic bottles contain a dangerous ingredient that leaches into the water called “BPA”. BPA has actually been linked to diseases like Breast Cancer.. BPA is said to mimic the structure and function of the hormone estrogen. Due to its estrogen-like shape, BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes in a bad way, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels and reproduction.
So back to traveling.
I was recently in the Virgin Islands and I had heard mixed feedback on drinking tap water – so I brought my LifeStraw filter along and was able to drink tap everywhere without buying bottled water. I’m always cautious about drinking tap water because of my own bad experiences. When I was 4 years old, I contracted Cholera on a trip to mexico. I had to spend the week in a hospital and almost died, so I’ve always been careful with drinking tap when I travel outside the country.
When you travel out of the country, you want to make sure you have a powerful filter. Many filters claim to filter out 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoa and some chemicals like chlorine, some pesticides and fertilizers. So it’s important to keep in mind that while this is safe, there is still a .0001% risk. Also note these filters cannot remove salt and cannot be used on sea water, ocean water or brackish water.
Here are some of my favorite travel friendly filters:
#1. The LifeStaw Steel $51 – LifeStraw Steel is ideal for hiking, backpacking, camping and travel. The 2-stage filtration process removes bacteria and protozoa and reduces organic chemical matter and chlorine.
#2. The LifeSaver $139 – The LifeSaver was originally developed to provide clean water to people in developing countries who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it, and it shows in the design.
It’s a simple piece of equipment that’s easy to use, reasonably robust and lasts a long time without needing maintenance. That makes it equally useful for travellers as well.
3. Platypus GravityWorks 4 L Complete Water Filter Kit $119 – Platypus is known for their collapsible plastic water bottles + backpack hydration. You fill one reservoir with dirty water, connected to a second with a filter and hose. When the second reservoir is filled, you’re ready to drink. it can be hung on a tree and you can relax and let the filter do the work. This is great for filling up and storing clean filtered water, excellent if you are hiking and need to stop and get water before you take a long dry treck.
4. LifeStraw (Plastic Version) – Works like the steel version, but great for someone on a budget!