Water purification gear – SteriPEN Adventurer, Nalgene bottle, rubber band, and a bandana. Most of the time, that’s all I need to make safe drinking water.
Depending on the situation, I use one of several different water purification techniques. If I am melting snow to make water then boiling is the easiest (although you have to account for the extra stove fuel used). If I am going ultra light or as a backup method I use Katadyn Micropur tablets. If I am in a fixed camp or on the river and need a lot of water I use a Katadyn Base Camp or the muy mas macho Katadyn Expedition model.
However, most of the time I am getting water from creeks or streams that are moving and look slash smell clean so I use a bandana rubber banded over the wide mouth of my trusty 32 ounce Nalgene bottle and a SteriPEN Adventurer. The bandana strains the particulates out and the Ultraviolet light from the SteriPEN kills 99.99% of protozoa (including Giardia and Cryptosporidia), bacteria, and viruses. No chemicals, no aftertaste, no pumping, no clogging, and it takes less than two minutes.
Why not use the SteriPEN all the time? At 3.6 ounces it is heavier than tabs, it takes up more space, it requires batteries and it is not designed for big containers so it is best in that middle space or about 75% of what I do. There are always trade offs right?
How long does it last on a set of two lithium CR123 batteries? I don’t know based on my experience because I am so anal retentive obsessive compulsive that I put in fresh ones after every use but the literature says 50 liters.
Here is the basic operation. Turn it on, wait for the blinking green light then put it in the water (you should see the UV light turn on), stir it a round a little until the green light glows constant. Your done.
A few tips. Always treat your water twice, just because. Keep the battery case end of the unit dry. make sure the battery lid is screwed down properly. Carry a spare set of batteries. Always carry Micropur tabs as a plan B. Test your unit before you leave the truck. It is easier to see the lights when you are in the shade. Warm the unit next to your body prior to use when the outside temperature dips below freezing. Store the batteries separately in your pack if you are a rattle freak like me. Read the directions and know how to use it before you have to depend on it in the field.
It has worked very well for me in the field but it is ideal for traveling.
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