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Clean Water Essential for Camping
Does anyone remember all that raw water nonsense that happened some time ago? I would give anything to forget. But I guess, it is nice to know that one doesn’t need to successfully finish elementary school to become rich enough to afford to waste their money on bottled dysentery.
Water is life and we kinda need it to survive. And for those who go camping, having access to fresh water can literally mean that you get to come back home. But, since the great outdoors is still not polite enough to develop its own convenient bottled water dispensers and none of us plan to tote a personal water tower, it might be a good idea to look into portable water filtration and sanitization solutions.
What are the benefits of a water purifier when camping?
You don’t get to go thirsty? Campers, hikers, and anyone else who abandons civilization for longer periods of time must add a water filter or purifier to their kit. Why? Just because…
Seriously. You don’t go thirsty.
You can go without food for longer than you can without water, so having consistent access to fresh drinking water is imperative. If you get lost in the woods or something, it can mean the difference between you being able to make it back home, or being too woozy and ill to even make an attempt.
You don’t get sick.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that is left absolutely pure and unpolluted on this planet. But you don’t have to worry only about unscrupulous corporations dumping their waste in rivers and stream, but also some more natural dangers – like animals doing their business. Are you still willing to drink that water “raw”?
They weigh less and take less space
Quite a few filters on the market are small enough to fit into your pocket and don’t weigh more than several ounces. Even larger setups can be packed into any backpack and will not weigh you down. Quite a difference to a water reservoir, don’t you think?
Can viruses be filtered out of water?
Some of them can. Ultrafiltration can catch Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Norovirus, and Enterovirus, to name a few. And even in their cases, we are not talking about a 100% success rate.
Viruses are a lot smaller than bacteria and fungi, aka the thing that water filters get rid of almost effortlessly. For more info on all of these beasties, allow me to introduce you to Hataraku Saibou, a series of serious documentaries that tell the REAL TRUTH behind our immune systems. Did you know that Basophils recite gloomy poetry or that Lymphocytes blush when you thank them? All true, you’ll see.
Does chlorine dioxide kill viruses?
Not all of them. And not the one we are dealing with right now. Even if it did, you don’t want it in your drinking water. Well, at least you should not be the person who puts in there.
Chlorine dioxide is often used for sterilizing drinking water, but it’s not a method that should be adopted by those who have no idea what they’re doing. Use too little, and you’re wasting everyone’s time. Use too much and you can end up with some respiratory issues and damage to the red blood cells.
Does vinegar kill the flu virus?
No. And it’s very much a big fat no, no matter what you’ve seen posted online. Vinegar does a really good job when you need to clean your house, but a disinfectant, it is not.
One way to deactivate the flu virus is to destroy its outer lipid layer. You can do that with acid, but vinegar is too weak for this application. You have a lipid layer on your skin. Ever spilled some vinegar on yourself? It may irritate your skin for a bit, but it doesn’t cause first degree burns.
You may find in your local supermarket something that is called “cleaning vinegar”. Though you really don’t want to chuck it on a salad, it as well is too weak for killing viruses. If you’re trying to disinfect a water bottle, you would do a lot better if you boil it or treat it with 70% or higher ethanol solution for 10 minutes or so.
Can you drink ocean water if you boil it?
Kind of, since it’s a bit more complicated than that. You can’t just chuck it in a kettle and call it a day. You’ll need to go the extra step and collect the steam. Then you cool that gas so it becomes liquid again, and then it should be safe to drink.
So, pretty much, you are making distilled water. If you own a boat and you lie to square off with Poseidon from time to time, you can pick up a tabletop distiller almost anywhere. But if both space and power outlets are a luxury in your case, check out D-Stil Lite. It’s very light and portable, and it will work with almost any pot and heat source.
Is LifeStraw the best water purifier?
At the very least, it is at the top of its genre, but the final answer depends solely on your wants and needs.
Most people pick LifeStraw not only because of the name recognition but also because the brand offers an extensive range of products at rather reasonable prices. Their headliner retails for only $20 and it was proven to do its job well.
When it appeared on the market, it had the most advanced microfilter that was available to us normal people at the time. These days they have some serious competition, mainly in the form of Survivor Filter Pro.
Can you drink any water with LifeStraw?
In terms of making it safe to drink? In the majority of cases, yes. But in the terms of making it palatable? A big fat no.
The filter will not do much (if anything) to remove the taste of the water you’re trying to drink. Saltwater will still taste salty, a puddle will still taste earthy, etc. The primary purpose of LifeStraw is to stop you from getting Cholera, not provide a gourmet experience.
Also, let’s revisit question No2 for the rest of this answer.
Can you drink your pee with a LifeStraw?
First, yuck. Second, I know of a “health” movement where people drink their pee as is. Again, yuck.
And finally, just no. While technically, the LifeStraw should be able to remove all the bacteria and impurities from the urine, it’s not the same case with salt. And there is quite a bit of salt in your pee. Your kidneys are begging you not to do that to them.
I haven’t tried it myself (because, you know, yuck and all that jazz), but the filter will also not do much to remove all those aromatic notes, so it will all still taste like piss.
And how will all that compare to a Bud Lite? Don’t know, don’t care to try. Why don’t you have a go and then share with the class?
Are there any portable water purifiers that can make seawater drinkable?
Oh yes. And this is getting a bit exciting. Since it is suspected that spring drinking water will become somewhat of a luxury in the near future, quite a few designers and companies are in a race to create amazing solutions that can make seawater drinkable.
Most of them are still not easily available for your average consumer, but that is soon to change. Let’s start with…
This device is still in the crowdfunding phase, but when it hits the market, it is supposed to become a low-cost solution for turning seawater into drinking water that will be available to anyone.
It relies on a set of filters and reverse osmosis to do its job, and it’s supposed to be completely manually powered. That makes it particularly interesting because it will work even if you are marooned on a desert island. Or if you have limited access to power on your boat. Whichever sounds more realistic.
The team behind this gadget has already secured certifications from some notable agencies that give it their seal of approval, so I guess it will be just a matter of time before it becomes available for purchase.
They also promise to donate a million units by 2027 to people who don’t have access to safe, drinkable water, so that’s kinda neat.
So, not a device, but a new material for water filters. And not just for turning seawater into drinking water, but doing the same with almost any water source.
This is the work of a team from CSIRO (Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), led by Dr. Dong Han Seo. Back in 2017, they invented a low-cost process that can produce this compound from renewable materials. They claim that they have created a perfect filter, and demonstrated it by turning very polluted Sidney City Harbour water into water that was safe to drink. No comments on how it tasted though.
The filter is also supposed to stop 100% of salt and 100% of oil, so their claim is not very far off.
As for when it will be available, there’s still no concrete information on that.
Hectron is currently the most accessible company if you are looking to mount a seawater filtration system on your boat or waterfront property. They came in several types and numerous sizes, so you are very likely to find one that is suitable for your needs.
That being said, they are all still very bulky and pricey. Unless you can’t afford to, you might want to wait a bit more for the QuenchSea to make its debut.
Does rainwater need to be purified?
Let me destroy every single romantic notion with a single word: yes. Rainwater may contain numerous harmful chemicals, pollutants, animal feces, microbes, etc. Pretty much, you have to treat it as any other water source you can come across in the wild.
However, the process is also the same. Either boiling it or a pass through a filter can do the trick. Though you may want to completely avoid this water source if you find yourself in a very polluted area. Acid rains are still a thing, and there is no filter that can turn it into Evian. And Chernobyl rainwater will not give you superpowers…
Can a bottle of water go bad?
Yes, but it has very little to do with dihydrogen monoxide. Almost all of the time, it’s everything else that’s floating around that’s at fault. If you need to “preserve” water for a very long time, you will have to distill it first.
Store-bought bottled water can easily outlast the printed expiration date. One you bottled, not so much. Stagnant water goes stale very easily, and this is why you sometimes get that aftertaste from a bottle that has been opened a day or two ago. It’s also easier for stuff to start growing in stagnant water – a good reason to drink from a stream, but never from a pond.
Still water also starts losing oxygen at some point – not enough to become flammable, but enough to taste stale. Constant motion, like the one you get from streams, fountains, and carbonization, keeping the water oxygenated. And oxygenated water not only tastes better, but it is also a lot more satiating.
All in all, an opened bottle of water will probably go flat first, then stale and then, depending on the vessel and the rest of the environment, it can start growing nasties
Can I DIY a water filter?
If you’re looking to make one from things that are hanging around your kitchen, tough luck. Not gonna happen. However, you can buy some of the main components and tailor one to your needs.
I would not recommend for you to waste your time if you’re in the mood to replace the LifeStraw or the Survivor Filter Pro. Unless you have access to a lab or a factory, you’re wasting your time and money since these guys do their job well as they are. But if you are building a home, cabin, or a bunker, you may reap quite a few benefits from creating a custom system.