I went out on a wild camp to Bamford Edge a few weeks ago with my friend. I was carrying 4 litres of water, which equates to 4kg in weight. That was on top of my camping and camera equipment so it made the total load a lot. So I’ve been looking at shaving some weight off my load and one way to to re-consider my hydration system.
I’ve been thinking about using some form of water filtration while I’m out camping and hiking for a while now, but I’ve never got around to it. As I’m getting more and more into wild camping as opposed to campsite camping, having access to clean and safe water but not being weighed down with it constantly is more important for me now.
I wanted to be 100% sure I could drink any water I treated so I done some research and came up with a two pronged approach to filtering and purifying stream and river water. First, the filtering process removes debris and all nasties from the water apart from viruses. You can boil the water after filtering to kill any viruses but that takes extra fuel. Second, to finish the process, I’ve bought some Chlorine Dioxide drops. This will purify the water, killing viruses, without leaving a funny taste like iodine or chlorine can.
I’ve weighed the filter, the squeeze bag and the drops and they come in at under 167grams. The ability to treat water on the move and save weight as a result of that is going to make a big difference for me when I’m out. One thing to bear in mind is when planning my routes and camp locations, I’ve got to pay more attention to water sources so I can refill along the way.
For the filtering of water I’ve bought a Sawyer Mini Water Filter. It’s cost me £23.95 delivered and promises to be able to filter up to 100,000 litres of water. It comes with a squeeze bottle that the dirty water goes into, the filter which attaches to the squeeze bottle, a straw and a syringe for back-flushing the filter to keep the filter tip top.
I bought the Lifesystems Chlorine Dioxide droplets for £5.90 and the drops can treat up to 60 litres of water. The chlorine dioxide drops come in two bottles and you mix 12 drops of each before adding to the filtered water. Once you’ve added the mix, you agitate the water and then wait for 20 minutes. I got the drops instead of the tablets as the drops are quicker acting. The tablets can take 4 hours. Once the 20 minutes is up, the water is safe to drink.
The Try Out
Next time I’m at the Peak District I’ll be trying out this new system and looking at exactly how practical it is, how effective and importantly how the water tastes after treatment. I’ll update here when I’ve given the kit a good try out.