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A water filter is a good investment. Who wants to boil their drinking water, or taste iodine from tablets or worse, take the risk of drinking out of the creek only to come down with the crappers for weeks?
Filter vs. Purifier
Donít get a purifier unless you are traveling outside the U.S. A purifier will kill viruses, something hikers in the U.S. donít have to worry about. Most purifiers use chemicals to kill the viruses making the water taste bad. If you do travel and are concerned, you could always throw some iodine tablets into the water.
Water Bottle Filters
I was given one by a company, used it a few times then quickly gave it away. The only reason I ever carry a filter is if I am out on a super hot day or a multi-night trip. If this is the case, what good is one small water bottle going to do? When I hit that creek, I want to load up because the next creek could be hours away. Maybe if I was trail running it might be cool but Iím more comfortable having my larger water bottles full.
Are you kidding me? Other than the fact that I just donít trust these things, what are they going to do with milky or unclear water? Sorry, I donít like the extra floaters in my water. Sometimes you canít find the cleanest water hole.
The Katadyn Hiker (Previously known as PUR Hiker)
Probably the filter Iíve seen come back to the returns department the least, the Katadyn Hiker has few parts to break, is lightweight and requires little cleaning. You know you need to buy a new element inside when the pumping gets extremely hard. The elements are also easier to find around as more places seem to carry this filter than other brands.