Water purifier

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Types of Water Purifiers

Water purifiers are essential for ensuring safe drinking water while hiking, especially in remote areas where water sources may be contaminated. There are three main types of water purifier: pump filters, gravity filters and UV filters.

  1. Pump Filters: These purifiers use a manual pumping system to force water through a filter. They are effective at eliminating bacteria, protozoa and sometimes viruses. They are suitable for filtering water directly from rivers or lakes.
  2. Gravity filters: Use gravity to force water through the filter. They are ideal for filtering large quantities of water at a time, perfect for groups or base camps. They require less effort than pump filters, but can be slower.
  3. UV filters: Use ultraviolet rays to destroy pathogenic micro-organisms. They are light and easy to use, but require batteries to operate. They do not filter particles, so water must be clear.

Water Purifier Selection Criteria

To choose the right water purifier for hiking, several criteria need to be taken into account to ensure safe drinking water and practical use.

  1. Filtration efficiency: Make sure the purifier effectively removes bacteria, protozoa and, if necessary, viruses. Check the manufacturer's specifications for filter pore sizes and types of contaminants removed.
  2. Capacity and flow rate: The amount of water the purifier can treat in a given time is crucial. For groups, a high-capacity, fast-flowing filter is preferable. For solo excursions, a more compact, lightweight model may suffice.
  3. Weight and portability: Lightweight, compact purifiers are ideal for hiking. UV filters and some pump filters are particularly well-suited for portability.
  4. Ease of use: The purifier must be easy to use, especially in difficult conditions. Gravity filters are generally simple to use, while pump filters may require more effort.
  5. Durability and Maintenance: Choose a robust purifier that can withstand field conditions. Also consider ease of cleaning and filter life. Some filters can be washed and reused, while others require frequent replacement.
  6. Power source: For UV filters, the power source (rechargeable batteries or cells) is an important criterion. Make sure you have a reliable power source for the duration of your trip.

Use and environment

The choice of a water purifier also depends on your hiking environment and the availability of water sources.

  1. Mountain hiking: Pump filters are ideal because water sources can be small and difficult to access. Their ability to filter small quantities of water quickly is an advantage.
  2. Forest or Jungle Hiking: UV and gravity filters are practical, as water is often plentiful but can be highly contaminated. A UV filter can quickly treat water from rivers and streams, while a gravity filter is useful for the base camp.
  3. Desert Hiking: As water sources are scarce and often muddy, a pump filter with a pre-filter is essential to remove particles before purification.
  4. Long-distance treks: For treks lasting several days, a lightweight, durable purifier with high filtration capacity is essential. UV filters are particularly appreciated for their speed and lightness, while gravity filters are excellent for group camps.

Water purifiers are an essential piece of equipment for backpackers, guaranteeing access to drinking water in all circumstances. By choosing the right purifier to suit your needs and environment, you can ensure safe and effective hydration during your outdoor adventures.

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