When I finally decided to start the process of tackling the water filtration aspect of thru hiking the Appalachian Trail I was absolutely astounded at just how f’ing involved this process was gonna be.
There are so many ways to skin this particular cat that I finally just had to back things up to the most pragmatic view and ask myself some very basic but ultimately crucial questions.
1. How much is this gonna cost vs. how much do I really want to spend?
2. What is the most lightweight and efficient option?
3. Do I want to involve chemicals, drops, and/or pills as a long-term solution?
Once I came at the problem from this point of view, the decision was easy. I want cheap, lightweight, and no… question #3 is a NO!!!
Now I could bore you with a lot of mumbo jumbo about how this filter can kill up to 99.9999% of protozoans, bacteria, blah blah, and this pill can kill up to this much blah blah. Eh, who cares? Any filtration is better than no filtration system on the Appalachian Trail, or any other thru-hike for that matter, so I just read a few articles online and watched some videos on YT and made an informed decision.
I’m going to be using the Lifestraw water filtration system, which weighs next to nothing (that’s just me being too lazy to check the weight and post it here), costs about $20 and will last the entire hike and much more after that one!
There was a time when I thought the no-brainer choice for a water filter and purifier for my thru-hike of the A.T. would most definitely be the SteriPen, but that turned out to be a dead-end and just not practical or efficient. While the science is sound the fact that it runs on batteries makes it a poor choice, especially since the lithium ion batteries are only good for about 50 uses per.
So, people wanna know… Can you filter pee and drink it through the Lifestraw? Yeah, of course. You can filter drinkable water from all sorts of nasty sources, but here’s the rub. There are no guarantees as to what the final product will taste like. Guess what, you can filter out all the impurities of urine, but in the end it’s still gonna taste like PISS!
So, just use it as directed and I’m sure it will be fine. I’m looking forward to adding this to my thru-hike packing list, mainly ‘cuz it’s so inexpensive and weighs damn near nada!
Happy hiking and there are some links below to Amazon for some great deals on all sorts of water filtration and purification solutions…