Wild Camping Part 5 – Water Filters

Last week we looked at some natural methods of purifying water.  However, sometime we don’t have the resources or time to apply these and sometime the water we are forced to drink is so much akin to the toxic urine from Satan’s own bladder that only technology can make it safe.


As with all things there are compromises with water filters.  Be it cost, weight, bulk, effectiveness or speed.  There are a number of specific manufactures and models so I’ll try and keep this general but will include links to examples of each.




Harmful Stuff:


Particulate – Not necessarily toxic but particulate, like mud, sand, dead beetles and random, suspicious lumps are not what you want to be drinking.


Protazoa – These are single-cell parasites and the group contains Giardia and Cryptosporidium, two of the most feared Gastro-Intestinal (GI) infections.  Some pathogens can only be eliminated by more advanced filters


Bacteria – Much larger than viruses so relatively easy to filter. This group includes E.coli, a common cause of GI problems.


Virus – Smaller than bacteria, and therefore more difficult to filter, this group includes Hepatitis and Rotovirus


Chemicals – Chemical pollutant are wide ranging and are more common in urban, industrial or certain agriculture areas.


Your filter need not deal with all these. Research where you’ll use it, what the local risks are and get what you need.



Wild Camping Part 4 – Water Purification

We went over water carriage last week.  But how can we get it into our drinking vessels in a safe form.  The answer most people instantly give is ‘use a water purification system’.  This isn’t wrong but these can be bulky, heavy, expensive and sometimes unnecessary.  So let’s look at the steps to take before this is required.


Wild Camping Part 3 – Water

So we’ve dealt with where to go and how to make yourself comfortable for the night. But one cannot operate on fresh air and a good night’s kip alone, or at least not for very long.


So you’re first priority is water.  Often overlooked and under-consumed on expeditions.  I have found people are especially prone to dehydration on cold climate projects.  In the desert heat everyone is very aware of the problem and is disciplined about drinking. But when you’re cold it seems less pressing, however, hydration is key to staying healthy on trips, short or long.  For the purposes of this blog we’ll keep it basic and assume you’re wild camping in the UK.


You have 2 choices a) take it all with you – ok on short trips or if you’re traveling by vehicle e.g. kayak or car of b) collect along the way.