There is plenty of water out there in the wilderness, but most of it is not drinkable right out of the creek, river or wherever else you get your water. Fortunately, water filters for camping or any other outdoor activity make it easy to turn water that would make you sick in to water that wont do anything except hydrate you. You have a few different water filter options available to you, but they all filter water by passing that water through a physical filter, which gets rid of and neutralizes all the bad stuff lurking in that water.
Water Filters for CampingFeatures to look for on a water filter for camping.
- Pump or Gravity – A filter works on the principle of pushing water through a physical filter, and while most filters have you do the work of forcing the water through, by making you pump, there are some filters out there that let gravity do the work, so that you can come back after a few minutes to clean water, without having to do any of the hard work of pumping. Not for everyone, but an option to be aware of.
- Filter Life – Just about all filters have a shelf life, and will need to be replaced at some point. But many filters will last a lot longer than others, and so you should definitely pay attention to how much water a filter can handle before it needs to be replaced. Upkeep can get expensive, after all, if you do a lot of camping and backpacking.
Best Water Filters for CampingA few of the more impressive water filters for camping that you can choose from.
- MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter - First, a very popular water filter for camping from MSR. First and foremost, you get 2,000 liters of water before you need to replace anything, which is a relatively good amount. The output attaches easily to MSR's Dromedary bags or Nalgene water bottles with ease, though just about anything else should attach as well. Where this filter loses points, however, is speed, at only .83 liters per minute, and weight, at at a relatively high 14.6 ounces, or 416 grams.
- Platypus Gravity Works Filter - As mentioned above, pumping is not the only way to get your water through your filter. This filter uses two bags, one for the dirty water and one for the clean, with a tube attaching the two and a filter inline on the tube. You hang the dirty water bag above the clean water bag, and gravity does the rest. The system works surprisingly fast, at 1.75 liters per minute, and will do 1501 liters before the filter needs to be replaced. The whole system also only weighs 10.75 ounces, or 304 grams, which is respectably lightweight.
- Katadyn Hiker Water Microfilter - Another very popular pump filter, this time from Katadyn. It comes with two different attachments, one for Nalgene bottles and one for hydration packs. It weighs 10.9 ounces, or 310 grams, which you'll notice is quite a bit lighter than the comparable MSR filter above. The downside is that you only get 750 liters of water before something needs to be replaced, which is less than half of the MSR. It will also do 1 liter of water per minute, which isn't too much different from the MSR.