For most people, water treatment is a must-have on backpacking trips. Heck, even a long day of hiking can require a filter, if you don't want to carry liters of water. It can also sometimes be a good idea to treat water while traveling, or even in the course of daily life at home.
Before the comments section implodes, we’d like to include the caveat that this article covers the filters we were sent to test. We reached out to several brands that did not respond to our inquiries, including MSR, LifeStraw, Steripen and Katadyn.
We are aware these filters are out there and have used them, but they are not included here because we didn’t test them. We’d like to note that the Katadyn BeFree is a popular alternative to the ubiquitous Sawyer Squeeze, with a fast flow rate, low weight, and super flexible bag.
Hikers can also use purifying treatments like Aquamira drops, iodine, or even bleach (repackaged into an eye dropper).
Here are the water filters tested for this article, with info on how they work and who they might be best for, written by Maggie Slepian.
May 8, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.
As a veteran of the Iraq War, I found myself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from which greatly impacted my mental health. In 2016, I came across the film “Wild,” an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent is used on clothing, not skin, and it provides long-lasting protection against ticks.