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10 Best Water Filters for Backpacking

A guide to water filters for ultralight backpacking.

When you are thru-hiking, you just can't' stop at a nearby water fountain and grab something to drink. You may find water sources along the trail, but almost none are clean enough to drink without treating them first. Having some form of water treatment, and knowing how to use it is essential when hiking. Not only can untreated water taste foul, but it also can be loaded with waterborne pathogens that'll make you so sick you'll have to pause your hike or even stop it completely.

In this post, you will learn how to choose a water filter so that you can drink water from streams, ponds and puddles without risking your health. In fact, these are the very filtration systems used by thousands of thru-hikers who have to survive days, weeks and sometimes even months at a time in the wilderness without access to a potable water source. Let's start by looking at when and where water filters are a necessity.

See the full article on GreenBelly's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Greenbelly

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Ready-to-eat backpacking meals that provide about 1/3 of your daily nutrition. All natural ingredients. Darn tasty.

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

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Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

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The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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