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The LifeStraw water filter deserves a place in any emergency kit

  • LifeStraw's popular water filter provides access to clean, drinkable water almost anywhere.
  • Its built-in filter removes 99.9 percent of bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and dirt, and is easy to use.
  • Typically priced at $20, this water filter isn't hard on the wallet and can be used to stock emergency kits.


A sure-fire way to ruin any camping trip is to contract with a water-borne illness like Salmonella, E. coli, or even Giardia from not properly filtering your water. You should always have access to safe, clean drinking water when going outside and it should be one of your essential trip details when spending time in the backcountry.

Whether I'm going out for a day-long mountain bike ride or headed into Minnesota's Boundary Waters wilderness area for a few weeks, I always pack a water filter I can trust.

For longer trips or when I'm filtering water for a group, I love using my MSR Guardian thanks to its quick filtering and unique automatic backflushing function that reduces clogging of the filter. But the downside is its price, weight, and size. It's far too bulky to fit in my pack for day hikes and it costs over $350, so I'm often wary of losing it or accidentally breaking the unit.

For short outings and individual use, I instead opt for the simplistic yet versatile LifeStraw water filter. At just $20, it's highly affordable but don't take that wallet-friendly price for granted — this reliable little filter is one of the most valuable additions to anyone's outdoor kit.

Explore more about the LifeStraw water filter and other comparable options written by Emily Reed here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Business Insider

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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

MEDIA MENTIONS

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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