Water-Purification Gear for Under $50
These will save you from drinking contaminated water—and shelling out a ton of money
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System
$40.00 from REI
Collect stream water in one of Sawyer’s 32-ounce pouches, then filter it through the hollow-fiber membrane to remove bacteria and protozoa. The pouches are collapsible (each weighs only three ounces) and reusable, and you can drink straight from the filter’s nozzle or pour the water into a bottle for later.
Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle
$45.00 from REI
Katadyn took a handy one-liter water bottle, which rolls up small to save space in your pack, and put a 0.1-micron microfilter in its nozzle that removes 99.9 percent of nasties. The BeFree can purify up to 1,000 liters over its lifetime.
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
$50.00 from Backcountry
Like the LifeStraw, MSR’s TrailShot lets you drink straight from the source, but it’s also good for filling a water bottle. Drop the long straw in the stream and squeeze the hand pump to get the magic started. It works fast, treating a liter of water in 30 seconds.
May 7, 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.