Don’t ruin your next camping trip by storing your portable water filters wrong
If you think you need a new camping water filter, think again.
Picture this: you dig your camp water filter out of storage at the first sign of spring, head to the kitchen to make sure everything is in working order, and your heart sinks as water barely trickles through.
The good news is that the filter may not need to be replaced, it may just require a good cleaning and that you update your off-season storage practices. So to keep your camp filter flowing freely for as many hiking seasons as possible, take a few preventative and protective measures before you stash it away for a few months.
Clean your filters before you put them away
The key to top-tier water filter performance at the beginning of every season is to stow your filters clean. And possibly wet, though that largely depends on the filter brand in question. We’ll get to that.
Many filters intended for camping, hiking, and backpacking get the job done via a hollow fiber membrane. These products remove unwanted material from natural water sources via a cluster of microscopic straw-like structures with holes so small that organisms like bacteria, parasites, dirt and microplastics can’t pass through. They’re a lot like a fine strainer that lets water pass through but traps your penne noodles.
And like a strainer, the more you pour through a filter without emptying or rinsing it out, the lower the flow-through rate will be. So if your filter won’t filter on the first trip of the season, it’s likely because any contaminants that didn’t get flushed out before you put it away may have grown, multiplied, or crusted over, making the flow sluggish at best and ineffectual at worst.
January 4, 2023
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
Fresh drinking water is essential. This water filtration system ensures you will never run out as long as there is a nearby natural water source. It can filter out bacteria, protozoa and microplastics.
Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.
But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.