If you worry that the water that you scoop from a river or loch is not safe to drink, you could carry a LifeStraw portable water bottle and filter.
There are plenty of occasions when I have re-filled my water bottle from a burn high in the mountains of Scotland. I do the obvious checks first. Is it flowing water? Are there any livestock â€“ alive or dead â€“ higher upstream that might have contaminated the water? Does the water look clear and safe to drink?
Yet, of course, we can never know for sure whether it is completely uncontaminated.Â Indeed, I had this conversation recently while walking with one of my Munroaming friends. It was an unseasonably warm and bright springÂ day and we had both drunk all of our water, so we were looking for a fresh water source to refill our bottles.
We were fairly sure the water, from snowmelt, was fine but we questioned whether we could be 100 per cent certain.
To use it you simply scoop water from a river or loch into the hard-case bottle, screw on the lid and suckÂ safe water through the mouthpiece.
The water bottle design is ideal for hiking, cycling and camping.
How LifeStraw Go works
LifeStrawÂ® Go uses advanced hollow fibre technology. This highly efficient method of filtration requires no chemicals.
- Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella
- Removes 99.9% waterborne protozoa, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium
- Reduces turbidity (muddiness)
- Has no aftertaste because it doesnâ€™t use iodine or iodinated resin chemicals
- Itâ€™s also free of BPA (Bisphenol-A, a chemical found in some plastics that has been claimed to carry some health risks).
How to use LifeStraw Go
After use, you simply unscrew the lid and blow through the LifeStraw to expel dirty water.
If you want to be sure that the LifeStraw technology has been tried and tested, itâ€™s worth reading the background information. It was introduced in 2005 as an emergency response tool to filter water that was contaminated following natural disasters.
Now LifeStraw is used in a wide range of water filtration products around the world â€“ and in the newly launched LifeStraw Go bottle for walkers.
LifeStraw on test
If Iâ€™m honest, most of the water I see in the Scottish mountains is clear and wouldnâ€™t really be a good test for the product.
The water in the bottle, taken from the burn, certainly looked yukky but I drank it with confidence (I had read about the bottle’s award-wining credentials). I didnâ€™t fall ill and the water tasted fine.
I think this would be most useful on walks where you knew that water would be scarce or in the height of summer when you might be forced to take extra fluids from a water source that is still or shallow.
The bottle is very similar to the one I would carry in any case and if it means I can be sure about the safety of the water Iâ€™m drinking I know what Iâ€™ll be taking with me into the hills in future.
See here to buy LifeStraw.