Aug 04 2008
Several years ago, while backpacking on North Manitou Island in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, I had the wonderful experience of stripping down to my swim suit, wading into Lake Michigan and purifying several jugs of satisfyingly cool Great Lakes water to accompany our group’s lunch of couscous and fresh-picked N. Manitou strawberries.
And after about five miles of hiking, that lunch tasted better than anything from a great restaurant. Of course, backcountry survival requires clean water. And it is impractical to carry one’s water into most backcountry settings.
So backpacking water filtration/purification is a neat little side hobby for many hikers. Some swear by the old method of adding a bit of bleach to a jug of water. Most others utilize small, hand-held water filtration units.
PUR, however, has a new system that seems quite cost-effective and minimizes additional pack weight. It’s called the PUR Purifier of Water system. Excerpts and links to an Outside Magazine blog post on the topic:
PUR markets its latest water-purification product as a “mini water
treatment plant in a packet.” Indeed, the pragmatically named PUR
Purifier of Water employs the exact chemical process as used in many
municipal water-treatment plants around the Western world.
Developed more than a decade ago by Proctor & Gamble, and used in
municipal as well as humanitarian applications, the process introduces
iron sulfate and calcium hypochlorite in a powder form to water
tainted with sediments and microorganisms. Unlike iodine or other
typical treatments used in the outdoors, the P&G process pulls all the
gunk in water together, coagulating nasties including cysts, microbes,
viruses and bacteria into clumps you can then filter out.
Here is the official product web site: