Water Treatment Outdoors
Water is a critical resource to keep people alive, especially when you are outdoors, exposed to elements and performing physical activity, sometimes exhausting exercises or jobs that might lead to dehydration and severe health risks, including death.
Moreover, it's possible to survive several weeks without food but lacking water may be lethal after a few days, then having access to a reliable, safe water source remains paramount for all campers and hunters, otherwise, their physical integrity might be jeopardized.
So, the first thing to do when you are outdoors is to find a water source but keep in mind that not all water supplies are safe, even clear, fresh, pristine water may get you sick if it is contaminated, and the worse dangers are not easy to identify.
No one would drink dirty, brown water unless it's a matter of death or life, but the real risks appear also with clear water that might be contaminated by microorganisms without giving any sign of it until the person who drinks it gets sick.
The major risks when you drink water from natural sources are microorganisms, mainly protozoan and bacteria but also some viruses however, risks don't remain here and water might be contaminated with pesticides or other chemicals, particularly in areas downstream of human activity, especially industrial.
That's why it's so important to properly treat water before drinking it outdoors, no matter how clean it looks, waterborne diseases are a major concern and you need to be aware of them and behave accordingly.
On this regard, it's extremely important to count on a water treatment system among your camping and hunting equipment, this way you will be safe when consuming treated water instead of drinking it straight from natural sources.
There are many options, from simple chlorine drops or tablets up to complex filtration systems and even purifiers using ultraviolet radiation. The best type of device for you will depend on how many people are camping, risks in the area you are planning to hunt or camp, and some other personal considerations such as the time you'll expend outdoors, how much weight are you able to carry with you and so on.
For short travels and relatively small water amounts, chlorine drops or tablets may be a good choice, but when you are planning to stay away for several days or travel far, a filtration system may be more effective. In the end, the extra weight means extra safety and enough water for everyone.
Purifiers are a good choice too, selecting among one or the other usually depends on personal preferences, safety concerns, and especially the area you are moving on.
Filters are effective against protozoan and bacteria but not viruses, so if you wish extra safety or are camping in an area known for virus hazards the best choice will be a water purifying system.
At the end, it's important to count on at least one method and know how to use it properly, otherwise inadequate manipulation or low hygiene will lead to waterborne diseases because of the wrong use of the device.
So, next time you camp don't forget to take your water treatment system with you and read the instructions thoroughly before using it to assure access to clean, fresh, and safe water.