waterfilterEven in the most remote areas, water can have nasty bacteria, protozoa, viruses and chemicals. There are three main ways to purify your water: boil it, chemically treat it or filter it.

• Boiling water works for sure—and you only have to reach a rolling boil to kill all the nasty stuff—but it’s time consuming and uses precious camp fuel. Boiled water also tastes bland.

• Chlorine-dioxide drops and pills (like those made by Pristine and Katadyn) work well, and so do iodine and household liquid chlorine (bleach). However, you don’t want to use too much of these chemicals. Chemically treated water also has an odd taste to it.

• Filtration is quick and safe, but only handles protozoa and bacteria, not  viruses. Some filters have a chemical treatment built in as well.