If you're a nature enthusiast, you probably spend a great deal of your time camping, hiking, or enjoying some other outdoor activity. Engaging in these types of vigorous activities requires you to stay hydrated, but simply drinking water from a water source, such as a river, isn't always healthy. A portable water-filtration device can help in this instance. If you're not familiar with these devices, here are just some of the characteristics you want to examine when making your selection.
The reason it is important to consider the purification speed of a filter is that it offers an indication of just how quickly the water will be purified. By far, boiling-based filters take the longest amount of time. With this method of purifier, you have to set up the device, allow time for the water to reach the required temperature, and then wait for the water to cool before you are able to drink it.
If you're thirsty, you aren't really looking to wait that long. A faster option is an ultraviolet-light portable filter. UV light–based filters are designed to kill harmful bacteria as the light passes through. Since these lights are very powerful, they generally only have to be cast on the water for a short amount of time before you are able to drink the water. Although they are more expensive than boiling portable filters, their increased speed is definitely a benefit.
Consider the convenience of the unit in terms of maintenance, particularly the effort needed to keep it clean. Some purifiers require regular cleaning in order to maintain their integrity. The goal is to select an option that you can easily clean when you're far away from the luxuries of home or an option that you don't have to clean at all. Take a gravity-based filter, for example. These units require you to pass the water through a mesh screen several times to purify it.
Since these harmful particles are not destroyed, but instead simply contained in the screen, you must clean it after every use. Since you also have to use purified water to clean the screen, this process can take a considerable amount of time. On the other hand, the previously mentioned boiling and UV portable water filters don't require this step, as they are typically self-cleaning.
The overall goal of a portable water-filtration device is to make safe and clean water readily available to you no matter where you are. Make sure you are selecting a unit that meets this goal.