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I am looking for ways to purify water while I???m travelling. Would you recommend Iodine tablets or Steripen?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 16th, 2018 3:18 pm
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2018
1 posts

I am looking for ways to purify water while I???m travelling. Would you recommend Iodine tablets or Steripen?

I am looking for ways to purify water while I’m travelling. Would you recommend Iodine tablets or Steripen?
36 replies
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Best way, buy bottled water.
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Jan 8, 2009
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GTA
I don't know what kind of travelling you're doing and whether it's actually required, but we used a steripen on a number of our trips (when we had a lack of access to potable water and/or trustworthy bottled water). It's simple and works really well and we didn't get sick on any the trips where we used it. You should still carry a prescription for cipro with you just in case.
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May 14, 2009
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I'd say it depends on what kind of water you expect to encounter. The Steripen will need to be used with a filter if the water is mucky/gritty because the UV light needs clear water in order to work effectively against pathogens.

If crypto isn't a concern in the water source, iodine could be okay. And I think it leaves an odd taste.
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Dec 24, 2007
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Most portable way and easiest to use is one of those Personal Water Filter straws that filter all the pathogens that you just suck through. Steripen requires the water to be clear so you can't use it for juices or coloured drinks. Iodine leaves a funny taste.

Suggest getting one of these from Amazon that are pretty cheap and fits in most bottles Personal Water Filter Straw for $14.99 or LifeStraw if you are looking for bigger name brand.

You just pack it with you and use like as a straw.
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WetCoastGuy wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2018 3:00 pm
Most portable way and easiest to use is one of those Personal Water Filter straws that filter all the pathogens that you just suck through. Steripen requires the water to be clear so you can't use it for juices or coloured drinks. Iodine leaves a funny taste.

Suggest getting one of these from Amazon that are pretty cheap and fits in most bottles Personal Water Filter Straw for $14.99 or LifeStraw if you are looking for bigger name brand.

You just pack it with you and use like as a straw.
Another one that shouldn't be used if crypto is a problem. I don't think this company has any actually proof of protozoan removal.
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Jan 27, 2006
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2018 8:52 am
Best way, buy bottled water.
Bottled water is not always dependable around the world. Sure, it may look good and you can try to find a Western name-brand product but in many developing nations, you can't find those products easily or they may be counterfeit.
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Jan 27, 2006
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If the OP is looking for a system that actually purifies water (not just filtering the big chunks), you can use either iodine or a Steripen as both are effective but both have their drawbacks. Iodine has been used for decades as the go-to product but tastes awful. The Steripen is nice as it doesn't impart any taste but it's a electro-mechanical device which may break or run out of power in the field. Both of them work best if you filter the water first (ie nothing for the bacteria to hide on or behind).

I recommend using something like the Sawyer Point Zero Two which is actually a mechanical water purification system where the water is purified through a fine mesh (down to 0.02 microns which is smaller than anything biologically harmful). The Sawyer doesn't have a carbon filter so it won't filter out things like VOCs but you can combine that with an active carbon filter.

If this is going to be your only source of potable water, I would recommend taking two systems with you as it's always a good idea to have a back-up process.
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 1:57 pm
Bottled water is not always dependable around the world. Sure, it may look good and you can try to find a Western name-brand product but in many developing nations, you can't find those products easily or they may be counterfeit.
Plus, not sure what OP's plan are, but it's not always possible to carry enough water if doing multi day hikes. Sometimes if spending time in very rural areas, there is no bottled water to buy because the locals don't drink it and tourists don't pass through often enough.
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amz155 wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 2:13 pm
Plus, not sure what OP's plan are, but it's not always possible to carry enough water if doing multi day hikes. Sometimes if spending time in very rural areas, there is no bottled water to buy because the locals don't drink it and tourists don't pass through often enough.
Or the bottled water has been sitting in less than ideal conditions (ie. in the sun for a long time)....
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2018 11:29 am
This is not a purifying water system. It is just a mineral filter.
You can even argue that it's not a mineral filter... Britas basically have a coarse filter (for the big chunks of sediment) with an active carbon 'filter' to improve the taste. In other words, does nothing to improve the safety of water.
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 1:57 pm
Bottled water is not always dependable around the world. Sure, it may look good and you can try to find a Western name-brand product but in many developing nations, you can't find those products easily or they may be counterfeit.
craftsman wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 2:16 pm
Or the bottled water has been sitting in less than ideal conditions (ie. in the sun for a long time)....
I have never seen commercially sold bottled water that is "not dependable".
Sitting in the sun for a long time only makes it warm. The only reason there is an expiry date on bottled water is concern that the plastic may expire.
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