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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
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 2:44 pm
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.
Obviously, you haven't been out in some 3rd world countries.

As for being in the sun too long, ask the US government (FEMA to be exact) on why they didn't distribute 20,000 pallets of bottled water that was left sitting in the sun too long in Puerto Rico - 20,000 pallets of bottled water left untouched in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Ottmar Chavez, now administrator of Puerto Rico's General Services Administration, said FEMA reported that it had about 20,000 pallets of bottled water in excess in May this year, before Chavez was appointed.
His agency claimed the water, intending to deliver it where it was needed.
But after about 700 pallets had been distributed, complaints began to come in about the water's foul smell and taste, Chavez said in a statement.
Contrary to what you might believe, bottled water isn't pure nor is it free of contamination such as bacteria - How safe is bottled water?
A report by the NRDC about 15 years ago — the latest large-scale study performed — tested more than 1,000 bottles from 103 brands of water by three independent labs. They found that about one-third of the bottles contained significant contamination with levels of chemical or bacterial contaminants exceeding those allowed under a state or industry standard or guideline in at least one test.

"The overall point was that people shouldn't assume that bottled water is any more safe or more clean or more pure than regular tap water," said Mae Wu, senior attorney in the health program at NRDC.
According to CBS News, there has been over 100 recalls of bottled water products - Bottled Water: 10 Shockers "They" Don't Want You to Know
Like any other products, water gets recalled, but more often than not you don't hear much about it.

There have been more than 100 recalls of contaminated bottled water, often months after the products were delivered to store shelves, says Dr. Gleick, who worries that the public rarely gets the memo.

What sorts of contaminants have been found in bottled water?

Benzene, mold, sodium hydroxide, kerosene, styrene, algae, yeast, tetrahydrofuran, sand, fecal coliform and other bacteria, elevated chlorine, glass particles, sanitizer, and crickets, says Gleick.

Yes, crickets.
So, just because you "have never seen commercially sold bottled water that is "not dependable" doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. Remember that the above quote is from CBS so those recalls probably happened in the US or some other developed countries. There may not be such 'safeguards' in other parts of the world.
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 7:31 pm
Obviously, you haven't been out in some 3rd world countries.
......


So, just because you "have never seen commercially sold bottled water that is "not dependable" doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. .....
I consider myself told off.
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Too bad most people are advising to get bottled water especially without knowing where OP is travelling to and especially with the huge pollution problem with plastics.

OP - please try to avoid buying bottled water if you can. Where are you going? I have used tablets and in some cases even drank tap water - doesn't take much effort to find out if the water is safe to drink. I also have the straw filter but haven't had an occasion to use it. I always take a reusable bottle...some places you can fill it out up for free or a nominal cost.
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If for drinking: Life straw

But it does have a strange taste when I tried it.
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I've been told by some travelers that even reputable bottled water bottles sometimes are just refilled and resealed with local or just refilled and not resealed. Have to be careful where you go, some places just won't be reliable.
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craftsman wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 2:06 pm
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.
My vote is for the Sawyer as well. It's sometimes cheaper on Amazon than the LifeStraw, and its spout has threads. That means you can attach an empty bottle or pouch to it, hang it in a tree or a coat hanger, and let gravity do the work for you overnight.
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quanta wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 7:59 pm
My vote is for the Sawyer as well. It's sometimes cheaper on Amazon than the LifeStraw, and its spout has threads. That means you can attach an empty bottle or pouch to it, hang it in a tree or a coat hanger, and let gravity do the work for you overnight.
NOTE> I referred to two different Sawyer products - the mini and the Point Zero Two. The mini only filters down to 0.1 microns and is in the same ballpark price as the LifeStraw. The Point Zero Two filters down to 0.02 microns, is substantially bigger than the mini, and is substantially more costly than the mini. But if you are going into an area with very questionable water (ie bad but not chemically polluted), then the Point Zero Two is the one to go with. However, I would carry a mini as well since the accessories are all interchangeable with the Point Zero Two and you can use it as a plan B with some iodine tablets (just in case something happens to the Point Zero Two).
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As others have said, please be careful with bottled water n some countries. I have witnessed two incidents of people essential refilling bottled water with regular water. Out friend was also just hopitalized overseas and they finally figured out it was the bottled water provided in their room.

When we went overseas, our travel clinic doctor recommended a steripen. She did warned us that it just kills the virus and bacteria and does not nothing for the taste. i recommend a combination of a water santizater (there are newer ones on the market) and a water filter for the taste. That’s what my family did when they were hiking through Peru.
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ChristineAnna wrote:
Nov 30th, 2018 11:54 pm
I am looking for ways to purify water while I’m travelling. Would you recommend Iodine tablets or Steripen?
OP, if you don't mind sharing which countries you will be travelling to, people can give you more country-specific advice for water safety. Having backpacked in Canada, for example, I found the water purifying tablets from MEc worked best. Those might not be effective elsewhere... such as India. Travelling in India, on the other hand, I found that bottled water ("Bisleri" or "Aquafina" bands) worked great as long as it was bought from "high end" restaurants or from big-chain grocery stores... So yeah, it would be hard to find a one-stop-shop for water purification while travelling and you may have to rely on a few different options.
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Dec 11th, 2018 5:32 pm
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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.
Yes, I am currently spec'ing out a trip within India and I am seeing some discussion regarding unreliable bottled water brands sold there. And even if you buy a reputable label, you never know if it has been refilled or how long it has been sitting around a shop.
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ChristineAnna wrote:
Nov 30th, 2018 11:54 pm
I am looking for ways to purify water while I’m travelling. Would you recommend Iodine tablets or Steripen?
Unless you will be living in some forgotten tribe in Brazil, you really do NOT need none of them. Use bottled water( doesn't mean tiny 500ml bottles.As you can find up to 20L jugs for sale). Iodine tablets make water taste pretty bad. Some can and some can't handle it. Steripen, LifeStraw and alike filter better.
Some( again, **some**) travelers think they need it and use them with no real reason. Others think they can't bring bottled water. I've been on many trips where people used those without a need. Sure, in some places one of these are needed and perhaps even required, but I can count just a few trips out of nearly 80 I took where one of these were necessary.
Eg. I remember I met some guy in Southern Ethiopia who used the lifestraw to drink. He didn't have to, he just chose not to bring water with him, which was easy since he traveled by a car.
If you do a lot of backpacking trips, one of these can certainly be handy to have though when you just choose to travel light and use what nature provides :)

I'd like to hear from those who used the steripen or similar products. Where did you use it? Why?
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