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GREAT GEAR by s t ephen regenold Not a Drop


to Drink? These water-purification systems will ban nasty bacteria from your bottle.


THEY SWIM AND FLOAT in water, unde- tectable and unseen. They breed and multiply and search for a host. With


MSR HYPERFLOW MICROFILTER $99.95, cascadedesigns.com Pump it! The HyperFlow provides a fast way to purify water in the backcountry, including a filtration rate of three liters per minute. At about seven ounces, the unit is lightweight enough for backpacking. It connects via a bottle adapter to a variety of containers, and it’s designed to be cleaned in the field. MSR markets the HyperFlow as effective against all protozoa and bacteria but not viruses.


sinister names, microbes like giardia and cryptosporidium can wreck a wilderness trip quicker than you can shout, “Where’s the latrine?” But fear not. Outdoors types can


combat bacteria, viruses, and protozoa via a litany of purification products available at any outdoors shop. Water-purification tablets, pumps,


filters, and UV-light mechanisms kill the tiny creatures that can make you ill. A few minutes of pumping—or the zap of light from a UV pen— might make the difference between


STERIPEN ADVENTUREROPTI $99.95, steripen.com Zap the bugs! SteriPEN employs a unique ultraviolet-light mechanism to expunge biological contaminants—bacteria, protozoa, and viruses included. Dip the light in your water and let it shine for 90 seconds. Now the water is clean. It weighs just 3.6 ounces with batteries, making the package light enough for any pursuit. One warning: The SteriPEN does not work with cloudy water. Pre-filter murky water before zapping it with the UV light.


getting sick and staying healthy. Muddy creeks and reedy shores


are immediately suspect for water that could be bad. But to be safest, experts recommend treating any water taken outdoors before you fill your cup. “Even the most pristine areas are subject to a host of environmental conditions or pollutants that cannot be detected by sight, smell, or taste,” says Frank Reigelman, the Boy Scouts’ Outdoor Programs team leader. The five products below filter


and purify water by various means.


KATADYN MICROPUR PURIFICATION TABLETS $9.95 for 20 tablets, katadyn.com Inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to use. Drop a Micropur tablet into a quart of water, let it dissolve, and your water will soon be ready to drink. These chlorine dioxide tablets are the same ones that Philmont Scout Ranch sends out with crews each summer. In 30 minutes, the tablets eliminate viruses and bacteria. One bummer: Cryptosporidium, a nasty contaminant found in some areas, takes four hours to neutralize.


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