This Month's Gear Guru Question:by Backcountry Bob
A. Although chemical treatments are lightweight and inexpensive they have, in my mind, a couple of serious limitations. First, they impart an awful taste to the water. Second, they can take up to 40 minutes or more to be effective.
The mechanical filters are well worth their extra weight, in most cases a pound or less. They are easy to use, easy to clean, and work instantly, even in really yucky standing water. My personal favorite is the MSR Mini Works. It gets the job done easily, is super durable, and its ceramic filter can be cleaned to 100% efficacy in the field in seconds.
For world travel, virus removal (i.e., purification) is a definite consideration. Our best selling water purifier is the First Need Deluxe. Although it is cartridge style (that can't be cleaned), it is fairly light and compact. I would bring along extra cartridges for extended stays in third world countries.
The best purification drops that I have encountered are McNett's Aqua Mira. They’re odor- and flavorless, and take 5-10 minutes to purify according to McNett.
The MSR Mini Works used in combo with McNett's Aqua Mira is a hard combo to beat.
Good luck—stay hydrated!
This month’s Gear Guru question was submitted by Brian Bain from Easley, SC. Dave Bakale from Stevensville, MI submitted a similar question, also inspiring our Gear Guru’s response. Both will receive a BackcountryStore.com Nalgene bottle for their questions. Enjoy Brian and Dave!