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Gear Review: LifeStraw Water Filter

Gear Review: LifeStraw Water Filter

Gear Review: LifeStraw Water Filter

Taking a sip straight out of a mountain stream with a LifeStraw personal water filter.
LifeStraw water filter on green moss
My earliest backcountry experiences left the bitter taste of iodine in my mouth.  I readily welcomed my first water filter for obtaining clean water without chemical treatment, even though it meant lugging a filter around, untangling hoses, and manually pumping the water.

Ah, but now, with the advent of modern technology, comes the LifeStraw, an award winning lightweight water filter that eliminates all the hassles of a pump.  Take a sip out of any available water source, as simple as that.  Stick one end of the straw in the water, and drink.
LifeStraw water filter Next Adventure
I tested out my new LifeStraw on a recent trip to Bagby Hot Spings in the Clackamas basin of Mt. Hood National Forest.  We backpacked in for an overnight and camped near Shower Creek. The photos are of me taking a sip with my LifeStraw from the Hot Springs Fork River.
LifeStraw water filter in Hot Springs Fork River Oregon
I found it extremely easy to use, and very convenient.  It eliminates the need for a big streamside production, juggling bottles, wielding the pump and repositioning the hoses, all while teetering precariously on slippery river rocks.  Just scoop up a bottle or two of untreated water and then sip it through the LifeStraw whenever you need it, anywhere along the trail.
The LifeStraw is a personal water filter.  Its use would be limited for groups, but ideal for the individual backcountry hiker or intrepid traveller.

Using the LifeStraw is easy.  Take the caps off both ends, stick the intake end (big opening) in the water, and hold it there ten seconds to prime the filter.  Then suck on the mouthpiece at the other end.  It is just like drinking through a big straw.  You have to suck on it a bit (5 quick draws) before water starts coming through if the filter is dry, but otherwise, it flows easily without having to suck like a lamprey at it.

Getting down low enough to drink proved to be a challenge until I found a low mossy bank over a deep side pool.  I would recommend collecting the water in another container and then sipping out of that for regular use.

Just blow back out through the LifeStraw regularly to clean it out.
Don't let the mouthpiece end get contaminated with unfiltered water (use the covers).
Don't drop it against a hard surface, and if it shows any cracks, stop using it.

Weight:                2.0 ounces (57g)
Filter:                     Hollow-fiber microfiltration membrane
Filter pore size:   0.2 microns
Effectiveness:     99.9999% bacteria removed; 99.9% protozoa removed (Giardia & Crypto)
Capacity:             up to 264 gallons (1000 liters)
Cost/treatment:  $0.02 per quart
Manufacturer:      Vestergaard Frandsen Group (Switzerland)
Made in:              South Korea
Shelf life:             up to 5 years

Initially developed as a disaster relief tool, the LifeStraw is used by governments and and aid groups around the world.  For every LifeStraw purchased, a student in Kenya gets clean water for one year.
How cool is that?  You can help make the world a better place, and all you have to do is suck!

The LifeStraw is now available for $21.99. Get one now!
LifeStraw personal water filter available at Next Adventure

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