The only way to trust water when you're out camping, hiking, kayaking or canoeing is to filter or clean it yourself. Water filtration is simple and can save you or a family member's life, as many water-borne diseases are very harmful. The best water filter is one that removes bacteria, protozoa and other microorganisms from the water, so you can safely drink clean water. Some water filters feature a prefilter disc to remove debris, while others simply have a cartridge to remove most bacteria and protozoa from water. In general, a water filter comes with a reservoir or fits directly on most water bottles for convenient use.
Water purification tablets are simple to use: drop the appropriate number of tablets in the water, wait as directed and your water is ready to drink. Chlorine dioxide tablets are proven effective against bacteria, giardia, lamblia, cryptosporidium and viruses, and they require a short four-hour wait until the water is ready to consume. Chlorine dioxide drops have the added benefit of improving the taste of treated water. Some water tablets require only a 35-minute wait time, so you can quickly enjoy a refreshing beverage.
There are a few types of water purification systems. One type of water filtration system is the squeeze system, which features a hollow fiber membrane water filter. Simply fill up the pouch at the water source, screw the filter on to the pouch and proceed to use by squeezing the bag and filtering water into your water bottle, or drink directly from the filter, which has push/pull cap included for on/off functionality.