Before starting my first long-term solo backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, I’d read tons and tons of articles on what to bring with me. That’s how I found out all about the Lifestraw: a portable light-weight water filter. I was super excited to discover this product because I was kind of reluctant to use the powder you put in the water to make it drinkable. So I happily bought my Lifestraw, to never use it.
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During my trip, I never went to a place where I didn’t have access to drinking water, even in the middle of nowhere, there always was a shop selling bottled water. So the Lifestraw stayed in my bag, until someone eventually stole it.
Even though I’ve never needed it, I still think it’s a great item to have, in certain situations. For instance, if you’re planning to go trekking for several days in the middle of nowhere, chances are, you won’t find drinkable water on the way, and unless you’re the Hulk, you’re not going to carry several days worth of water. That’s when the Lifestraw comes in handy.
The Lifestraw can filter any type of bacteria and virus, you could drink water directly from the sewers with it and wouldn’t get sick. It doesn’t filter water contaminated by chemicals though. It can filter 1000 gallons of water before you need to replace the filter.
Lifestraw has two basic options: the filter as a big straw and the 23 ounces water bottle with the filter inside it. There are a lot of other brands offering the same products for more or less the same price. I recommend Lifestraw because it’s a super ethical brand. They do a lot of humanitarian work around the world. For each product you buy, a student receives clean drinking water for a year in countries in need.
Things you need to keep in mind before you buy it:
- If you get the straw, you’ll need to bring a recipient, unless you want to lay on the ground every time you need to drink. The straw is too big to fit inside a water bottle.
- If you use it when trekking, unless the trail is along a river, you’ll need to pack up a big recipient you can fill when you get to the water. The Lifestraw bottle is too small to carry sufficient water.
The perfect combination is to get the straw and a regular reusable water bottle. The straw doesn’t take up much space in your luggage, it’s super light, and it’s cheaper than the bottle. You can use the water bottle every day. Usually, hotels offer free drinking water so you can refill it there. It will also help you reduce your plastic consumption. And this way, when you go trekking for a few days, you can fill it up when you find water, and it’s usually big enough for the straw to fit in it.
LIfestraw have recently increased their product range. They now offer the Lifestraw Flex, a foldable water bottle with a smaller straw, you can also get it with a 1 or 3 Gallons gravity bag. They also have a straw that comes with an adapter kit: 2 caps that can be used in most reusable water bottles.
In conclusion, getting the Lifestraw is only helpful if you intend to go trekking for several days and won’t have access to clean water on the way.
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