The Best Water Purification Products for Hikers

Loyal readers know that I am forever running out of water on my hikes and drinking unfiltered water out of streams. I’ve been lucky to avoid any illnesses so far, but I really need to get my act together. Which is why when e-outdoor asked to contribute some information about water purification products I promptly said yes!

Although drinking water fresh from the stream can make you feel one with nature, unfortunately there are risks of bacteria such as e-coli or even viruses being present. There’s a general rule of thumb, that the higher elevation you travel at, the safer the water will be, this is because there’s a significantly less human traffic and less chance of grazing cattle nearby. The problem with this though, is that you can never be truly sure if the water’s safe. Here are a few of the best products available, which will help to ensure you never put yourself at risk.

I love how his legs are splayed out in this pic

The LifeSaver Bottle: 4000 UF model RRP: £118.99, 6000 UF model RRP £161.99

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 The LifeSaver bottle made a huge splash when it was first revealed, with the initial stock selling out after just four hours. The product was inspired by the events of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, as a way to provide safe drinking water to those affected by the disasters. The LifeSaver bottle can filter out objects bigger than fifteen nanometers as well as purify the water through a pump-based system. It comes in two sizes, with the smaller of the two promising to treat up to 4,000 litres of water and the larger up to 6,000 litres. They both use replaceable filters and incorporate a failsafe technology that ensures you’ll never drink untreated water.

SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Handheld Water Purifier: RRP £114.99

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The SteriPEN purifier works by using a UV light to kill of anything nasty in the water. SteriPEN claim you can clean up to 100 litres with the four AA batteries needed to power the light. The bulb, which has a 2400 litre limit, will also need to be replaced via the manufacturer. The real benefit to the SteriPEN is that it takes about a minute to clear half a litre of water, which is much faster than other methods of purification such as chlorine or iodine tablets. Bear in mind that, unlike the LifeSaver bottle, this is a purifier only and won’t filter the water from any dirt or solids. The SteriPEN is ideal for hikers picking up clear water from a stream and it’s also useful for those visiting countries abroad where the tap water may be questionable. Take a look at e-outdoor for more SteriPEN products.

McNett Aquamira Water Purification Tablets 24-pack: RRP £29.99

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For hikers who want to cut down on any excess weight, then bringing along purification tablets might be the best option for you. This is a cheaper alternative to the handheld system, and this method will still eliminate any viruses present in the water. Chlorine dioxide-based tablets like these have proven to be safer to the human body than iodine-based tablets for extended use. Unfortunately, the prolonged treatment period of the tablets means you’ll have to wait a little longer before you can take a safe drink – and this can be an especially frustrating experience if you’re feeling thirsty on a long hike. Another downside to this is that by adding chemicals to your drinking water it will affect the taste – luckily there are also neutralising tablets available to help counteract this. If you’re certain that there will be a consistent water supply on your route, then this is a great way to reduce the weight of carrying lots of water for your journey.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the game, water purification products are a safe investment. Consider which one best suits your needs and stay safe on your next outdoor adventure.

Water break on the way down. You can tell by the look on my face that I was not happy

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Old School Pinning

I’ve recently become obsessed with Pinterest. But the problem is that I find all these inspirational pictures, quotes and articles, pin them and never really go back to them again. I’ve been CRAVING a creative outlet like crazy as my work is kind of dry so I decided to be old school and bust out the scissors and glue for an inspiration notebook.

The notebook is where I paste magazine and printed pictures I love whether they are nature, outfits, or just something that catches my eye.

I paste articles that inspire me and write in quotes that I love. I also write little notes to myself of what I’m feeling at that moment.

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I love using this book more than journaling because it’s a visual representation of what I’m feeling instead of a written. And there is nothing I love more than cutting and pasting things like I’m back in elementary school. I take  it with me to meetings and when I need a quick escape I’ll flip through and immediately feel reconnected to myself.

I encourage you all to bust out the scissors and glue and create a notebook that inspires you.

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Learning a New Sport? Stick With it!

Long-time readers know that I took up softball a couple years ago and it didn’t exactly go very well. I fell and scraped my leg at my first game, a couple years later I tripped and got a bloody nose,  I missed every ball that came my was.  I frustrated a lot of team mates, Ryan, and myself but I stuck with it because I was determined to have a sport again.

Two of my friends Lisa & Michelle  started playing around the same time as me and we all struggled to get the hang of the sport but this year something finally clicked and we started catching better, hitting well, and making smarter plays.

At our league tournament a few months ago we talked about how much we improved because of our sheer determination and refusal to quit. We all put up with a lot of flak from team mates and frustration but we persevered. I’m not saying we are now top players but we can hold our own now.

Lisa and I! :)

Lisa and I! :)

Are you trying to curl but keep falling while you sweep? Or did you join a golf or softball league and feel like the worst player ever? Here are some tips for sticking to it and persevering:

Have a Cheerleader

I would never have stuck with softball if I didn’t have Ryan there encouraging me and telling me to relax and ignore mistakes.  There were times I knew he was frustrated but he always tried to stay positive which made it easier for me to stick with it.

My cheerleader. :)

My cheerleader. :)

Buy the Equipment

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but don’t you feel more like an athlete when you have the gear? You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on equipment, but getting your own stuff not only makes you feel like you belong but now you’re financially invested in the sport.

Practice privately

When you are trying to learn a team sport, there is no worse feeling than letting your teammates down. Practice on your own with a few trusted friends so the pressure is off.

Don’t Be Competitive

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely competitive. So being in a competition of any sort and not performing well made me so angry! You can’t think like that, you’re in a rec sport having fun with your friends. Tell that competitive demon to go away.

Set a Goal for Yourself

Maybe you want to learn to spike in your adult rec volleyball league. Or you want to be able to do some fancy move in tennis. Just like running and working out, setting goals give you a laser like focus anmd an achievement to work toward. Once you achieve that goal, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Have Fun

I didn’t have fun playing softball until my third year of playing. I enjoyed the socializing part, but actually playing was so stressful, I would get butterflies in my stomach when I was up to bat. But in that third year when I relaxed a little and had fun it made the experience so much better.

 

Softball ladies!

Softball ladies!

6 Reasons to Get a Stand Up Desk

It has been a couple of months since I started standing at work with my Varidesk station. I had to lobby for almost a year for this and was so happy when it finally came.

The Varidesk station was an awesome option because it cost $450 (versus $1500 for a motorized option) and has the ability to go from standing to sitting. The cheap stand up desk hacks you find online don’t give you the sitting option and you’ll really want that option. I also purchased a special standing mat for $60 which is essential to prevent achy feet.

On mornings where I’m really tired or after lunch I need to sit down which is why having the sitting option is so great. It takes me 2 seconds to put the desk down and pull up a chair.

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Reasons I love the Stand Up Desk

Reduces Upper Back pain- A Lot!

My chronic upper back pain has been almost complete eliminated since standing. It used to be really extreme and make I love it! I have found that standing for the majority of the day has eliminated my upper back pain, which was pretty extreme.

No More Tingly Butt

My butt thanks me greatly for getting off it during the day! You know how at the end of the day your butt feels tingly and sore? That’s lack of circulation! I’m also avoiding the dreaded office worker’s flat butt!

More Alert

I leave the office feeling more like a human being and less like a zombie. When I used to sit all day I would leave the office in a daze, my eyes dry and sore and my brain fuzzy. My stand up desk has made that dead feeling go away.

Don’t Need as Much Coffee

I used to drink 6 cups of coffee a day to stay alert and awake throughout the day. Now that I’m standing I have a cup in the morning and sip green tea during the day if I want something hot to drink. Standing all day keeps you more aturally awake so you don’t need as much caffeine.

You can’t sit for long periods at a time

I look at this as a good thing but when you get out of the habit of sitting all day sitting for longer than an hour becomes torture. Your butt hurts, your legs need to be stretched, long plane rides suck.

The best part of the stand up desk?

Dancing! You get to dance while you work, how perfect is that?

Down sides of a stand up desk

Now it’s definitely not perfect there are some downsides to standing up.

Must watch posture

Like I said, my upper back pain is completely gone because I don’t have to hunch over but I do have issues with lower back on days I don’t pay attention and lean against the desk and stick my butt out. I have to make sure I keep that big booty of mine tucked in.

You have to take your heels off

There is no way you can stand all day in heels. Not possible. But it is a bit of a pain in the butt to have to take your shoes on and off as you leave your desk for things. I spent this summer in flats and I’m buying more flat boots for the winter.

Expectations of co-workers

Because HR paid for my stand up desk I feel a lot of pressure to stand all the time. Sometimes I’ll be tired and want to sit but I opt to stand instead because I’m worried people will think I wasted money.

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Conclusion

I think the standing/sitting desk is the solution to our society’s sitting problem. It allows flexibility based on mood and you simply feel more human when you stand all day! Like anything there are a few downsides, but the upsides make up for it.