Hiking, camping, what ever the situation you will not survive long without an adequate and clean supply of water. Finding that supply is getting harder by the day as streams become polluted. Even for a short back packing trip of 3-5 days it's difficult to carry enough due to weight constraints. So its important to take a great quality water filter system with you on any outdoor excursion.
Let me start off by saying I did a LOT of research into water filters. Hours of it. They all have various ways of doing what they do, but the common thread was that no filters out there killed or removed everything. First Need XL does. The price was up there but when I thought about it, the other option of carrying multiple products to disinfect and filter water sounded cumbersome. I said to myself the price needs to be secondary to safety.
The problem is this water filter is becoming hard to find. Amazon is out of stock, but you can find them on Ebay. Its also available drectly through the manufactures website General Ecology. They also have a full listing of specs. Here is a breakdown:
Flow Rate: 2 qpm
Particle Retention Rating:0.4 micron
Avg. Cartridge Capacity*: 180 gal. (XL system had avg of 150 gallons)
Working Temperature:33° - 100°F (0.5° - 38°C)
Yes you could take the cheap route and use bleach or iodine along with the SODIS method, but what if your thirsty now? The UV pens don't handle everything, and most anything out there requires a waiting time to work properly. First Need attaches right to my Nalgene wide mouth and I can pump enough water to carry with me to the next watering hole.
Sure, its not the smallest but I have never had a problem fitting it into the side pockets of my backpacks. One filter cartridge does enough to get you through a trip or more. Some complain that it has trouble with really dirty water, but what filter doesn't? It has a pre-filter and every brand out there says to pre-filter anyway. If you are on the fence on what filter to buy, stop here this is it. Have peace of mind knowing that your family's water supply is 100% safe.
Comment below and tell us what filter you use outdoors and how it has worked for you.