Camping Accessories: Why I Hate the LifeStraw Water Filter for Backpacking

In 2005, the LifeStraw water filter came out. It was accompanied by cool pictures of rugged outdoorsy types consuming from puddles. Even a year, later on, there is still a great deal of buzz around the LifeStraw.

I’m not going to reject that the LifeStraw is a cool concept. It is excellent due to the fact that it is:

  • Portable
  • Easy to utilize
  • Can filter approximately 4000 liters/1000 gallons
  • Eliminates 99.999% of germs and parasites from water consisting of giardia, E. coli, and Cryptosporidium

Nevertheless, the LifeStraw water filter just isn’t useful for backpacking for these factors. Considering that individuals in my regional FB trekking group keep discussing the LifeStraw, I chose it was time to compose a post attending to why I dislike the LifeStraw a lot.

You Can’t Take Water with You

The LifeStraw water filter can just be utilized as a straw. That indicates you require to be beside your water source to utilize it.

This certainly makes some issues for backpacking.

You’d need to stop and crouch beside the water source each time you wish to take a sip of water. Unless you are following a stream for 100% of your walking, you will not constantly have water to drink. Even if you are okay with drinking from a stream each time you get thirsty, it is irritating and lengthy.

This looks cool, however, is actually unwise! The business understands this defect and has actually attempted to repair it with the “LifeStraw Go “item. Generally, it’s a water bottle where you put the filthy water. Then you utilize the LifeStraw to consume the water from the bottle.

LifeStraw Go

However, the LifeStraw Go does not resolve the next issue with LifeStraw … You Can’t Use LifeStraw to Get Water into a Container Let’s state that you require water for cooking.

There is no chance to utilize the LifeStraw to get tidy water into a pot or other vessel. Real, you could boil the water for a minimum of 1 minute to make it safe to consume … however, what if you wish to make a just-add-water meal(like this dehydrated hummus)?

If you were truly desperate, you might draw filthy water through the LifeStraw and spit it into the container. This is not something that I’d wish to do.

There Are Better Alternatives to LifeStraw

I would not dislike the LifeStraw a lot if there weren’t terrific options. Personally, I utilize the Sawyer Mini.

The Sawyer Mini likewise can work as straw, so you can get those cool shots of yourself consuming water from a puddle (not exactly sure why’d you wish to do this though).

However, you can likewise screw the Sawyer Mini onto a plastic bottle or the consisted of a pouch. Simply fill the bottle or pouch with unclean water, then capture through the Sawyer Mini to get tidy water for drinking, cooking, or whatever.

Undoubtedly, the Sawyer Mini does have an actually sluggish circulation rate. I’ve just recently gotten the Sawyer Squeeze, which works the exact same method however filters a lot quicker. It is a bit larger and costs about $40.

If you are going to be backpacking with more individuals, a pump-style water filter may be a much better bet. The Katadyn Hiker Microfilter or the MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter. These are more expensive alternatives, however, and the filters do not last as long.

Keep in mind:

I do wish to state that LifeStraw does a great deal of excellent work. The filter was initially developed as a method to eliminate Guinea worm larvae and more than 37 million LifeStraw Guinea Worm filters have actually been provided to individuals in the establishing world,

LifeStraw likewise hands out their items free of charge to the establishing world and a part of profits go towards providing neighborhoods with LifeStraw “neighborhood” filters.

This does not imply you require to purchase an unwise water filter to assist individuals in the establishing world though. You can likewise make a personal contribution. Or Sawyer has a choice where you can make a contribution to fix drinking water issues. 100% of your contribution goes towards their tidy water programs.

5 thoughts on “Camping Accessories: Why I Hate the LifeStraw Water Filter for Backpacking

  1. I read your article thinking you were going to debunk the filter straw.
    For personally I can’t see the straw working. But even if it works. I can’t see my self leaning over water and sucking with a straw. Just seems to weird for me. Enjoy your article anyway.

    1. Bring a water bottle. Put water in the bottle and use the straw to drink from it. Same as if you used a straw to drink from any other bottle or cup.

  2. You would if you were thirsty enough. Plus you can use any vessel to dip water from its source and use the straw from that just like you would any regular straw.

  3. As Keri says, it’s a straw. Get a cup.
    I have similar issues with the straw, because I can’t squeeze the water bottle to filter the water through it, plus it leaks if put on its side.
    But, the water is delicious. And safe. I used to have a Brita water bottle, with replaceable filters, which squoze nicely. (I prefer squoze over squeezed.)
    Handy for cooking, indeed. I miss it. It didn’t leak, either.

  4. The first one we bought we tried it out in the kitchen sink. Then two weeks later on a rather long hike our reserves depleted we decided to use it. It was blocked. Nothing we could do to change that.
    Figured we would give them another try and the same thing happened. Worked the first time and never again.

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