If you keep your travels to destinations where you can trust the purity of water that comes from your hotel room tap, you have a pretty limited list of places to go. Once you open up the possibilities of traveling anywhere you want to go, not only is your worldview much richer, but you need to start thinking about things you might take for granted at home.
Like clean water.
It’s one thing to mosey on over to the convenience store and buy a bottle of water, but when you travel in developing countries that don’t have robust recycling programs, or any recycling program at all, you begin to see what happens to those plastic bottles. They clog up rivers and landscapes, streets and beaches. And they’re not breaking down anytime soon.
So why not find a better way to ensure you’re drinking safe water?
The MSR Guardian Purifier is what I took on my recent trip to India. Originally designed for military squads (it meets NSF Protocol P248), it’s a way for global travelers and backcountry campers to treat their water, and it’s also a good idea to stash away in emergency kits.
The pump purifier weighs 1 pound, 1.3 ounces, and packs away into a small bag, which makes it easier to stash in your pack or suitcase. The hollow-fiber filter treats 2.5 liters of water per minute and lasts for up to 10,000 liters. It also self-cleans on every stroke, so there’s no backflushing or filter scrubbing required.
The Guardian is engineered to withstand heavy use, freezing, drops (tested on drops of 6 feet to concrete) and harsh environments. In India, I used it in my hotel room and out on the trail when I camped in the Himalayas.
What can the Guardian protect you against? Bacteria like e coli, shigella, salmonella, and cholera. Protozoa like giardia, cryptosporidium, and amoebae. Particulates like sediment, silt, and dirt. It also helps protect against viruses like norovirus/norwalk, rotavirus, and hepatitis A.
Having the Guardian along with me meant that I didn’t have to worry about making sure I used water from a trusted source when I needed a drink. I plan to bring it along on my trips to developing countries, as well as backpacking trips in the future.