“Water and air, the two essentials upon which all life depends, have become global garbage cans” (Jacques Yves Cousteau)

There is a bewildering array of water treatment gear out there – from steripens to life straws, chemicals to gravity filters – and prices range from cheap,  DIY gravity kits  to very expensive, top end, purifiers.

I’m not going to go into all the pros and cons of each system because there is a great article here from REI which does that it in some detail.  The key thing, though, is to understand the difference between a filter and a purifier: filters get rid of bacteria and protozoa but not viruses, purifiers get rid of all three.  To ensure the water you drink in the jungle is safe to drink you either need to use a purifier or, if you are using a filter,  you need to first filter the water and then either boil or chemically treat it.

As you will get through a lot of water in the tropics, you want a system that is quick and easy to set up – my millbank bag now stays on my belt so I can get to it quickly for this very reason. After filtering with the millbank I chemically treat the water and move on.

Although chemically treating water is a very convenient method, the nasty after taste and the tendency of the pills to absorb water and disintegrate in transit (due to the high humidity) made it less than ideal for me.  Part of the reason for this video is that I find that the Aquamira drops are much better in reducing the after taste of the chemicals than the purisafe pills I was using before and it was an option I hadn’t been aware of.

If you are in Malaysia and want to try some Aquamira for yourself you can buy it through the internet here.  One set is good for around 110 litres of water.

The Stanley water bottle was another interesting product I came across and can be used for anything from making a brew to cooking dehydrated foods.  The wide mouth of the stainless steel part of the bottle means that is is easy to clean (e.g. if you use it to boil rice).    It is not the lightest piece of kit but, as it doubles as both a water container and something I can cook with, it removes the need to carry a pot.  It is also very good value for money at about 10 USD.  The bottle is only advertised as suitable for cold beverages but I’ve been using it for coffee and cooking without any problems.

Now if they’d made it out of titanium, got rid of the tapered bottom and put a handle on it … well, then it would probably cost a lot more than 10 bucks

… but I’d probably buy one!