It used to be that the thought of relying on any electronics in the backcountry would make my hands sweat—the list of what ifs inducing mild panic. But these days manufacturers have dependability down to a science. Enter SteriPEN, who pioneered UV water disinfection for backpackers and travelers.
These things are about as fool proof as any form of backpacking water treatment comes. Turn it on, dip it in your water bottle, and wait for the light to go out. They’re built waterproof, tough, and designed to last.
Here are some SteriPEN directions from a SteriPEN expert:
Bring a couple extra batteries, the SteriPEN prefilter and you’re good to go, whether you’re heading into the backcountry or to a third-world country. No laborious pumping, no waiting for anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours for chemicals to work—just safe, clean drinking water right away.
And unlike normal backpacking water filters, this thing will kill bugs of any size or type, not limited by the size in microns of the filter element.
So if you’ve been a technophobe holdout like me, give the SteriPEN a chance, for safe drinking water fast, it can’t be beat!
For those in the field most often, the SteriPEN Classic and the SteriPEN Freedom will sterilize up to 8,000 liters. Most people won’t require this much field use, but over time, the avid outdoor adventurer will. The Freedom won’t fit in the neck of a standard drinking water bottle – not only the stem needs to touch water, but the actual UV lamp bulbs at the base of it – but works well with wider mouthed bottles. So if you’re fond of wasteful plastic water bottles, go with either the Classic or the Traveler. Also, please consider upgrading your style to some sort of reusable water bottle so we can better preserve this lovely planet for our children. One super cool thing about the Freedom is it also comes as a SteriPEN Solar Bundle Pack that includes a mini solar panel and USB port to recharge your PEN.
Those traveling through regions with less safe drinking water may want to consider picking up a SteriPEN Traveler. It does 3,000 liters on a single UV lamp and is discrete enough to swirl around in your glass at a restaurant without offending anyone (if you worry about that kind of thing).
SteriPEN Traveler Portable UV Water Purifier