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October 22, 2018

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Don’t hike the desert without a quality water bottle or filter

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Glass

Do not take a glass bottle on the trail. Save them for everyday use and the yoga studio.

Having a water source is one of the most important tenets for surviving in the outdoors, whether for three hours or three days. To put it simply, water is life, especially here in the desert where Nevadans die from heat-related causes more than any other weather event, according to the National Weather Service. But with so many hydration solutions out there, it’s hard to know which is best. Here are a few tips, tricks and suggestions to get you on the trail and keep you out of trouble. For the sake of brevity, we’re sticking with water bottles and filters that are easy to carry on the trail.

Quick tips before you hike

• Determine your route and pace. For a desert day hike, you’ll need to consume at least 3.5 qt. (112 oz.) of water, or up to a gallon (128 oz.) a day for an extended trip.

• Pack electrolyte tabs, gels or powders to replenish and hydrate more effectively.

• Drink when you can, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Thirst is an indication of dehydration, not a cause.

• Pack as lightly as you can and use the extra space for water. Start your hike early to avoid the worst of the heat.

• Wear a hat, sunscreen and light-colored clothing to protect yourself from the sun.

• Place a wet bandana under your hat and/or around your neck to keep cool.

• Rest when you need to. Overexertion can lead to heat stroke and other dangers.

Find your bottle

BPA-free plastic bottles

If you're carrying your water on a long-haul hike, these are some advantages of using a BPA-free plastic bottle:

• Lightweight

• More durable than glass, less durable than stainless steel

• Less expensive than other materials

• Translucent for monitoring water intake

Platypus

This $9 bottle is collapsible. It is skinny enough to fit in the side pocket of a pack for easier portability and access.

Capacity: 34 oz. (other sizes available)

Weight, empty: 1.2 oz.

Dimensions: 6” x 13”

Opening: 1”

Lid style: Screw top

Insulation: None

Filter: No

• • •

Thermos Hydration Bottle

This $11 bottle is rigid with a straw drinking mechanism.

Capacity: 24 oz.

Weight, empty: 6.4 oz.

Dimensions: 3.2” x 10”

Opening: 3”

Lid style: Push button

Insulation: None

Features: Rotating meter tracks consumption

Filter: No

• • •

Platypus Meta Bottle

This $20 bottle is rigid with a wide-mouth lid and screw cap, making it easy to add ice.

Capacity: 25 oz. (other sizes available)

Weight, empty: 5.85 oz.

Dimensions: 3.3” x 11”

Opening: 3”

Lid style: Screw top

Insulation: None

Features: Collapsible; also converts into cup

Filter: No

• • •

Nalgene Tritan

This $11 bottle has a screw-top cap and wide-mouth lid.

Capacity: 32 oz. (other sizes available)

Weight, empty: 6.25 oz.

Dimensions: 3.5” x 8.25”

Opening: 2.25”

Lid style: Screw top

Insulation: None

Features: Lifetime guarantee; impact resistant

Filter: No

• • •

Stainless steel bottles

If you're carrying your water, but weight isn't a concern, there are advantages to using stainless steal:

• Lighter than glass, heavier than plastic

• Most durable material

• Double as a cooking vessel

• Conduct heat if not insulated

Hydro flask

This $43 powder-coated bottle keeps drinks hot for 6 hours or cold for 24 hours.

Capacity: 40 oz. (different sizes available

Weight, empty: 17.6 oz.

Dimensions: 3.56” x 10.2”

Opening: 2.19”

Lid style: Straw lid (different styles available)

Insulation: Double-wall vacuum seal

Filter: No

• • •

Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic

This $60 keeps drinks hot for 30 hours or cold for 100 hours.

Capacity: 64 oz.

Weight, empty: 26.9 oz.

Dimensions: 4.65” x 12.6”

Opening: 1.75”

Lid style: Loop Cap (different styles available)

Insulation: Double-wall vacuum seal

Filter: No

• • •

Are you hiking near a water source?

If so, you might want to consider using a bottle you can refill.

LifeStraw Go

This $45 bottle has a hollow fiber membrane filter and straw lid.

Capacity: 22 oz.

Weight, empty: 5.9 oz.

Dimensions: 3.14” x 9.25”

Opening: 3”

Insulation: None

Features: Removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and protozoa

Flow capacity: 264 gallons

• • •

Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier

This $60 bottle has a screw top and electro absorption filter.

Capacity: 16 oz.

Weight, empty: 10.9 oz.

Dimensions: 2.4” x 9.4”

Opening: 2”

Insulation: None

Features: Removes 99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria, protozoa and heavy metals

Flow capacity: 40 gallons/cartridge

Determine whether you need a filter

Are you planning an extended trip? Consider a filter. Water filters remove sediment, bacteria and protozoa (water purifiers additionally remove viruses) so you can drink from available sources and don’t have to pack in as much water.

What kind of filter do you want? Most of them are incredibly lightweight, but methods for treatment vary, including water purification drops and UV filters.

MSR Autoflow gravity filter, $120

Filter type: Gravity

Weight, empty: 11 oz.

Dimensions: 11.3” x 20”

Flow rate: 64 oz./minute

Flow capacity: Holds one gallon

Features: Removes protozoa, bacteria, cryptosporidium; universal bottle adapter

• • •

Steripen Ultra, $100

Filter type: UV light

Weight, empty: 5 oz.

Dimensions: 1.65” x 7.3”

Flow rate: 32oz./use

Flow capacity: 2,100 gallons (13 gallons/charge)

Features: Rechargeable; waterproof; effective on 99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria and protozoa; USB

• • •

Katadyn Hiker Pro, $85

Filter type: Pump

Weight, empty: 11 oz.

Dimensions: 2.7” x 7.9” x 8.7”

Micron size: 0.2

Flow capacity: 304 gallons

Features: Good for cloudy water; removes particles, protozoa and bacteria; active carbon core

• • •

Sawyer PointOne Squeeze Filter Plus, $50

Filter type: Squeeze

Weight, empty: 11 oz.

Dimensions: 3.5” x 4” x 9.5”

Micron size: 0.1

Flow rate: 16- 32- 64 oz. pouches available

Flow capacity: Lifetime if maintained

Features: Removes protozoa, bacteria and particulates; attached to standard water bottles; Mylar pouches

• • •

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops, $15

Filter type: Drops

Weight, empty: 1 oz./bottle

Dimensions: 1.5” x 3”/bottle

Flow capacity: 60 Gallons

Features: Two bottles; chlorine dioxide; effective on viruses, bacteria and protozoa; two-part process

• • •

LifeStraw, $18

Filter type: Straw

Weight, empty: 2.7 oz.

Dimensions: 9” x 1”

Flow rate: Nearly instant

Micron size: 0.2

Flow capacity: 264 gallons

Features: Compact; drink directly from water source; quick use; removes protozoa, bacteria and cryptosporidium

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.