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To filter or purify?

One thing we do a lot of here at 4th Phase Water is hike. If you’ve ever done some longer term wilderness exploring, you know one of the main concerns is sourcing water. Carrying a bottle of water or two is doable (let’s forget for a moment how dirty bottled waters are), but then you must commit to a pack, and if that pack is carrying other needs, you quickly become stingy with your space and your pack weight. Anyway, what if you find an interesting path and decide to go longer? What if, heaven forbid, you get turned around or lost? If your hike is any decent length at all, you will need more water than you can carry. You really only have a few options:

  1. Drink the contaminated stream or lake water and hope.
  2. Chemically shock the water with chlorine or Iodine.
  3. Boil and/or filter at the source.

Drinking the contaminated water without worry is foolish, even though many Guides and avid adventurers seem to accept the risk as a badge of courage. 6 months of diarrhea never impressed anyone. That $&!# is serious! Adding chlorine or iodine is an effective way to kill parasites, but then there are “things” in the water that aren’t addressed by chemicals, and what’s worse is the actual treatment choice is toxic. One could boil or filter, but filters can break down in the field, and boiling isn’t always convenient. Besides, none of these address all the possible issues with backwoods waters, which is why many serious outdoors folks use a combination approach.

Our preferred method for a moderate day or longer hike is a little bottle of 4th Phase Liquid Crystal Concentrate, and our collapsible silicone water bottle with filter. It should go without saying, always start with the cleanest water source you can find. While bacteria can be killed off by chlorine for example, we work hard to eliminate chlorine from our normal at home drinking water, so adding it to our wilderness water is counterproductive. The whole idea is to get closer to nature, not further from it. 4th Phase actually neutralizes bacteria, and a whole host of other contaminants you would likely find in the wild. We suggest at least an hour of wait for the 4th Phase minerals to act (the longer the better), and we filter out the sediment that is formed by the natural cleansing process that goes on for a more pleasant drinking experience. Since our minerals get used up based on the source contamination load and time, we usually add double the dose just to be safer. You get more natural minerals that way as well, so extra hydration is the bonus.