H20 to go – water purification for travelers

SteriPEN Freedom“You can’t be too careful” really applies when traveling in underdeveloped countries or even in the great outdoors. Water purity is an issue that has caused 20-50% of travelers to report intestinal problems. Most all of those could have been prevented with a little better planning.

You just won’t find clean water (or ice) in every location you visit, so you need to be prepared to carry or provide your own. Since water is one of the heaviest items in your backpack, the practical answer is not carrying 5 gallons of the wet stuff where ever you go.  Being able to purify your water anyplace, anytime is a far better solution.  SteriPEN is the traveler’s best protection against unknown water sources.

Ultraviolet light is what municipal water plants have been using for over 100 years to purify the city’s water source. Now these huge treatment facilities have been shrunk into a device that weighs only 74g (2.6 oz.)

I was able to test the SteriPEN Freedom model recently and was impressed with its simplicity and compactness.  It’s the lightest of all the SteriPEN models with its rechargeable internal battery.

Simply take off the clear plastic cap, insert in your 16oz drink and stir for 48 seconds. A light comes on to tell you it’s done. Now, enjoy your drink – safe in the knowledge that you won’t be regretting it later.

The Freedom unit is rechargeable via USB, a supplied wall adapter or an optional solar charger or USB power pack. You can treat up to 40 bottles of water (20L) before needing to recharge. The unit itself can be recharged over and over.

SteriPEN FreedomThe UV light and internal lithium ion battery should provide 8,000 16 oz. treatments before needing to be replaced. Replacements are easily accomplished by mailing the unit to the manufacturer, Hydro-Proton.

As a bonus, by twisting your Freedom unit back and forth for a few seconds, a single cell LED flashlight shines out from the bottom of the unit for a few minutes before shutting itself off.

Other models?

SteriPEN comes in a multitude of models depending on your situation.  In addition to the Freedom (described above) there are battery powered units, wind-up units and solar powered units. They also offer pre-filters if you must use water with visible particulate matter. Without the filter, simply strain the water through a handkerchief to remove any solids before purifying.

SteriPEN is available worldwide through their website.