One of the basic things you hear from everyone is “don’t drink the water.” Sometimes though, you just don’t have a choice unless you pack all your own water in with you, or have a purification pump – so you better be prepared. Depending on what your travel is focused around, brining a water purifier pump with you isn’t the best choice since most of the time you’ll have access to good, clean bottled water.
One alternative to bottled water are is iodine tablets, (unless you’re allergic to iodine) which taste horrible, or a similar tablet solutions from Micropur:
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My favorite alternative is the Katadyn Exstream Purifier Bottle. It’s lightweight, and self-contained, and the only EPA registered purificaton bottle that removes ALL types of organisms, including viruses. It uses virustat technology plus filtration and carbon. Each cartridge can purify up to 26 gallons of water (depending on contamination levels) and the bottle can hold up to 21oz of water. The lightweight, simple design fits into standard water bottle holders. Ideal for dayhikes, international travel, mountain biking, kayaking, etc. and features a carry loop for easy attachment to packs.