(By Kate Sedrowski)
If you’re out adventuring in the backcountry, you probably know that you need to filter your water before you drink it. But did you know that you need to purify your water, too? Filtering and purifying are different methods of cleaning water, and only one of them will actually give you water that’s free of both viruses and bacteria and safer to drink.
What Could Be Hiding in Your Water in the Backcountry?
When you’re hiking or backpacking off the grid, you depend on water sources such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. But no matter how pristine a beautiful stream appears, there are many potentially dangerous things in the water that you definitely don’t want to consume.
Microscopic viruses and bacteria could be lurking in your crystal clear fresh water, and these organisms could lead to a variety of unpleasant illnesses, such as norovirus and dysentery. You might also find protozoa in natural water. These single-celled animals can also cause diseases, including giardia.
What is the Difference Between Filtering & Purifying?
Obviously, you want to treat water from natural sources to remove these potentially dangerous microorganisms and make the water safe to drink. You have a couple of common options for treating water, but they work differently and lead to different results.
Filtering water uses a physical barrier with tiny holes to let water pass through but stop sediment, as well as bacteria and protozoa. However, the holes in most filters are 0.2 microns in size which will still allow smaller particles such as viruses to pass through with your water.
That’s where purifying comes to the rescue. Purifiers include chemical treatments and UV light. While purifiers won’t remove sediment, so your water might still look cloudy, the purifiers will kill viruses.
How UV Light Purifies Water
CrazyCap uses a deep UV LED as the mechanism to purify water. This special type of UV-C light can enter the cells of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa to destroy the nucleic acids and therefore destroy the microorganism itself.
Using CrazyCap to purify your water is incredibly simple. Just fill your bottle from a water source, screw on the CrazyCap, then tap the top 5 times to purify in Crazy Mode. This will kill 99.9996% of viruses and bacteria in two minutes, and then you can drink your purified water.
Bring CrazyCap on your next backcountry adventure to ensure you have water that doesn’t just look clean, but is truly safe to drink!