Monday, February 05, 2007

Water Purification for Travelers

In the February 2007 issue of Conde Nast Traveler there's a pretty good rundown of the foreign drinking water situation for travelers. They give the lowdown on how and where the drinking water is dicey. They rate six different options that can help you get over the environmentally disastrous practice of chugging water out of plastic disposable bottles. (Most developing countries have no means to recycle them, so you're just adding to the local litter problem.)

Unfortunately, as often happens with glossy magazine articles that get posted online, the graphics are missing. In this case there was a very important "how to purify your water" graphic that was omitted. This makes the online article a lot like the Inconvenient Truth documentary---thanks for scaring me half to death, but what do I do now?

The suggestions were a bit odd anyway in some areas. The writer mentions iodine tablets, but not MicroPur---which tastes better and kills more to boot. Household bleach was mentioned, which seems a bit risky. Who's going to properly measure four drops per quart? There's a pump, but not the more traveler-friendly items like the water bottle purifiers. There's the Solar Cookers AquaPak though (pictured here), which I hadn't run across before. Pretty cool if it works: it's only $20.

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