Sustainable Travel Tips: Filtering Your Own Drinking Water

By Crooked Trails co-founder Chris MackaySteripen Nalgene

For well over a decade now I have been bringing my own water filter with me when I travel. And I am still surprised at how many strange looks I get when I walk up to a local water source and fill it on up! Tourists look at me as if I am asking for a one night stand with the porcelain king and locals just look on in amazement. But the truth is, it’s so easy and it makes a huge positive environmental impact.

I have shared my favorite water purification/filters in the gear review section, but let me explain here how much easier it makes traveling. When I wake up in a foreign place, whether in a hotel, a hostel or at a homestay, I get my water bottle and fill it with whatever water I can get. I whip out my SteriPEN and zap the water clean in a fast 90 seconds. Then I simply carry my water bottle with me throughout the day. Rather than buying bottled water on the run I have it ready to go wherever I am, and whenever I am thirsty. In restaurants, I simply take the glass they have on the table and pour my filtered water into it so I don’t have this awkward water bottle sitting on the table, although I have been known to do that as well. If I run out of water at the restaurant I simply ask the server to fill my water bottle with tap water or do it myself in the bathroom and then zap it again.

I can’t describe how liberating it is to always have clean water. Imagine at the end of a long hot day touring around, it’s late and you are at your hotel and you are just changing and relaxing and getting ready to lay down when you realize you don’t have any water to drink. It’s happened to everyone once or twice and it’s awful. If you have a way to treat your own water you always have clean water at all times; no late night runs to try to buy bottled water.

And best of all, there is no waste. Plastic water bottles are a major source of pollution in developing countries where recycling is not available. Water bottles are washing up on riverbeds and beaches around the world. And in some places I go, the water offered to me was boiled to clean it. That involves using either wood or propane, which are in short supply in many areas.  Stop the mess, make life easy, save yourself a lot of money and time and simply bring your own easy to use water purification/ filtration system.

Click here to view 3 Great Options for Treating Drinking Water

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3 Comments on “Sustainable Travel Tips: Filtering Your Own Drinking Water”

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Travel Tips: Filtering Your Own Drinking Water | Time Traveler and Travel Tips Online

  2. Thanks for your story! It’s definitely a great idea to have some way of filtering your water if you’re in an area where the drinking water is suspect. It’s not worth risking days of sickness!

  3. I think that health is wealth. I also believe that we should learn to filter our own water especially when we are travelling or we are in a different place.Thanks for sharing this.

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