Backpacking and Safe Drinking Water

Those who enjoy outdoors activity are constantly concerned about the safety and quality of the water they drink. Traditional methods are far from ideal and create more gear to carry and more time to spend instead of enjoy the great outdoors! Never assume that untreated water is safe to drink just because a person is in the mountains or in a remote place. More than one thirsty backpacker has greedily quenched his or her thirst with unfiltered mountain water only to discover a dead animal or excrement only a little ways upstream.

Enjoy safe drinking water while backpacking

Enjoy safe drinking water while backpacking using a one ounce bottle of NutraSilver

A Safe and Natural Way to Purify Water

  • NutraSilver®, a natural mineral, kills water-borne pathogens in about 15 minutes.
  • NutraSilver® weighs one ounce rather than pounds for water boiling equipment.
  • There are approximately 500 drops per bottle so it yields 1,000 liters.
  • NutraSilver® is thought to be non-toxic, unlike iodine and chlorine.

What Other Choices Do You Have to Ensure Your Drinking Water Is Safe?

The two major types of water impurities are biological and chemical. Most wilderness areas and hiking terrain are at higher elevations and above or up stream of any outposts of “civilization”. So in most wilderness areas chemical contamination is not a real problem. The primary exception to this rule of thumb is in some desert areas where dissolved chemicals may reach toxic levels through evaporation.

Biological impurities on the other hand potentially exist in almost any water source except possibly right at a spring because they are carried not only by other hikers but also by animals. Biological contaminates may be microorganisms, bacteria, or viruses.

The two most common microorganisms to contaminate a hiker’s water sources are Giardia and Cryptosporidiosis. Chemical treatments are typically less effective against these than boiling or filters.

Water Purification via Boiling

new bottle

Water purification by boiling does readily kill giardia. And you don’t need to do it for five minutes as some literature states. Just bring the water to a boil and giardia will be dead.

The problem is that if you are on a major hike or backpacking trip, you probably don’t have this overwhelming desire to carry the amount of fuel needed to boil water for days. You also may not want to spend your time doing this type of water purification, when you could be hiking or reading. If it’s hot, and the humidity is low, you should be drinking about a quart an hour when you are backpacking. You can easily down 7-10 quarts a day. You’d spend all your time and fuel boiling drinking water for giardia if you had to purify water that way. More importantly, boiling does not kill most water-borne pathogens and leaves the hiker vulnerable to illness in the wilderness. NutraSilver® kills all water-borne pathogens in 15 minutes.

Water Filters

Water filters have been the preferred method of getting rid of water on the hiking trails of much of the world. In the United States, water filters are used in all wilderness areas. They have the advantage of “no taste.”

The other main advantage is that they produce purified water relatively quickly. Once you run the water through the filter you can drink it immediately. The problem is that water filters are expensive, wear out (need filter replacement) and are usually bulky and heavy to carry. NutraSilver® weighs one ounce.

Chemical Treatment of Water

Chemical treatment of water offers yet another option. Many wilderness veterans swear by the use of iodine tablets or iodine crystals. One advantage that iodine has over filters is weight and bulk. A small bottle of iodine tablets weighs only a couple of ounces and takes up hardly any space in the backpack. Disadvantages for iodine treatment include off-taste, discoloration of plastic drinking containers. NutraSilver is tasteless, orderless and is less expensive.

Chlorine, a Toxic Poison

Probably the least effective, chlorine is somewhat unstable, adds some taste to the water, and leaves behind some chemical residue now associated with a small cancer risk. NutraSilver® is 100% non-toxic and has no taste.


More effective than chlorine, but deteriorates when exposed to sunlight, and leaves behind an unpleasant taste, iodine is another option. It may not be suitable for people with certain types of thyroid conditions.

So What is Your Best Choice for Safe Drinking Water?

  • NutraSilver® kills water-borne pathogens in 15 minutes.
  • NutraSilver® weighs one ounce
  • NutraSilver is tasteless, orderless and is less expensive.
  • NutraSilver® is thought to be non-toxic