When you are out in the wilderness it is difficult to get fresh water so you might want to consider investing in water purification equipment. This specialized equipment will allow you to use the water that you have available to you to drink, cook with, or even clean up with. Because you don't know what may or may not be living in the streams, rivers and lakes that you might come across, it might be in your best interest to invest in some of this equipment to keep yourself and your family healthy.
The good thing about this type of equipment is there are a couple of different types of water purification equipment to choose from. Your immediate needs, the length of your stay in the great outdoors and the amount of water you need to clean will all play into what type tools you need to invest in. You can invest in a filter system or an ultra violet light system to meet your needs.
If you are going for a hike in the woods and you are only planning on staying a few hours or an afternoon then a feasible option might be the ultra violet system. This type of system utilizes a small pen like item that has an ultra violet light on the end of it. Powered by batteries you simply insert the ultra violet light into your bottle of freshly captured drinking water. Turn the light on for the allotted amount of time, roughly a minute for a 16 ounce bottle or a minute and a half for a liter, and that's it. The ultra violet light kills all the parasites and bacteria that are living in the water making safe for you to consume. However, this type of purification system does not filter out any of the dirt or sludge.
If you are looking for something that will not only rid your water of the parasites and bacteria but also of the dirt and sludge then you might want to get a filter style water purification equipment. This style of system will filter out all of the bad things giving you clean and safe water to drink. They come in a variety of sizes from large base camp sizes to smaller portable ones. Read the labels carefully to ensure you get a filter that is capable of weeding out both bacteria and protozoans.
Water purification equipment is your best defense to ensure that you get the safest drinking water possible.
If you are looking for the right backpacking water purifier, there are lots to choose from.
For a simple individual water filter, I recommend the Katadyn Hiker Water Filter.
For a more advanced and compact military-grade water filter, take a look at the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter.