With over 6 weeks of use on the road, I can now confidently suggest any backcountry or international adventure traveler acquire a SteriPEN Adventurer Handheld Water Purifier , now. The small, lightweight unit is invaluable in not only providing clean drinking water, but also in reducing the impact of constantly purchasing plastic water bottles while on the road.
In those 6 weeks I estimate I’ve sterilized over 50 gallons of water taken from rivers in the Peruvian rainforest, streams high in the Himalayas and questionable tap sources in both Lima, Peru and Kathmandu, Nepal. I, and those in my groups, never got sick from a tainted water source and when combined with the use of other Steripens, eliminated the need for over 300 plastic water bottle purchases. To say the unit has paid for itself both in terms of purchased water and peace of mind would be an understatement.
Steripen In Action
The unit did have some problems in the Himalayas with cold batteries. I chose to bring recharable batteries and a foldable solar panel and at times that wasn’t charging the CR123 to full capacity. Luckily the Adventurer model has a different signal to indicate low batteries, unlike the standard model. After we got this figured out, the unit was a breeze although the batteries still caused some consternation. Boiling water high up takes a lot of fuel, be it wood or kerosene so being able to clean the water without need for boiling is important.
The unit packs away easily and took the abuse of over 100 miles no the trail always stuffed in a backpack, always within reach. It’s important to me to keep the unit around as we never knew when we’d run out of water or where a handy source would be found. I had some trepidation about the constant bouncing in a pack, but the unit not only kept working, the slightly rubberized finished keeps it looking good as well.
Further comments on the Steripen can be found from an early post Steripen in Action, when Kim and I first tried the unit on a hike in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. I have found the unit invaluable to the type of traveling I do, both hiking and trips abroad where the water source may even be a bit in question. If you’ve got a world traveler in the family or are looking for a gift for a friend, I’d highly suggest buying them a SteriPEN Adventurer Handheld Water Purifier.