Travel Tip Thursday: Finding Water
Water. It’s a basic necessity that can be surprisingly hard to come by while travelling, particularly in developing countries. Clean water is key - the issue in drinking foreign water is that our bodies are naturally designed to fight off familiar bacteria. That is, the bacteria in our own water don’t bother us, because we are accustomed to them. While travelling, it becomes necessary to drink strange, often unfiltered, water. This can lead to stomach upset, illness, parasites, and disease.
Carrying bottled water isn’t practical - nor is it environmentally conscious. Say you’re travelling for a year - the average person consumes about 4 - 16oz bottles of water daily. That adds up to 1,460 bottles of water per year! Keep in mind that many countries still don’t participate in recycling - not to mention the cost associated with purchasing bottled water for an entire year. Carrying bottled water is inefficient - not only it is heavy, but it takes up valuable pack space that you’ll want for gear or items you pick up along the way!
There is a simple way to reduce this cost and environmental impact, and be able to drink water from literally any source - the LifeStraw. The LifeStraw filters the water you’re drinking to make it safe to consume. This means you can stick it in a glass of tap water, or drink directly out of a water source - such as a stream, which makes it perfect for backcountry camping! - and that water will be safe to consume, regardless of the bacteria therein.
You can purchase a LifeStraw on Amazon for $18 - already a low cost, but when compared to the cost of purchasing water during a trip, it's invaluable! Staying hydrated is key when travelling, particularly if you plant to travel in a hot and humid climate. It's hard on the immune system, being exposed to new environments, being run down from travel days, and eating new food - the list goes on. Having a LifeStray in your pack is an easy and space-effective way to make it that much easier to stay hydrated. It's light and small - so even if you are a light-weight packer, it's not going to throw you off your pack weight or take up too much space.
There is a water bottle version of the LifeStraw as well at a slightly higher price point (around $40), which is great if you plan to refill your bottle at various sources and have the extra pack space to do so.