LOG IN CART

loading Loading... Please wait...

The Littlbug Blog

Your Outdoor Skills: Water Filters

Posted by Written by Esther Drebelbis of Littlbug Enterprises on

The three basics humans need to feel secure are water, food and shelter. To have the best experience while you’re in the wilderness, it’s important to make sure each of these needs are met. While the body can live without food for some time, water is a different story. Drinking contaminated water may not affect you immediately, or may have minor effects, but it’s best to try and avoid drinking unfiltered water. Thankfully, there are various options to help provide clean water while adventuring in the backcountry.

Boiling

Keep it simple, leave the filter behind and try the tried and true method of boiling water. The CDC suggests you bring your water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute to kill any pathogens that might be in the water. If you find yourself boiling water in the mountains at higher elevations, keep the water boiling for up to three minutes (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

Two of the benefits of boiling water include saving weight and space in your pack. This helps create an ultralight backpacking experience while making sure your drinking safe, clean water.

A wood burning stove like Littlbug’s stoves have a reputation for boiling water quickly, making sure you’re using your fuel efficiently, along with saving weight since you can leave fuel canisters at home and use natural fuel sources intead (Check out the best fuel options here!). The Littlbug Junior Stove has been tested to boil water in as few as four minutes, and the Senior Stove brings water to a boil in three minutes. Remember, boiling water at higher elevations takes longer than at sea level.

Littlbug Tip: Some water in the backcountry may not be free of soot or debris. To help keep this out of your clean water, use a handkerchief or other piece of fabric to strain the water through, helping reduce the debris in your clean water.

Gravity Filters

Gravity filters offer a convenient hands free filtering option. After scooping water into a dirty water specific bags, hang the bag above a clean water bladder, water bottle, cooking pot, or other container you’d like to keep your clean water in. Because it works on its own and sometimes takes a few minutes, you can do other things around camp while you wait for the water to filter. Just keep an eye out so you don’t overflow your clean water container.

Some of these filters you can also squeeze the water through the filter from the dirty water bag to help speed up the process. This does eliminate the hands free option, but gives you clean water sooner.

Pump Filters

Pump filters use a pump to propel the water through the filter and into your clean water container. Simple to use, these filters are known to connect to Nalgene water bottles for easy filling.

Straw Filters

Want to drink straight from the source? Straw filters allow you to do just that! Dip the straw into a mountain stream and drink. Or you can scoop water into a dirty water container, and drink from there - you may find it a bit easier than leaning over a stream trying not to fall in.

Trail runners find this as a great option for a lightweight, easy to carry water filter solution. However, when filtering water for multiple people or at a campsite, this may not be the most efficient option.

Drops and Tablets

Water purification tablets and drops allow you to fill your water container up, drop in the treatment, and wait a specific amount of time to ensure the water has been purified. These are another lightweight option. However, it doesn’t allow you to filter out any debris or soot, so refer to the Littlbug Tip under the Boiling header above.

When it comes to filtering water, there isn’t a right or wrong way. Try a few options, ask friends what they enjoy using, and see what works best for you! Remember: When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!

The Northwood’s Best Fall Experience

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting a little chilly, and you may sense a crispness in the air. Summer is coming to a close and fall is right around the corner. And we believe getting outside is the best place to experience fall. Boundary Waters Canoe Area WildernessThe fish [...]

Read More »


Your Outdoor Skills: Day Hiking Gear Tips

Day hikes provide the perfect opportunity to wander into the backcountry without having to pack for an overnight trip. Whether it’s a loop trails or an out-and-back, you can find plenty of trails that take you into wilderness areas or parks that give you the same enjoyment as backpacking, without the extra gear or [...]

Read More »


Your Outdoor Skills: Shedding Weight for an Ultralight Backpacking Experience

We look forward to throwing a pack on, heading into the wilderness, and sleeping in the dirt during the summer. Long winters in places like northern Minnesota make the summer months even more special. But it doesn’t matter where you live. Almost everyone experiences excitement when backpacking season begins each year. [...]

Read More »


Your Outdoor Skills: The Best Experience with the Best Fuel

Wood burning backpacking stoves make for an ultralight backpacking experience. Their compact size will not only save you ounces, but also space in your pack. If your adventure plans take you to areas with plenty of natural fuel sources, you can leave some of the refined fuel at home and rely on nature [...]

Read More »


Your Outdoor Skills: Wildfire Prevention

 Dry conditions, a previous season moisture accumulation, wind, and other factors determine the chances of a wildfire starting. Some areas that have dryer climates like the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest United States tend to be more prone to forest fires. Whereas the Northwoods, Ozarks, and the Appalachian Mountains tend not to worry about [...]

Read More »


S’mores: Summer’s Staple

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the backcountry, car camping, or having a bonfire in your backyard, s’mores make the best campfire companions. Traditional s’mores taste great, but we also love experimenting with different ways to take s’mores to the next level. We wanted to give you an excuse to get outside and [...]

Read More »


Littlbug Humanitarian Aid Project: June 2018 Update

In April, volunteers with the Littlbug Humanitarian Aid Project (LHAP) travelled from Bemidji, MN to Rockport, TX to team up with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) and provide disaster recovery assistance to victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The MDS team included volunteers from Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Manitoba.It was a rapid change in seasons for us [...]

Read More »


Your Outdoor Skills: Weather Wisdom

Mother Nature seems to have a mind of her own. Even when we’ve done our best to anticipate the weather, she throws us a curveball. At times they are to our benefit and sometimes not. Thankfully, in some instances modern technology like cell phones can help you stay updated on the weather [...]

Read More »


Your Outdoor Skills: Taking Care of Your Gear Part 2 - Tents and Cooking Tools

After days, weeks, or even months on the trail, you arrive home dirty, tired, and happy. You’ve pitched your tent so many times you could do it in your sleep. And you’ve done your best to keep your cutlery, pans, and stove as clean as possible. Only a little dirt added an extra crunch [...]

Read More »


While we add value to your outdoor experience, you are adding value to our planet and all that live here. Littlbug Enterprises donates at least 10% of its profits to help care for the Earth and its inhabitants.