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Water Purification For Travel: Staying Safe and Healthy

Traveling is a great way to get away from it all, whether you’re heading out to the woods for some camping or exploring the ancient ruins of Mexico. Unfortunately, traveling does mean you may have to make some compromises, especially when it comes to the source you get your water from. We’ve all heard about the infamous “Montezuma’s Revenge” but even if you’re simply camping for the night in your RV with water hooked up at the campsite, you may be concerned about keeping your water safe. Bottled water is certainly an alternative, but it does have the distinct disadvantage of being bulky and heavy – an important consideration if you’re going to be packing your supplies out into the bush plus it may be expensive if you plan on staying for very long in a given destination where you have concerns about water safety. Bear in mind that even water you use for brushing your teeth, washing dishes or vegetables is still water that may be unsafe.

Potential Water Safety Issues While Traveling


If you’re going to be camping or hiking in the wilderness where you expect to be able to get your water from a local water source such as a stream or lake – remember that even the clearest, freshest water still has millions of microorganisms in it that you may not want to introduce into your body, whether from animal feces, dead animals or other potential contamination sources.

Mexico, Africa and other world destinations have long been popular for the many sights available whether you’re into visiting ancient ruins or viewing wildlife. However, the sad fact is that many areas may not have the infrastructure available to provide safe drinking water even if you’re staying in a local hotel. You may find that while the locals have no problems drinking the water, a tourist may not have the resistance built-up to combat the various microorganisms present in the water.

If you take your RV or motorhome out on a frequent basis and spend time at campsites which offer water and sewer line hookups during your stay, there may be concerns about the water available. Not all RV campsites are created equal and even if you do have a water hookup, you might be wondering if the water is 100% safe to drink straight from the tap in your RV.

Keeping Your Water Safe While Traveling


Boiling water is highly effective if time-consuming and you might not want to have to tote a fire-safe container that can add more weight to your pack if you’re out camping miles away from a trailhead, for instance. Purification tablets are also effective but may leave an undesirable aftertaste in the water after treatment. Fortunately, those aren’t the only options available for you to use.


Other options for treating water include:


  •  Travel-sized UV (ultraviolet) sterilization devices that treat the water with high-intensity ultraviolet light to kill off bacteria and other microorganisms in the water. UV filtration systems are also available for RV and motorhomes which hook into the existing plumbing.


  •  Filtration bottles which use an iodine-infused filter to kill bacteria and filter out other particles such as sediments before you drink the water from the bottle


  • Reverse osmosis systems designed for RV and motorhome use which operate similarly to the systems designed for use in residential homes.


Concerns about water safety certainly don’t have to spoil your trip – a little prior thought about preparedness can make all the difference in the world.

As a fellow traveler, Justin Krutz has picked up a number of great tips for enjoying a safe and healthy trip no matter where he goes such as using reverse osmosis in his RV for many a road trip across the US.

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gloHoliday Team

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