Down in Georgia, summer is creeping up on us. That means hot and humid days that can turn easy day-hikes into a challenge if you don't prep properly. The most important prep item is enough water.
The one piece of equipment that drastically changed how I hike was a water filtration system. Before, my husband and I would fill our camelbacks to brim and pack an extra bottle or two in our backpacks (i.e. extra weight). Multiple day hikes were not an option and even some day-hikes would have to be adjusted depending on the temperatures outside. It was a real limiting factor.
I went with the MSR Sweetwater Purifier for the right balance of ease, weight and cost. It's not the lightest system and tablets would certainly be cheaper, but I wanted something a step above entry level that wouldn't break the bank. What sold me on it was this video of the equipment in action:
After a year of use, I still love it. As long as we know we are crossing a river (which we will seek out on summer hikes), we can carry less water in our packs. No ice needed either thanks to cold river water. I was able to score this on ebay for about $70.
We still keep extra waters in the car for our return though! What water filtration systems have worked well for you?
** Don't forget! National Trails Day is June 1, 2013. Find a trail or event near you at American Hiking Society. **