Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Survival Gear Test - The Lifestraw Personal Water Filter

Water is necessary for your survival. Although you can go an extended period of time without food, you won’t last long if you fail to stay properly hydrated. Severe dehydration is one of the most common dangers in survival situations that people are not prepared for properly and as a result, many people become victims of the devastating effects of dehydration. Even if you find a small puddle of water, you still have a serious problem if the water is unsafe to drink.

Even if you find a source of water, the safety of that water for drinking purposes may be questionable and the Lifestraw can help solve that problem. At a filter rate of .2 microns, it will handle most anything except for waterborne viruses. Recent rains left a few places that made an excellent source of water for my test of the Lifestraw.

In order for it to be considered a fair test, a waiting period of three days produced no ill effects from my use of the Lifestraw. No effects from dysentery, diarrhea or nausea were experienced. It worked and worked as designed to filter and purify a questionable water source. The water source looked fairly decent but was still questionable.

It does require some effort on your part but works quite simply. To use it requires only that you suck water through it like a straw but it does require a little effort to get it started. It reminded me of one of those thick milkshakes that takes a while to get it started but eventually gets sucked up the straw. Just insert the bottom into the water source and suck through the mouthpiece. That’s all you have to do to make it work. 

It’s comparable in size to a small Streamlight Stinger Flashlight but weighs significantly less than the flashlight.

To clean your Lifestraw simply blow through the mouthpiece to flush the excess water out and give it a good shake or two. It would also be a good idea to flush it with properly treated water before storing. It has a shelf life of three years (per the manufacturer) and will safely filter and purify over 250 gallons of water. It also has caps that cover both ends of the Lifestraw and comes with a safety lanyard. The lanyard comes off easily if it becomes entangled or hung up. All it takes is a slight tug to remove it completely.

Its light weight (only 2 ounces) was impressive but also makes it somewhat vulnerable to rough handling. You will need to be careful not to bang it too hard against other objects in order to avoid breaking the plastic filter enclosure. There are also no moving parts or items that need to be replaced. It comes in a sealed package with a complete set of instructions for its care and use. Both my Lifestraws shipped quickly and arrived as stated by Eartheasy.com from which they were obtained.  At a cost of less than $20 (USD) per Lifestraw , this is a great piece of survival gear for everyone.

Staying above the water line!



Ken said...

...i got one,as yet unopened...need more,at least one per in the clan,those and purification tabs mean no water weight xcept 'canteen'...

riverwalker said...

To: Ken

These personal water filters recently became available in the United States.

If combined with a good "canteen", water bottle, hydration bladder, etc., you won't have to worry about dehydration. Saves some weight also by not having to carry an excessive amount of water.

Might suggest you open yours and give it a test...doesn't hurt to make sure it's working before it may be needed.

Thanks Ken.


John said...

It's great to hear they're available now. I've heard good things about them, but you couldn't get it here when I checked at that time.

jambaloney said...

great review rw!

you always make sure to cover the essentials, a lot of people get caught up in the unnecessary and overlook things like water... not good!

seems like a good product...i carry the Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier with me every time i go fishing and it seems to work well too.


riverwalker said...

To: John

They've been recently approved for sale in the U.S. and Canada now through a limited number of authorized distributors.

Thanks John.


riverwalker said...

To: jambaloney


Water is essential if you plan on surviving very long. My LifeStraws will be a great backup for my Sport Berkeys...having a backup is essential also.


Josh said...

This definitely looks like a handy piece of gear for emergency preps. I carry a SteriPEN and extra batteries when I’m camping, hiking, etc., but I’m thinking I should get a little filter like this as well. I love the SteriPEN, and I think it’s probably more effective than the filter at taking care of the harmful living things in water, but you’re limited of course by the need for batteries.

Water, and a means to purify it, ought to be a first priority. Whether it’s a filter, a camp stove to boil it, or a bottle of bleach to get you by in a pinch, everybody needs to have some means of making water safe to drink!

riverwalker said...

To: Josh

All very good points.Safe drinking water is an absolute priority.

This filter doesn't need batteries and makes a good choice for a BOB or when hiking or camping in a wilderness area. Works great in emergencies also.

Thanks Josh.


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