Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

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Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby edwannatravel » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:50 pm

There are a few options:

Buy Bottled Water
Pro - easy, fast, don't need to bring anything from home that takes up space in luggage. Plus you might even be able to buy it cold.
Con - expensive; environmental irresponsible (creating the plastic, litter, transportation, etc); need to find a store to purchase it

Chemical Treatment
Pro - relatively easy and cheap doesn't take up much room in suitcase
Con - does nothing to improve the taste, actually makes it taste worse. kills bacteria but doesn't remove contaminants.

Filter
Pro - improves taste and removes contaminants along with the bacteria.
Cons - involves some work; takes up room in suitcase.

Boil
Pro great if you want a hot beverage.
Con doesn't improve taste, takes a long time; really long time if you want something cold to drink; doesn't remove contaminants; need a heat source

UV Pen
Pro pretty quick and easy
Con requires batteries; takes up room in suitcase; doesn't improve taste or remove contaminants.

Which option do you like best? Which do you use? Combination of them? Something else, I missed? Does one work better for some regions or trips than others? Thinking of switching?

Me: I have mostly done the buy bottled water route. But am thinking it is time to switch to either UV Pen or Filter, haven't decided on which.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby sinecure » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:06 pm

I've found in some countries "tap" water is hard to come by. Everyone drinks bottled water.
So unless you plan to filter a big 4L sac of it, it's kinda a pain.

My beef with the UV pens is that they don't kill all things (cysts for eg.) and there's no visible confirmation other than a light.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby desiree2 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:15 pm

Hi
I usually stick to bottled water too. If I'm staying in the one place for a number of days, I tend to buy a big bottle and then transfer it to a smaller bottle in an attempt to use less plastic - although, I guess that big bottles use lots of plastic. Bit of a quandery actually. I read that recently the University of Canberra in Australia banned the selling of bottled water due to the rubbish.

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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:30 pm

It depends on where you're visiting and how you're doing the trip. Boiling is pretty ineffective except in rare cases -- you really have to boil for at least 10 minutes and most people aren't going to pack enough fuel to do this. If you're staying at some place with a stove you probably also have access to bottled water in large quantities.

I hate using iodine tablets. I'd rather pack a hiking size water filter. You can get a good one that takes up less space than the Nalgene bottle you'd pump the water into and weighs ounces. Make sure to get a good ceramic filter and you'll be able to filter out bacteria, viruses and chemical toxins. Be sure you know how to use it and observe proper protocols (keep the ends separate, don't wash the "clean" end with a "unclean" or suspect water, etc.). The UV pens strike me primarily as a toy -- only thing they're good for are bacteria, no other contaminants.

I find people are overly concerned about water on most trips. They'll buy bottled water but then have mixed drinks, sodas or fruit juices with ice cubes made from regular tap water. I'll stick with tap water in most cities unless there's a specific reason to worry. If I'm traveling in places where water supply may be questionable (including lack of municipal water supplies) then I'll throw the filter in my pack.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby gaja » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:38 pm

My previous trips did not lead me to places where water supply in general was a difficulty, so there were different options.
I took two aluminium bottles with me to fill up from big 5l canisters bought in shops and stored in our vehicle. Of cause it is causing some rubbish, but less than buying smaller watter bottles every time and I considered it a good compromise.
All my posts and recommendations just represent my personal opinion and experience.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby Zuleika » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:26 pm

Depends on the country and the quality of the water there. I have used bottled water but hate the fact that I am creating horrible plastic waste. However Im with others on here and if I can get a big bottle to fill up my smaller bottle then I will.
If I can drink the tap water I will.
I have also used iodine drops and you can get iodine neutralizer tablets which get rid of the vile taste and I also put powdered gatorade or some such in them to further disguise the taste.
I wouldnt trust the steripen. Filter kits dont get rid of all viruses. Boiling is OK if its for long enough but i would need to filter it too if it was lumpy/muddy!!
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby Reditor » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:25 am

Note that on many Gap Adventures tours the hotels we stay at are encouraged to provide treated drinking water for their guests from a refill station (think large water jug). Sometimes free, sometimes they charge a tiny amount.

The goal being that you can use refillable water bottles at each stop along the way - eliminating plastic waste and the hassle of treating your own water.

If you're on a Gap Adventures tour and visit hotels that don't offer this to you, be sure to suggest it to them.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby georginal » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:27 am

II find people are overly concerned about water on most trips. They'll buy bottled water but then have mixed drinks, sodas or fruit juices with ice cubes made from regular tap water. I'll stick with tap water in most cities unless there's a specific reason to worry.

I'm with Explorerwannabe on this point. I try to drink local tap water wherever possible, but there are cases that just changing the water you drink can give you a funny tummy, whether its officially drinkable or not. If that happens then I just revert to drinking bottled water, its the safest/kindest option.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby Endless Journey » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:55 am

excellent topic ed

the planet is drowning (literally) in platsic waste

and if the water used for the morning beverage is good enough to drink, it is good enough to fill a flask for later

I am amazed at (educated) people who are afraid to drink tap water in a country like Canada, like it will kill them
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby georginal » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:42 am

I am amazed at (educated) people who are afraid to drink tap water in a country like Canada, like it will kill them[/quote]

Ditto with Europe. Something I'm asked frequently. Ok sometimes it might not taste great, for example Spain, but it is drinkable.

Also brushing teeth with bottled water - I don't usually bother. Use tap water instead, (less waste again)
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby Janice08 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:37 pm

On my last 3 trips I haven't bought any bottled water. Granted, in Costa Rica, almost every place we went had safe tap water, but in Peru and Guatemala I used my steri-pen with tap water if drinking water wasn't provided. I didn't get sick on any of those trips so I'm assuming the steri-pen did what it was supposed to do. It can get a bit finiky so make sure you bring the instructions with you and that you have access to safe water if it fails. The only problem I had was near the end of our 2 1/2 week trip in Peru the electrodes needed to be cleaned which took about 2 minutes. It wasn't just the cost saved that makes me a fan of not using bottled water but the convenience of it. In the morning the two of us would decide how much water we needed and then "make" it. It takes 1 1/2 minutes to sterilize a 1 litre water bottle so while one person was in the bathroom, the other person could get their water ready. Saved a lot of hassle of finding a place to buy water.
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Re: Drinking Water-- what option do you like best?

Postby kateyb » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:37 pm

i brought my steripen for my SE Asia trip in the spring and loved it. Never got sick and i even got tap water from pretty shady looking places! In really hot weather you would end up going through a lot of plastic bottles to stay hydrated. I would feel to guilty with all that garbage I would end up throwing out.
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