Traveling? Drinking Water Safety and Accessibility

January 17, 2018

 

 

Staying hydrated during your trip should be one of your highest priorities. Being on top of your water intake will help your body flush out toxins, keep cool, and even combat fatigue. To guarantee there are no surprises at your destination ensure you have a general understanding of the areas drinking water standards and accessibility. With that in mind, below are several topics to consider;

 

Local Water

In numerous countries around the world water found in taps of homes/hotels is not purified and can be full of bacteria. The bacterium does not affect locals because of the immunity they have developed from the time of birth. Exercise caution as your unaccustomed digestive tract might not be as forgiving. In New Delhi (India), for example, stomach related issues are so prevalent for foreigners that they have a name for the symptoms, ‘Delhi Belly’!

 

Tread Carefully with Raw Vegetables and Salads

On a similar note, be mindful about consuming raw vegetables in underdeveloped countries. Remember that vegetables are likely washed in local water, so even though they appear clean and fresh, the bacteria from the water may still be present. Unless you are absolutely sure the water is safe to consume stick to food items that have been thoroughly cooked.

 

Water Bottle

Invest into a water bottle before you leave. The reusable container can be filled with purified water and serve you for a whole day of adventure. Whether you are planning to discover monuments in the middle of the city or scale a mountain, a quality bottle is a must.  

Make sure the bottle;

  • Is the appropriate size for the intended use; longer days/hikes will require a larger bottle. Most will fall into the 16-24oz range

  • Has attachment points; making it easier to affix to clothing and gear thus keeping your hands free.

  • Shape fits your available storage. Check your backpack for bottle pockets and previously mentioned attachment points.

  • Chose quality workmanship with non-breakable materials (stay away from glass).

 

Portable Water Filtration

For backpacking and travel off the beaten path consider purchasing a portable water filter such as a ‘LifeStraw’. ‘LifeStraw’ will allow you to drink water directly from most sources – ponds, streams, lakes etc. The system instantly removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (ie: E.coli and salmonella) and 99.9% of protozoa (ie: giardia and cryptosporidium). It can filter 1000 liters or roughly 264 gallons before it needs replacement; that's the total allowance of water an adult drinks in a whole year.

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