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(The Gear Loop) - Those venturing out on off-grid, multi-day hikes have a couple of options when it comes to staying hydrated: either they carry litres and litres of heavy liquids, or they run the risk of contracting something nasty by lapping a nearby stream or river like a thirsty dog.

Even the most glacial, picturesque brook can be riddled with bacteria, chemicals and micro plastics that are destined to bring all sorts of toilet mayhem to an otherwise perfect trip.


There is another way, as water purification expert LifeSaver has just announced what it claims to be the smallest and safest hiking water purifier on the market.

LifeSaverLifeSaver introduces the Wayfarer water purifier photo 2

Dubbed the Wayfarer, this diminutive device is the only one of its kind to be independently tested to exceed NSF/ANSI P231 standards, a US-based certification that independently verifies the success at which water filters rid H2O of nasties.

In this case, the technology first pushes contaminated water through an "ultrafiltration" hollow fibre membrane to remove micro-contaminants larger than 0.0015 microns (15 nanometres), ridding water of harmful bacteria, cysts, micro-plastics and viruses. 

LifeSaverLifeSaver introduces the Wayfarer water purifier photo 1

Then, an Activated Carbon Disc strips out chemicals and heavy metals such as chlorine, lead, nickel and cadmium, leaving you with safe drinking water that also supposedly tastes pretty good.

Following one UK report, a group of MPs concluded that "no river in England can be given a clean bill of health," with most outdoors enthusiasts actively discouraged from ingesting water from most - if not all - of the UK’s waterways.

With that in mind, the £89.99 device could literally be a life-saver, as it packs clever Failsafe Technology that sees water automatically blocked from passing through the ultrafiltration cartridge once it has reached its end-of-life, eliminating the need to track how much water you’ve purified and preventing you from accidentally drinking the contaminated stuff. 

LifeSaverLifeSaver introduces the Wayfarer water purifier photo 4

Operation is fairly simple, you just drop the 1.3m Scavenger In Hose into a water source, place the Out Hose in a clean container and pump a couple of times. According to its maker, the Wayfarer’s fast flow rate of 1.4 litres per minute means you’ll have filled up your water supply and be back on the trail in no time.

Made in Britain and featuring components that are all BPA and BPS-free, every filter unit is designed to purify up to 5,000 litres of water before it needs replacing.

Pre-orders start from March 30, with full availability scheduled on April 20, 2022. Check the website for more.

Writing by Leon Poultney.