On two occasions, one being a backcountry day-hike for wilderness cutthroats and the other being a unique situation on Montana’s agriculturally influenced Gallatin River, I’ve run out of water and taken the big leap of faith. And what is that, you ask? It’s when you are so parched and believing you might die that you deem contracting giardia a worthwhile risk and drink as much water as you care to directly out of a river.
I’ve been lucky, but others haven’t . . . . They never paint a pretty picture of their unintended weight-loss programs, and they don’t receive kickbacks for Costco’s uptick in bulk TP sales. Fortunately, none of us have to worry about that as long as we carry a water-filtration system, and Katadyn’s ultra-compact BeFree 0.6-liter soft flask is a great option for day-trips.
This filter folds up nicely and fits easily in small pockets. It weighs nearly nothing, and if you fill it twice, you’ll get 40 ounces of 99.9-percent-clean water. Do that a few times on the hottest summer days, and you’ll feel good all the way down the trail to the truck.
That’s exactly what I just did on a trip to Texas where I floated the Devil’s River with a group of writers and photogs in Oru Kayaks. It was a rugged trip and I have the scrapes and bruises to prove it. Because we were short on space we did not carry much water in our boats. But I had the Katacyn and repeatedly dunked in the river—admittedly in sections of fast-flowing water—and drank as much as I wanted. I do drink a lot of water so in two days I bet I filled and drank from the Katadyn at least 15 times. And to date, a week later, no problems at the pump house! Really, this water filter is sooooooo simple to use and any angler would love to have one. Keep that on your birthday and Christmas lists. GT $39.95; katadyn.com