When hiking over many days the question of water supplies becomes an important issue. Water weighs approximately 1Kg per Litre, so carrying around enough for a four day walk would be completely impractical!
So how do I do it?
Simples! I use a special water bottle called a ‘Travel Tap’ by Drink-Safe Systems. This is a 800mL bottle that includes built in filtration and bio protection.
The travel tap is simply filled from any fresh water source using the convenient strap to dip it in. The lid is then screwed on. To drink from it one just squeezes the bottle in the upright position and the water squirts out of the folding nozzle. It is provided with a shoulder harness which ensures that it is always nearby for use. This can be seen in the photo below:
With a Travel Tap, one doesn’t have to carry a lot of water around and in the Uk at least, can be guaranteed of never running out of water on a walk!
The filter is highly effective and has been proven world wide. There are even reports of some soldiers urinating in them and being able to drink that with no ill effect! That’s an extreme example, and not something that I personally do, but I have to say I’m continually amazed at the type of water it lets me drink safely.
On top of the Travel Tap I always carry two Platypus 1 Litre collapsable bottles. One of these is always kept filled up and is stored in a rucksack side pocket. It is used as insurance, for situations where I don’t come across a stream or puddle for a while.
Prior to making camp I fill all my bottles up. This is a necessity as my Freeze Dried meals require a fair bit of water, plus it’s nice to be able to make a number of hot drinks when at camp.
Filling the 1 Litre bottles from the Travel Tap does take a bit of time, but when one is out in the wilds, time isn’t a problem! 🙂
Below are some of the water sources that I used on my recent 4 day solo walk in the Black Mountains. This should give you an idea as to how flexible the Travel Tap is!
The only real downside with the Travel Tap is that in very cold conditions -10c or colder it freezes up easily. On my last walk I learnt this the hard way. For future trips I will keep it under my jacket!