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Water Purifier or Water bottle

2 posts
1 review
Water Purifier or Water bottle

I am going on a trip for a year month to India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Australia, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. (There is a chance that I wont get to South America)

I want to know if it is better to take a water purifier or just buy bottle of water

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
3,668 posts
105 reviews
1. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

In India, Nepal and South East Asia you can buy bottles of drinking water cheaply everywhere. In India always buy from shops qnd never from small kids. The kids make money by finding discarded bottles and refilling them with tap water which will make you very ill if you drink it. In India and Nepal never drink the " drinking water" from large stainless steel jugs on restaurant tables. This is usually only local tap water which the locals are accustomed to drinking but will make you sick. Always buy a bottle of water and make sure the top and the seal are intact BEFORE you drink any. In places such as Thailand you can buy drinking water in huge bucket sized bottles too which is what small restaurants use as their free drinking water. This is OK to drink. Thailand and Malaysia also have machines in the street in some places where if you have a bottle you can refill it with filtered water for just a few small coins. This is much cheaper than buying in a shop. Water in Singapore is drinkable out of the taps. Water in Australia is drinkable from the taps.

I don' t know about South American places because I have never been there. I always used to carry a water bottle on all travels in Asia until about 15 years ago with some Iodine drops to purify local water but now I would only do this if I was trekking because bottled water is available most places.

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
3,668 posts
105 reviews
2. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

A useful style of water bottle I had before was called Platypus. It was made of a clear plastic that squashed down flat when empty and so saved space and weight in luggage. Sort of like intravenous drip bags used in hospitals. Easier to carry than the hard plastic army style water bottles or the aluminium ones from camping shops.

Level Contributor
1 post
48 reviews
3. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

Good post. I've been using platypus bladder-type bottles for years, one of my stock items for any trip. Puritabs are a good water steriliser if you're ever in doubt. I used them with river water from the Marsyandi in Nepal and was fine. Otherwise drink tea when you can.

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
3,668 posts
105 reviews
4. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

Yes in Nepal and in India you can buy tea everywhere. It is not like English style tea however. It is called Chai and it is brewed up in a huge saucepan to which is added lots of sugar, powdered milk, cardomom pods, cinamon etc and after boiling it for ages it is sometimes further mixed by throwing it from one metal container to another, before being strained through a net that sometimes resembles an old sock ! It tastes great though but not like the tea we are used to in the west.

If you want tea where you can mix the milk and sugar yourself you have to ask for " tray tea" which is usually more expensive because it is not mass produced for loads of customers. If you want black tea you can ask for Kala Chai. ( or in Nepal Kalo Cha ). No sugar is " Chinni nahi " in Hindi. When you are on bus journeys in India and Nepal there will be frequent " Chai stops" at little shacks so everyone can stretch their legs, have a tea or use the toilet( usually the hole in the ground types ).

You can also buy soft drinks like Coke, Fanta, etc but often have to return the bottle as soon as you have drunk it so they can be returned for the deposit. In Nepal there is also Tibetan tea which does not taste like tea at all because it is made with salty yak butter instead of milk. Interesting to try but do not expect it to be anything like PG Tips !

In Thailand and Malaysia iced tea and iced coffee are also quite popular. In Thailand iced tea is called "Cha yen" and iced coffee is " Cafay yen". In Malaysia they are called " Teh Ais" and " Kopi Ais"

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
16 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

Check out the steripen. It's a small "wand" that you stir in your drink and it kills all of the bacteria in the water.

I believe camelbak might have one that is built into the actual bottle.

Kerala, India
Level Contributor
11 posts
220 reviews
6. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

I am an Indian national, I prefer using a water purifier bottle, Because in some places of attraction plastic water bottles due to some environmental issues, not only that almost all the branded water bottles available in India is not much reliable like what they mentioned on the bottle.

Angola, Louisiana
Level Contributor
3 posts
106 reviews
7. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

I use the Sawyer water purification systems and have had no issues. It is a filter system that will remove bacteria, protazoa, and cysts from the water and is rated to be able to treat 1,000,000 gallons. There are several versions, it is a very flexible system. I have one that fits in its own water bottle, or can be removed to filter straight from a tap or set in line in a Camel Back. There are small, "squeeze" versions that attach to collapsible Platypus style water bottles. These cost about $20 USD, are very small/light weight, and they even sale them at Walmart. Some of the set ups can be a bit pricey, as well as the version that will filter viruses as well. It you do use a Sawyer water filter, keep it in you carry on when flying...after use it has to be protected from freezing.

The Sawyer filters only filter biological matter, not chemicals. Aquamira has a line of straws that are loaded with activated charcoal that can filter out chemicals, but you will need to carry several (they are rates for 50 gallons each).

The Steripen will work, but it is UV based. Some cysts may be able to resist UV light. Also, the liquid has to be clear to work...you can use it to treat the water for lemonade but not the lemonade itself. Plus, you have to keep it charged and/or in batteries.

A couple of years ago I wondered if the different systems really were working and which was best. I bought some Petri dishes off of Amazon and ran duck pond water through different filters or treated them with various chemicals. I then dabbed the water on the Petri dishes and waited to see what came out. The Sawyer and a monolithic ceramic filter did the best, out performing the Katadyn and other expensive filters. I would not suggest a ceramic filter for traveling, though.

Canton, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Ohio, Garden City Beach, Surfside Beach
Level Contributor
3,970 posts
285 reviews
8. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

Wayne D, Did you happen to test the Berkey Bottle filters? amazon.com/Berkey-Sport-Bottle-Portable-Puri…

I have these but have not tested with petri dishes.

Somewhere on the...
Level Contributor
208 posts
113 reviews
9. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

I owned Siegg bottle for years but someone told me that secret police would pee in the water bottles, and I threw it in the river in Belgrade and never bought a metal water bottle again.

Someone could spit on the water bottle while you are away from it!

I have a plastic rollerable and see-through water pack, but I don't really use it. Instead, I carry the portable cooking oven and the small solo cooking camp kit for boiling water at hotel rooms. It helps to get a cup of tea in my room besides buying the cool aids and water from the shops.

Colorado Springs...
Level Contributor
44 posts
201 reviews
10. Re: Water Purifier or Water bottle

I've traveled fairly extensively in the middle east...so not exactly where you are going...but I've found that bottled water is always available - even in war-torn areas. Unfortunately, that leads to lots of litter (of course not ours!). I find that when bottled water isn't available, some sort of soda is. So manufactured drinks come in second place...then of course the next best are locally made drinks (tea, chai, etc.) that are prepared for you and probably boiled first. Next, I would use purification tablets. These take up much less space than filters. Enjoy your trip!