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A LifeStraw History Lesson (A Brief One)
The LifeStraw story goes back more than 20 years where the founder, Mikkel Vestergaard, creates a plastic pipe filter to strain out Guinea worm larva. It’s a really fascinating history. Safe drinking water seems like such an automatic. Turn on the faucet, and all is well. That certainly is well enough in most developed Western Nations. In the more remote and third world nations, drinking water is a question of life and death on a daily basis.
My purpose and likely the reason you are reading this review is because you want to venture out into nature to safely drink and stay hydrated. Avoiding any of a handful of bacteria without getting sick is what we are after. And I will certainly enlighten you with all of the outdoor good feels that I experienced as I am in search of adventure and outdoor recreation. With all that said, I do ask you to please not forget the amazing advancements and purpose that LifeStraw is serving on a global level.
Initial Thoughts On The LifeStraw Peak Series
I live in region of the country that allows its citizens to simply get lost once in a while. It’s so nice, and I mean that! Getting away from it all to find a moment of peace and quiet is worth a lot. I can certainly drag jerry cans full of water in my vehicle when possible. That said, I now really enjoy the challenge of a minimalistic approach to running, camping, hiking, skiing and biking. The specifics of the filter system is very similar in all of their product lines and is capable of protecting against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, silt, sand and cloudiness.
I took the following LifeStraw Peak Series products out and played.
- Collapsible Squeeze Bottle Water Filter System
- Gravity Filter System
LifeStraw Peak Series Straw
This is as simple and straightforward as it gets. Small, mobile and a vital piece of outdoor gear that everyone should have while out and about in nature. This is an improvement on the original LifeStraw with a better grip, design and filtration. The pros are numerous. Drink directly from lakes, rivers or streams. It’s super light and small, yet durable with an unlimited shelf life. Keep in mind, there are a few challenges on the flipside. First of all, and this may be obvious, but water has to be present in whatever environs you traverse.
Colorado is blessed with its fair share of streams that cascade from its mountains. Other areas of the Southwest are quite a bit more arid and lack consistent water sources. A second challenge is that accessing drinking water does require the ability to actually be able to lie down next to a river or lake. That may not always be so easily done. Carrying dirty water in a bottle or bladder reservoir along to filter later is also an option. Plus, the LifeStraw can also be attached to most water bottles.
Taking all that into consideration, knowing the journey I am on will ultimately help me decide which LifeStraw product to bring along. For my short to mid range mountain runs, this is a perfect piece of gear. Also, on many of my bike rides, this Straw will be all I need to occasionally fill up my water bottles.
The 650 ml LifeStraw Collapsible Squeeze Bottle With Filter
This is a filter system that hit a sweet spot for me. The pouch is durable, strong and large enough to carry enough water for my intermediate to ultra-long runs. The bladder rolls up around the filter and is still only a very small item in my pack. I carried this along on a journey up and over a mountain range for a 29 mile self-supported ultra with friends. My wife and I also tackled several 14-ers this past summer which usually crosses a stream or two, and if we are lucky, a high altitude lake. Fourteeners are the 58 tallest peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado that make up part of the dynamic nature and beauty that we call the Rocky Mountains. There are also 256 Thirteen-ers, but that’s a book in its own right.
For its packable size, this brings a lot of bang for the buck. Once you find a source of water, drink up to quench the immediate thirst. Then fill up the bladder to carry along for the next section of running, hiking, biking, moto-crossing, climbing, etc. This is also a good companion to use for cooking. In the above photo we were descending back down into the Grand Canyon for our Rim to Rim to Rim double crossing. My wife and I both carried a Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze bottle along.
The Kaibob trails do have a water line, but the reliability that those are working isn’t guaranteed. Therefore, we made sure to have these along as backup. We got lucky, and were able to refill at critical points along our run and didn’t need to use our filtration systems. In all honesty, I would never do this run without it though.
My wife is still a bit hesitant to drink from rivers and streams and I’ve tried to educate her of the process with details of the specific items it filters out. I usually just spout off a handful of 99.9999999% numbers to exaggerate a little. In theory, I am really not off too much.
Here are the specifics:
99.999999% of Bacteria
99.999% of Parasites
99.999% of Microplastics, silt, sand, and cloudiness
In addition, the membrane Microfilter lasts up to 2,000 Liter (500 gallons). At that point, the filter will actually stop water from flowing through.
The LifeStraw Gravity Filter System
This hydration pack is a favorite for the campers, thru-hikers and adventures where a home base of some sort is possible to be able to filter larger volumes of clean water for drinking and cooking.
In theory this is a very compact and lightweight system. Perfect for back-packing, camping and off-grid living. The technology behind it is what allows us all to enjoy these activities. I approve of the durability and amount of water that can swiftly provide water for cooking and drinking. There is also the 8 liter version that can provide for a small army.
Final Thoughts On The LifeStraw Peak Series
In my world, Lifestraw is quite popular. My ultra running and camping friends see great value in the research, the system and simple act of filtering water out in nature. I see the value and appreciate the fact that I can do all I want to do with the aid of a LifeStraw filter. LifeStraw will certainly see plenty of use in the future as I explore and run free. I will however, not forget the bigger purpose that this product serves in the global community. I applaud their efforts in being able to bring so many of us fresh clean drinking water.