Our number one necessity as overland travelers is unquestionably water. We can only survive approximately three days without water, so for us it’s at the top of the list. One of the challenges on water was the weight of carrying larger volumes, along with the space requirements. At 8.3 lbs per gallon, and the approximate need of roughly one gallon drinking water per person, per day; not considering the estimated 10.9 gallons per day the average person uses just from their household faucet, this gets out of hand quickly!
Thankfully there’s a plethora of options available. Therefore, being able to store and purify water had lots of potential solutions. Our hangup was the weight of carrying large amounts of water (20 gal. +), the required space, along with being able to pump water from numerous sources, while not pumping potentially harmful water into a container, relying purely on filtering it later. Something about contaminated water from every source we ever pull from being added into a container to continually grow who knows what, relying on filtering after the fact, was bothersome (to us).
This is where our list of possible solutions became razor thin. As diehard DIY people we thought of how to frankenstein a system together that would pump water, pre-filtering, then filtering again several times before storing it in a jerry can or any number of water containers. Credit where credit is due; we happened to be watching our friends and past guests on the podcast, Leigh and Steph of GrizzlyNbear Overland, and to no surprise they had found the perfect solution. Honestly, even then we thought we could DIY a similar system, however in doing the research, Guzzle H2O had a far superior system then what we could ever hope to DIY with 100% confidence it would work after thousands of miles bouncing around washboard roads.
Something you should keep in mind regarding pure clean drinking water. Unless that water is bubbling directly from the ground in the remotest of wilderness areas, you don’t know what might have been upstream that will soon cause you stomach problems. A good quality hiking style filter like we’ve used from Sawyer, for basically ever, is a good basic solution. Rated to 0.1 micron it served us well for many years, however it was never able to remove that fishy taste from lake water… So there’s that. It also required a bit of time to physically push the water from the bag used to collect it, to the storage container as water was forced through the filter. Perfect for hiking, however not the right solution for full time overland travel.
After finally settling on a system from Guzzle H2O, we’re excited to put it to use! Equally excited to bring you an episode with the founders of Guzzle H2O, Doogie Couvreux and Tyler Bech. Who better to talk about drinking water solutions than the two men who cracked the code on a simple, reliable, rugged kit that will pump, filter and purify water. They use the same LED UV-C that’s used on the International Space Station, and explain the differences in Carbon Filters! This is a super valuable episode that we hope you learn as much as we have, while possibly arriving at the same Eureka moment we did, knowing a wise investment now will serve you well into the future.