Do You Need a Water Filter for Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

Having a good water filter for backpacking is essential for any adventure in the wilderness. Without one, you can easily be exposed to a variety of illnesses and diseases from contaminated water sources. Water filtration helps to remove bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from the water you drink, making it much safer for consumption.

Backpacking filters come in a variety of different types and styles. Some of the most popular used by hikers are gravity filters, pump filters, chemical treatments, and ultraviolet purifiers.

Gravity filters are usually larger and heavier than other types but they are also very effective at filtering large amounts of water quickly. Pump filters work by pushing water through a membrane or cartridge which helps remove sediment and contaminants. Chemical treatments are usually tablets or drops that can be added to water to destroy harmful bacteria or viruses.

Ultraviolet purifiers use light waves to kill microorganisms that can make you sick. This type of filter is great for longer trips as they require no chemicals or manual pumping but they do need batteries to operate.

Choosing the Right Water Filter

When selecting a backpacking filter it’s important to consider your needs and budget. If you plan on spending extended periods in remote areas then investing in a quality pump filter may be your best bet.

For shorter trips chemical treatments may be all you need as they are lightweight and easy to use. UV purifiers may be worth considering if you don’t mind carrying extra batteries.


In conclusion, having a good water filter for backpacking is an essential piece of gear that will help keep you safe during your adventure in the wilderness. The type of filter you select should depend on your particular needs and budget but no matter what option you choose it’s always important to remember that having access to clean drinking water is essential for any outdoor activity.