How Well Do Backpacking Water Filters Work?

By Anna Duncan

Backpacking water filters are a great tool for hydrating safely while on the go. They allow you to filter out bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants from the water you find in nature.

This means that you don’t have to worry about getting sick from drinking untreated water. While there are many different types of backpacking water filters on the market, they all essentially work in the same way.

The most popular type of backpacking water filter is a pump filter. These filters use a hand pump to force contaminated water through a hollow fiber membrane or ceramic filter cartridge.

The membrane is designed to only let clean molecules pass through and trap any contaminants that may be present in the water. The result is clean, safe drinking water that has been purified of any harmful microorganisms.

Another type of backpacking filter that is becoming increasingly popular is an ultraviolet (UV) light filter. These filters use UV light to kill off any bacteria or viruses present in the water.

UV light works by disrupting bacterial and viral cells, which makes them unable to reproduce and multiply in your body. UV light filters are lightweight and effective at providing clean drinking water.

In addition to these two main types of backpacking water filters, there are also gravity-based filters available on the market. These systems rely on gravity to force contaminated water through a series of filtration media such as activated carbon or ceramic materials. The result is a clean supply of drinking water with very few contaminants.


Backpacking water filters can be an invaluable tool for anyone looking for safe drinking while out in nature. They come in three main types: pump, ultraviolet light, and gravity-based systems all of which provide clean drinking with minimal effort on your part. With proper maintenance and care, these filters can last for years giving you dependable access to safe drinking wherever your adventures take you.


In summary, backpacking water filters are reliable tools for providing safe hydration while out on the trail or camping trips. They come in various forms such as pump or UV light systems but all provide effective filtration against harmful contaminants so you can rest assured knowing your drinking supply is safe and healthy.