Iodine
4 Images

Bug busters for water

Iodine
Hikers and backpackers intent on minimizing the threat of giardia from backcountry water can try one of these methods that claim to banish the bacterial cysts.
Iodine
In the beginning, iodine was the chemical of choice for disinfecting water. Potable Aqua tablets purify a quart of water in 30 minutes - and come with a second tablet treatment that strips out the nasty aftertaste. Iodine is off limits to pregnant women and anyone allergic to it, but harmless when taken in the proper dosage. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
UV filter
UV Filter
Municipal water plants use ultraviolet light to destroy waterborne microbes. The technology comes to the backcountry in products such as SteriPen, which claims to purify 16 ounces of clear, not cloudy, water in 48 seconds. Just a zap from the UV “pen” into your water bottle vanquishes the cysts. It takes four AA batteries. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
Pumps
Pumps
Check the label, but all pumps, including this First Need model, should remove giardia. They’re a bit heavy in the pack (some models are lighter than others), and not all have replaceable filters. When they clog up and water runs slowly through them, it’s time to clean the filter or buy a new one. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
Mixed oxidants
Mixed oxidents
Using salt, water and an electrical current, the MIOX Purifier from MSR creates a small dose of mixed oxidants that destroys microorganisms when poured into untreated water. It takes a few steps to create the briny cocktail, and the wand runs on two lithium batteries. (Gina Ferazzi / LAT)
1/4