SteriPEN: Drinking Water Made Easy
During my Jasper trip I had the opportunity to use a unique new form of water purification called the SteriPEN to make drinking water from the local streams and creeks. This high tech device forgoes filtered pumps or iodine tablets and instead using ultraviolet light to kill dangerous bacteria and viruses, making virtually any water safe to drink.
It’s really easy to use. How easy? Simple fill up your water bottle with up to 1 L of water, press the button, insert the SteriPEN, watch the UV light turn on and 90 seconds later, drinkable water. Pretty cool eh? Not only is it quick and simple, it also does what pump filters don’t do. Kill viruses. Pumps can only filter out bacteria but can do nothing about viruses.
There are a couple drawbacks though. Although the water is safe to drink, the SteriPEN doesn’t filter out dirt particles nor will it clear cloudy water. So, if you’re not apt to drinking a couple small “floaties” or are most likely drinking out of more questionable sources, maybe a pump filter is a better choice. Granted the SteriPEN does come with a pre-filter to strain out the large floaties but it isn’t going to get out the small particles that cloud water. Also, the SteriPEN uses 4x AA batteries. It is highly recommended that you use Li-Ion or NiNH batteries as alkaline batteries will only sterilize about 10 liters of water before dying. Li-Ion or NiNH will do about 100 L. Also, the batteries must be kept warm at all times or the batteries will discharge on their own. Seriously follow these two batteries suggestions and you won’t be left carrying around a paperweight!
Price wise, it costs the same as a descent pump so you aren’t paying a premium for this type of water purification. It’s good because you’d expect these new technologies to cost a lot more but this isn’t the case.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend the SteriPEN. It’s fast, easy and gets the job done. Just don’t be left out there with dead batteries and you’re good to go.