I have crossed Spiers’ creek many times as a hunter. Each time across, I would look at the cold, clear water flowing beneath my feet and wonder if drinking it would cause havoc in my intestinal tract. An unfortunate event that could bring a highly anticipated hunting trip to an abrupt end.

This time however, things were different. I was armed with a LifeStraw.

lifestraw_rocksI sprawled out as best I could on the creek’s uneven banks and place the LifeStraw to my mouth. A nearby beaver damn triggered my mind to silently warn that this may not be a great idea. After taking a deep breath, I put the straw in the water and began to ‘suck’ the water from the icy creek to my mouth. Initially, it seemed that the water was not going to move up through the straw, but with some mild extra effort (as the packaging suggests), the cold liquid filled my mouth.

The taste was wild, icy, and natural. The way a creek should taste.

More importantly, the Lifestraw removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 7 reduction) and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan cysts (>LOG 3 reduction). The hollow fibre membrane filters (without iodine) particles as small as 0.2 microns. Take that Giardia and typical muddy streams! I had no intestinal ‘issues’ after my creek drinking experience with LifeStraw.

This is the kind of vital outdoor tool that will make finding safe water on remote hunting, fishing or hiking trips much easier. The LifeStraw fits in my hunting and fly fishing packs and is durable enough to stand pack travel between extra ammunition and my GPS. It will be invaluable to me on my favourite trout stream or Algonquin Park lake trout lake. No more ‘dip-and-pray’ or ‘chemical-spray’ water bottle fillings.

The filter will safely clean up to 1000 litres (264 gallons) of creek, lake and puddle type water reservoirs. For only $20 per straw, you get great value for water safety. Assuming you drinking 3 – 4 liters (3 – 4 quarts) of water per day while hiking, the LifeStraw will last between 250-330 days – worth of drinking before it reaches its expiry of 264 gallons (1,000 litres).

In freezing temperatures (which I did not get to try the filter in yet), I recommend that you take extra care to blow out the excess water that can ‘sit’ or remain inside the straw after use. Ice formation in the straw will break the filter’s effectiveness. Lying down to get water from whatever source you are considering taking water from, may not be the best idea. Fill your favourite (wide mouthed) water bottle and use the straw from there.

Go ahead – taste a creek today with LifeStraw.