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The Great Lakes have over six quadrillion gallons of fresh water in them, and just about one fifth of the fresh water in the world. They are also lined with dozens of state parks that offer blue waters, wildlife, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails that make it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The water is certainly blue and beautiful, but as with all outdoor activities, it needs to be purified to drink. Lifestraw creates filtration products for personal and group use, and Lake Michigan offered a perfect opportunity to put this product to the test.
I set off for many miles of hiking along Lake Michigan this morning, carrying my typical trail nutrition, but only a Lifestraw for hydration. The availability of the water around here is certainly a luxury, but as mentioned, drinking it unfiltered would run the risk of consuming bacteria or protozoa that result from runoff, animal, and human waste. It’s good to know that Lifestraw is constructed to remove over 99.99% of contaminants. I’d surely need water on the hike; probably not the entire 1,000 liter capacity, but just in case, it’s good to have.
The sunrise on the horizon as the waves fell on the sand was a perfect way to start the day. Grains of sand licked at the back of my legs as I hiked along the shore. The occasional seagull squawked as I passed by, blending into the sound of the sand crunching beneath my feet. I set my sightsto some dunes on the shore, and began my way up. As I made my way to the top, sliding backward in the sand with each step, I inevitably began to get thirsty. I remembered a small stream that passes behind the dunes, and decided that would be my first water stop.
The stream was relatively stirred up from the previous night’s rain, yielding a bit of a cloudy look to the water. I reached back to my pack and grabbed my Lifestraw. Though the stream was just six inches deep and a bit murky, the Lifestraw effortlessly drew water through its filter. Whew! The water was even a bit chilly, making it all the more refreshing. Plus, drinking purified water without adding chemicals that result in a harsh taste is something I could easily get used to.
I continued onward, crossing the stream over a fallen tree before reaching the turnaround point in my run. Climbing back over the dunes, and passing the rolling hills in the woods made me realize just how light the Lifestraw was. It was hardly noticeable going up. My tiring legs thanked me for choosing this instead of a bulky filter. I stopped once more to drink right from Lake Michigan. It tasted just like filtered water should; pure and refreshing.
It was a perfect day for a hike. Being surrounded by nature is one of the fine things in life, and I had an excellent time even though I carried no water. Actually, I had access to all of those six quadrillion gallons if I really wanted them. After the first 1,000 liters passes through this Lifestraw, I’ll get another. Maybe someday my adventures and miles will allow me to filter even a fraction of that blue, shimmering stretch of horizon.
Made by Lifestraw
One of the greatest parts of hiking and camping is the solitude. Maybe this is found under towering cliffs at Yosemite, the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, or along rushing waters at the Grand Canyon. Maybe it’s a rustic cabin off a two-track that forks off from your favorite dirt road, or in a hammock on a sand dune. Regardless of where you are heading, there are times when the pursuit of solitude can result in base camp being far out of reach of a water tap.
Luckily, Lifestraw came up with a simple way to provide purified water for individuals and groups that get out there and immerse themselves in the outdoors. The Mission is a 5 liter reservoir that utilizes gravity to direct water through a filter at a rate of 9-12 liters per hour. At this rate, you can refill a water bottle in minimal time. Not having to worry about hiking out to replenish the reservoir allows for more time hanging out in paradise, tagging mountain peaks, or prepping a meal after a long day out. To make things even better, the Mission compacts to take up a surprisingly minimal space. If you’re a backpacker or a car-camping roadtripper, this is a great way to save space while satisfying your hydration needs.
Wherever you’re headed, move along freely. As a matter of fact, feel free to invite some friends as well. Stay a while and enjoy your destination. The Mission has got your water covered. The rest of the journey is up to you.