Ever stopped to wonder about the journey of a single drop of water? 

From sky-high clouds, cascading down mountains, navigating through rivers and reservoirs before it eventually lands in your tap. But what happens when this adventurous droplet doesn’t make it to your tap?

When you’re out on a thru-hike without access to fresh drinking water, what can you do? At Valley & Peak, we’d like to introduce you to the world of water filter systems. Consider this your personal guide, here to give you the lowdown on hydration in the wilderness. 

We'll also delve into the world of tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment. This is to ensure your next adventure is one of your best yet.

Water Filter Systems for Outdoor Adventures

We've all felt it, the thirst that hits you like a brick wall after hours of hiking or camping. Proper hydration is more than just a comfort; it's essential for health and safety during outdoor adventures. But let's face it, lugging around litres of water isn't practical or sustainable. So what can you do?

The answer lies in water filter systems specifically designed to help hikers and campers stay hydrated with safe drinking water.

When embarking on an outdoor adventure, having reliable hydration gear at your disposal makes all the difference. At Valley & Peak, we offer a range of tried-and-tested outdoor hydration systems suitable for any excursion. 

We're proud to carry expertly curated products from industry-leading brands such as Hydrapak, Katadyn, and Platypus. These cutting-edge hydration systems give you fresh drinking water, and they're super tough too – absolutely essential.

You'll find everything from sturdy bottles equipped with advanced filtration capabilities to compact and lightweight water packs perfect for long-distance hikes.

Some of our favourites are:

msr trailshot water filter

The MSR Trailshot Pocket-Sized Water Filter allows you to have clean water all day, without taking up vital room in your backpack

Designed to hide in stash pockets and deploy quickly, this tiny water filter lets you drink directly from sources along the trail for instant hydration. Easy one-handed operation filters one litre in a mere 60 seconds, so you can get back on the trail quickly. 

At just 142g, the TrailShot water filter is the ultimate filter for fast-paced, high-mileage adventurers, like trail runners, hikers, fast-packers and mountain bikers.

katadyn befree filter system

The Katadyn Befree Filter System allows you to leave worry behind. You no longer have to think about where your next drink will come from. Simply fill up the flask from your nearest water source and let the EZ-Clean Membrane™ do the work. Gently squeeze the flask for instant refreshment.

The Importance of Proper Hydration

No matter how well-prepared you are gear-wise, if you're not properly hydrated while venturing outdoors - things can go south pretty quickly.

Besides quenching your thirst, clean drinking water helps maintain body temperature and supports vital bodily functions such as digestion and nutrient absorption – making sure that no matter how challenging the trail gets, your body stays ready to tackle anything nature throws at it.

Ensuring you are hydrated can reduce the risk of heat stroke and keep pesky dehydration headaches at bay. 

Maintaining hydration when travelling is essential, yet not all water sources are equal. That's where filters for bottles come in handy. These compact, efficient tools can transform dubious water into clean drinking water.

However, it’s extremely important to remember to change your filter cartridge, at Valley & Peak we stock filter replacements such as the Katadyn befree ez-clean membrane™ filter cartridge

These powerful cartridges can clean up to one thousand litres of water before they need changing. Of course, this is subject to water quality. However, if you do the maths that is up to a year of fresh drinking water. 

The Mechanics of water Filters

Water filters work by using tiny pores to block contaminants and unwanted impurities from passing through the water. They operate without electricity or batteries, making them perfect companions for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts.

A popular type of water filter incorporates carbon block technology. Carbon has a huge number of small pores which help capture contaminants such as bacteria and parasites effectively, providing you with quality-tasting water even from questionable sources.

Selecting Your Filter Bottle

When choosing a bottle equipped with a microfilter, consider factors like size, ease of use, filter lifespan (or replacement frequency), filtration speed, and effectiveness against various types of pathogens that may be present in natural water sources. 

Filtration Versus Purification

Note that while most filters will remove large particles like dirt along with many harmful organisms, they're often less effective at dealing with viruses due to their small size. 

For more comprehensive protection, particularly when travelling abroad or exploring areas known for poor-quality waters, look out instead for purification systems which incorporate technologies such as ultraviolet light treatment alongside traditional filtering methods.

Stagnant water provides a better incubator for many kinds of bacteria and parasites than free-flowing water does, that’s why we recommend finding streams, waterfalls, or fast flowing rivers. 

Bottled Water vs Filtered Water: The Environmental Impact

We must also touch upon the environmental implications associated with bottled versus filtered drinking water. There's no question that using a water filter system can help reduce plastic waste and contribute to environmental conservation. But, how does this happen? And why should we care?

Did you know an average person could generate up to two hundred plastic bottles worth of waste per year simply through daily hydration needs? Simply switching to a filtered bottle could save hundreds if not thousands of plastic bottles annually per household. 

Imagine the impact on a global scale. It's cost-effective too: while there’s an initial upfront cost when buying your filter system, you'll save money long-term because replacement cartridges are cheaper than buying bottle after bottle.

Water filters allow you to filter any water without worrying about unwanted impurities causing harm. Whether you're at home using your house water filter or out hiking with a portable filtration device, these systems remove unwanted contaminants from the source - be it tap or stream.

Additionally, producing bottled water involves substantial energy expenditure and contributes towards carbon emissions. So by choosing filtered over bottled water, not only are you making a cost-effective choice but also one that helps preserve our planet for future generations of outdoor adventurers.

No more lugging around heavy crates from supermarkets either; simply ensure you pack your filtered water bottled before every exciting adventure – goodbye back strain.

In addition, many people find that fresh filtered water from the source tastes better than tap or bottled water (especially those living in hard-water areas). Carbon block technology used in most filtration systems enhances taste while removing harmful chemicals and metals found commonly in untreated supplies.

Water Filter Replacements & Maintenance

The beauty of water filter systems lies not only in their initial plastic-saving capacity but also in their long-term maintenance. Unlike bottles which are used once and then discarded, a filter cartridge can be used over and over again before it needs replacing.

Maintaining your water filter system is not a suggestion; it's essential. The process helps extend the lifespan of filters, ensuring that you always have clean and safe drinking water.

Imagine driving your car without ever changing its oil or checking tyre pressure. It won't take much time before problems begin to arise, correct? That's exactly what happens when you neglect your filter. 

"But I've got a top-notch filter - is that not enough?" Why do I need regular upkeep?" Here’s why:

  • Extended lifespan and better water quality: A filter that’s cleaned after use lasts longer than one neglected. This saves money in the long run as replacement becomes less frequent.
  • Better Water Quality: Over time, debris can build up inside filters which affects their ability to purify effectively. Consistent cleaning ensures this doesn't happen and keeps the quality of filtered water high.
  • Cartridge Replacements: Filter cartridges bear the brunt of unwanted particles present in the source water. Eventually, they get clogged with impurities and need replacing to ensure the filter works optimally. Make sure to keep track of when it’s time for a change.

Top Brands in Outdoor Hydration Systems

Experienced explorers are aware of the necessity to remain hydrated. But, not just any water will do. That's where brands like Hydrapak, Katadyn, and Platypus come into play.

Hydrapak: Pioneers in Portable Hydration Solutions

A true titan among outdoor hydration system manufacturers is none other than Hydrapak. These folks are experts at designing lightweight, durable products for on-the-go hydration needs. Their range includes everything from flexible flasks to reservoirs and even insulated drink tubes. With their high-quality gear on your back or hip belt, sipping clean water while hiking or camping becomes as easy as breathing.

Katadyn: Swiss Precision Meets Outdoor Essentials

Moving onto the esteemed Katadyn. The company hails from Switzerland; yes the land famous for its precision watches also produces some of the best water filters. It’s renowned for making compact yet efficient filtration systems that effectively remove bacteria, protozoans and sediment from drinking water.

Platypus: Innovation in Hydration

The third name on our list is Platypus. They are known for their innovation in designing portable hydration solutions with an emphasis on preserving the taste of your water – because nobody likes that plastic-y aftertaste.

Other Essential Outdoor Gear from Valley & Peak

Whilst water filters are a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast, they're only one element of the necessary equipment. At Valley & Peak, we've got you covered with an array of other essential items.

summit to eat camping food

Camp Kitchen: More than Just Eating Outdoors

When it comes to camping or hiking, meals aren't just about sustenance; they're an experience in themselves. Our food and outdoor cooking category is packed with all the cooking equipment and quick meals you could possibly require.

You'll find lightweight pots and pans for whipping up a hot meal on cold nights under the stars. We also have compact cutlery sets that won't weigh down your backpack but will still let you enjoy your food as if you were at home.

You can also discover the best camping stoves from top brands like Jetboil, MSR, and SOTO, allowing you to enjoy hot meals and drinks in the great outdoors. 

A Perfect Brew with Our Coffee Products

If there's one thing that can make those early morning starts more bearable when camping, it’s coffee. But don’t think instant granules are your only option – check out our range of high-quality coffee products.

We stock everything from sturdy coffee presses to portable espresso cups so that even in the wilderness, great-tasting coffee is never far away. Now isn’t that something worth waking up for?

msr tent

Tents & Shelters: Your Home Away From Home

No list of essential outdoor gear would be complete without mentioning tents - after all, where else are you going to sleep? With plenty of options available based on size and weight preferences, finding shelter has never been easier.

1 Person Tent 

The Big Agnes Copper Spur Hv Ul1 Backpacking Tent is ideal for those camping alone. It’s a three-season tent that only weighs 1080g when packed down. 

Hiking in the wilderness can be a refreshing and grounding experience, ideal for those looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with themselves and nature. 

That’s where a one-man tent is the best option. They’re able to pack down small and don’t take up too much room in your backpack.  

2 Person Tent 

Two-person or more commonly known as two-man tents are ideal for couples, those hiking with a friend, or someone who wants a little more space than what a one-man tent can offer. 

The MSR Hubba Hubba Nx 2-Person Backpacking Tent is a best-selling, award-winning tent. It’s designed for backpackers who want a tent that can do it all whilst packing down small and remaining lightweight. 

Ensure you’re extra prepared by checking out our tent accessories, you never want to be halfway up a mountain before realising you’ve left your tent pegs at home. It always pays to have spares. 

3+ Person Tent 

It’s time to turn the screens off and book that family camping trip. The Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 3-Person Backpacking Tent is the perfect backpacking tent. 

It’s a versatile tent, ideal for family camping holidays or thru-hiking expeditions with friends. This lightweight tent is easy to carry and with space for up to three adults and a massive side entry vestibule for your kit or furry friend, it’s great value for money too. 

Sleeping Bags & Mats: Comfort Matters Too

Let's not forget about sleeping bags and mats. Because let’s face it, even the toughest adventurers need a good night’s sleep. Our range of lightweight yet cosy sleeping gear will keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night.

At Valley & Peak, we have a range of down and synthetic sleeping bags. Both materials have their own unique properties, so we have selected a sleeping bag from each range for you to browse. 

The Sierra Designs Cloud 20/800 Fill Zipperless Sleeping Bag is so light and comfortable that it’s like sleeping on a cloud. Down sleeping bags are a popular and great choice among outdoor and camping enthusiasts due to their fantastic warmth-to-weight ratio. 

Made with high-quality down feathers, down sleeping bags provide users with exceptional insulation against the cold whilst remaining lightweight and compact for easy transport.

Whilst down sleeping bags aren’t as good in wet weather conditions as synthetic they are known to last longer, ideal for spring/summer camping enthusiasts. 

The Sierra Designs Shut Eye 20° Sleeping Bag is ideal if you’re camping in cool damp conditions, perfect for all-season campers. Synthetic sleeping bags are a reliable and versatile choice for outdoor expeditions and adventures, offering you a range of features for varying camping needs. 

Made with synthetic insulating materials, such as polyester, Synthetic sleeping bags are designed to provide you with warmth and comfort in a variety of elemental conditions. 

Synthetic sleeping bags are a great choice for those who are looking for an affordable option, as they are generally less expensive than their down counterparts.

The Extras: Little Things That Make a Big Difference

Last but certainly not least are those little extras that can make your outdoor adventure much more enjoyable. Think reliable headlamps for navigating in low light, multi-tools for quick fixes, and first-aid kits for unexpected mishaps.

No one should set up camp without a trusty camp chair to rest in after a long day of exploring. Our blog ‘Choosing The Perfect Lightweight Camping Chair For Outdoors’ is a great read if you need some guidance on what chair would work best for you. 

At Valley & Peak, we hope you now have a greater understanding of the importance of taking a water filter or filter bottle with you when exploring the wilderness. Clean drinking water is a necessity for survival so we should never be left without it. 

We hope you enjoyed learning about how these devices work and how regular maintenance is crucial. Beyond personal benefits, remember that by reducing bottled water usage we can cut down plastic waste significantly.

You’ve also had the chance to see our range of high-quality tents and sleeping bags, we hope this inspires you to look at the other products on our site. If you have any questions or for more information don’t hesitate to get in touch with a friendly member of our outdoor expert team at support@valleyandpeak.co.uk


Do filter bottles really work?

Yes, they remove harmful contaminants from your water making it safe to drink. It is not recommended to drink straight from a stream without the use of a water filtration system.

What should I do if I forget my filter bottle when out on a thru-hike?

If you have brought a camping stove with you, the best way to get rid of viruses, bacteria, and parasites is by boiling the water before drinking it.

Is it better to buy bottled water or a water filter?

Water filters are more cost-effective and have a smaller impact on the environment.

How much water do I need when hiking?

It's recommended that you carry one litre of water for every two hours of hiking. However, listen to your body and increase water intake during hot weather.

What should I take hiking?

A filtered water bottle, weather-appropriate clothing, snacks, a first-aid kit, and a map are all essentials.

Should I buy a down or synthetic sleeping bag?

We think they're both great. However, they both have their own unique set of features so the choice is yours. Synthetic sleeping bags are often more cost-effective, and better suited for wet weather conditions, although they are known to not last as long.

Down sleeping bags have a brilliant warmth-to-weight ratio. They are great at keeping people warm in cold, dry climates. They're also known to last up to ten years with the correct care.

Why not check out our other expert written blogs to become a master of the outdoors

October 05, 2023 — Jim De'Ath