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Guide: Portable Water Filters Explained

Lightweight and compact, backpacking filters are good options for hiking or traveling. Most are pump-operated and designed to fill your personal water bottle.

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Basecamp filters are ideal for providing clean water for larger groups with a fixed campsite. Most use gravity to force water through the filter so you don't have to expend energy pumping.

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Clean Water in the Backcountry: Choosing a System

Water Filtration: How to Choose

The most important difference between water filters and water purifiers is that water filters do not eliminate viruses. Water filters rely on either gravity or a manual pump to force water through a filter with pores usually about a few tenths of a micron across. While this is small enough to block bacteria and protozoa, viruses are small enough to pass through.