My water filtration system for the Appalachian Trail is pretty simple. I will be hiking in an area that is pretty abundant with water, especially the time of year I will be going.
I only plan to carry 1.75L of water at any given time (unless of course there is a drought or really long stretches of no water, then I will carry more.
My water filtration system for the Appalachian Trail consists of:
Filter: I chose to go with a Sawyer Micro Squeeze instead of the full size. The choice was simply for a little bit of weight savings. I have been using it for a year with no issues. The flow rate is slightly slower than the regular Squeeze, but not noticeable enough for me to care. This may change as the days go by and if so, then I will just buy the full size.
Purification Tablets / Backup: For a backup and to use in areas where there are known Noro outbreaks (yes it can be spread through contaminated water, although it is more common to be spread by touching contaminated surfaces) I will be using AquaTabs. I used them in addition to filtering when I filtered from a very sketchy pond on the Lone Star Hiking Trail and was pleasantly surprised that there was no strong smell or taste to it like other purification tablets and drops. Tip: Check out my article about preventing Noro in the backcountry.
Clean Water Storage: For my clean water storage I will be carrying a 1L LIFEWATER bottle and a .70L LIFEWATER bottle. They are much lighter than Nalgene bottles and if something happens to them, they are cheaply replaced.
Dirty Bag/Water Collection Bag: In order to use the Sawyer Squeeze you need a bag to collect dirty water in. The Squeeze comes with a bag, but they tend to bust easily. I found the CNOC Vecto 2L bag works beautifully for collecting water, even in hard to collect areas, and I swear they are pretty much indestructible!
Electrolytes: For electrolytes while on the trail I will be using Enduropacks Liquid Electrolytes. I was blessed enough that they partnered with me again and will my “official” supplier of electrolytes. I absolutely love them. They are so easy to mix in water and do not have much of a taste except a very very faint taste of lemon which makes even pond water taste crisp lol. I truly believe in this product and that is why I reached back out to them.