Here’s the rub with carrying water: on the one hand it’s heavy, and on the other, if you don’t have any you slowly die.
Figuring being dead wouldn’t improve my fishing (much) and always looking to save pack weight, I got myself one of those filtering straws and stopped carrying a water bottle last season. That’s worked out great, except for the times I’ve had long walks in or out of streams with no access to water on the way, and on some trips I’ve ended up carrying a water bottle again.
Then I came across the Katadyn ‘BeFree’ filtering water bottle, which I think may have solved the water problem for good.
I first saw one on a Joe Robinet Youtube video where he was paddling a canoe around a lake—as Canadians tend to do—and filling the bottle over the side when he wanted a drink. I bought one immediately.
Of course, trout streams are made of water, usually cold and clear, so why not just drink ? Well, for one, waterborne nasties like hydatids parasite, E. coli, cryptosporidium and giardia can turn a great day on the water to shit—literally—and, in some cases, long-lasting.
*You should check your local conditions if you’re outside Australia
In use the bottle has good flow and is easy to drink from, with better flow than a straw and a lot less awkward than lowering my long frame down to water level and trying to get comfortable. The filtering is done through an ‘EZ-Clean’ membrane that filers down to .1 micron.
The filter does need a little attention in the form of cleaning after a trip to get the best results. Katadyn also suggest that the cleaner the water is from the start, the better it will filter and suggest a lifespan of around one thousand litres.
The BeFree’s come in 600 ml and one-litre capacity and pack down nice and small when empty thanks to the flexible bottle that can be rolled up.