Best water purification tablets and drops


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Oct 31, 2023

Best water purification tablets and drops

Using water purification tablets can stop you consuming nasty bacteria and viruses when drinking from natural water sources like rivers. Here are the best ones you can buy online for your next hike or

Using water purification tablets can stop you consuming nasty bacteria and viruses when drinking from natural water sources like rivers. Here are the best ones you can buy online for your next hike or camping trip.

Water purification tablets are useful for hikers, backpackers and travellers who want to make sure their drinking water is free from bacteria and viruses. While they won’t remove chemicals or heavy metals – contaminated water sources running through farmland, for example.

Once you’ve purified your drinking water, you can also use it to brush your teeth, wash out wounds or clean fruit and vegetables.

Grab yourself a new hiking water bottle with our guide to the best practical and stylish designs on the market.

Three or four chemicals are commonly used in water purification tablets: chlorine, chlorine dioxide, sodium (NaDCC) and iodine.

Plain chlorine tablets are inexpensive, but may cause treated water to smell and taste faintly like bleach, though of course the concentration is too weak to do any harm when you drink it. Troclosene sodium tablets (NaDCC) are also inexpensive; likewise, treated water may smell a little like chlorine.

Chlorine dioxide tablets are more expensive but have a much less discernible scent and flavour, which is why some people prefer them.

Lifesystems is a specialist outdoor accessories and survival gear brand, which designs its products in the UK. Its multi-pack of chlorine and chlorine dioxide tablets is widely available online.

The tablets come in packs of 30 and 60, so you can stock up – perfect if you need a lot. You probably won’t use them all on your first trip, so it’s good to know these capsules will last up to five years in their box.

Each tablet can treat up to 1L of water, so this pack should keep you going for a long time.

Another popular option is this multi-pack from Oasis. It contains effervescent NaDCC tablets designed to remove microorganisms causing dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera and other water-based bugs.

Just add one tablet to 1L of water and wait 30 minutes before drinking or using it.

These tablets come in packs of 50, so you’ll get plenty to keep you going on long trips and expeditions. Plus, they have a long shelf life when stored in their original packaging – perfect for occasional campers and backpackers.

If you’re after something a little stronger, try these NaDCC water purification tablets from Quest. You’ll only get 32 in a pack, but each one can disinfect 25L of water - an impressive feat.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved them, so you can be sure they’re effective.

Katadyn’s NaDCC water purifying tablets contain silver ions to regulate the dosage of chlorine. It should not only remove harmful bacteria effectively from water, but protect against recontamination for up to six months.

Use one tablet per 1L of water and wait 30 minutes before drinking. If the water is below 10°C, leave it for two hours.

For a simple, cost-effective solution you can buy from your local Boots store, try these Micropur water purification tablets.

You’ll get 50 NaDCC tablets in the pack, each capable of purifying 1L of water. Leave them to work for half an hour before you start drinking or using the water.

Here’s another affordable option available on Amazon. You’ll get a bottle of purifying capsules, which effervesce in the water for 30 seconds. Each one can disinfect 1L of water.

As the tablets include chlorine dioxide, they shouldn’t produce any noticeable aftertaste.

Purification tablets are just one option available to you when you want to prepare clean drinking water; you could go for droplets instead.

Lifesystems has created this clever duo, containing chlorine dioxide, so there’s no nasty aftertaste.

Just combine 12 drops from each bottle in the centre of the handy mix clip and leave for 10 minutes. When the solution has turned yellow, add it to your water and wait another 10 minutes.

In total, these bottles contain enough drops to purify up to 60L of water.

Find more outdoor essentials in our guides to the best survival gear and books.

Drawing on a love of gardening and countryside walks, Alice works across Countryfile and Gardens Illustrated magazines to find and review the very best products for life in the great outdoors.

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