Quite a few years back when I was in high school, I enrolled in a “primitive” two-week hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains/Shining Rock Wilderness area with a group called Wilderness Southeast. It was quite an education for a young greenhorn like myself far from civilization…hiking boots, heavy backpacks and open to the elements (no tents), and no food except what we carried and rehydrated with water from mountain streams. Water…that was key, you see, because back in those days we used chlorine tablets to sterilize the water…and most of you who ever spent time in a swimming pool know how unpalatable chlorinated water is. Fortunately, technology has caught up with personal water purification needs in the multiple models of UV water sterilization from SteriPEN. The principle behind ultraviolet light purification is ingeniously simple: the UV light operating at a wavelength of 240 to 280 nm starts a disruptive chain reaction in the target organisms’ DNA or RNA, either destroying them outright or inactivating them.
SteriPEN’s sterilization tools are simple to use and several models are small enough to fit in a pocket. For example, the SteriPEN Adventurer, shown above works by inserting the light tip into the container of water, activating the UV light and stirring until the status LED flashes green, indicating the water is safe to drink. How easy is that? Beats the pants of waiting for a chlorine tablet to dissolve and adding that distinctive and unpleasant chemical taste to the water.
SteriPENs are used all over the world by travelers, emergency rescue workers, climbers of Mt Everest, householders, weekend hikers, and Navy seals. No stranger to the limelight, SteriPEN was recognized in 2011 by TIME Magazine as one of the Top 100 Gadgets of our time.
As mentioned earlier, SteriPEN offers several models to choose from, and one model, the SideWinder, works via a hand crank, without batteries, and other models can work with a solar-powered charger, the .
Ideal for emergency safety kits, travelers and other outdoor activities, SteriPEN offers a model to fit your needs. I certainly would have loved to have had one during my backpacking days!