Avoiding Giardia when travelling

For a coffee drinker, I seem to have amassed a surprisingly large quantity of water bottles. There’s the overpriced London 2012 souvenir one, the one which came free with my backpack, the small circular one I carry when running, and a few more lying around. My newest acquisition is by far my favourite.

Purchased on a whim the week I left for a long-awaited trip to Kyrgyzstan, Water-to-Go’s product turned out to be a very good buy. Much as I love that part of the world, Central Asia isn’t exactly renowned for the quality of its drinking water; and plumbing is far from universal. Vodka is available pretty much everywhere, but bottled water can be hard to find in many areas. Safe, sober hydration can sometimes be a problem.

portable filter bottle for gap yearsHaving experienced the joys of giardia while travelling in Tajikistan (great for weight loss, otherwise quite unpleasant), I decided it might be a good idea to buy a water filter. Kyrgyzstan is a land of mountains (the so-called “Switzerland of Central Asia” but with headless goat polo instead of yodelling, and horse-intestine-pasta in place of chocolate)- and where there are mountains, water isn’t far away. So, with visions of scooping water out of crystal-clear mountain streams and emerald lakes to keep me hydrated on idyllic mountain hikes, I placed an order.

water bottle with filter for safe hydration when travelling
As well as looking good and making a nice photography prop, Water-to-Go’s bottle seemed to do the job it was designed for, and to do it well. Wherever there was tap water available, I drank it. Whenever I was thirsty and in the vicinity of a stream or lake, I used water from those natural sources and drank it through Water-to-Go’s filter. There was no unpleasant, plasticky aftertaste which I’ve found can sometimes occur from drinking out of a bottle, neither did I pick up any nasty water-borne viruses.

The bottle’s sleeve made it easy to grip (I’ve since carried it while running without it ever slipping out of my hand), and it’s solid enough that having it fall from an outer backpack pocket was never a problem. Easy to clean, easy to hold, and easy to drink from.

save money with a water filter If wanting to avoid a nasty surprise when drinking water abroad, or to feel more secure when taking water from natural sources, I’d definitely recommend getting hold of a Water-to-Go product. It can’t turn water into coffee, but in all other respects ticks all the boxes for those needing a reliable water bottle for their travels.

By Ben Scott

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