A major concern for anyone spending long amounts of time in the wilderness is hauling around enough drinking water to keep you hydrated.   I had experimented with hydration packs on several occasions.  However using these just added another pack for me to carry, and on a long hike that is the last thing you want.  So recently I decided to explore some other options.   I had always heard of Life Straw, but had never used it. In case you have not heard of the Life Straw company, I will give you a little history and explanation of their products.

The Life Straw company was born in 1996, as a way to remove Guinea worm larvae from drinking water.  By 2005 Life Straw had evolved into a water filter capable of removing virtually all of the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink.  This great product was originally designed to be used in emergency settings, following a natural disaster, and other times when clean water is not available.  By 2011 Life Straw products began being sold in retail stores and became popular among outdoor enthusiasts, who use them on hiking and camping trips. Today Life Straw is used in 64 different countries around the world.

Upon visiting the life straw website, I found they had several different products available for sale.  Instead of choosing just one, I decided to pick out the three that best fit my needs .  The Life Straw Go, the Life Straw Personal, and Life Straw Steel.

On my first trip I hiked through Starved Rock State Park, and Matthiessen State Park Located in Olgesby Illinois.  These parks offer many miles of trail, and feature some extreme elevation changes.  I figured this would help work up quite thirst.  On this trip I packed my Life Straw personal, and my Life Straw Steel.   Both of them did a great job.  They filtered the water well and provided me with an endless supply of drinking water.

Something that needs to be kept in mind when planning to use a Life Straw on a hike, is that in most circumstances you will need to lay down on your stomach to be able to get a drink.  When your talking about survival, this is not a problem,  but on a casual hike you may not want to lay down every time you want to take a drink.  Its reasons like this, that they created the Life Straw Go!
The Life Straw Go is a great product, it incorporates 2 stage water filtration technology into a refillable water bottle.  This way you can refill your bottle at every body of water you come across.  This is not just convenient, but it turns any water source into clean, safe drinking water.  Its also a lot easier to use then the Personal and Steel models.Now I carry both my Steel, and Go, Life Straw products with me when I hike.  They are lightweight and do not take up much space in my pack, and both provide me with good clean drinking water when needed.  I hike and/or camp almost every weekend, and after almost 6 months the products are still doing a great job and have not shown any signs of wear.  Overall I think the Life Straw products would be a great addition to your outdoor gear.  If you have not yet tried any of these products you can find them online at http://lifestraw.com/