The average human needs about 64 oz (about 1.8 liters) of water each day. Having at least three days of water or the ability to procure three days worth of water is a minimum that all individuals planning to be outdoors for more than 12 hours should live by. Now you may be thinking, “But Nate, three days of water at 1.8 liters each day comes out to what, like, twelve pounds? You’re obviously insane, that’s too much water for one man to carry at once.” And you know what, I would agree with you. I had to do it during a week of backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and it sucked when we weren’t going to be coming across any water for more than a day, forcing us to fill up all our containers at once. That’s why now whenever I camp I collect any reasonable looking water I see and purify it, drinking my already clean water as I go.
Now for purification purposes I can vouch for a few products I’ve tried used before but the one that really takes the cake is Katadyn Micropure water purification tablets. I’ll do a more in depth review sometime later but these tablets allowed Colin and I to carry significantly less water than we needed while on a biking campout and purify water from the Missouri River as we needed it. This made the unreasonable 12 pounds of water to an extremely manageable two Nalgeans and a couple of sheets of purification tabs. A Human can die in three days without water, so you can take your chances banking on being back in time to get more clean water. Or you can slip a way of purifying your water in your pocket and know you’re safe.