The MSR Miox Purifier is one of the few pieces of kit that can really save your life, or at the very least, stop you from spending your whole trip sprinting off to the woods to join the bears.
Developed with the help of the military, this hand held water weapon will kill virtually anything that can harm you: viruses, bacteria, Giardi and Cryptosporidium: parasites that can do nasty things to your insides.
How it works
About the size of a small hand-torch, this is a scaled-down version of the technology use to purify many domestic supplies. It works by using rock salt solution to make small, powerful doses of oxidants which are then added to the contaminated water, making it pure.
Even though this will produce pure drinking water from even the most contaminated sources, it will not filter out sediment. Unless you're collecting water from a stream, you will probably also need some form of filtration device, or at the very least, rig up a sieve by pouring the water through your shirt.
Not for the gasping
It is also not ideal if you're very thirsty: it takes four hours to create water free from cryptosporidium. Although not quick, it can be used to purify up to four litres of water at a time.
Using the Miox correctly is quite a complicated procedure, yet the instruction book is a flimsy leaflet. For prolonged use in the field, this really should be laminated, as getting one step wrong could lead to very bad guts.
Treated water is left with a slightly aftertaste but it isn't unpleasant. It’s nowhere near as bad as the sickening tang of purification tablets and a far better bet than needing a dose of rehydration salts due to a serious case of the trots.