Filtered Water… Camping and Backpacking Necessity

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(Photo by Keith Fialcowitz)

My husband has taken up backpacking as a hobby.  Little did I know the extent of gear needed for such a minimalist activity! I never gave much thought to specific gear that is needed to ensure safety while out in the wilderness.  Whether on an overnight trip or a longer, extended trip, having the proper gear can literally be the difference between comfort and misery or even life and death.

This has been a learning experience for me as I’ve watched my husband start out with basic gear like a backpack, sleeping bag, first aid kit, tent etc. then move onto more obscure gear like a headlamp, bear canister, backpacking stove and sanitation trowel (don’t ask).  The list can and does go on and on, with the ultimate goal being to pack as lightly as possible, while making sure you have all that you need for an enjoyable experience.

One aspect of backpacking that cannot be overlooked, even on the shortest trips, is a way to have clean, fresh drinking water.  It is not always possible or practical to bring all of the drinking water needed with you from home. While the water flowing down a mountain stream may look pure and refreshing, it is likely full of bacteria, parasites and other contaminates.  Drinking contaminated water can lead to a host of problems, least of which can include nausea, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and intense abdominal cramping.

Knowing this, I am determined to make sure my husband has safe drinking water each time he sets off on an adventure.   Luckily, there are many options available to achieve this goal.  FiltersFast.com has a variety of reusable, lightweight water bottles with built in filtration systems, such as:waterbottles

  • Katadyn MyBottle Water Purifier
  • Clear2GO – 20 oz. Vanity Bottle With Filter
  • Sawyer SP149 – Outdoor Filter Water Bottle

 

Aside from water bottles, other options include:

 

As you can see, there are numerous ways to purify drinking water while out in the wilderness.  It is such an important safety measure and cannot be disregarded.  If you have a backpacker or any kind of outdoorsy person in your life, consider visiting FiltersFast.com this holiday season for a gift that will ensure safety and provide peace of mind.

 

Bad Hair Day? Water Softener System to the Rescue!

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I’ve got unruly hair… always have. My hair is coarse, long and thick.  I grew up in rural OH and had very hard water to contend with.  Hard water, aka water containing large amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates and sulfates, is not kind to girls with hair like mine… or any hair type for that matter.  How do you know hard water is affecting your locks?  I know the symptoms all too well.  Let me share:

  • Hair never “feels” clean.  You can’t fully rinse out the shampoo or conditioner.  There is always a residue sticking around.
  • Your hair is dry (straw-like even), and breaks at the gentlest touch no matter how many deep conditioning treatments you use.
  • Tangles upon tangles, regardless of the amount of conditioner applied.
  • Hair color – don’t bother.  It will fade before you get home from the salon.
  • And frizz…don’t forget the frizz.

 

Why does hard water have this effect? Basically it is due to the high mineral content present.  The minerals cause the hair cuticles to “stand up” which gives the hair that rough feel. For the same reason, it becomes nearly impossible to rinse hair thoroughly. Plus, since shampoo cannot break down properly in hard water, it is difficult to wash out styling products, resulting in product build-up. In addition to causing bad hair days, dissolved calcium and magnesium in your hard water causes scale. Scale builds up on the insides of pipes, water heaters, tea pots and coffee makers. Overtime scale build up can completely clog pipes and ruin appliances.

Fortunately for me and others like me, there is a solution!  We just need to filter the water before we use it.  The best way to accomplish this is to invest in a water softening system for your house.   These systems replace excessive calcium and magnesium, as well as other mineral content in your water, with sodium ions, which decrease the detrimental effects of hard water. There are other benefits to installing a home water softening system as stated on Livestrong.com such as:

  1. Easier cleaning. Softened water helps rinse off soap residue for cleaner dishes and clothes, as well as your general household cleaning.
  2. Longer lifespan for appliances.  Hard water minerals can build up over time in your appliances causing decreased efficiency and usability.  According to North Dakota State University, water-softening systems extend the life of washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and other appliances that use water.
  3. Faster hot water.  Softened water heats quicker. Estimates find increased efficiency in water heaters up to 30% when using soft water!
  4. Cleaner plumbing system.  The mineral and metal build up caused by hard water can lead to clogs and corrosion in your pipes and your faucet fixtures.  Softened water can eliminate this issue, saving you money on costly repairs and replacements.

 

There are a variety of water softeners available.  Visit FiltersFast.com for all of your water filtration needs and say goodbye to “bad” hair for good!