This guide provides a list of resources for gear and supplies related to water treatment and backpacking hygiene. This serves as our companion resources guide for our online course Water Treatment and Backpacking Hygiene, a 6-hour online course.

Online Course - Water Treatment and Backpacking Hygiene

Learn state of the art best practices for water treatment safety and backcountry hygiene in this comprehensive online course. In Water Treatment and Backpacking Hygiene, you’ll learn the science behind various water treatment methods, how and when to use them, water treatment best practices, and information about health and hygiene on the trail and in camp. Targeted primarily to multi-day backpackers, expedition runners, long-distance hikers, institutional education students, working field professionals, and thru-hikers to ensure your safety and success in the wilderness. In this course, we also offer expert guidance on selecting appropriate water treatment systems, hygiene supplies, and more.

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Water Treatment Supplies

Chemical Treatment:


A cult favorite in the ultralight community for its ease of use, pre-mix stability, efficacy against viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts, and its ability to impart better flavor and odor to bad water sources. Can be repackaged if using opaque PE dropper bottles.

See it at REI See it at Garage Grown Gear
Katadyn Micropur Water Purification Tablets

Lightest possible treatment method: effective against bacteria, protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidia), viruses; 1 tablet per liter of water, treatment time 30 min to 4 hours; meets USEPA purification guidelines; active ingredient is chlorine dioxide; each tablet individually wrapped and sealed; shelf life: 5 yrs. from date of manufacture.

See it at REI

Inline (“Squeeze”) Filters:

Hydroblu Versa Flow Water Filter

A light and affordable option - use as a squeeze filter or inline with a bladder or gravity system. Modular system includes an option for activated carbon post-filtration.

See it at Garage Grown Gear See it at Hydroblu
HydroBlu Activated Carbon Filter for Versa Flow

The Activated Carbon module is made up of mixture of activated carbon and ion-exchange microbeads. Activated carbon adsorbs chemicals and heavy metals, and improves the taste and color of the contaminated water. The ion-exchange microbeads are an organic polymer substrate. These beads are porous, providing a large surface area for removing pollution, poisonous, and heavy metal iron from the water. The ion-exchange replaces these negative ions with innocuous ions, such as sodium and potassium. Additionally, this combination will remove unhealthy organic compounds such as chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products, and cyanotoxins.

See it at Hydroblu
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter

The most common squeeze filter used by the long-distance hiking community. Good longevity, relatively fast flow rate, can be backflushed, attaches to a smartwater bottle.

See it at REI See it at Garage Grown Gear

Gravity Filters:

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System

Rapid filtration rate - up to 1.75 liters a minute with no pumping; one of the easiest and fastest ways to get filtered water in the backcountry. Two different sizes - 6 L & 4 L. Ideal for couples, groups, basecamp, and lazy solo hikers!

See it at Platypus See it at REI
Common Gear UL Gravity Filter Hang System

Turn virtually any water bottle and squeeze filter into an ultralight gravity filtration system with this 0.3 ounce accessory.

See it at Garage Grown Gear

Ultraviolet Light:

Steripen Ultra

Purified water in 60 to 90 seconds: Internal 2200 mAh li-ion polymer battery can be recharged from any USB power source (cable included); Ultraviolet (UV-C) light rays safely purify clear water by destroying 99.99% of protozoa (including Giardia and Cryptosporidia), bacteria and viruses. To purify your water, click a button and gently agitate the water; purifies 16 fl.oz. (0.5L) of water (cold or warm) in less than a minute or treat 32 fl. oz. (1L) in 90 seconds. Watertight seals keep water away from the electronics.

See it at REI

Water Storage & Hydration Supplies

Water Bottles:

CNOC Outdoors Vecto 2L Water Container

Available in 28mm and 42mm threads, tailor the thread size to your squeeze filter solution.

See it at Garage Grown Gear See it at CNOC
Backpacking Light Tritan Bottle

Thin-walled Tritan plastic than what you'll find in Nalgenes and other (heavier) water bottles. At 35mm, the opening is still small enough for easy glugging, but much easier to fill in lakes and stillwaters than narrow-mouthed 28mm bottles. Light - 3.2 oz. The 20-ounce capacity is perfect for shoulder strap or hip belt use or easy retrieval from backpack side pockets.

See it at Backpacking Light
Platypus 1L SoftBottle

The de facto standard for ultralight water bottles. 28mm cap size is compatible with Sawyer, Platypus, and Hydroblu squeeze filters.

See it at REI See it at Garage Grown Gear
Trekker Joe's Diver Mesh Water Bottle Sleeve

There are a lot of water bottle sleeves on the market, but this one has a clean, simple aesthetic. Bottles are easy to retrieve and put away. Shock cord keeps them in place if you're scrambling. Clips fit most shoulder straps and daisy chains.

See it at Garage Grown Gear

Health & Hygiene Supplies

Sanitation & Cleaning:

Pika Outdoors Summit Suds Powdered Soap

The ultralight soap option. Use only what you need, no mess no fuss. For personal hygiene, dishwashing, and more. Plant-based ingredients.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Dropper Bottles

Repackage soaps, condiments, insect repellent, Aquamira, sunscreen, and more to reduce the bulk and weight of your essentials.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Fine Mist Spray Bottles

Use to repackage insect repellent and hand sanitizer.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Venture Wipes

Large enough for a full body wipe (12-inch square), gentle ingredients. Dries fast so stores "ultralight" in your waste bag.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Matador NanoDry Trek Towel

Finally - the ultralight towel perfected. A hand/face-sized towel that absorbs 2.3X its weight in water. Weighs only 0.5 oz. Remarkable function for a durable, sustainable towel option.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Huppy Toothpaste Tablets

No mess, no fuss, virtually no weight. Take only what you need for any trip. The perfect solution for the gram-counting ultralighter. Multiple flavors. Good taste!

See it at Garage Grown Gear


TentLab DirtSaw Deuce #2 Trowel

One of the most popular trowels on the market, now with an updated design with more aggressive sawing edges for side-to-side digging. Very effective root-cutting notches. Reversible, so you can use the narrow end for particularly stubborn soils.

See it at REI See it at Garage Grown Gear
Hilltop Packs Printed Zipper Pouches

Printed ultralight pouches for first aid, repair, poop kits, and more!

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Common Gear 3g Bidet Cap

Light, simple, cheap, and effective. Fits any 28mm bottle.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
CuloClean Ultralight Portable Bidet at Garage Grown Gear

A life-changing way to improve your butt hygiene and minimize TP waste on the trail.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Smelly Proof Reusable Bags

Reusable, light, odor-resistant bags. We recommend these for food garbage and food waste, and packing out your toilet paper.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
pStyle Personal Urination Device

The pStyle is a lightweight personal urination device (PUD). Its rigid plastic design makes it easy to use while fully clothed and has the added benefit of working as a wipe, reducing the need for t.p. It's reusable and a snap to clean. It's BPA and phthalate-free.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Kula Cloth at Garage Grown Gear

The original pee cloth - make this LNT-friendly option a staple if you're a female hiker.

See it at Garage Grown Gear
Hilltop Packs Printed Zipper Pouches

Printed ultralight pouches for first aid, repair, poop kits, and more!

See it at Garage Grown Gear

What do you use?

What are your recommendations for water treatment and hygiene supplies? Share in the comments below!