Recently, I was climbing at a nearly forgotten crag in Calistoga, California. Temps were in the 90s when we started the hour-long, steep switchback hike from the car to the base of the wall. Once at the routes, we dropped our packs and took hefty swigs of water from our bottles. A handful of pitches later we were nearly out. ‘It’s ok,’ we rationalized, ‘the hike is downhill, we won’t need any on the way back.’
Later that day and halfway back to our rig the path leveled off and we crossed a stream. Though it cooled us off to dip our bare feet in the cascading liquid, it didn’t do much to hydrate us. And no one in our group was brave – or dunce enough – to ingest the water. Alas, we finished what little liquid we had left and walked on, all the while longing to quench our thirst.
This scenario happens to me often. On top of El Cap, for instance, and climbing up in RMNP. It would be so handy to just be able to scoop water into a bottle, straight from the source. Or chug the contents of an old water bottle abandoned by climbers (a common sight on top of The Captain); or take a sip from the slow moving Horsetail Falls on top of El Cap. Walking past unsafe water sources time after time with a dry mouth gets old. Admittedly, I don’t carry a filter often enough, especially when big wall climbing, after all, you carry your water with you.
Enter Eco Vessel’s Insulated and Ultra Light Filtration water bottles ($35 for Insulated, $25 for Ultra Light). The way they work is: a straw extends from the top down to a water filter in the bottom of the bottle. When you suck from the straw it filters the water. The plant based – activated coconut shell carbon — filter removes 99.9% of Giardia and Cryptosporidium, reduces toxic chemicals, heavy metals, microscopic pathogens, chlorine, sediment and dirt. The filter contains an antimicrobial element, which keeps it from getting moldy. The insulated bottle keeps cold water cool, and the Ultra Light is, well, lighter but does not insulate.
The rigid lid on these water bottles is carabiner compatible. The flip top sipping tip has a replaceable mouth piece. The only setback to these bottles is that the filter takes up nearly a quarter of the internal space of the bottle; it can be removed when unneeded and replaced with a straw (included).
I carry the 25 oz. Ultra Light bottle most places. Like yesterday for example, when we visited a waterfall near Yosemite Valley called the Octagon. We spent the whole morning and afternoon in the sun and lounging around the water. Every few hours I would scoop the bottle into the stream and sip up the cool, refreshing water. Then pass it around.
By having a built in filter, Eco Vessel filtration bottles remove the need to carry a separate water filter. They’re very portable, convenient and, most importantly, allow you to drink foreign water without getting sick.