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Are you concerned about how to prevent water-borne illness while traveling abroad, hiking in the backcountry, or during a water emergency? Well, don't feel alone and don't be discouraged. Portable water filter systems are a great way to make sure you have safe drinking water anywhere. The best method for you will depend on your individual needs, as well as your personal preference. And chances are, if you are looking for a portable water filter, there's a Katadyn product that is just right for you. [caption id="attachment_40" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Giardia: Trust me, you do NOT want this in your water - or your body!"][/caption] Three types of micro-organisms that contaminate water sources can turn your adventure, or your avocation, into a miserable experience: cysts, bacteria, and viruses. Cysts are present in most outdoor water sources. Examples of cysts are giardia, cryptosporidium, and amoebas. Bacteria are a common threat of untreated water. Often associated with contaminated food sources, bacteria, like e. coli and salmonella, can infect water as well. The third, and often the most harmful micro-organisms are viruses, like Hepatitis A, Norwalk, and polio. If you've ever encountered anyone with dysentery, or perhaps have been plagued yourself, you know what a damper it can put on a a good time. In 1977, I once traveled from Morocco to Paris on a 2 day marathon road trip, all the while cramped up, feverish, and in constant need of a pit stop. No fun. Believe me, you want to avoid that at all costs. I also contracted Hepatitis A in 1983 on a trip to Guatemala, but didn't realize it until after the communities of Vail, CO and Plattsburgh, NY were put on public health alerts due to my having exposed a number of unsuspecting friends and acquaintances in those places. I'm surprised I wasn't declared Public Enemy Number 1, especially in Vail. I wish I had been a little bit more proactive back then, and I wish I knew then what I know now. Fortunately, today there are effective ways to prevent scenarios like mine from happening to you. The Swiss company, Katadyn, has been perfecting water treatment since the 1930's. It is no exaggeration to state that they are a leader in the water filter industry. Any serious discussion about portable water treatment includes Katadyn water filter products. If you are packing lightly in the backcountry, you will want to consider the signature Katadyn Pocket water filter, which includes a field cleanable 0.2 micron sliver impregnated ceramic filter. With a capacity of up to 13,000 gallons, and a lifetime warrantee, this is the Rolls Royce of portable filters. The Vario water filter is another fine choice, and a bit easier on the pocketbook, combining the two best technologies-ceramic and pleated microfiltration. And to keep your water tasting fresh, there is a replaceable carbon core that also reduces chemical and pesticide contamination. For those desiring more economical choices, who do not want to compromise on quality, the Hiker and Hiker Pro models are two of our most popular, using field-cleanable micron glassfiber and carbon core technology. Other good hiking and camping choices for groups are the elite Expedition model, or the gravity-flow Base Camp model. For lighter trips or for more individual needs, our assortment of water bottles with filtering and purification technology can make great choices. Travelers abroad will find the Katadyn Combi to be an excellent companion. Consider the faucet attachment if you plan to stay in one place for a few days or longer. It works great in R.V.'s and boats too! Any of the models mentioned above for backcountry use can be great for travel, too. Emergency relief workers and military use Katadyn water filters to keep themselves healthy in the field, and for temporary emergency uses. The Ceradyn, Gravadyn, and Expedition models are great for large groups. To give yourself an added sense of security, why not consider our Micropur tablets, which are proven effective against viruses, bacteria, and cysts. They are safer than iodine tablets and meet EPA purification guidelines. At Highwater Filters, we offer a full line of Katadyn products. Check out our store and find the water treatment that’s right for you. We offer free shipping on orders over $60.00 and we have periodic specials, so check back often - or better: follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest deals and closeouts. If you have any questions about any of our products, or our service, shoot us an email, or feel free to comment below. We are enthusiastic about our products and we know you will be too. Thanks for stopping by!