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Does the LifeStraw Actually Work in a Dirty Pond?

December 8, 2014

A few months ago I was introduced to the LifeStraw, a fairly straight forward device that acts as a personal water filter. A quick Google search on this lead me to a video of a woman drinking from a bowl of water mixed with excrement using the LifeStraw and claiming that the water was potable and safe. I was perplexed, hooked, and itching to give it a try.

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I managed to borrow one from a friend, and after some time mustered enough guts to try it out for myself to verify the claims about it in the internet. Turns out the straw isn’t just for crazy experiments just like the Youtube video.

So what is it?

In the simplest sense, it’s a personal water filtration unit that can turn most contaminated water into water safe for drinking. I say most as I’ve learned that it can’t filter out seawater, chemicals, and viruses. So don’t get any ideas of testing this straw out in seawater or water contaminated with chemicals. What it does filter out though are sediments, bacteria, and protozoa that are the usual suspects when it comes to upset stomachs caused by drinking dirty water.

How does it work?

For a water filter with heavy claims, it’s crazy light and also pretty simple to use. If you’re familiar with a concept and use of a straw, then you wont have any problems with the LifeStraw. There are no fancy buttons and chemicals in it so it’s not only safe but also rather fool-proof. You simply uncap the top and bottom covers, stick the straw in a body of water (lakes, streams, a bottle of water you’ve collected from a source) and sip. Voila, clean and safe water.

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Although it will take a few hard sips to get the water going at first, after that the work is pretty much done. After blowing out the excess water, keep the caps open to clean out and dry the straw.

Does it really work?

This was the question on my mind too: was it really worth all the hype the YouTube video I saw made it out to be? The answer was yes. Although I had seen the video, and read various reviews attesting to it, I was still skeptical. So with an adventurous mindset I went and tested it in a creek near the house.

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I admit I was hesitant as I made my first sip, luckily, and to my stomach’s relief the water tasted clean and had no aftertaste. I was however, too chicken to try the water without the aid of LifeStraw so I can’t really say how it tasted on its own. But it’s been a few days now, and my stomach is without any problems.

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Next I tried it in a mixture of Gatorade diluted with water to see how much the taste and color of Gatorade would come out. This was make or break for me, if this didn’t work, I would seriously regret drinking from the creek. In terms of taste, there was a slight flavor of Gatorade present, but not really noticeable. Now to see if there was a change in color I spat out the water that I sipped, and I know I shouldn’t have been as surprised, but I was in utter amazement when I saw that the water was clear! From that blue liquid to clear water. This thing was the real deal.

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The LifeStraw was originally created as an emergency response tool for situations where clean drinking water is hard to come by. Now it’s widely available and useful for travelling, hiking, and camping as well. Still a bit doubtful? You can buy yourself a LifeStraw and test it out for yourself. It’s for sale in ROX and outdoors shops for PHP 990 which is a great deal given what it can do.

Would you try this LifeStraw yourself? What are other cool food gadgets you want to try? Tell us below!

Kathy Hofileña Kathy Hofileña

Kathy is a real life happy camper who likes her food spicy and her iced tea, bottomless. Obsessed with order, she has a habit of rewriting all her notes and schedules to help her sleep at night. Her other hobbies include hoarding books, buying film SLRs and collecting travel itineraries. Currently, she’s in the predicament of trying to gain weight while traipsing around mountains and beaches with her 40 plus liter backpack.

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4 responses to “Does the LifeStraw Actually Work in a Dirty Pond?”

  1. I saw this one on the cover of Time Magazine as one of the greatest inventions for year 2005 and I was totally amazed by its possible impacts in humanitarian aid. True enough, the straws are now a standard part of international relief and aid packages in areas where safe and potable drinking water is hard to come by. I would also see backpackers using it in my trips to Indonesia. What a nifty tool! I haven’t used one yet and I was thinking about how it would fare when used with flavored stuff so I’m glad it also filters out color and most of the flavor of even homogeneous solutions. Question though: does it say on the packaging how long should you be using it? Does the filter get used up, or does it have to be replaced after several uses?

  2. milette says:

    This is pretty cool! I wonder why it hasn’t gotten much hype though?

  3. bam says:

    Where can we buy this aside from ROX?

  4. doggeystyle says:

    We tried it in a artificial lake and it tasted like rotten eggs. One of got sick too.

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