Apocalypse Gear: Part 3 - Hydration
Published on 06/05/2012
By Billy Brown
You don’t have to have a Mayan calendar in your living room to be a little freaked out about living in the year 2012. Epidemics, solar flares, global warming, economic collapse (not to mention the constant threat of zombie apocalypse) are all knocking on your doorstep. Luckily, you’re an outdoorsman, so you know a thing or two about what it takes to survive when civilization isn’t around to baby you. Over the last few months, the Active Junky staff looked in our closets and dug up some gear that could come in handy when it hits the fan. Check out these next two items on our Apocalypse gear list and follow the series over the next two weeks as we reveal the best gear to keep you alive when the end comes. Good luck out there.
MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter
Yes, there are lighter pump filters out there, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a filter that’s as tough and reliable as MSR’s MiniWorks EX Microfilter. The 1-pound filter is built for heavy use and abuse, and it can be maintained in the field without tools. We appreciated the pump’s 1-liter-per-minute speed and the fact that we never had to backflush the thing after use. The carbon ceramic core filtered out junk and gave the water a clean, fresh taste. On a test trip to California’s high desert, the Miniworks EX performed like a champ, pumping out water without slowing down. The filter is said to last for about 2,000 liters, so when you’re out in the middle of the badlands, all you need to do is find some water and let the filter do the rest. As a bonus, we’ve found that the Miniworks can double as a gravity filter if you tweak the interior valves, so you can load up a few gallons of water before you go to bed and have a day’s worth of clean water waiting for you when you wake up.
Hydrapak Reversible Elite Reservoir
No matter how the world ends, one thing that you’re going need every day is water. Heck, even if the ice caps melt and the planet floods, it’s probably going to be all seawater anyway, so you’re going to need a hydration vest so you can haul what potable water you can find around with you. Hydrapak’s Shape Shift Reversible reservoir can be turned inside out for easy cleaning, so you don’t have to deal with moss growing in it after a week of use. It also sports an internal baffle that keeps it from poofing out and taking up extra space in your pack, and the hose features a quick-disconnect so you can pull the reservoir out of your pack without yanking the hose out with it. Most importantly, though, the reservoir is nearly indestructible – you simply cannot pop the thing. We stomped on a full reservoir, threw it around the testing area/garage, and stacked 200 pounds of weight plates on it, with no visible damage. It’ll probably outlive you.
Preservation - Gerber Gear Matchete & Tactical bacon