April 5, 2013

CamelBak® Groove & CamelBak® All Clear

70% of the Earth is covered in water.
Less than 3% of the Earth's water it is fresh water.
More than 2/3 of the Earth's fresh water is frozen in glaciers.

 According to www.drinking-water.org groundwater provides 25-40% of the Earth's fresh drinking water. Even though it is "fresh" water it may not be safe to drink. One concern for travelers to a developing country would be having enough safe water to drink. In the United States safe drinking water comes in the form a treated water by a city or county, or in the form of bottled water. The Beverage Marketing corporation said Americans consume an average of 29.2 gallons per captia of bottled water in 2011, with an expected gain of 1.2 gallons over the next five years. Like many people in developing countries the people of Uganda may not have access to clean water. Often the source of water is shared with neighbors and animals. Bottle water is a luxury. In order to have safe water people carry a Jerrycan weighing approximately 40 lbs from the water source to their home which could be two or more miles. Once the water is home it must be boiled before it is safe to consumed or used in cooking food.

At home in Minnesota know I can turn on the faucet and get water any time that is safe to drink.  In my usual travels I take a water bottle, especially when flying to keep hydrated. As I researched my trip to Uganda I found that it was not safe to drink water unless it was bottled or boiled.  I wasn't sure what the availability of bottled water would be so I started looking at various options.  My brother Matt is a designer at 3M and has worked on various water filters, I knew he would have the right product for me. Matt recommend two water bottles from CamelBak®.  The first is the CamelBak® Groove, the second was the CamelBak® All Clear. He was able to get me one of each of each of the water bottles to use on my trip.  

The CamelBak Groove has a built in water filter that will filter out bad tastes in water that is safe to drink. I started using the CamelBak Groove before my trip and did find it made a difference in the water I drink from the tap; it tastes like fresh filtered water. I have also use it at work and public drinking fountains with the same great results. The only thing I need to remember is not to fill it completely to the top because when you put the top on with the filter the water overflows.  

The bottle is BPA-Free and the top has a CamelBak patented bite top which I really like because it eliminates leaking from the top of the water bottle. The filter will last about 3 months. I was worried about remembering to change the filter, but then I found out I could register on CamelBack to get a  reminder. This water bottle is one I will continue to use daily. The cost for a CamelBak groove is $25-35 and can be purchased online at CamelBak Groove or purchased at REI.
Photo by Linda Cullen Photography
The CamelBak All Clear was a life-saver on my trip to Uganda! I will admit the first time I used it in Uganda I was a bit nervous, but CamelBak has a reputation for quality and the All Clear would never went onto the market it it didn't work. It was simple to use, lightweight, and I had extra water all the time. 

The All Clear is a portable purification system that uses UV technology to neutralize microbiological contaminants in water and make the water safe to drink in 60 seconds. The CamelBak All Clear comes with a BPA free water bottle (.75 liter), classic cap, UV cap, USB cable for charging and carrying case for the All Clear UV cap and USB cable.  

The All Clear is simple!  

  1. Fill the bottle with water 
  2. Screw on the All Clear UV cap
  3. Press the power button
  4. Shake for 60 seconds
  5. Drink!

The LCD screen on the cap has a 60 second timer and the UV light will turn off when the water is neutralized.  Once the UV light is done simply remove it and replace it with the classic cap or with other CamelBak cap. The UV light has a rechargeable lithium ion battery built into it.  According to the CamelBak website a fully charged battery can provide 80 purifications (approximately 16 gallons of water)   The UV cap stows in the protective case with the USB cable. I charged the battery before leaving on my 10 day trip and it still had a full charge when I returned home. The USB cable can be plugged into a USB wall outlet, computer, solar panel, etc., and be fully charged in about 4 hours.

Photo by Linda Cullen Photography
Instead of worrying about having bottle water or boiling water before I could drink it I would "make water" (purify it) with my CamelBak All Clear.  Once I made my water I would pour it  into my CamelBak Groove and then make a second batch and simply replace the UV cap with the classic cap. I used the All Clear at least three times a day during my trip to Uganda. The cost for the CamelBak All Clear is about $99.00 and can be bought online at CamelBak All Clear or at stores like REI. This is a great investment for anyone who travels to areas with questionable water. 

If you want to use the All Clear in areas where there might be larger sediment in the water I would recommend also purchasing the All Clear Pre-Filter ($15). This filter fits on the top of the All Clear water bottle and allows you to filter out sediments before purifying the water with the All Clear. It is also available online or in stores.

CamelBak makes outstanding products and they stand behind what they make. Weather you are looking for a water bottle to use everyday or something to have clean water when traveling, camping, or hiking I would recommend shopping at CamelBak.   They also guarantee their products for life. "In 2011, CamelBak introduced the Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee for all reservoirs, backpacks, bottles and accessories. The Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee covers all reservoirs, backpacks, bottles and accessories from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.

Photo by Linda Cullen Photography
You cannot go wrong with CamelBak!!  

Thank You to Matt, 3M & CamelBak for the great water bottles!