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Essentials for every adventure

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SteriPEN, $50

If a pan of water is left out in the sunshine, the UV light will supposedly sterilize the liquid. This gadget makes me feel as if I have my own portable, non-scorching sun at the ready.

click to enlarge Montana Headwall

The SteriPEN water filtration system fits into a water bottle and stirs away viruses, bacteria and protozoa. Always on the prowl for ways to shed weight from my pack, I found the 4-ounce device makes a perfect substitute for bulkier water filters. To use it, simply stir it in a liter of water and, 90 seconds later, by using UV light, 99.9 percent of the germs you pray you never get are eliminated. Quick, easy, effective—but admittedly kind of weird. I'm willing to take a chance, though. My sci-fi toy has found a permanent place on my pack.

Noël Phillips

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