If you spend much time backcountry hiking, chances are you're the sort of person who would find use for at least two things: a trekking pole and a water purifier. Well, PurTrek combines them both in one carbon fiber-bodied device.
Developed by Utah-based entrepreneur Kyle Stringham, the 17-oz (482-g) PurTrek is used as a regular ol' telescoping trekking pole when its user is on the move. But once they stop to hydrate at a lake or river, they can just stick the pole's carbide tip under the water, then unlock and pull up on the hand grip.
Doing so draws water up through the pole's two-stage filtration system – a twist-to-open filter in the tip keeps things like mud or sand from getting in, while a replaceable hollow-fiber filter inside the removable grip reportedly catches 99.99 percent of waterborne bacteria, protozoa and microplastic particles.
The now-purified water then continues out through a silicone tube that gets attached to the top, and into the user's mouth or water bottle.
According to Kyle, PurTrek delivers two to three times more water per pump than regular portable water purifiers – as an added bonus, it can be used standing up, so users don't have to squat. Each hollow-fiber filter should be good for treating up to 500 liters (132 US gal).
Stringham has taken his product to Kickstarter, where a pledge of US$99 is required for one filter-equipped pole – the planned retail price is $179. If all goes according to plan, backers should receive their poles next February.
PurTrek can be seen in use, in the video below.
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