Best Water Purification Tablets for Backpacking: Live!

Nothing is worse than backpacking into the wilderness and running out of water. Then you finally find a stream or a lake and you’re screwed. Why? Because who knows anymore what’s in the water. Drinking unclean water could kill you more quickly than being dehydrated could. You need to carry with you the best water purification tablets for backpacking to make sure this problem does not become yours.


Dehydration is a real thing, especially when backpacking out under the sun. The hotter you get the more you run out of moisture, the quicker you will dehydrate. Humans can only live a couple days out in the heat without water. Not only should you make sure you pack plenty of water on your trip, also have the purification tablets just in case you need them.


Waterways in the US are increasingly filling up with waste and toxins. Once upon a time, you were able to simply drink from a flowing stream. Those days are gone. Now, you want to be sure to clean out every single drop of water you imbibe from a natural water source. Heck, in some cities you want to filter and clean water from the pipes. This is why the purification tablets are essential.

Best Water Purification Tablets for Backpacking: 5 to Stay Alive

1. Potable Aqua

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These purification tablets come in a bottle of 50 and will clean out 25 quarts of water, so they will get you through even the longest backpacking trip. These tablets will effectively clean out even the dirtiest water within 30 minutes. They promise to backup or replace any water filtration system, so whether you have a filter in your water bottle or not, these tablets have your back. You already have enough on your back to worry about water too.

2. Aquatabs

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Aquatabs have been around for years. They come in small individual packets with 30 total tablets included in this order. They not only promise to clean out your water effecting, but they also promise to make your water taste great, which is saying a lot. Clean water is one thing. Clean water that tastes good is a backpacking bonus.

3.  Purizine

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Purizine isn’t exactly tablets, but it is just as mobile. What you get is a liquid form water purifier that you can simply add to any unclean water and expect your water to be clean and taste great within a half hour. Not only will this additive clean out your water, but it will also add essential vitamins and minerals to your drink. This extra means that you’ll be hydrating and getting nutrients just when you need them most, out on a rigorous backpacking trip.

4. Katadyn

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Katadyn is another bottle of purification tablets, but not just any purification tablets. These tablets promise to be the only tablets that are effective against any and all viruses and bacteria in any and all water types. While other tablets and liquids may wipe out “most” bacteria, these tablets should cover the full spectrum of dirty water. You get 30 tablets in a bottle, and each tablet cleans out 1 liter of water.

5. Ef Chlor

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These tablets are super duty water purification tablets. You get 10 in a pack that will purify up to 50 gallons of water.  This measurement means that you can carry even less than any other packet or liquid on your back. And everyone who’s ever backpacked knows that every single ounce of weight on your back counts. With Ef Chlor, you can carry less and purify more. It is a Win-win situation. These are also great to have around in an emergency, so even if you still have tablets leftover after your trip, you can use these in your emergency kit back home.

Final  Thoughts

Water is easily going to be your biggest concern on your backpacking trip. So you have a few things to consider: how much are you going to carry? How heavy is your bag already? And how much more are you willing to take on? Do you prefer liquid or tablet?

After answering all of these questions, you should have a good sense of the direction you are leaning in. Then you can look at your budget, and go from there. Just point, click, and buy.

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