GEAR
Grayl Geopress
The travel-friendly portable water purifier that works anywhere and everywhere. Really.
It's not a surprise that gear is important to me. It has to be when you're out in the middle of nowhere with no other humans and limited natural resources in sight. And even more so if you're carrying all your necessities packed on your back (or strapped to a pack horse or reindeer).
And that's exactly why I love my Grayl Geopress. It's light. It filters water in about eight seconds. And I can fully rely on it to filter water no matter where I am in the world.

Riding reindeer in Mongolia and river water is my only drinking source? No problem.

Traveling through Ukraine and I don't trust the tap water in my hotel room? Grayl has it covered.

Hunting with Kazakh eagle hunters and the water coming out of the tap is orange as can be? No sweat.
And because I know that my Grayl is removing waterborne pathogens (99.99% of viruses, 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of protozoan cysts), including Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Dysentery and more, as well as particulates (i.e. silt, microplastics, etc.) thanks to the ultra-powdered activated carbon in the filter, effectively adsorbing chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, flavors and odors, I feel comfortable drinking water from just about any freshwater source I can find. (Snow excluded.)
For my adventures in Mongolia in particular, protection against giardia is especially important.
Giardiasis, more commonly referred to as a giardia infection, is an intestinal infection caused by a microscopic parasite found in ground and surface water that's been contaminated from agricultural runoff, wastewater discharge or animal feces. Basically, any time you're sharing a water source with wild animals, this is a huge risk.

I don't know about you, but abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea and bouts of watery diarrhea and dehydration does not sound appealing to me in the least when I'm traveling. This is one of the main reasons why I rely on my Grayl Geopress so much. (Plus, I love that there aren't any chemicals involved in this entire process.)

But it's not only my body that thanks me for using a portable water purifier like this – the earth does too. Because ever since I started traveling with my Grayl I've been saved using (and purchasing) hundreds (and hundreds!) of plastic bottles of water over the course of the last few years.

And when I go through the process of filtering my water, it's always a conversation starter, especially with curious locals.
Altai Mountains, Western Mongolia
Cartridges last about 350 presses, which is about one use a day, but my rule of thumb is to replace my cartridge every six months since I use it regularly in harsh conditions (silty rivers, etc.) and I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to purifying my drinking water. Thankfully, replacement cartridges are easy to purchase, they aren't overly expensive at $29.95 a piece, and they're easy to travel with and switch out on the road.

There's also a secret trick to knowing when it's time to switch out your cartridge – a tell-tale sign is when there's a noticeable increase in the time it takes you to press and purify your water. When a press takes 25-30 seconds, versus the eight it took at the beginning of the cartridge's life, it's time for it to be replaced.

How to Use Your Geopress

Use two hands and twist with force to separate the inner shell with the purification cartridge from the outer shell.

Fill the outer shell up to the marked line near the top with unpurified water. Set the outer shell filled with unpurified water on solid, level ground.

Untwist the drinking cap on the lid of the inner shell to allow air to pass through when filtering water in the next step.

Place the inner shell into the outer shell using the hand grips on each side of the lid to put equal pressure on both sides of the lid and begin to press down to start the filtering process.

Press down until the inner shell is completely pressed down.

To replace the cartridge:

Use two hands and twist with force to separate the inner shell with the purification cartridge from the outer shell.

Grip the clear base of the inner shell with one hand and the orange purification cartridge with your other. Twist to separate the two.

Reattach with the new purification cartridge, dispose of the old cartridge through Grayl's zero waste cartridge recycling program, and you're ready for your first filter.
Grayl Geopress Pros:

- With a loop on the lid, it's easy for me to attach my Grayl to whatever bag I'm carrying at the time – my airplane backpack, my day pack, my hiking pack, and so on. It also attaches nicely to a saddle.

- The hand pads on the Geopress make it much, much more comfortable to press down than the Ultralight. This is especially noticeable if you're doing a lot of presses in a row.

- Water is purified immediately whereas purification tablets and boiling water takes time.

- There are no chemicals used in the purifying process.

- Using a portable purifying filter like this filters out silt and grass and other muck that comes from a freshwater source.
Riding Reindeer with the Tsaatan Tribe, Northern Mongolia
Grayl Geopress Cons:

- I had a friend complain that their Grayl leaked when the airplane they were on pressurized, so be aware when taking a full Grayl with you on flights. (I haven't encountered this – but hearing this has always made me pay extra attention to where and how I pack and carry my Grayl when it's full.)

- Be aware of the maximum-fill line on the outer shell when going through the purification process, otherwise be prepared to take a squirt of water to the face.

- If you drink a lot of water like I do, 24 ounces isn't a lot of water to filter at a time. Especially if you're one of those people who drink water throughout the night. What I do, when it's an option, is fill my dry sack with unpurified water (or a pot or tub or anything else that's available) and then keep that water source close to my tent so I don't have to walk to the river/water source anytime I need a refill, it's handy right there.

- The purifier cartridge does occasionally twist off and remain in the outer shell when I'm pulling out the inner shell to fill it with water. To get it out, I put the inner shell back in, twist to reattach the two and then pull the inner shell straight out, instead of pulling it out and twisting, which is how it becomes detached in the first place.

So, while I love my Grayl, it isn't perfect. But it works for me. And after testing other similar products (Lifestraw Go, LARQ), the Geopress is still my hands down favorite.
You're not dumb, you know that this is a sponsored post and that I make money off of affiliate partnerships. And while that is true, opinions (which I'm in no shortage of) are still all my own. Promise.
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