As anyone who has spent much time living out of a pack in the mountains can attest, there are several key items that need to be thought of before one ventures away from the trailhead. Food, water, and shelter can make or break a hunt depending on the level of preparation that was put into each.
I had learned about Lifesaver last winter and never having tried a system like theirs, decided to give the Liberty bottle a go. Lifesaver was started in 2007 by British inventor Michael Pritchard and after only three years, his new system was implemented by the British army and various humanitarian organizations so I figured the Liberty was more than up to the task.
A friend and I had a three-day backcountry bear hunt planned so after a quick trial run at the house to make sure everything was working properly, I stowed the bottle and headed for the mountains. Using the Liberty in a small, seasonal creek, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of use. Lifesaver advertises the flow rate of the Liberty at 1.2 liters/minute which was easily achieved with a medium pace of pumping. The bottle can be screwed onto most wide-mouth plastic bottles to make filling a breeze or use the included nozzle to fill other containers. The filter is equipped with a fail-safe system that will stop pumping water when the filter pores are clogged for user peace of mind. With replaceable filters that are advertised to filter up to 2000 liters and a five-foot-long scavenger hose included, the Liberty is set up for filtering enough water for numerous people on an extended hunt if need be.
One trade-off, when compared to some other filtering systems, is the weight of the system. Due to the filter design in the Liberty, a small amount of water must be kept in the bottle at all times to keep the pores damp. After adding the recommended amount of water, the whole system including the scavenger hose weighed in at twenty-three ounces, somewhat heavier than some other systems. However, due to the ease of use and flow rate of the Liberty, I’ll happily add a couple of ounces to gain the performance.
Photos by Full Curl Digital