I don't know why everybody moans about the weather on Ben Nevis. Every time I've been up the behemoth the sun has been shining bright in the sky. First time was a perfect winters day with crystal clear blue skies. Views far and wide over the Highlands. The most recent was a few weeks ago. A Wednesday in late August with a bit of haze. With a temperature in the mid to high 20s. By the halfway lochan or to give it's correct name, Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe, (cut and pasted) I'd gone through 2 1/2 litres of water and one of my group the same. So it was time to test the Grayl Geopress
Unrivaled Ease, Speed & Convenience. No other portable purifier rivals the speed, simplicity and effectiveness of GEOPRESS. In eight seconds, it makes 24 ounces (710 ml) of safe, clean drinking water – anywhere in the world. Effective on all seven continents, you can tap into the world’s water sources and safely drink from sketchy spigots, hotel sinks, murky rivers, wells or lakes. GEOPRESS protects from global waterborne pathogens (virus, bacteria, protozoan cysts), pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and even microplastics.
- Capacity: 24 oz (710 ml)
- Weight: 15.9 oz (450 g)
- Height: 10.4" (26.5 cm)
- Diameter (at base): 3.4" (8.6 cm)
- Active Technology: ion exchange, ultra-powdered activated carbon
- Fast Flow Rate: 8 seconds per 24oz (5 liters/minute)
- Removes: 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
- Filters: particulates (i.e. silt, microplastics, etc.); activated carbon effectively adsorbs chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, flavors, and odors
- Durability: built tough to perform in harsh conditions and withstand 10 ft drops (full of water) onto concrete
- Cartridge lifespan: rated for 350 cycles (65 gal. / 250L), as “press time” reaches ~25 seconds (or three years have elapsed since first use) it’s time to replace your purifier cartridge
- Cartridge shelf life: stored under proper conditions, an unused (and airtight) purifier cartridge has a shelf life of 10 years
- BPA-Free materials: made from polypropylene #5, food-grade silicone, TPE, ABS food-grade plastic
- Testing standards: independently tested by a certified laboratory to meet or exceed NSF protocol 42 and 53 for pathogen and chemical removal; meets the EPA Guide Standard and Protocol for testing microbiological water purifiers
- Origin: Designed in United States; Geopress made in China, purifier cartridge media made in United States
On a hot day it's vital to stay hydrated. On a long day such as The Ben it's easy to go through 4 or 5 litres without needing a pee. This should be obvious but as with all the famous mountains, one will see ,many an intrepid walker carrying a small bottle of mineral water for the day. Now on this day some enterprising youngsters had set up shop selling water cooled cans of coke at red burn for £5 each. I was tempted but as I couldn't get a press sample it wasn't to be. At least for me but they seemed to be doing a roaring trade anyway and good for them.
Anyway on a day such as this I'd often carry 5 litres for myself but the major drawback of this is the weight. 5 litres is 5 kilos or nearly ten pounds I'm told. Of course this gets lighter during the day but you've also got the issue of running out on a long day. So in the car park at Glen Nevis I unpacked the Geopress, had a quick skim over the user guide and chucked in my pack, thankful that it was a mere 450g.
So as we set up the tourist route it was hot and we soon heard the whirr of the blades of the rescue helicopter. As they winched some poor soul off (hopefully Okay and best wishes), the reality of what is a big bloody mountain was there. Slow progress due to the heat affecting our party but just good to be in the mountains. We looked forward to the lochan and hopefully a cool breeze which hit us, albeit too briefly as we hit the col.
I was down to droplets in my bladder and my back up bottle was empty and I wasn't the only one, so I set about looking for the mankiest bits of water I could find along the bonnie shores.
People bathed and dogs swam to cool off from the immense Highland heat and I hoped the Geopress filter would work. Filling the beaker (I hate the beaker people) or flask, I then pushed the filter and started the process. First time was hard but I'd forgotten to unscrew the top to allow air out. Rectifying my numptiness the Geopress became simple to use. Okay replenishing 5l at 710 mmls a go took a little while but it was preferable to going back down.
Using the Geopress I could actually see the difference between the water in the flask and what was it like to drink? Well it was lovely, cool, clean and refreshing. I even carried a bit down to complement a nice malt that evening.
The Geopress feels like a piece of quality kit and it comes with an impressive 10 year guarantee and each filter cartridge should last 350 cycles or 3 years since first used. Spare parts are also available from Grayl.
The Geopress costs around £90 which from my experience working in stores is actually a reasonable price. I';ve a feeling this may become a go to piece of kit for me. It'll be useful in emergency packs, cycle touring, camping, walking, big days out and when I visit England after Brexit and the water supplies are breaking down. I'll always have clean water.
A quick Youtube vid showing how to use the Grayl Geopress can be found here
Details from Grayl can be found here
Grayl GEOPRESS™ Water Purifier and Filter Bottle – Visibility Orange | Grayl UK – GRAYL® UK
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