Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: HTI Water - HydroPack

I mentioned the HTI Water systems in my recent post about the Camping and Caravan Show that I attended, but I got in touch with John McClelland, who sent me a bunch of promotional material, a review by the 33 Canadian Brigade Group on their 2007 Cambrian Patrol exercise, which is an international Long Range Patrol (LRP) competition held amongst the highest mountains in the Brecon Beacon area of Wales (U.K). 

This exercise is designed to test a patrol’s ability to operate covertly behind enemy lines with little to no direct support or resupply. This seemed the perfect example of why I would want to look at these packs, and I was really excited when a sample arrived in the mail.

The HydroPack 6-pack comes with everything you'd need for six portions, with six sachets, six straws all held in a resealable plastic bag. All in an iPad sized pack. SO, what is it all about?

Pulled from HTI Water's press release
Each pouch is a wafer thin plastic-on-one-side and woven Forward Osmosis (FO) membrane material, which is a flat sheet, spiral wound, and hollow fiber membrane, that will allow water to pass through, but exclude and removes viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and cysts from the dirtiest of waters, and even brackish water.

HTI Water's HydroPack pouches are  designed to make cloudy, muddy or pollutant contaminated water (both natural and man-made) safe to drinking emergency situations.

It does this without pumping, clogging or other banes of filtration systems, by virtue of the orange crystals held within the pouch. This is electrolyte powder is what acts to drive the Forward Osmosis, pulling pure water from external sources and filling the pouch with between 355-500 ml of dilute, electrolyte and carbohydrate enriched clean water.

 The pouches themselves are thin, light and quite durable feeling, but obviously, they need to be kept away from water, or they will start working. 

The instructions state that within 10 hours, but no longer than 24 hours, the pouch will fill, so I decided to test this out in my own setting, and found a source of grotty water that I had on hand. I took my pouch, and tossed it into the rain-runoff barrel next to the front garden veggie patch. This barrel takes the runoff from our downpipe filled water-tank, was the former home to goldfish (who all died), and is really quite murky year-round, but I was fairly confident that if there were trouble, nothing more than a dose of the runs would be in store for me.

The HydroPack was in the barrel from 1400 till 0900 the following morning, at which time I fished it out, wipped off the outer crud, stabbed it with the spiked straw, and sucked down on a tasty electrolyte drink.

I called this a total success, and was really impressed with the taste and efficacy of the pouches. 

I am going to keep some in my car, and Bug-Out-Bags for sure, because being caught out in a hostile environment with a crippling bout of intestinal cramps (bogged in a riverbed in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya for one example)  is not the best of survival strategies.

These are a very cool, lightweight, super easy to use system of emergency hydration and sustainmentI will be looking into getting more of these.


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