Equipment is developing fast, but it’s still rare to find something that has a really huge impact on days out in the hills. I’m not a kit fanatic but have to say something about this. The BeFree filter from Katadyn and distributed by Lyon Equipment is something that really has made a difference.

My kids are well into the outdoors, and it’s made for awesome days in the hills; scrambling, multi-pitch, ridge walks. When they were just 4 they were up Snowdon, Striding Edge at 5. Old enough to go far, but not to carry much stuff, including a few litres of water. So that’s my job, and with 2 kids, plus me, my walks begin with 7 kg of water, which is heavy, and annoying if you end up with 4 kg still in the bag when you get back!

The BeFree Filter completely changes this, and allows a refill basically anywhere with water. OK, The top of Sharp Edge is no good, but with a little thought I can never have more than a litre or 2 in my pack. This allows me to carry way more food, and cart along a bigger pile of ‘special stones’ that are picked up along the way. So I just can’t win! But really, this filter is essential for long days out, and I imagine every outdoor person will end up with something similar. The BeFree was winner of loads of awards recently and I can see why now that I have used it.

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But its not just outdoors. We were recently on an island off the coast of Malaysia. Tapwater sketchy; rather cloudy to even consider drinking and maybe carrying something dodgy. Bottled water was available to buy, at about £1 for 1.5l. Quick calculation: Two families, 2l per person per day minimum(its hot out there), that’s 16l/day, so about £10 a day on water. We were away 20 days… so that’s £200! Plus a heck of a lot of plastic. With the filter we had as much clean water as we needed, for free (nearly).

Apparently the filter will clean 1000l of water, so that’s basically absolutely loads. Lots of new gear makes small differences to our outdoor fun. This one makes a big difference and you should get one!

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