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ADV ProductsMotorcycle Safety GearGetting Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency

Getting Safe Drinking Water in an Emergency

A light, inexpensive and durable product that could save your life

Published on 06.26.2013

On a perfect summer day riding through the mountains, we were exploring a new trail that began to get very technical. As the day proceeded, temperatures soared into the high 80’s and we’d gone too far to turn around without hurting our pride. We trudged on through the rocks and the trail seemed to get tighter and steeper.

As I peeked around each new turn, I hoped it wouldn’t get any worse. Dripping with sweat and panting like a dog, I went for another sip of water from my Camelback. I received a half a gulp of water and then nothing as the bladder squeezed dry. To my surprise,  I had depleted my entire bladder already! Minutes later my riding partner was empty too. I couldn’t believe in just a few hours of riding we’d completely run out of water.

We checked the map and realized we were still hours from a safe drinking water source. We had no choice but to continue on and suffer through the incredible thirst that was building inside of us. Along the way we came to a stream crossing and we enthusiastically dipped our entire bodies into the shallow, ice-cold water. The relief from the heat was amazing, but unfortunately our thirst persisted.


In my mind I could imagine the amazing flavor of the ice-cold mountain spring water in my mouth, but I knew it was not safe to drink it. Taking a drink from a stream means risking a plethora of microbes and other bad stuff (Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Amoebae, Ciliates, etc…) that can give you anything from diarrhea to death.

This could be your next source of clean drinking water.

Creek crossings can provide a source of safe drinking water in an emergency.

Cold mountain streams may offer the best tasting water in the world, but it’s just not worth the risk unless you are in a desperate survival situation. As I sat there splashing water on my neck I thought, “If I only had one of those water filters or treatment tablets…” Hours later, exhausted and dehydrated, we eventually arrived at our drinking water source. Looking back, we spent most of the day thinking about getting water instead of enjoying the beautiful terrain we were riding. It wasn’t a life-threatening situation, but it definitely put a damper on the day.  If one more thing had gone wrong, we could have been in serious trouble.

Running out of water on a hot summers day is easy to do.  Making space in your luggage for a portable water treatment device is a smart way to prepare for you next adventure. Sometimes you may be riding through a region that requires you to refill with water of questionable quality. Every Adventure Rider should have something small, light and durable that will allow them to convert bad water into clean safe drinking water.

One of the products we’ve come across that’s a perfect solution for Adventure Bike riders is the Seychelle Advanced Pure Water Straw. It works like a jumbo straw that allows you to suck water directly out of a stream or other water source. The water travels through a filter that cleans the water before it reaches your mouth. With its lightweight, compact design it will easily fit in your luggage without taking up much space. It’s also built to be durable so it won’t get destroyed when you compress down your soft bags.

Desert Oasis

Natural water sources can be made safe to drink in an emergency. (Courtesy Leitner)

There are other ways to filter water such as water tablets, but these will change the flavor of the water, giving it that chemical taste. There are also UV light treatment devices available, but these are expensive, require batteries and may not be as durable. Pump systems will allow you to treat more water at a time, but these are bulky and heavier than the Pure Water Straw. If you want something you can just throw in your bag and forget about that doesn’t alter the flavor the water, the Pure Water Straw is the best option.

The Seychelle Advanced Pure Water Straw might not be the best device for filtering large quantities of water, but it works great when you need to get re-hydrated fast.  In an emergency, the filter straw can be effective at filtering large quantities of water with a suck and spit approach.  You can suck 25 gallons of water safely through this straw before a new filter is needed. The main benefit of the straw is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and you can hide it away in your luggage for a future emergency.  Or maybe you just want to taste some of that delicious Ice Cold mountain spring water on your next trip to the mountains.

We’ve seen similar Water Straw Filter products on the market, but the Seychelle Advanced Pure Water Straw is the only one we’ve seen that can protect you against not only bacteria, but also viruses. In fact, the company claims this product can protect you against 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses. They even make a version of the product that can protect you from radioactive water if you want one for the nuclear doomsday!

The price is nice too. For less than $20, the Seychelle Advanced Pure Water Straw can be a potential life-saver tucked away in your panniers. With occasional usage, it will last you a very long time as well. Next time you find yourself cooling off your body in an ice cold mountain stream or desert oasis, you can take a sip of ice cold safe drinking water as well.

Product Specs:

Water purifying drinking straw

Seychelle Advanced Pure Water Straw

– Up to 25-gallon filter life (189 half-liter water bottles).

– 99.9999% Effective against bacteria and virus.
– Waterproof carrying case.
– Ultra light and compact.
– Money Back Guaranteed for 90 days!
– Approx. Weight: 2.1 ounces
– Dimensions (LxWxH): 1 x 8.5 x 1 inches

Other Links:
– Buy the Advanced Pure Water Straw
– Seychelle Company Website

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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Chasing Rocks and Glory at the Adventure Rally Sierra Edition - ADV Pulse
November 17, 2017 12:06 pm

[…] To no one’s surprise, what was difficult in daylight was nearly impossible in darkness. Steam emanated from our helmets and sweat dripped off our chins while we repeatedly dropped and picked up 500-pound bikes at over 9,000 feet elevation. Having run out of water long ago, at one point we were literally taking turns face down in a creek sucking water through a Life Straw. […]

Johnny G.
Johnny G.
October 3, 2018 7:26 am

Cool product, but 25 gallons is hardly anything! Another good option; put an Sawyer mini filter inline in your Camelbak bladder hose. About the same price as the Seychelle straw, but it can do thousands of gallons.


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