MSR's recently introduced MIOX Purifier ($130; www.msrcorp.com) is an exceedingly clever device. Developed for the military, it uses an electrical charge to convert salt into a solution that kills bacteria, microorganisms, even viruses. MIOX stands for "mixed oxidants," which is the stuff that's produced to purify the water.
Using it is extremely simple. You put some water into the flashlight-sized device, shake it, then push a button on the side. That process mixes in the purifying salts and triggers the electrical current (from two lithium batteries) that converts the saltwater mixture into the oxidants. Then, you pour this stuff into your water. Paper test strips that come with the MIOX are dipped into your water to tell you when it's safe to drink. The most amazing thing is that the four-ounce MIOX device, two batteries, and one ounce of purifying salt can render 200 liters of drinkable water. That's pretty amazing. Compared with filters, it's much easier to use and much better for handling the water needs of a group.
Is there a downside? Alas, yes. The purifying solution takes time to work. That ranges from 15 minutes to kill viruses and bacteria, 30 minutes for giardia, and up to four hours for cryptosporidia. So you can't just stop at a stream, drink, and be on your way. But, you can use a water filter such as MSR's MiniWorks EX ($80) to filter out those water-borne nasties, then use the MIOX to take care of the germs. That would give you safe water in 15 minutes, which isn't bad. And there's no funny taste.
Lead Photo: courtesy, MSR
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