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Gearing up

Purity in a hurry

February 15, 2009
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I've used a SteriPEN to purify water, from streams in the Patagonian wilderness to public fountains in Mexico. These lightweight and compact water purifiers, made by Hydro-Photon in Blue Hill, Maine, use ultraviolet light to destroy the critters in nonpotable water that can make you sick - viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. Just push a button, submerge the unit's lamp in water, and stir.

The latest version, the SteriPEN Journey, has an easy-to-read LCD display that shows the lamp and battery life, and a countdown timer: It takes 90 seconds to purify 32 ounces of water.

The unit weighs 4.5 ounces, runs on two CR123 batteries, and works with anything from a kitchen glass to a Nalgene-style water bottle. It sells for $99 at www.REI.com and www.magellans.com. You can also go to www.steripen.com or call 888-783-7473.

KARI BODNARCHUK

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