If you’re the kind of hiker who appreciates a piece of gear that is versatile enough to pull double-duty on the trail, then you’re going to want to check out PurTrek’s trekking poles. Recently launched on Kickstarter, these walking sticks not only provide all of the functionality you would expect from a traditional set of trekking poles, but they have a unique, hidden feature that could make them extremely popular with the ultralight backpacking crowd. That’s because these poles come with a built-in water filtration system that can provide clean drinking water on the go.
Made from lightweight, yet durable carbon fiber, the PurTrek trekking poles look a lot like any other trekking pole you might find in your local gear shop. When fully extended, they reach 57 inches in length, but can collapse down to as short as 35 inches for ease of storage and transportation. They feature ergonomically designed rubber handles, adjustable CAM locks, and carbide tips, all of which help to keep hikers stable and balanced out on the trail.
They are a bit heavier than other carbon fiber trekking poles, tipping the scales at about 17 ounces each. That’s because hidden away inside the PurTrek is an advanced water purification system that can reportedly eliminate 99.99 percent of all waterborne bacteria, protozoa, and micro plastics. As if that wasn’t enough, the filter is said to be two or three times faster than other purifiers on the market, allowing backpackers to fill their water bottles and hydration reservoirs at a much faster rate. The designers behind the poles say the filter can also clean up to 500 liters of water before it needs to be replaced.
To begin using the PurTrek poles to create clean drinking water, hikers simply flip open a cap at the top of the handle and insert a small rubber hose. Next, they unclip the topmost CAM lock, which exposes a built-in pump that is used to draw water into the filter itself. The pole is then inserted into a stream, river, or lake and the hiker begins pushing down on the handle to activate the pump. As the water passes through the purification system the clean water empties out of the hose to be collected in a bottle or reservoir. The entire process looks quick, easy, and efficient, and the person using the pump doesn’t even have to get down on his or her knees to collect the water.
The designers of the PurTrek were hoping to raise $10,000 to get the device into production, but just a few days into the Kickstarter campaign, they’ve already more than tripled that amount. That means that the trekking poles should start shipping in February with a retail price of $179 for one and $358 for a set of two. Early bird supporters can order the poles now at a substantial discount, but as always, be sure you understand the risks of backing any crowdfunding campaign before pledging your money.