The MIOX water purifer system does a great job at killing waterbourne bacteria and viruses while not tainting the flavour of your water. If you are using iodine tablets to treat your water on the trail I highly recommend this system as a replacement. It takes about the same time (aprox. 30 min) to kill all the viruses and bacteria in your drinking water as iodine but again doesn't give it that funky taste. The MIOX system uses rock salt to create a brine that is then activated by electricity. I don't know how/why it works, but it does. MSR has included test strips that show you when your water is safe to drink. When you run out of rock salt or test strips, more are available at most outdoors retailers that sell backpacking gear, or you can always find more online. The price is a little steep at 100-140 dollars for the whole setup, but it is a solid investment. Here is a breakdown of the setup and a step by step of how to use it.
From left to right:
Battery cap (uses two CR123 batteries, included)
Cell with cap (cap holds salt)
Salt chamber cap (connected to battery cap with strap)
How to use:
First you'll pull the cap off and reveal the cell. Fill the area with water (not the cap!!). It should hold about 1/4 tsp. Now replace the cap and shake the water into the salt chamber about ten times. Be careful not to shake it too much or the water will have too much salt content. Now take the cap off again. Be sure to hold the purifier upright so you don't spill the water. Now you're ready for the fun part! Push the button! Depending on how many times you push it, it will treat a corresponding volume of water.
1 = 1/2 liter
2 = 1 liter
3 = 2 liters
4 = 4 liters
If you need more than that you'll have to refill the cell. Now just dump the activated brine solution into your water bottle, wait 20 minutes (after the test strip comes out OK), and you're good to go! Here are some photos of what the inside looks like and a video of what it looks like when you click the button.
Cell and cap with screen
Rock salt chamber
The only downfall of this system is that it runs on batteries. Mine has been used for the past year and it just started to flash the low battery light. Not too bad, but it wouldn't be good if it died on you while you were in the middle of a hike. I always carry iodine tablets as a backup (plus they work on big cuts and scrapes if you grind them up with a little water). I'll leave you with this video of the activation process. Stay tuned for more articles in the near future!