I was fortunate enough to spend nearly 3 weeks in India with a group in October, which included an 8 day trek up to 4,000 metres in Himachal Pradesh. Prior to departure there were several visits to the doctor for the inevitable innoculations, but what he spoke about most frequently was the inevitable upset stomach. It seemed everybody I spoke to had stories of the unavoidable "Delhi belly."
Now I am probably not the most hygienic camper so I thought I needed to be a bit more pro-active. So I was ruthless in my use of hand sanitizer and purchased a "Water-to-Go" water bottle, which I used throughout my time in the country. Success, I managed to leave India without the slightest hint of an upset stomach whilst other members of the group were not so fortunate.
I could write plenty about the science behind the Water-to-Go bottles and filters, a 3-in-1 system constructed using nano technology and how they reduce the contaminants in water by over 99.9% but if you are interested in this sort of thing I would recommend you pay their website a visit.
What you really need to know is that they make bottles in 2 sizes, 75cl which filters 200 litres of water and lasts 3 months and the 50cl bottle which will filter 130 litres and last 2 months. Effectively this means that they will last for the duration of most paddlers sea kayaking holidays.
I can honestly say that they next time I go away on a trip this bottle will be with me ensuring that I can drink safely from mountain streams or in some countries from the hotel taps. It could be the end of plastic water bottles on your travels. My only slight grumble is that at times I like to add fruit juice to my water and that adding juices etc to the water can result in the filters becoming inefficient, but that is a small price to pay for stable insides.
If you are looking for one really item of essential kit that won't break the bank this could be it.
Looking down on our high camp. We were spending the night in the huts, which were used by the shepherds during the summer months. We retreated from here due to an approaching storm. Water at this camp was from a nearby stream.
Observing some of the local birds in flight. At this camp site a number of the group were hit by stomach problems.
In conditions like this you need a simple solution to your water needs. I would have no problem recommending Water-to-Go, it worked for me.