Tip #1: Keep Your Water Filter Clean
The odds are that you’ve invested some good time money into purchasing a quality water filter. The last thing you want to do is get lazy after a hike or camping trip and forget to clean it up. The filter is your primary line of defense against ingesting nasty critters and other things that may make you sick. Leaving dirty water festering inside the filter will allow mold to grow and will most likely ruin the filter or cartridge.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations (found in your owner’s manual) for properly cleaning the filter. This typically involves using a bleach solution that is drawn through the filter just as you would do in the field. Depending on the filter it may involve backflushing (reversing flow) the filter to clean it. If your filter does use backflushing make sure you know how to do it properly. Muddy water can often clog hollow-fiber filters and ruin a trip. Properly backwashing the filter in the field should restore it to its proper operating condition.
The key to post-activity maintenance is not only cleaning the filter with fresh water but also sanitizing it. Let the filter dry completely before storing it away. If possible it’s not a bad idea to store it with a silica pack to draw out any remaining water.