Prepping on $20 a Paycheck – Part 19 of 24

The Ready Center - Life Straw 2

Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center

The recommendation that we make in the “Prepping on $20 a Paycheck” series are usually pretty broad.  We do our best to leave color, style, brand, etc. up for your choosing.  However this time we’re not going to do that.  Nothing about this recommendation can or should be left for interpretation, so let me make this crystal clear for you:  We want you to buy yourself a LifeStraw.

This is the one and only time during the “Prepping on $20 a Paycheck” series that we will deliberately tell you to go out and purchase a very specific brand of product.  This is not a sales gimmick for us.  The Ready Center is not “in bed” with LifeStraw or vice versa.  As a matter of fact, The Ready Center doesn’t even sell the LifeStraw.  The reason for this plainly stated recommendation is simple:  It’s an awesome product.

LifeStraw  1 - The Ready CenterLifeStraw is a personal water filter, designed to provide safe, clean drinking water in any situation. The lightweight filter is ideal for hiking, camping, travel, hunting, and pretty much any survival situation you can throw at it.  It makes contaminated or suspect water safe to drink.  The LifeStraw filter contains no chemicals, no iodinated resin, no batteries, and no moving parts.  It is nothing more a simple hollow-fiber membrane filter enclosed in a 1 inch plastic tube with a mouth piece on one end.  And with the LifeStraw, filtering your drinking water could not be any simpler.  You simply drink directly from puddles, streams, lakes, public fountains, etc. using the the LifeStraw as you would a regular drinking straw.  Dirty and contaminated water goes in – pure, clean, potable water comes out.  Simple.  Easy.  Dummy proof.

LifeStraw 4 - The Ready CenterThis little beast of a water filter measures 1″ x 1″ x 9″ and weighs in at only 2 ounces, which is quite impressive.  What is more impressive is that it filters 1000 liters of contaminated water and turns it into 1000 liters of clean potable water.  And as a side note for all of you who are wondering: 1000 liters = 263 gallons.  Yep, this little work-horse of a straw filters 263 gallons of water.  Let me put that into perspective for you.  It is recommended that each person consumes eight 8oz glasses of water a day.  That pans out to exactly 1 gallon every two days.  If you were in a situation where you had to use this LifeStraw as your only source of potable water and you still wanted to get your eight 8oz glasses of water a day, this LifeStraw would last you almost a year and a half – 528 days to be exact.  That’s no joke.

And not only does it have a 5 year shelf life, but the filtering capabilities are quite impressive as well.  The LifeStraw filters to 0.2 microns preventing contaminants from flowing through into the into the user.  For most of us, that sounds great, but what does that really mean?  Well, here are the numbers as we have received them:

The LifeStraw removes a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.  The Bacteria it removes includes Escherichia coli (“E. Coli”), Campylobacter, Vibrio cholerae (“Cholera”), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella, and Salmonella.  Again, this thing really is a work-horse.  In addition to removing bacteria, the LifeStraw also removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites.  The protozoa this filter removes include: Giardia lamblia (“Beaver Fever”), Cryptosporidium parvum (“Crypto”), as well as Entamoeba histolytica.  Impressed, aren’t ya?  That’s okay, you’re not the only one.  This little water filter has received more than a few awards and accolades to include:

  • One of the ‘Ten Things That Will Change The Way We Live” Forbes (February 2006)
  • ‘Invention of the Century’ Gizmag (December 2005)
  • ‘Innovation of the Year’ Esquire (December 2005)
  • ‘Europe’s Best Invention’ Reader’s Digest (July 2006)
  • ‘Best Invention of 2005’ Time (November 2005)
  • 2008 Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas
  • INDEX: 2005 International Design Award
  • Well-Tech 2006 Innovation Technology Award

The main reason we like this filter is 4 fold.  1)  Its filtering capability.  It does a darn good job and in the right/wrong situation, this thing can keep you alive.  2)  It’s ease of use.  If you can figure out how to use a drinking straw, you’ll do okay with the LifeStraw.   3)  It’s size and weight.  If I can squeeze it in my BOB, throw it on my back, and not notice a weight difference, it gets a thumbs up.  And 4)  The price – The LifeStraw cost just under $20 every place you look.  In todays economy where everything costs you an arm and a leg, this thing is a bargain.  You can purchase them on Amazon or from LifeStraw themselves by clicking here or clicking here.

LifeStraw 6 - The Ready Center

Lastly, I want to give this product my personal stamp of approval.  I currently have one of these in my Bug Out Bag right now.  My wife has one in her vehicle at all times as well.  I really believe you can’t go wrong with this little gem.  Go out and pick one up.  For $20 you just can’t go wrong.

Until next time,


The Ready Center




Leave a Comment