Potable Aqua

Potable aqua tablets are used to treat water on the trail. Unlike water filtration systems or UV lights, potable aqua is a chemical water purifier. Different tablets treat different amounts of water over different periods of time. Always check the instructions. Each tablet contains 20 mg of Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide (TGHP) and this chemical releases iodine into the water to kill bacteria.

Using the tablets is pretty simple, drop two tablets into 1 quart of water and wait 5 minutes. Then, after five minutes, stir/shake the water to fully distribute the TGHP and then wait a further 30 minutes. A sealed bottle of tablets has no expiration date and so Potable Aqua tablets work well as a back-up water purification method. Since a full bottle of 50 tablets, 25 quarts of water can be purified. Whilst the regular tablets do leave a mild bleach-like taste, alternative tablets have additional chemicals to reduce this taste.


Although this water purification system is slow and can leave a taste, carry around 10 tables in a small sealed lightweight aluminum container as a back up. UV lamps, bladders and filters can fail, have some tablets handy as part of your 10 essentials. Replace the tablets periodically. As a general rule tablets that are grayish/brown in color are good and tablets that are yellowish/green should be replaced.



  • Small and reliable
  • Great back-up


  • Bleach-like taste
  • Slow


A great back-up to your main hydration system.

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