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For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, it used iodine crystals which slowly dissolve over time and can work for a couple thousand treatments.

Unfortunately the company that makes the product is based in California where iodine is on a list of substances the state is changing regulation on in an attempt to stop crystal meth production.

Are there any companies in Europe or elsewhere that can ship legally to the US that produce something similar to Polar Pure?

The features I am most interested in is a small container that is able to treat thousands of bottles of water over time.

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I found this:katadynch.vs31.snowflakehosting.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/… but they say they cannot send it thru us mail but the product is found in Canadian website (like www.mec.ca) –  Amine Jun 19 '12 at 16:35
Thanks, that's a pump and there are equivalent pumps that can be bought in the US. One of the big upsides of Polar Pure was the extreme ease of use. Nothing really to clean, maintain, etc. –  Justin C Jun 20 '12 at 2:19
REI has some simple lightweight water purification tablets. –  Patrick Sep 19 '12 at 16:14
@Patrick - thanks for the suggestion. I use tablets and have an REI membership. Tablets work, but I still remember fondly the days when I had my Polar Pure. Been some updates from Polar Pure since I wrote this question but still no solution. –  Justin C Sep 20 '12 at 16:40
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2 Answers

You might want to take a look at this site which is in Canada, but ships to the USA. Due note that since the DEA is restricting/banning the product, buying iodine crystals through the mail might get seized coming into the country.

If you want to help Polar Pure come back, take a look here for info on how you can help.

If you are looking for a more bulk level purchase you could check this supply store which sells iodine crystals in 30g increments.

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polarequipment.com/purchase.htm I actually wrote a letter and got a form letter in return. It was quite depressing, as I've used polarpure on 400+ mile hikes and found it very satisfactory. –  gbronner Dec 2 '13 at 17:05
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If you still have your PolarPur bottle you can purchase crystal iodine off of ebay. Look for this seller, "ibmsuccess2010", he sells and ships from Lithuania. I place a quarter teaspoon of the iodine back into the PolarPur bottle and it will work like new. The seller packages and ships very discreetly. The amount if crystal iodine you will get will probably last you a lifetime.

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Hey TGA - I edited to strip out seller information to avoid any unnecessary questions about terms of use, etc. –  Russell Steen May 20 '13 at 20:22
@RussellSteen, isn't this a double standard as the other answer also advertises specific commercial suppliers? The seller name is still available in history. I believe the question could more clearly state that other sellers on eBay also offer the service. The value of specifying the seller name is that TGA is presumably sharing his experience and sharing useful information. I don't believe this falls in the content policy clause 'whose primary purpose is affiliate marketing'. I believe he's primarily sharing his experience and doubt that the main intent is to augment the vendor's exposure. –  ppl May 20 '13 at 21:42
@ppl -- You make a good point, I have rolled back my edit. –  Russell Steen May 22 '13 at 11:29
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