When you’re in the backcountry, it’s generally a good idea to avoid drinking any surface water (from lakes, streams, etc.) because unlike treated tap water, it might contain pathogens and microorganisms that could make you sick. Although the likelihood of actually getting sick from drinking untreated water here in Southwest Colorado is extremely low, the consequences (violent illness for many days or weeks) are so high that you should always play it safe and treat your water.
Whether you’re a new or experienced hiker, shopping for a backpacking stove can be an overwhelming process. There are so many options on the market, all with different features, specifications, and fuel sources.