For those who aren’t already aware, in 2006 I thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. Over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine in a single hike. For what was nearly 6 months of my life, I carried only a single water purification tool and it served me better than I could ever have hoped. While it did have a bit of weight due to the nature of the sturdy glass container, it proved more than worthy of the weight it added to my pack.
As the title indicates, the product I am referring to was Polar Pure. A single bottle is a near infinite supply of water purification as long as it is not allowed to dry out once opened. During a lull in my hiking activities, it did indeed dry out on me and I went to seek out a replacement bottle as well as a few extras to gift to friends.
To my shock, they were no longer available on the market. The reason is because of constrictive new regulations on a federal level and in California, where the small family-owned company is based. Iodine is now listed as a controlled substance, effectively putting the company out of business. Details regarding these new regulations can be found in depth at State of CA Health and Safety Code Section 11100-11111 and DEA Regulations FR Doc E7-12736, but the short version is that both the company and anyone wishing to sell their product will be required to do a lot of complicated paperwork and pay extremely high fees annually for the right to sell the product. Most distributors have no interest in paying the fee and it is very taxing on the profitability of the small company behind making Polar Pure.
At the time of this entry, the company is still trying to obtain an exemption. You may by now be asking why I am writing this at all. Simply put, I feel the product is of such a high quality and value that it deserves whatever support can be mustered on it’s behalf. If it becomes available again, by all means seek to get some for yourself. Ten dollars gives a nearly endless supply of safe and simple water purification.
If you want to do something to help the company, go to their site on the Availability Update page. At the bottom, it lists a set of names and contact information for who you can contact to push for the exemption of Polar Pure. I hope to see this product returned to the market so that you can all have a chance to use it again. If it does return, I will likely do a full product review.