Our Story

Polar Pure was invented in the 1980's by chemist and expert backpacker Bob Wallace. Bob, After Retiring as an engineer from Lockheed martin and selling off his own Steel hardening business,  was planning a trip to Mexico to climb the famous Volcano's. Bob was a little nervous about the water in Mexico as his neighbor a former MD was down in Mexico on a volunteer trip to treat people in a poor Mexican village, was diagnosed with the virus Hepatitis B Which he got from the Water in Mexico, He was using Tablets which are ineffective at treating viruses, his neighbor died 10 years later. Bob therefore needed a safe water treatment and during that time his wife Marge was reading an article in Backpacker magazine written by 2 MD's from the Western Journal of Medicine, about the possibility of treating water with Iodine. Backpacker copied the article almost verbatim including all the information of Dosage, Temperature and using the cap as a dosage measure and added some sketches and drawings from bottle and cap deigns,  Bob was fascinated by the idea and immediately started work on what would later be called Polar Pure.


Water Treatment

Bob was always frustrated about the products on the market for treating water, which at the time was tablets or boiling water, The tablets were not effective on Viruses when the bacteria would mutate not to mention the cost of around 12 cents per cup, and boiling water meant starting a fire every time you needed water and allot more equipment to carry.

Bob being a tinkerer started experimenting different methods of using Iodine treatment and experimenting on himself. After bob found a suitable bottle to hold his iodine, a sock to filter out large debris like twigs in the water, he started using the product on his journeys.

At first Bob intended Polar Pure to be for his personal use but His friends at the Sierra Club, A Not for profit organization that promotes wild life conservation and the outdoors, people he met on the trail began wondering what Bob was using to treat his water. Bob showed them his invention and they loved it, People began calling him asking him to make them a bottle but he had no intentions of making this a marketable product to sell to the others, it was simply his personal concoction. After some time Bob started making bottles for his close friends, then their friends starting calling bob asking for bottles to ship them. Bob began considering the possibility of selling the product to the masses, however The product at this point had not yet gone threw any sort of testing only his own equations of how effective it would be based on his knowledge of chemistry which would later prove to be a problem.



Bob took his product to the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas, where he met the owner of a sporting good store and they ordered a few cases. After the customer got the product and started selling them he contacted Bob informing him the product might need EPA Registration as a water treatment product. Bob contacted the EPA office in Seattle that controlled water treatment registration at the time. He told them of his product and they forwarded his information to an EPA office in LA, Bob went down to their office but before he showed them the product he noticed 2 lawyers in the office, they were upset Bob had been selling Polar Pure without a license until now. He informed them he had no clue the product needed licensing but they insisted he would be fined $4,000 ( A very large sum in the 1980's). He later negotiated them down to $300 and after some lab testing they immediately granted him an EPA registration number which Polar Pure has till this day.

After a few more kinks like adding the "Keep Out of Reach of Children" label printed on most products registered by the EPA, the product was ready to be rolled out. Bob was contacted by a customer asking him why there was no such label on the bottle, Bob contacted the EPA and they informed him he needed to add the label. 

After that Bob wanted to add a Crystal Temperature Gauge that would light up when the correct temperature would hit informing the end user of the correct dosage.

And then there was the patented Bottle Trap Design, People didn't want to swallow the iodine crystals which meant bob had to figure out a way to keep the iodine in the bottle when pouring out the solution so Bob came up with the clever design.


Roll Out

By now Polar Pure was catching on, everyone outdoor enthusiast wanted there hands on Polar Pure, It's cheaper (0.05 cents per liter compared to tablets at 12 cents per cup), more effective at killing off viruses, and bacteria and has an indefinite shelf life, Tablets decay and become more and more ineffective the longer you have them.

Bob Contacted REI in the late 80's and within that years they were selling thousands of bottles, Distributors and dealers all look at REI to see where the market is going they too contacted Bob and by then Polar Pure became a popular product in the Outdoor industry.



Y2K was the turning point of Polar Pure, Everyone was panicking that Armageddon was coming as soon as the calendar hit January 1'st, whenever there is a natural disaster Polar Pure sees a spike in sales but Y2K was off the charts, bob sold 30'000 bottles just towards the end of the year and by the late 2006 Polar Pure became the number 1 best selling product on Amazon.com in the entire sports and outdoors category, That's out of over 2 million products.


shutdown / DEA

In 1999 Bob got a call from the buyer at REI informing him he has suspicion that there's a small group of Meth Heads that are using Polar Pure to produce Methamphetamine, and a few years later in 2010 he got a call from the DEA informing him of new regulations on Iodine, and that he would need to be registered by the DEA if he wanted to continue doing business. During that time Polar Pure was no longer available and bloggers were writing on all outdoor forums asking if anyone knows where they can get Polar Pure, Bob received thousands of calls from people around the world asking for a bottle of Polar Pure, but he couldn't sell it. 


Back in Business

Bob applied for DEA registration and after 4 years of dealing with their Bureaucracy Polar Pure was back in business. Since Polar Pure has been back in business Bloggers again wrote on forums across the web that Polar Pure is back.

Polar Pure had been used millions of times over by campers and backpackers around the world. after 30+ years in operation and many hurdles and setbacks along the way, Polar Pure Remains the only trusted water treatment product for expert campers backpackers and hikers.