The best ways to filter your water so you don’t get sick

Friday, January 15, 2016 by

( The second-most important thing to your survival behind air is water. You can go weeks without food but you cannot last much more than three days without replenishing your system with water. That makes sense, given that 60-70 percent of male and female adult bodies consist of water.

In a national emergency or other long-term societal breakdown situation, potable water will become as difficult to find as replacement food, and maybe even more difficult. Now, if you live in a part of the country that tends to get ample rain, you’re going to be much better off than people who don’t. But even so, a good prepper and survivalist understands the importance of securing potable water or, barring that, making the water you have available to you good enough to drink without making you sick.

Luckily, there are several ways to purify water while on the go. “Knowing the many ways to purify water and having at least two or three of these methods at your disposal wherever you are will ensure you are well hydrated and can focus on other aspects of survival, such as getting food and finding or making shelter,” notes Survival Sullivan.

What will likely happen if you don’t purify your drinking water? You could (and likely will) experience diarrhea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and weight loss. In addition, you could contract cholera (drinking water with feces in it; this can be deadly) or Amoebiasis (caused by a protozoa that lives in water or sewage containing flies). You can also ingest a whole host of nasty poisons from farm runoff and heavy metals like arsenic.=

Now that we know why we purify, let’s discuss how to do it:

1. Boiling: This is probably one of the most effective ways to ensure that every bit of potential nastiness in your water is killed. You should, of course, have a method of starting a fire and you’ll need a metal pan or other container that can stand up to the heat. Bring your water to a robust, roil and let it continue boiling for 1-3 minutes.


More: How to make your campfire burn all night


 2. Chemical treatment: Use safe chemicals to treat your water. They include:

  • Bleach – Make sure it’s pure and free of extra scents. You should add about 1/8 teaspoon to about a gallon of water and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Don’t over-add, as this will make you sick as well.
  • Iodine – Tincture of iodine can serve as a great water purifier. Use 5 drops per liter of water; 10 drops per liter if the water’s cloudy.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – This works as well. Use 3%-10% diluted hydrogen peroxide. Because it is a weaker microbiocide, you will need more of it. Use 1/8 cup to one gallon of water. Now, this method is not approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, but it’s a useful technique to employ in a pinch.
  • Water purification tablets – These are designed to simply drop into water. Follow the instructions on the label.

3. Microfiltration and ultrafilitration: If you just filter your water through even a fine cheesecloth, this won’t be enough to purify it to the point where it’s potable. Now, it doesn’t hurt to do this, but you’ll need to also ultrafilter it.

There are a number of filtration straws and other devices on the market, and you should definitely pick one up. Some are simple filter straws, such as the LifeStraw,  which are easy to carry and can be used anywhere. Some, such as Sawyers Personal Water Bottle and Vestergaard’s LifeStraw Go, are water bottles that have a built in filter.

Like fire-starting, it won’t hurt to have a couple of different methods for filtering your water.

[H/T: Survival Sullivan] is part of the USA Features Media network of sites.


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