If you get stuck in a long-term emergency situation, one of the first things you’ll need is a water source. Even if you have the good fortune to be carrying a supply with you, you’ll need to be prepared for when your supply runs dry.
Knowing ways to purify water can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation. We’re going to go over three ways to best achieve this.
Tablets or Drops
These are by far the easiest methods of getting drinkable water quickly. Purification drops or tablets are typically made from iodine, chlorine or potassium permanganate and are a good addition to any survival kit.
If you decide to keep these wonder purifiers handy, make sure you know how much water the dosages require to be effective without overdosing or under-purifying. A good idea is to keep a water bottle that holds the exact amount required so you won’t have to guess your amounts.
Once you’ve found a water source, simply fill up your water container to the required level, and add the tablets or drops according to the directions on the package. Close the container and shake to mix the solution thoroughly or let the tablets dissolve completely.
For killing organisms, boiling water is extremely effective. To achieve this method, you will, of course, need the ability to start a fire and have a container that can hold the water while you are boiling it.
If you aren’t familiar with what a rolling boil looks like, just imagine a hot tub with the jets and blowers on full. Keep it going for five minutes to ensure all organisms have been thoroughly neutralized. Avoid letting it boil longer than 5-6 minutes, so you don’t lose too much to evaporation.
[Warning] Avoid These 11 Survival Myths That Could Actually HURT You
After the five minutes, remove the water container from the heat and let it cool for about five minutes before drinking.
The boiling method works best for water that is clear. It doesn’t get rid of larger debris like dirt and algae, etc. Let your water settle for a while before drinking so as much sediment can sink to the bottom before you drink it. If you have a separate storage container, you can decant the clearest water off the top and discard the rest.
Or, you can put it through a sand filter after boiling. Which brings us to the next method.
Knowing how to create a filter to purify your water and remove the worst of the sediment will be a great skill to have handy. For this process you will need a plastic bottle and a cutter.
- Plastic Bottle
- Cutter (scissors, pocket knife, box cutter, )
- Sand or other filter material (cotton, shredded t-shirt, )
You can create your charcoal by burning wood in a fire and removing the charred material. If charcoal isn’t an option, you can still use sand or cotton mixed with the rocks.
Start by evenly cutting off the bottom of the bottle. Once removed, turn over the bottle, so the narrowed neck area becomes the bottom. If you are using charcoal, put that into the “bottom” of your filter, filling the neck area. Fill the rest of the bottle with the sand and rock mixture.
Before you can create drinkable water, you will want to “rinse” your filter out initially with several liters. You’ll see the water you’re pouring through becoming clearer and clearer. Once “rinsed” you’ll be able to use your filter to make your drinking water safer.
Water Equals Survival
Ideally, you’ll be able to both boil and filter for the cleanest and purest options. If that’s not possible, any of the methods we’ve talked about will help you get to where you need to go.