Purify Your Water! Ultimate Guide On How To Purify Your Water
Updated: Jan 17
Clean water is essential for survival in any situation, and this is especially true in the wilderness. When we are out in nature, we are often miles away from any source of clean, treated water. This means that we must rely on natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams to quench our thirst. However, drinking untreated water from these sources can be dangerous, as it can contain a variety of harmful pathogens and contaminants that can make us sick. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of clean water in survival situations and the potential dangers of drinking untreated water from natural sources.
One of the most effective ways to purify water in the wilderness is to boil it. Boiling water kills off any bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that may be present, making it safe to drink. It is also a simple and easy method that requires minimal equipment.
To safely boil water in the wilderness, you will need a heat source such as a campfire or a portable stove, as well as a container to hold the water. If you are using a campfire, you will need to gather some sticks and twigs to use as fuel. Once you have your heat source and container ready, follow these steps:
1. Fill your container with the water you want to purify. If the water is very dirty or murky, you may want to strain it through a cloth or filter to remove any larger particles before boiling.
2. Place your container over the heat source. Make sure it is far enough away from the flames so that it does not catch fire, but close enough to the heat to boil the water.
3. Bring the water to a rolling boil. A rolling boil is when the water is bubbling rapidly and steam is rising from the surface. It should take about 1–3 minutes for the water to reach a rolling boil, depending on the amount of water you are boiling and the intensity of the heat source.
4. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, let it boil for an additional 1–3 minutes to ensure that it is fully purified.
5. Remove the container from the heat source and let the water cool before drinking. If you are using a metal container, you may want to pour the water into a different container to let it cool faster and avoid burning your lips or tongue.
It is important to note that boiling water alone may not remove all contaminants from the water. If the water is very dirty or contains chemicals or heavy metals, you may need to use additional purification methods such as filtering or using water purification tablets. However, boiling is still an effective method for purifying most types of water found in the wilderness.
Another common method for purifying water in the wilderness is filtering. Filtering removes physical contaminants such as dirt, sediment, and debris from the water, as well as some microorganisms and chemical contaminants. There are several different types of water filters available for wilderness use, each with its own advantages and limitations.
Gravity filters are a popular option for wilderness use. These filters use gravity to push the water through a filter medium, which removes contaminants as the water passes through. Gravity filters are typically lightweight and easy to use, and they do not require any electricity or pumping. However, they may not be as effective at removing smaller contaminants such as viruses and chemicals.
Pump filters are another option for filtering water in the wilderness. These filters use a manual or battery-powered pump to draw water through a filter medium, which removes contaminants as the water passes through. Pump filters are typically more effective at removing smaller contaminants such as viruses and chemicals, and they can process a larger volume of water in a shorter amount of time. However, they may be heavier and more cumbersome to carry and use than gravity filters.
To properly use and maintain a water filter in the wilderness, follow these steps:
1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and familiarize yourself with the operation and maintenance of your specific filter.
2. Before using the filter, inspect it for any damage or wear. If you notice any issues, do not use the filter until it has been repaired or replaced.
3. When setting up the filter, make sure you have a clean container to collect the filtered water and a clean source of water to filter.
4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly assemble and use the filter. This may involve attaching a hose or tube to the filter and connecting it to the source of water you want to filter.
5. As the water passes through the filter, it will remove contaminants and collect them in the filter medium. Over time, the filter medium will become clogged and the flow of water will slow down. When this happens, you will need to clean or replace the filter medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
6. After each use, disassemble the filter and thoroughly clean all parts with clean water. Allow the filter to dry completely before storing it for future use.
By following these steps and properly maintaining your water filter, you can ensure that it is ready to use when you need it and that it is effective at purifying the water you drink in the wilderness.
Chemical purification is another method that can be used to make water safe to drink in the wilderness. Chemicals such as iodine or chlorine are commonly used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens in water. These chemicals are available in tablet or liquid form and are easy to carry and use.
To properly use chemical purification methods, follow these steps:
1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and familiarize yourself with the proper dosage and usage of the specific chemical you are using.
2. Fill a clean container with the water you want to purify. If the water is very dirty or murky, you may want to strain it through a cloth or filter to remove any larger particles before adding the chemical.
3. Add the correct dosage of chemical to the water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. Stir the water thoroughly to ensure that the chemical is evenly distributed.
5. Let the water sit for the recommended amount of time to allow the chemical to work. This will typically range from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the specific chemical and the quality of the water.
6. After the recommended amount of time has passed, the water should be safe to drink. If the water has a strong chemical taste or smell, you may want to let it sit for a few additional minutes or add a small amount of unsweetened electrolyte drink mix to help mask the taste.
It is important to note that chemical purification methods may not be effective at removing all types of contaminants from the water. Some chemicals may not be effective against certain types of bacteria or viruses, and they may not remove chemicals or heavy metals from the water. Additionally, some people may be sensitive or allergic to certain chemicals, so it is important to be aware of any potential side effects.
By following these steps and properly dosing and using chemical purification methods, you can effectively purify water in the wilderness and make it safe to drink.
Solar disinfection, also known as SODIS, is a method of purifying water using sunlight. SODIS is a simple and effective way to kill bacteria and viruses in water, and it requires no special equipment or chemicals. All you need is a clear plastic bottle and some sunlight.
To properly set up and use solar disinfection, follow these steps:
1. Fill a clear plastic bottle with the water you want to purify. If the water is very dirty or murky, you may want to strain it through a cloth or filter to remove any larger particles before adding it to the bottle.
2. Make sure the bottle is clean and free of any dirt or debris.
3. Close the bottle tightly and place it in a sunny location. The bottle should be placed upright and should not be covered by any shade or obstruction.
4. Let the bottle sit in the sun for a minimum of 6 hours. If the sun is not strong or if the water is very cold, you may need to let the bottle sit for longer to ensure that the water is properly disinfected.
5. After the recommended amount of time has passed, the water should be safe to drink. If the water has a strong plastic taste or smell, you may want to let it sit for a few additional minutes or add a small amount of unsweetened electrolyte drink mix to help mask the taste.
It is important to note that solar disinfection may not be effective in all situations. The water must be clear and the sun must be strong enough to effectively kill the bacteria and viruses in the water. Additionally, solar disinfection may not remove chemical contaminants from the water.
By following these steps and properly setting up and using solar disinfection, you can effectively purify water in the wilderness using only the power of the sun.
In this blog post, I have discussed several different methods for purifying water in the wilderness. These methods include boiling, filtering, chemical purification, and solar disinfection. Each of these methods has its own advantages and limitations, and it is important to choose the best method for your specific survival situation.
To summarize, boiling is a simple and effective method for purifying most types of water, but it may not remove all contaminants. Filtering removes physical contaminants and some microorganisms and chemicals, but it may not remove smaller contaminants such as viruses. Chemical purification is effective at killing bacteria and viruses, but it may not be effective against all types of contaminants and it may have potential side effects for some people. Solar disinfection is a simple and effective way to kill bacteria and viruses, but it requires strong sunlight and may not remove chemical contaminants.
When choosing the best method for purifying water in a survival situation, consider the following factors:
· The type of water you have available: Is the water clear or dirty? Is it contaminated with chemicals or heavy metals?
· The equipment and resources you have: Do you have a heat source or filter available? Do you have access to chemicals or a clear plastic bottle?
· The time and effort required: Some methods, such as boiling or filtering, may take longer or require more effort than others.
By considering these factors and choosing the best method for your specific situation, you can effectively purify water in the wilderness and stay hydrated and healthy.
Thank you for reading. Stay knowledgeable, prepared, and safe!