One of the main survival resources that you should have stored is water.
But even if you have stored all the water that you can, during an extended crisis there is still a chance that you might run out and need to find more drinkable water.
Or circumstances might force you to leave your base and supplies, evacuating the area. This makes it important that you know how to purify water that may or may not be clean enough to drink.
Why You Need To Purify Water
Most of us in so called civilized countries take having a clean water supply that is piped right into our homes for granted.
In the U.S. more than 44 Billion gallons of water is treated and delivered to our homes every day. But during a natural crisis or some type of terrorist attack this supply could easily become compromised.
This is why it’s so important for all of us to have some water stored in our emergency supplies.
But during an extended crisis you could go through all the water that you have stored and need to find more. The average person can only go for about three days without before their body starts to shut down so you can’t just stop drinking water.
You may live in an area that has rivers, lakes, or streams and wonder why you just can’t get water there. After all if it looks clean it must be okay to drink – right? WRONG!
Water that is from these and any other bodies of water can be contaminated and could make you sick if you drink it without treating it first.
Waterborne diseases that are caused by microorganisms too small to see can live in any untreated water. These can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and in extreme cases they can even cause death.
Before you get into a situation where you are out of water you need to know how to take water that could be riddled with parasites or bacteria and make it drinkable.
Purifying Water By Boiling It
To purify water by boiling it you simply put the water into a pot on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. If you don’t have a stove available you can use a grill or outdoor fire.
If you don’t have a pot you can use something that you can boil the water in and will withstand the heat like an empty can.
Once the water is at a hard roiling boil start timing it. Water needs to boil for 3-10 minutes to kill most parasites. Also the higher the altitude where you are the longer that you need to boil it.
After you have boiled the water long enough remove it carefully from the heat source to let it cool and allow sediments to settle.
This will let any solids, minerals, or metals to sink to the bottom leaving pure water at the top for you to drink.
Using Water Purification Tablets Or Water Purification Drops
There are also a variety of different kinds of water purification tablets or drops that you can usually find at sporting good or adventure stores.
These are often not the best tasting solution but they are effective and a little bitter taste in your mouth is worth the protection from parasites that it supplies.
- Iodine tablets are the most commonly sold purifying tablets, but you can also use chlorine tablets with the same result. These tablets work the best when you purify water that is 68 degrees F or higher. If the water you want to treat is cooler than this just let it warm in the sun or by a fire before you purify it. Tablets like these are often used by campers, other outdoor enthusiasts and are in many survivalist go bags.
- Women that are pregnant or over 50 along with people that have thyroid problems or who take Lithium should use caution and check with their Doctor before planning on using iodine tablets.
Using these tablets are pretty simple and have the advantage of being able to purify water on the go or when you can’t use a fire or stove as explained above.
Always make sure that you follow the instructions on the tablets or drops that you get to purify water.
You should strain the water you are going to be purifying by straining it through some type of cloth and into the container you are going to purify the water in. This will strain out the larger things that might be floating in the water.
You can also cover the taste of these pills and drops by adding something like a lemonade flavor or bit of salt once the water is filtered.
Water Filtration Systems
Whether what you are looking for is a portable water filter that you can take with you, or water purification systems that you can hook up at home there are a number of different options that you can use.
These handy, portable gadgets are meant to be used in conjuction with a canteen, water bottle, or something else that can hold the water.
They are handheld and contain a synthetic or ceramic cartridge to filter the water that is pumped through them.
Most of these filters will have two separate hoses, onethat dispensed the clean water, the other that is used to pump in dirty water for filtering.
The pump has a plunger or lever that can you pull and push to suck up the dirty water and then force it through a series of filters until it is pumped out and into your water bottle.
Survival Water Filter Straw
Another nifty device is a small straw that you suck dirty water through, getting pure water.
Although it is small enough to fit in your pocket, this portable water purifier can clean out 99.9% of impurities in up to 25 gallons of water.
International Pure Water Straw – $20.99
Retail Price: $22.95
You Save: $1.96
from: Buy Emergency Foods
Survival Water Filter
There are also larger emergency water filters that you can use for cleaning water that you find in or around your home in case the water coming through your faucets is contaminated or the system fails.
You can usually find these in your local stores.