Water is vital for survival on both short and long term. Clean drinking water is also not at all easy to get your hands on in the case of a post-apocalyse scenario. We do have a ton of bottled water and we do take clean drinking water for granted like now, but things are going to change instantly if the apocalypse comes.

It doesn’t even have to be the end of the world for clean drinking water to become a problem, so it’s extremely important for a prepper – or any sane person out there – to know how to get clean drinking water. Because if you don’t have water, you won’t survive for long, no matter what!

So let’s find out how to get clean drinking water after the SHTF or any type of post-apocalyptic scenario!

First and most important thing is to find a source of water. This will vary greatly based on your location, but you can always get creative: from the obvious like collecting water from nearby rivers or other water sources to collecting rain water or melting snow/ice, you need to get your water first and make sure that you get a steady supply of it.

You should always assume, in a post-apocalyptic scenario, that any type of water that’s not bottled water is UNSAFE to drink. Therefore all water you drink should be purified. The only way to be sure the water is free of any pathogen is by boiling it. But just boiling the water is not enough in most cases (although in extreme situations it would have to do). Instead, it would be safest to filter your water!

You can filter water and turn most types of unsafe waters into clean drinking water by using an improvised charcoal filter. This can remove sediments, potential harmful contaminants and improve the taste of the water. Charcoal is already being used in many household water filters. There are of course many other ways to create a filter, but this is by far the easiest and most effective filter you can make primitively.

The materials you need:

– A clean container (as big as possible)
– Charcoal
– Sand
– Gravel
– Cheesecloth

In this first example we will use a bottle to filter our water.


First, you start by grinding the charcoals as small as possible. You can do this using a rock for example. Then you make a small hole in the lid of bottle, around 3-4 mm in diameter. You will take the piece of cheesecloth and put in over the lid and then attach the lid to the bottle with the cheesecloth in between. Cut off the bottom of the bottle and start filling it up with charcoal until it is around 1/4 full. Then add a layer of sand also around 1/4 and lastly a layer of gravel to stop the sand from eroding.

This isn’t the fastest way, but it is safe. You can easily make multiple bottles like this or you can make a big one if you have a large barrel at your disposal. The only thing you need to add is a hose and make a water tight connection between the barrel and the hose, but the principle is the same:


Another way to make clean drinking water is by making some sort of distillery. The disadvantage is that it needs constant attention to keep the fire going.


To do this, you need a fireproof container in which you collect your dirty water. This you put on a fire so the water boils. Attached to the container is a water tight hose in which the steam produced by the boiling water will cool down until it condenses to clean water. This will then drip into a clean container of drinking water. This process takes longer than the filter system above, but it is certainly a safe one! The only thing you will be drinking is pure water!

None of the methods above are extremely simple – but survival is not easy either! However, if in a situation like this, you should always make it a priority to get clean drinking water and never risk it with unsafe water as this might mean the end of you!