Having clean drinking water is one of the most important things when it comes to survival, no matter if we’re talking about a longer term thing, an emergency like a blackout or anything in between. Purified water is a must!
So, in today’s article, we’re going to cover this important topic and share 7 quick methods for purifying water.
These methods involve some more advanced technologies and items that might not be available after an apocalypse, but which can fortunately be easily obtained today so you can always have them on hand if you prepare. And chances are, since you’re reading this, that you are preparing!
Just check out all the recommended methods below to know how to get clean drinking water in case the worst happen – you don’t have to end up doing all these things, in the end, as one or two will probably enough, but it doesn’t hurt to have options either.
Actually, you don’t even have to be in a survival situation in order to need to purify the water you will drink! Yes, we can easily obtain water just by opening a tap. But is it clean – this is the question!
Not all individuals realize that sometimes, tap water is unfit for drinking. Although treated, it still may have bacteria and other contaminants present in it depending on where in this world you live.
Hence, no matter how clean you think it is, the best step would be to purify the tap water one more time just to be sure (or at least test it before, to be sure that it’s 100% safe to drink).
So here are 7 methods – easier or more advanced – to purify your drinking water:
1. Boil it!
The oldest trick in the book, water purification through boiling can be done anywhere at all times and requires only a pan and fire.
Boiling however is effective only when the water is heated to a boiling point of 100 degrees and only destroys living beings inside the water, but won’t remove harmful chemicals or dirt.
In other words, this is not the most effective mans of purifying water and works best with water that is already somewhat clean. But for most situations – especially survival situations and emergencies, I consider boiling all the water you drink a must do just to be safe.
2. Use purification tablets
Iodine and chlorine water tablets are easily available for purchase and can purify the water quickly by adding them into it. If the water is slightly warm, it has better results.
The only disadvantage to this method is the change in taste of the water. So be sure to carry some salt to add to it.
Also, water tablets should be used with caution by older individuals and those who are pregnant and you should always follow the directions on the pills themselves.
The main disadvantage of this otherwise great method to purify water is that you have to prepare in advance for it: you need to buy these before the worst case scenario happens and have them with you at all times.
They also won’t remove any debris and chemicals or other harmful substances, so your water has to be clean or filtered prior to adding the pills.
3. Ultraviolet purification
Instead of a mercury lamp, a pen model is available. These are to be dipped in water and the water stirred with the pen for purification. The time for purification is indicated by a green signal that goes on and off (this obviously varies by model).
Purification using UV rays is just that simple and also effective as it renders the micro-organisms ineffective, retains the good properties of the water and does not alter its taste or smell.
However, this only works with living organisms, so if there are other nasty ingredients (chemicals and minerals), they’ll still be there.
4. Use of a gravity fed purifier
For extremely health and hygienic conscious individuals, a gravity fed purifier works best. As the name suggests, the filtration relies on gravity which pulls water from an upper compartment into a lower one while passing through filters placed in between.
This method is considered very safe and highly effective and it can be made even more effective by boiling the water afterwards. However, it requires a bit of knowledge and you have to actually build the filter / purifier.
You can do this using regular materials that you find in the wild, but generally you will need some store-brought items as well, like activated charcoal for proper filtration. We’ll have a guide dedicated to building a gravity fed purifier posted soon, so stay tuned!
5. Using a pump purifier
A pump purifier with a synthetic cartridge or even a ceramic one is also a handy tool. When combined with a bottle, it can be an effective method of purification and removing unwanted minerals and chemicals from the water.
6. In built pumps or filters
You can also opt for those specially designed water bottles fitted with an inbuilt purifier. These are usually assembled either in the center or near the spout of the bottle and filter the water within the bottle.
Alternately, you can choose one of the readily-available water purifying straws – but these only work with a relatively small amount of water.
7. Natural filtration methods
In times of dire need, strip away a piece of bark and shape it into a cone which can then be used as a filter. As barks are flexible, it is pliable and will retain the conical shape. You can also try filtration using sand.
However, these are not effective purification methods and should be used only as a last resort and ideally in combination with other methods to decrease the likelihood of bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms to make their way into the water (boil the water afterwards!)
Therefore always be sure to pack away one of these methods while planning your outdoor activities and always remember to drink safe!