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-apocalypse 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. We might end up having to filter our own drinking water.
I already wrote about seven methods of purifying water – but those are not DIY methods. While they do work great, the supplies could end eventually or you might simply not be prepared.
Today, I am here to help you with that. I will share how to make your own water filtering system to get clean drinking water in any situation you are in.
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! And drinking dirty water is equally dangerous as the germs it contains can easily take you out sooner rather than later.
So let’s find out how to get clean drinking water in any type of scenario when it is not readily available. You will learn how to filter water and make your own filter from base ingredients.
Step 1: Finding water
The first and most important thing is to find a source of water. You can’t purify or filter something you don’t have. And you will be surprised to realize that finding a source of water isn’t as easy as they make it look in the movies!
How to find water in the first place varies 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.
For more extreme situations, if you don’t have a nearby river or water source and collecting rain water is out of the question due to the waiting times, you can try collecting dew for drinking water.
Step 2: Filtering water
You should always assume, in any post-apocalyptic scenario or any less extreme situations, that any type of water that’s not bottled is UNSAFE to drink.
Even bottled water can become dangerous if it wasn’t properly stored, stored for too long or kept in the sun.
Therefore, all water you plan to drink should be purified. The only way to be sure the water is free of any pathogen is by boiling it if other methods (like chlorine tablets) are not available.
But just boiling the water is not enough in most cases (although in the most extreme situations it would have to do). Instead, it would be safest to filter your water first.
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.
The good thing about it is that you can make your own at home by simply burning hardwood so in most cases, this essential element needed for creating a water filter can be made anywhere.
There are of course many other ways to create a filter for making water safe to drink, but this is by far the easiest and most effective filter you can make primitively.
Step 3: DIY Water Filter
Easiest homemade filter
Here are the materials you need for making your DIY water filtering system:
– A clean container (as big as possible to get larger quantities)
You can make a filter in a water bottle too. We’ll use that as an example today, but you can adjust it to any type of container.
First, you start by grinding the charcoals as small as possible. You can do this using a rock for example. This will be the final yet most important element of the filter.
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.
And this is it! You have a primitive, but fully functional water filtering system. It works even better in larger containers, as there is simply more quantity of each filtering element the water has to go through.
Note: The cheesecloth is there to prevent the powdered charcoal from being eliminated together with the water. You can use anything else, including regular cloth or anything you have on hand to replace it.
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.
IMPORTANT: You should still boil this water before drinking it. While the filter will keep out all of the larger elements like metals and other nasties in the water, tiny microorganisms might still evade. Better be safe than sorry!
The water filtering distillery
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. It will be placed over a fire that is strong enough to get the water boiling.
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 and give you safe to drink 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 it might mean the end of you!
The good thing is that if we’re talking about a more long term thing and not something temporary, the time invested in creating your water filtering system will be worth it as in most cases you won’t have to redo it too often.