How to Purify Water in the Wild

Purifying Water Trick
Wilderness Survival Trick
Imagine you are lost in the wilderness, you are fleeing a natural disaster, civilisation has collapsed and the government has fallen or maybe the zombie apocalypse has hit. What are you going to do? Curl up and weep until you are found by park rangers or eaten by hordes of the undead? If you want to survive you will need a little basic knowledge and know how. The one thing you are definitely going to need in order to survive is water.

Without access to water you run the risk of dehydration and it’s physical effects, headaches, confusion, dizziness and tiredness, and you don’t want that if you are fleeing hordes of the undead or the collapse of the civilised world.

According to most credible sources on average you need to consume at least half a gallon or 2 litres of water depending on your size and weight. If you don’t have it on tap thats a lot of water so what are you going to do? Here are some tips that mean you might be one of the survivors.

Purifying methods.

1. Boiling Water.

The most reliable and effective method of water purification is boiling water.

  • Gather the water in the container and set over a fire.
  • Get the water up to a rolling boil and allow to boil for at least half a hour.
  • If the water is stagnant boil for at least an hour.

2. Water filtration straw/ water purifying tablets. If you have a survival kit make sure you add these.

3. Water filter.

If the water source you have found is muddy or stagnant you can make a water filtration device using an old plastic bottle an item of clothing or a plastic bag.

  • Cut the bottom of the bottle off.
  • Pierce the bottle lid and place a small piece of cloth over the bottle top, replace the lid.
  • Add a small layer of fine sand into the bottle.
  • Add a layer of charcoal from your fire.
  • Add a layer of small stones.
  • Add a layer of larger stones.
  • Repeat this process.
  • Suspend the bottle and place a container below it.
  • Pour a small amount of the muddy/stagnant water into the bottle and allow it to filter through.

If you don’t have a bottle you can use the sleeve of a shirt or a trouser leg tying the cuff or hem tightly and repeating the above steps, you could also use a plastic bag.

4. Solar power.

If you can forage some clear plastic bottles and a water source use the sun to purify the water.

  • Make sure the bottle is clear and clean.
  • If the water is cloudy filter with a layer of cloth to remove the sediment.
  • Fill the bottle completely and fasten the lid tightly.
  • Lay the bottle down in direct sunlight.
  • If their are few clouds leave for at least 6 hours.
  • If the sky is cloudy leave for at least 2 days.

5. Distillation.

The only way to make drinking water from salt water and in fact make any water safe to drink is by distillation.

  • Place the salt water into a large pot.
  • In the pot place an empty smaller container in the centre.
  • Cover with a piece of clear plastic.
  • Place a rock in the centre of the plastic so that the sheeting forms an inverted cone with the rock at its apex above the container.
  • Boil the water.
  • The condensation from the boiling water will collect on the sheeting and fall into the empty container.

6. Cloth Filtration.

Any woven cloth can be used to filter dirty water.

  • Fix the cloth to the top of a container.
  • Pour the water through the cloth.
  • Remove the cloth clean and repeat.

This is a last resort and will only filter large sediments from water.

7. Building an above ground still.

Using a clear plastic bag and some green vegetation can produce enough clean water to keep you going.

  • Gather some green vegetation
  • Make sure you remove stalks and bits of sticks that could pierce the bag.
  • Open the mouth of the bag and scoop air into the bag trapping as much air as possible.
  • Fill the bag half full of the vegetation.
  • Add a small rock to the bag.
  • Close up the mouth of the bag keeping it as full of air as possible.
  • Secure the mouth of the bag as tightly as possible.
  • Place the bag with the mouth downhill on a slope in direct sunlight.
  • Make sure the rock has settled into the lowest point of the bag.
  • To get the water untie the mouth of the bag carefully and extract the moisture.
  • Replace the vegetation when you have extracted the water from it.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Water is a basic human need the foundation to a healthy body and mind and in an emergency situation the most important thing you have is your wits and ingenuity. If you can stay sane and hydrated you can stay one step ahead and aid your survival. Improvisation and thinking on your feet is vital in an emergency situation, gather the right supplies and you can survive in the harshest environments. Collecting a good supply of safe drinking water in might mean the difference between survival or failure.

If you want to stay one step ahead of the collapse of civilisation or a zombie horde, it is better to do it with a clean supply of water, the last thing you want to do is fail because you are thirsty. And remember if you come across a stash of beer no matter how tempting it would be it’ll just impair your thinking and dehydrate you.

US Army Survival Manual

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