The Boy Scout motto to “Be Prepared” applies to everyone, especially when it comes to ensuring an adequate supply of clean and safe drinking water. Whether you are out camping and need extra water for drinking, or in more serious situations such as being lost hiking or having to deal with natural or manmade disasters, having access to portable survival water filter systems can be a life-saver. You may be surrounded by water, but not have a safe drop to drink unless you are equipped with a system for purifying water.
Drinking Water Dangers
All water of questionable quality should be considered unsafe to drink, use for food preparation or even for washing. Outdoor water sources, no matter how clean they look, can have high concentrations of microorganisms and even be contaminated with chemicals. When a disaster or emergency hits a community water supply system, the water being delivered can be compromised and contaminated.
Drinking water problems and health concerns include:
- Bad tastes and odors
- Turbidity or unusual color
- Pathogenic strains of E-coil bacteria that can be deadly
- Giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis pathogens that cause diarrhea
- Organisms that cause cholera and Salmonella, although less common, are still a potential hazard
- Pathogenic viruses may be present
- Larvae of flukes could be present and potentially result in life-threatening cysts in the liver or brain
- Heavy metals and toxic chemicals which can cause dysentery and hepatitis
Low-Tech Approaches to Treating Water
In emergencies, when no other water is available, there are simple steps which can be taken to improve the quality and safety of the water, including:
Straining the water, by pouring it through a coffee filter, towel, clean sock or cloth to remove larger particles and sediment
Boiling the water for at least one full minute if you are able to while on the move
Using bleach or purification tablets; about 16 drops of bleach per gallon should be stirred in and let stand for about 30 minutes should be sufficient, or by following the instructions associated with your purification tablets.
Distilling the water by boiling the contaminated water and collecting the condensate in a separate container. None of these approaches are perfect however and to increase the safety of the water, a combination of your choice of these methods should be used. An even better approach is to be prepared with a portable water filter products for purifying water that simplify the whole process and almost guarantee safe drinking water.
Portable Survival Water Filter Systems
Every prepper with a Boy Scout attitude has a portable water purification kit available, just in case it is needed. There are many different kits and filters on the market, so it is smart to do advance research before making a purchase. You need to choose a water filtering system that will work best for you and your family.
Here are some tips to consider for your situation:
- Water treatment tablets are inexpensive and easiest to use; these iodine tablets can simply be added to water to make it safe to drink in about 30 minutes
- Personal water filter straws are easy to transport and use by anyone; a filter in the straw removes impurities and clean water can be drunk directly from the straw or collected into another container
- Microfiltration systems, especially those with dual filters, provide good tasting water and, important to hikers, are easy to pack
- Water purification bottles are popular; be sure to stock up on replacement filters to ensure a continuing source of safe water
- A portable water purifier filter is a pump based filter, hand operated, lightweight and small, yet capable of a high volume of clean drinkable water
Portable water filters are an excellent solution wherever and whenever you need a safe water supply. They are essential equipment for hikers, outdoor survivalists and preppers concerned about the safety of their families. Having the capability for purifying water is a first priority in surviving emergency situations.