When spending a significant amount of time outdoors, it is important to prepare for your water needs. When camping, hiking or just spending some time in the woods, you will need to consume about a gallon of healthy, clean water per day to keep yourself hydrated.
The biggest downfall when finding water sources is that they can be unpredictable. Stagnant water is susceptible to bacteria growth, viruses, and even parasites. Having a couple of simple resources on hand will make this much easier and safer when consuming water retrieved in nature. In this article, we share our top four ways to clean your water.
4 Different Water Purification Methods
1. Boiling Method
You will need a simple pot and some coffee filters as well as access to fire through either a stove or through building one of your own. When using this method, you will pour the water through the coffee filter into the pot to strain out any larger particles and then bring the water to a rolling boil for 1-3 minutes.
This may not be the most convenient method but it’s an inexpensive and simple and effective option. You can find simple water kettles at any outdoor supply store. If you do not have a heat-resistant container for boiling you can heat rocks over a fire and drop into the water.
2. Chemical Tablets
Using this method you can use either chlorine dioxide or iodine tablets/solution that will kill off the dangerous bacteria. You will still need to filter the water first, so those coffee filters will come in handy for this method also. They are safe, affordable, and effective however, they take about 30 minutes to do the job so you have to wait before drinking them.
They also change the taste of the water and it’s not exactly pleasant. If you have any medical conditions, it is best to talk with your doctor before using these. You can order “Aquatabs” on Amazon.
3. Filters & Purifiers
These work similarly to one another by straining the water and capturing bacteria, protozoa, and other particles. Purifiers have a chemical component making them the most effective way to have the cleanest water possible but they can run a pretty penny also.
You can find filters and purifiers in different systems from filtration straws to water bottles and even water bags. Lifestraw is a reputable company that makes different methods.
4. UV Purifiers
These use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoa quickly and effectively. You will need to filter the water first for pretty mucky water. Check out Steripens on Amazon.
Knowing the water sources you will be surrounded by is key to knowing the methods you should consider. It certainly won’t hurt to have some coffee filters or cheesecloth on hand for some manual straining and some chemical tablets for affordable, convenient, and lightweight gear that won’t take up much room in your backpack. Remember, when in doubt, use one of these methods to clean your water.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 15, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.