Make a DIY Survival Water Filter | Survival Tips

Feature | Make a DIY Survival Water Filter | Survival Tips

A water filter plays an essential role in survival when you bug out or are stuck in the wilderness. There is nothing more important than water.

While being able to drink water is a must for survival, take note that you need to drink clean water only. Check out how to make your own water filter in the wild below.

DIY Survival Water Filter | 12 Easy Steps to Make Your Own

Why Is a Water Filter Important?

Water comprises most of our body: the brain (75%), the bones (22%), muscles (75%), the blood (92%) and more.

We can go on and on about the benefits of water but when you are out in the wild, you cannot drink it straight from a stream or river.

Just because it looks fresh and clear doesn't mean it is. You need a water filter to remove bacteria and other contaminants. Otherwise, you compromise your health and chance of survival.

The ability to make your own water filtration device is an essential survival skill. You can only rely on yourself and your own skills to make it through when living in the wild.

It's not enough to rely on your eyes to determine if water is safe to drink. You've come far enough to get out of a compromising situation alive.

You shouldn't risk your life now by drinking water straight from the source. The only way to be sure you'll live to fight another day is if you only drink clean and safe water.

What You'll Need:

  • Rocks
  • Sand
  • Charcoal
  • Grass
  • Juice bottle (as a container)

Step 1: Put Holes at the Bottom of Your Filter

In this case, we put holes in the cap of the juice bottle. You will need some holes in the cap to give some airspace.

Step 2: Large Rocks

Large Rocks | Make a DIY Survival Water Filter | Survival Tips

Large rocks give airspace for the survival water filtration process.

Step 3: Medium Rocks

Lime is a good example of medium rocks. It is used to help the water filter absorb dirt and bacteria from the dirty water.

Step 4: Small Rocks

Small stones are also important in the survival water filter because they block dirty particles from passing through.

Step 5: Layer of Sand

Sand is the finer filter for your survival water filtration system. So if you are making a water filter, remember not to forget adding a layer of sand.

Step 6: Coals

Coals | Make a DIY Survival Water Filter | Survival Tips

Charcoal from hardwood is the material of choice for your survival water filter.

Step 7: Another Layer of Sand

The second layer of sand on top of the coals is needed for even more effective filtration.

Step 8: Fresh Grass

The grass is also a good alternative to cloth for your improvised filter.

Step 9: Egyptian Well

Before using your DIY survival water filter, make an Egyptian well.

Step 10: Get Some Water

The water from the well is ready for your survival water filter.

Step 11: Pour Water into the Filter

You need to repeat the process to make the water cleaner. Set the filter above a glass or cup, and pour the water into the filter. Enjoy seeing the layers saturate the water until it drops slowly to your glass or cup.

Step 12: Drink and Enjoy!

Drink and Enjoy! | Make a DIY Survival Water Filter | Survival Tips

Watch the video below by Survival HT and see how to make a survival water filter in action:

As the video above states, a DIY filter for water should only be used if you cannot find a better, cleaner water source. Remember, your health and life are the top priority. After all, you're a survivalist.

We hope you enjoyed our tutorial on how to make a DIY survival water filter. If you have any tips of your own, share them with us in the comments section below!

Up Next: DIY Pocket Water Filter

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*Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.*

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 12, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

18 Responses to :
Make a DIY Survival Water Filter | Survival Tips

  1. That Guy says:

    I don’t think that the Egyptian Well will make the water safe to drink with out heat or uv treatment but will help to filter out debris. Don’t drink straight out of an EW.

  2. Zyxomma says:

    I have a Lifestraw, but it’s always good to know other means of cleaning dirty water. Health and peace.

  3. Edmond Macaraeg says:

    I would not recommend drinking the water from that “filtration” system. The rocks, sand, lime, leaves, etc. used would most likely be contaminated with impurities (since they have not all been sterilized in the first place), and thus, all of those impurities in them would simply be passed on to the water to be drunk!

    1. left coast chuck says:

      Absolutely correct. You don’t know who or what peed on the rocks, sand and grass or how long ago. Without being cooked in water raised to over 165º you are taking a chance. Before using any of the substances mentioned in the article I would boil them in water first and then try to keep them as clean as possible after that. I would boil them after each filtration too. I’ve had salmonella and without antibiotics I probably would have died. I had the brown drizzlies within 20 minutes after eating. I could feel the food racing through my bowels. After a week of that action and after having lost about 20 pounds, the Navy corpsman decided maybe I needed hospitalization. After three or four days on antibiotics the bowel action died down. Had to have I.V. fluid infusion. I was one sick puppy. Maybe I am just gunshy, but I am really, really careful about drinking water after that and food sanitation. If in doubt, boil it and then boil it again.

      1. Sharon says:

        To sanitize by boiling the water temp must reach 212 degrees for a minimum of 5 minutes. That is the boiling point. Absolutely not a good pick off the ground filter process with out sanitizing the contents. Poisonus leaves or animal feces in sand and so many other possibilities. I would recommend everyone check out “The Russian Hacker” on Youtube. Although he is not posting for survival alone…..his hacks for boiling and or cooking with few supplies are a need to know.

        Left Coast Chuck, Although you did list one Salmonella symptom as a 20 yr veteran in Restaurant operations and sanitation, you could not possibly exhibit symptoms in 20 min. That was last nights or yesterdays dinner. Textbooks tell you 10-12 hours but even severe cases take at least 6-8 hours to start giving tell tell signs.

  4. Dean says:

    Dysentery anyone?

  5. Vincent King says:

    I would boil it first or let sit in the sun for 4 hours before filtering.

    1. Danny Pruitt says:

      Or better yet, get a “steri-pen, which uses UV light to kill all the nasty germ/bacteria, etc in the water, after you filter it throuth the filter

  6. left coast chuck says:

    Gravel, I can understand, but why dirt and loose debris? The objective is to settle out the dirt and debris in the water to begin with, why add more? Why not just put gravel in the jar and shake it to settle large debris and then use the kerchief to strain out junk? I was originally going to post that rather than pouring the water through all the junk from the ground, the young lady in the picture would have been better off straining the water through the sleeves of the shirt she is wearing. First one sleeve and then once again through the other sleeve and then boiling the water. Boil, boil, boil. Even in the most primitive conditions, water can be boiled, even if one doesn’t have a fireproof container. One can heat rocks to boil water in a non-fireproof container. This works with many containers, although I am sure plastic would not stand up the regime. Our indian friends used to heat liquid in baskets using the hot rock technique.

  7. John Tischler says:

    Very usefull and important info. NO WATER,NO LIFE!

    1. Greg Brown says:

      I would really need water to drink that water

  8. Jenny Chen says:

    Great post.Thanks for sharing!
    Invest on a good home water purification system. It will benefit your family’s health and safety. I bought filters from this Seller on Amazon and they work great. I just ordered a replacement system and i’ll let y’all know the quality when i get it!

  9. Bill says:

    I love water filter/purification articles. I’d still suggest boiling the water or a solar UV purification process (6 hours in direct sunlight) as the final step.

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