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Thread: Water

  1. #1

    Default Water

    We all know that water is a necessity, that you can die from dehydration quicker than from starvation. What are the best ways to purify water if you're in a wilderness situation? I know about boiling it and using tablets, what, if any, are some of the other ways?


  2. #2

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    There aren't many good ways to purify it perse, but there was ways to minimize risk.

    Condensed water is clean and there are a variety of ways you can collect condensed water from plant material if you have plastic of some type with you (a garbage bag should be a survival kit essential, a bunch of them even).

    If you drink from a river, try drinking from fast moving areas as far upstream as you can go.

    It is possible to construct a basic water filter out of sand, rocks, and charcoal but I have doubts about their efficiency.

  3. #3

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    I understand about the basic filter idea. However, I don't know that those items would necessarily be readily available all the time. Sand and rocks, sure, but I'm not sure how likely you are to find charcoal in the wild.

  4. #4

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    You generally don't find charcoal in the wild, you make it. Burn some thick wood partially and you have charcoal (well primarily charcoal). This is not idea charcoal for much of anything but it works for most purposes I believe.

  5. #5

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    I'm going to do some experimenting with ways to get water, I'll let you know the ways i have found to be the simplest and most effective ways without having much to work with. I Know some companies produce some pretty cool filters that are supposed to work great for getting water from streams an stuff while hiking. I think Ecoquest was working on something for the military also in regards to water filtering

  6. #6

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    There are a lot of cool small water filter contraptions you can pick up from REI or a similar store. They all work very well but they take up vital space for long backpack trips. I carry them whenever I can though. Other than that they sell small tablets that work well. Just drop them in the water and it will purify it after a certain amount of time. Other than that boiling your water is one of the easiest ways and I've done it many times.

  7. #7

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    Bleach is okay for purifying water. Doesn't taste any worse than what is being pumped through the water lines to our homes today. You could keep a small vial of it in your gear bag.

    When in the woods and around flowing water, look and listen for small natural springs. I find them along clear water creeks and in deep, wet gullies running through heavy forested woods. Today, I could hear one before I found it. A light sound of water drops hitting the surface of smooth water lead me to it.
    Last edited by Bowcatz; 02-19-2007 at 11:57 PM.
    With Christ, all things are possible.

  8. #8

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    Haven't I seen some packaged additives in the hiking shops for purifying water? Maybe I haven't but it would make sense.

  9. #9

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    Isn't there an herb you somehow use to purify water? I read about it somewhere...but I can't remember where! It's going to bug me now....

  10. #10

    Default bleach

    Bleach is bad for the health I would only recomend it as a last resort. In fact i recomend getting filters that remove chemicals from your tap water and shower water. It won't kill you all at once but it's really not good for you.




    Quote Originally Posted by Bowcatz View Post
    Bleach is okay for purifying water. Doesn't taste any worse than what is being pumped through the water lines to our homes today. You could keep a small vial of it in your gear bag.

    When in the woods and around flowing water, look and listen for small natural springs. I find them along clear water creeks and in deep, wet gullies running through heavy forested woods. Today, I could hear one before I found it. A light sound of water drops hitting the surface of smooth water lead me to it.

  11. #11

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    These are some great ideas. I like the pills. I have seen them but never have tried them. Bleach would work I would imagine but I would think it wouldn't be safe to drink?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubybeetle View Post
    Isn't there an herb you somehow use to purify water? I read about it somewhere...but I can't remember where! It's going to bug me now....
    Could you be thinking of tea tree oil? Not that I've seen anything about using it to purify water, just that it's the first one that comes to mind.

  13. #13
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    swamp water is best 2 be fillter through a tight woven material cotton is best den boil it den boil it again and it will be nerly like tap water
    "why is it that football players spend 90 minutes pretending they are injuried and rugby players spend 80 minutes pretending they are not?" martin johnson former england rugby captian of the world cup squad

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by taiarain View Post
    Could you be thinking of tea tree oil? Not that I've seen anything about using it to purify water, just that it's the first one that comes to mind.
    tree tre oil wood work but den u would need 2 filter the oil out unless you want 2 keep it in there i wood prefer it not 2 b persanaly
    "why is it that football players spend 90 minutes pretending they are injuried and rugby players spend 80 minutes pretending they are not?" martin johnson former england rugby captian of the world cup squad

  15. #15

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    I would probably make a filter using sand and a grass mesh or part of my shirt or something and some sort of hollow wood, just fill the wood tube, (bamboo perhaps) with the sand then put the grass mesh on one end and pore the water through it, this will take out a lot of the nasty stuff floating around in the water. Then boiling the water for 20 mins will kill the bacteria and stuff. some peopel say you only have to boil it 5 but i recomend 20, makes sure things are dead. this won't remove chemicals though but it works. When i was in Bolivia living in the jungle we boiled the water from the river for 20 mins and if we let it sit for a bit after pooring it in our cups then the dirt would sink to the bottom.

  16. #16

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    If you are talking about getting a small filter that doesn't take up too much space, Katadyn makes the ExStream Purifier Bottle that is really cool. It's the size of a sports bottle (like for biking or like a squeeze bottle) and it has a PURIFIER inside it. Not a filter, but a PURIFIER. The big difference is that while a filter gets alot out of your water, a purifier will kill the viruses that might be present as well. The unit holds either 26 or 34 ounces depending on model and both of them will filter 26 gallons. If you have reliable water that is close at hand you can't go wrong. Plus there is no nasty taste. All you do is dunk the bottle into the water to fill it, screw on the cap, and start sucking through the straw. That easy.

    If you are talking low teck (relatively), the sand filter and boiling sounds pretty good to me. The filter gets out all the solid matter and the boiling kills all the non-visible matter that might otherwise kill you.

  17. #17
    Super-duper Moderator Sarge47's Avatar
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    Cool Water filtration...

    Quote Originally Posted by survivalhike View Post
    If you are talking about getting a small filter that doesn't take up too much space, Katadyn makes the ExStream Purifier Bottle that is really cool. It's the size of a sports bottle (like for biking or like a squeeze bottle) and it has a PURIFIER inside it. Not a filter, but a PURIFIER. The big difference is that while a filter gets alot out of your water, a purifier will kill the viruses that might be present as well. The unit holds either 26 or 34 ounces depending on model and both of them will filter 26 gallons. If you have reliable water that is close at hand you can't go wrong. Plus there is no nasty taste. All you do is dunk the bottle into the water to fill it, screw on the cap, and start sucking through the straw. That easy.

    If you are talking low teck (relatively), the sand filter and boiling sounds pretty good to me. The filter gets out all the solid matter and the boiling kills all the non-visible matter that might otherwise kill you.
    Both coffee-filters & clean bandanas make good pre-filters to get the debris out. Boiling is good in that it's the least costliest, but if you got no fire you're in deep Kim-Chee! Dr. Ron Hood showed a cool way with a one oz. bottle and 8 grams of Iodine crystals, but then there's the taste to deal with.
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  18. #18

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    Try polar pure, similar to Ron Hoods method, but with directions, a crystal trap, and much sturdier glass bottle.

  19. #19
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    You can purify water in many ways:
    1) boil
    2) chemicals
    --that about ends it for most people--
    3) evaporation*
    4) leeching**
    5) ground water filtration***
    6) rainwater

    * place a good amount of wet moss, leaves, etc under a tarp or (preferably) saran wrap, elevated about 6" above the mound. Place a small rock in the center of the covering and place a small bucket or empty tin under the inverted cone formed. With the sun out, the water will evaporate and collect on the covering. The inverted cone will center the dripping into your collection plate.

    ** Many plants store water in abundance. moss especially but in the south you have water vines and trees that absorb gallons a day. Cutting or squeezing these flora will give you safe water.

    *** ground water found dripping from cave walls and through sandstone blocks is safe to drink. They'll be heavy in minerals (thus the formation of stalagtites/mites) but free from most bacteria/viri
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Smok's Avatar
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    You can use ultra Violet light and just a clear bottle in the sun about 1 hr.

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