Water is a readily available resource. However, in the wild, water is challenging to spot; even if you do, you should always filter the water to remove any impurities.
The human body needs to be hydrated at all times. Dehydration can be severely harmful to one’s body. To avoid dehydration, you should always know how to filter water in the wild because even if you find a water source, there is no guarantee that water is safe to drink.
There are numerous ways by which you can filter water. In this article, we have jotted down six such methods of filtering water in the wild that will be very helpful. Keep on reading to find more.
Where Can You Find Water Sources in the Wild?
Finding a water source depends on your luck and location. In the wild, you can either find an abundant water source or find them to be non-existent. Before exploring different filtering methods, you must know where to find water and which water is safe to drink.
You can find water from freshwater sources such as streams, ponds, lakes, etc. If you have the tools needed for distilling, you can use brackish water or salty water too.
Additionally, rain, snow, sleet, hail, and ice, basically all the natural precipitation, are excellent freshwater sources. You should avoid drinking rainwater fallen through a jungle or forest canopy. It’s possible to store fresh, new snow in a container. When fresh snow melts, it is safe to consume.
Apart from that, water from underground sources is almost always safe to drink. You can tap trees like maple trees. After the tree is taped, you can collect water in a container. Water that flows from the tap is secure and safe to drink. However, almost all the water sources have to be disinfected as they are almost always dirty.
Methods to Filter Water in the Wild
Read along to learn more about the methods of filtering water that can be used to disinfect water and make them safe to drink.
Filtration is a crucial step to have clean water. There are several ways by which you can get drinkable water, but whatever method you use and however full proof it is, you should always, always filter your water. By filtering, you can ensure that there are no debris or impurities in your water.
There are several purification pumps, filters, or water purifiers on the market that are easy to carry. When you pour water through the pump, it cleans the water as it goes through ceramic or charcoal filters built inside the pump.
If this gadget is not available to you in the wilderness, you can use a t-shirt to make a simple filter. All you need is a t-shirt and some sticks. Make a triangle using the sticks and place the t-shirt on top of it.
Don’t just run the water through the filter; make sure you set a container below the filter to catch water. You can repeat this process until you see clear water.
Filtration removes impurities from water, so make sure you know other methods of killing pathogens from your water.
You must filter your water before using any other methods to purify water. Sedimentation is an effective way to filter out any impurities in the water. You can apply this method to filter very murky water. Sedimentation is when all the impurities settle at the bottom of the container, making the water cleaner at the top.
When you let water sit undisturbed for an extended period, it forces all the particles to settle at the bottom of the container leaving the clean water at the top. Once the sedimentation process is complete, you can take the clean water from the top.
However, be gentle and mindful when you pour clean water into the container as you do not want the bottom residues to mix into the water.
Boiling is the most ancient and well-known method used to disinfect water. Boiling is an efficient way to eliminate parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens in the water. Boiling water for at least ten minutes can ensure that all the organisms are killed.
You can boil water by building a campfire then putting impure water over a metal, ceramic, or glass container to begin the boiling process. If you fail to find any such container, you need to get creative to make one for yourself.
For instance, you can use a hollowed rock or perhaps even make a bowl from the wood you locate in your area. Look around and try to find a source that can hold water and sustain the heat, and you are good to go! These unusual vessels containing water must be disinfected.
To disinfect, simply heat the rocks in the campfire for thirty minutes before using them for boiling water. However, you have to be aware of what kind of rocks you are using because quartz or river rocks tend to explode when heated.
When you are boiling water, remove any solid impurities from the water like leaves, branches, or dirt by relying on filtration methods. If you boil contaminated water, you can get sick from the heavy minerals that seep into your water.
4. Purification Tablets or Drops
Purification tablets can kill pathogens found in water, thus making them safe for consumption. It is usually used by outdoor enthusiasts who like to backpack and explore the wild. In any case, it is a convenient object to carry if you are not a handy person who can quickly build campfires to boil your water.
How to use the purification tablets? It is straightforward to use. You just have to add purification drops or tablets in the water. The amount that should be used will be mentioned in the packet of the tablet.
Shake and stir the mixture thoroughly for 10-20 seconds and let it sit for 20 minutes. After that, your water is safe to drink. Although there is one drawback, you have to measure the amount of water before releasing the tablet to ensure that you are not over or underusing the substance.
The most popular disinfectant tablets are chlorine-based Katadyn’sMicropur tablets and Potable Aqua’s iodine tablets. Iodine tablets usually have a one-year shelf life, while chlorine-based Micropur tablets are suitable for two years or more.
Iodine tablets are a great choice, but it has a distinct toxic flavor that Iodine itself brings on. Water filtered from Iodine tablets is not recommended for pregnant women, individuals who have thyroid issues or are allergic to shellfish. Although you must be tempted to store as many miracle-working tablets, it is of little use as their shelf life is relatively short.
5. Survival Straw
A survival straw cleans water by passing it through several long, hollow fibers encased in a plastic tube. It can trap bacteria and parasites that cause cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever. So, it is a very effective tool for cleaning water.
Some of the newer models can be used as straws. You can stick it in water and directly drink the water without any hesitation.
Most of these filters have activated carbon that can are used to remove pathogens, and it can aid in removing any odd taste or smell from the water. It cannot filter out all the bacteria and pathogens, many of which are reliable.
Fresh water in tropical areas has a high level of sodium and minerals. When you drink water with a high sodium concentration, you run the risk of getting even more dehydrated. When the water source is scarce, that is the last thing you want to do!
A great way to remove sodium and other minerals are through distillation. To distill water, you need a few things. The objects that you need are- a small container, a large container, and a cover.
After you gather all the necessities, you should place the small container on top of the large container. Pour the salty water on the larger vessel, then cover the container so that the cover is a little scooped towards the smaller vessel to collect the condensation in the lid.
Once you have covered the container, the condensation process will start. It will separate water from salt. For this process to be successful, you need plenty of sunlight.
This process does not completely purify your water; instead, it distills it. To go the extra mile, you can filter the water using the emergency filter methods available.
There are plenty of ways you can filter water. It is always good to know how to filter water in the wild for survival. From the wide range of the methods mentioned in this article, choose a few techniques and keep them in mind. They will be handy in case you find yourself in trouble out in the wild!