Purifying Water in the Wilderness

As important as survival food will be in a crisis, clean drinking water is even more crucial. Especially during the early stages after you have bugged out.

You can go a number of days without food if you absolutely have to. But you can’t survive long without safe drinking water.

It’s possible that you may find yourself needing to purify water in the wilderness. If so, would you know how to do it?

The good news is that there are many sources of water all around the world. It’s just a matter of finding them and then being able to purify that water to help you survive until your situation stabilizes.

The first and most obvious source would be a body of water. This could be in the form of a pond, lake, river, stream or creek.

Another potential option is precipitation. Rainwater can be collected, while snow and ice can be melted. Even dew can be gathered from leaves.

Once you have water from one source or another, the next step is purifying it. Here are examples of ways you can do that:

  • Boiling. While this strategy is not foolproof, boiling water will kill most organisms, parasites, bacteria and other pathogens. Ten minutes is recommended, although in most case five should do the job. You can boil water in a metal, ceramic or glass container over a campfire. But if you don’t have a suitable container, you could heat rocks for 30 minutes in the fire and then place them in the water.
  • Solar water disinfection. Fill plastic water bottles with water and leave them out in the sun for a day. The ultraviolet light from the sun should kill most or all biological hazards in the water. On the upside, this is an easy method requiring little maintenance. The downside is that you need a sunny day – or a couple of somewhat overcast days – to get the job done properly. And, this method is not effective against chemical contaminations.
  • Straws. There are a number of water-purifying straws available these days. They are lightweight and easy to carry in a bug-out bag, and some are highly effective. Most contain an activated carbon filter element that filters out larger bacteria and pathogens. Some get rid of strange odors and flavors.
  • Disinfecting tablets. The better tablets are very effective against waterborne pathogens. Some can purify water in just a half-hour or so, while others take several hours. The taste isn’t always the best, but if you need clean drinking water, you’ll drink it. The downside is that most of them do not have shelf lives of more than a year or two, so make sure to switch out new tablets for old ones periodically.
  • Bleach. This can disinfect water, but be very careful about the amount you use. Generally speaking, you can use two drops of bleach per quart of water if the water is clear or warm, and four drops if it’s more murky or cold. Once you’ve added the drops to a water container, shake the container vigorously for at least a minute. Then turn the container upside down and unscrew the cap just slightly, allowing a small amount of water to flow out. Set the bottle in the shade or other dark area and let it sit for 30 minutes or so.

All of these water purification methods can be effective. Especially when you find yourself out in the wilderness needing clean water.

Our top recommendation though is our revolutionary new Sun Kettle.

This weird little device about the size of a thermos and can boil water using only the power of the sun. All without flames, smoke or noise!

And it’s great for camping and hiking. Heck, even pop a couple hot dogs in there on a fishing trip and before you know it… you can serve lunch!

But don’t just take it from us. See what outdoorsman Keith had to say:

“Frank, what an invention! Hot water without gathering wood or building a fire… and have all the deer in the country leaving the area because of the smell of smoke. I have 3 Sun Kettles, and I lent one to my brother-in-law to take fishing. You probably have a new customer. Thank you.”

Boil your water using only the power of the sun


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