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How to Purify Water in the Wild – Learn The Basics of Water Purification Techniques

Jul.09.2021
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How to purify water in the wild

How to Purify Water In the Wild

Water is what makes the earth the blue planet we know and love, it makes up about 75% of our bodies, and it is one of our sustaining life forces. It is the liquid gold that has caused wars, brought people together, and shaken them apart. All living creatures have figured out ways to adapt to the climates they live in to hydrate themselves best.

Camels and succulent plants both have evolutionary adaptations that help them survive better in a dryer and hotter climate. Humans, on the other hand, have built cities around bodies of water, as well as aqueducts and water main pipes for indoor plumbing. We are used to being able to have as much drinkable water as we need at the drop of a hat. But what if we didn’t have any drinkable water? We would not be able to exist without water, and yet, sometimes the only water that we have access to is capable of making us sick if it isn’t first purified.

Filtering water in the wild is a very good and potentially life-saving skill to learn about no matter if you like to frequently go camping or if you’re just the average person who is interested in understanding a few survival skills.

There are many ways to go about purifying water in the wilderness, and we can learn many of them from the animals and plants that have to do it all the time. If you do find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to purified water, you should make sure to use some of these simple ways to purify water even if the water looks clean because you never know what kind of bacteria could be lingering in the water. Unfiltered water can lead to extreme illness (we’re talking diarrhea and/or vomiting) which could potentially even result in death, so don’t take a chance. Learn how to filter water for drinking with these tricks.

Methods of Purifying Water

There are many ways to filter water that range from complicated to expensive to simple to lucky. How can a water purification method be lucky? Well, there are a lot of factors that go into finding and purifying water so that it is potable. If you come across a glacier, you are likely going to be just fine to drink straight from it. If you find yourself in a desert with little to no water around you at all, you will have to be resourceful, and finding some water and the right resources to make it clean can sometimes be pure luck.

You will want to maximize the number of ways that you know how to filter water so that you are always relying the least on luck and the most on skill. Don’t assume you won’t get into a situation where the surrounding water is scarce, or you will be fine to only know one method of water purification on a trip to the desert. Learn a lot so that you can always be prepared.

What is the Best Way to Purify Water

filtering water in the wild

There are many methods for making drinkable water. One of the most obvious ways and maybe the best water purification method to get rid of any harmful bacteria or parasites is to boil your drinking water before consuming it. The issue with this one is that you won’t always have access to a flame or a contraption to boil your water with when you’re in the wilderness, and it won’t always be time or space efficient to do this even if you do have the tools. Not to mention boiling your water will not always make it taste good and could still leave you in harm’s way if there are heavy metals or toxins in the water. This being said, boiling is actually a pretty good bet, even for water from lakes or small ponds. Boil your water over a flame in a fireproof container until it boils for approximately five minutes. Then take it off and let it cool. If you want to leave it for later, make sure that you cover it so that no harmful bugs or bacteria get into the container.

Water Filtration Techniques

More ways to purify water in the wild include filtration, distillation, and purification using tablets or special solutions. In your wilderness water purification attempts, if nothing feels right and none of your water sources seem safe or even practical to try to filter, your best bet might be the natural filtration system on our planet earth that is referred to as the water cycle. Water is absorbed in a gaseous state and becomes clouds only to then rain down on us as a filtered potable liquid. You can find tarps or cans to catch rainwater for drinking. You could also purchase distilling equipment so that you can heat water up in order to let it evaporate and then condensate in a cleansing process of distillation.

Potentially the easiest way to purify water is to drop a couple of water purification tablets into it, but these can be pricey, and you won’t always have access to them at the perfect moment, so it’s best to know a variety of different methods instead of just purchasing some of those and wishing for the best. You can buy a water filter like a brita filter or a more heavy-duty one that will filter out most of the bacteria and even heavy metals from water. You can also make your own using rocks, sand, charcoal, and an old water bottle, but try this out at home before you assume you will be able to do it in the wild.

Water Purification Methods for Survival with Plants

If you are in the desert or an area that is very dry and water is scarce, you may be able to access some clean pure drinking water in a way you might not expect. Trees and plants that live in these dry climates are specifically adapted to store water in their leaves and stalks so that they don’t dehydrate from lack of rain or groundwater. You can tap into this water source in a few ways. You can tap trees to get water from them, just as some people tap trees to get maple syrup.

Furthermore, you can also use some plants to purify water, but you need to be very aware of which plants these are so that you don’t make a fatal mistake. Coconuts may sound like a cliché, but they’re a great source of water if you find yourself trapped on a desert island, not to mention that they have plenty of other nutrients as well as electrolytes, vitamins and calorically dense flesh. Plants are truly great natural ways to filter water, so study them to ensure that you have the best information about plants committed to memory.

How to Purify River Water vs Stagnant Water

simple ways to purify water

Rivers are often moving, which makes them great water sources for people all over the world, provided that they aren’t polluted, and that people boil and filter their water before they drink it. Any of these filtration methods would be great for river water, but what about water that is stagnant, even murky, or completely unappealing to drink? Well, the first thing that you can do if your water is really murky is to try sedimentation to allow all the bits inside the water to filter to the bottom. Put your water in a container and let it sit for a long time without disturbing it so that all the heavier parts sink to the bottom, then use a scoop to remove the clear top layer and go on to use another filtration method from above to get the job done. Remember to always filter your water as much as possible and don’t go out trying to drink unclean water just to see if you can. Getting sick from drinking unclean water can be very serious and life-threatening, so know your stuff about water filtration and survival!

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