MOBILE & PORTABLE
Purification Tablets – Water purification tablets are effective when it comes to treating biological contaminants in open water sources. It’s a inexpensive and space saving item to have in everyone’s bug-out-bag, however, it’s not the best choice for treating the larger volumes of your primary water stores.
Purification Straws – This is a amazing personal water filter that fits in your pocket and allows you to drink directly from any open water source, while on the move. They’re dirt cheap and should be a mandatory item in every bug-out-bag. This is a personal survival backup item and will NOT provide a adequate volume of treated water for a entire family. Everyone should have one as a emergency backup under extreme conditions when primary water supplies are inaccessible or compromised.
SteriPEN – These gadgets are outstanding dual-purpose items that you’ll use far more than you’d think. Years ago I worked at a water quality lab near UMass Amherst as a Laboratory Analyst and we used a UV box to sterilize all lab equipment used for biological tests. Just a few moments in that box and every microscopic organism was neutralized. The SteriPEN does the exact same thing when dipped into a container of untreated surface water. Additionally, you can also use this device to pass over ANY surface that may be contaminated with some sort of bacteria or germ like keyboards, door knobs, clothing, eating utensils, remote controls, hand rails, steering wheels, etc. NOTE: Although this device immediately kills biological germs in water AND on other surfaces, it does NOT do anything to purify chemical contaminants and should NEVER be directed on your skin/eyes.
FS-TFC Portable RO Water Filter – The FS-TFC is another great water filter that is one step up from the survival straw and SteriPEN in terms of both volume and overall effectiveness. It’s still somewhat compact and will fit easily in a bug-out-bag, but it is capable of purifying up to 300ml per minute. You just dip the intake tube into any water source and start pumping. Clean water is then collected in containers for later use. This particular model has a beefed up pump handle and a 0.0001um RO filter membrane AND a 100% lifetime guarantee. Many other filters of this type had a lower um rating and really shitty pump handles. Usually I don’t get too excited when trinkets like carrying bags are added in, but in this case the bag that comes with it is also the perfect place to put your purification tablets and other small water related preps.
In a survival situation, two of the most critical uses of carbon are water purification and taken internally as a treatment to poisoning. Carbon loves to bold to things and has the tendency to bind up dangerous chemicals, whether they’re found in open water sources or in your stomach.
- You can buy food grade Activated Carbon now while it’s available to immediately cover this need.
- Learn more about using activated carbon and how easy it is to make.
- Put activated carbon in capsules to keep in your First Aid bag for poisoning treatment.
- Activated carbon is closely associated to “BioChar” and is the byproduct of “Wood Gasification”
Solar Stills work quite well at condensing Sea water, urine, swamp water, or just moisture from soil and foliage. However, if you’re considering a Solar Still and scrambling to cob one together, you probably failed to secure the basic contingencies found in column one. You can learn more about Solar Stills and how to construct them here.
The UV range of direct sunlight will also disinfect source water of biological contaminants, however, you have to remember a couple things. The effectiveness of solar purification decreases as the cloudiness (turbidity) of the water increases. Pathogens simple avoid UV by being behind or within foreign particles in the source water. so this should be done AFTER physically filtering the water through sand/carbon first. Unless you’re using known food grade clear plastic, this process should be done in clear glass containers to avoid potential BPA contamination from cheap plastic containers. This method does NOT do anything to remove chemical contaminants other than possibly changing their exact breakdown constituents.
Boiling water for at least ten minutes has always been the routine standard for disinfecting drinking water, but disinfect doesn’t mean decontaminate. Boiling will in fact kill all waterborne pathogens which would eliminate germ related illnesses like Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Giardia, Dysentery, Escherichia Coli (E. coli), Hepatitis A and Salmonella. However, if things are bad enough and you don’t have the means to generate heat, you’ll have to utilize another purification method for biological agents and you still have to deal with the potential chemical contaminants regardless.
COMMERCIAL VS. DIY
Hands down, one of the best selling high quality home water filters out there is the Berkey. It definitely won’t fit in your bug-out-bag, but you sure will sleep better knowing one is on your kitchen counter. They really do make a quality water filter! The entire housing is stainless steel and the filter elements also capture arsenic, lead, mercury, and chromium.
Once you begin comparing commercial home water filters you’ll quickly see that it’s the actual filter elements that cost so much and not necessarily the big flashy housing. Therefore, it might be worthwhile purchasing a few pairs of food grade 5 gallon pales and simply loading up on filter elements when they’re discounted. It’s really easy to make a DIY Berkey.
I’m not going to waste a lot of time trying to replicate something that has already been very well developed by the prepper community. They’ve accumulated a wealth of information, files, videos, etc. over the years and almost any preparedness topic you can think of has been explored. As always, use discernment. There’s a wealth of information there and experts to interact with, but remember that this is also a community of unknowns too. Don’t be led astray by a fed or a garden variety nutcase.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.KJV Psalm 1:3
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