Do you know how to purify water? Us Europeans have become dependent on the tap and most of us don’t venture very far from this luxury but for all those explorers amongst us who venture far and wide could you survive if you found that spare water bottle empty. Streams and natural water may look fresh and appetising when you have a thirst but good chance is it’ll be loaded with nasty bacteria to cause sickness and diarrhoea, that is the last thing anyone wants. We have taken a look at a few key ways to purify water making it safe for drinking.
It could save your life.
First things first, if your looking at murky water as your only option you’ll need to remove any sediment which can be achieved by sieving it through material. The finer the cloth the more dirt you’ll remove. Ideally a four-filter system is best, gravel or stones to remove large particles then sand or mud on top of charcoal or grass and the last filter layer a fine cloth.
These will hopefully be stashed in the emergency kit that item brought for just in case.
Chemical Tablets are a convenient ready to use dosage of chemical that placed in dirty water will dissolve within thirty minutes cleaning the water.
Survival Filters work on a similar idea to a household water-purifying jug. A tube of staged filters designed to remove the harsher elements natural waters are filled with. Most are designed to work by gravity, other systems provide a pump to force the water through.
The first thought in everyone’s mind, plus a teabag if you’re British (of course). Boiling water reaches 100C /212F and left at a rolling boil for a minute will remove most bacteria, if you’re high in the mountains though altitude affects waters boiling point reducing it down to 185F/ 85C so boil for approximately 3 minutes, unfortunately boiling does not remove chemical contamination but hopefully if your in the middle of nowhere toxins shouldn’t be a problem.
This is for the dryer climates when a water supply is nowhere to be found.
Capturing condensation is the aim of the game.
Dig a hole in the ground and place a pot in the middle, peg out polythene across the top covering the hole, this will collect moisture rising from the ground and create condensation, by placing a weight in the middle of the polythene over the centre on the pot the water will pool into the pot. Vegetation or dirty water can be placed in the hole to increase moisture.
Condensation can also be collected by tying a transparent plastic bag over some bushy green leaves, by angling the bag down water will collect in the corner.