Having fresh water to drink in a crisis could be the difference between life and death. Our body can only survive 3 to 10 days under ideal conditions (no stress, food or movement). Under stressful circumstances, when you must think quickly and physically exert yourself, that time-frame drops to around 2 days.
In an emergency or major catastrophe, you may not have access to clean water. Often during these times, city water becomes polluted and undrinkable. And unless you took the time to actually prepare for such emergencies, chances are you have a limited, or non-existent, supply of bottled water.
The fact is, your body needs clean water to survive and if you don’t have any on hand, you will need to find a way to get some. This is where water purification comes in.
1. Perhaps the simplest method of purifying water is to boil it. Water boils at 100° C (212° F); few bacteria will survive this temperature for long. It is important to bring the water to a rolling boil and allow it to continue boiling for at least 5 – 10 minutes. After boiling the water, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. If the water is murky, you may want to strain it through a clean cloth to remove any sediment.
2. Water purification tablets or drops can also be used to make water drinkable. These can be purchased online or at most outdoor / adventure shops. Follow the instructions on the package. Also bear in mind that water purified this way does not have the best taste.
3. Cone, or teepee filtering is a simple but excellent way to purify water.
With this method, water goes through layers of grass, gravel or sand, and charcoal. In each layer, impurities in the water are removed. It’s very important that you use charcoal, as this is what will absorb the harmful bacteria, protozoa, and certain viruses. The other materials are more for filtering out big pieces of dirt.
If you don’t have spare cloth, then you can make a water filter in a found plastic bottle (luckily, there is usually trash around). If you can’t find a plastic bottle, then you can make a cone out of birch bark for the filter.