Clean drinking water is often the most vital resource in a survival situation. A healthy individual can survive for up to a month without food, but without water, an individual cannot last longer than four or five days. A swift mountain stream often gets confused as an adequate water source, but finding and drinking water in a remote wilderness environment can often do much more harm than good. Here are 3 easy methods for water purification in the outdoors where access to clean drinking water is not readily available.
The most ideal method of water purification is to boil water. People have been using heat to boil and purify water for centuries. However, even if you brought a fuel source to start a fire or were able to find one, you must still have a container or make one to boil the water. Boiling water is also quite time consuming, but it is widely known as one of the most effective ways of killing the microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses that are often found in natural water resources.
Another method that is becoming increasingly popular amongst backpackers, hikers, hunters, and outdoorsmen is the use of purification tablets, which can easily be bought today in most camping and outdoor stores. The instructions vary depending on the type of water purification tablets used, but most require you to simply add a tablet to the water and wait for approximately 30 minutes before being able to take a drink. A regular-sized tablet is typically all that is needed to purify one liter of water. Water purification tablets are small, light, and inexpensive, which makes them an excellent solution for purifying water while outdoors.
Lastly, iodine can be used to purify water as well. Iodine is normally found in most first aid kits, and only five to ten drops are required to purify one liter of water. Similar to the use of tablets, 30 minutes must pass after adding the drops before drinking the water. However, the use of iodine should be a last resort, because it is unable to effectively kill Giardia and Cryptosporidium.