How to Purify Water

Last Updated on September 1, 2020

If you are looking for a safe and reliable way to purify your drinking water you have come to the right place.

I’ve been doing long distance backpacking wilderness trips for years and there is no more important skill than ensuring ample safe and clean drinking water. I am also a huge proponent of being prepared for emergencies such as power outages and grid down scenarios. All of which require knowing how to secure safe drinking water.

Best Ways to Purify Water

There are a number of methods for purifying drinking water and I believe it is important to be aware of all methods as they can be best used under different circumstances. Just like all skills, it is best to understand them before you need to use them. With that in mind, take the time to practice the different water purification methods so you can be sure to know how and when to use each when the time comes.

Remember, dehydration is a real threat whether you are backpacking deep of the trail or you are experiencing a prolonged power outage or other survival situation. Always attempt to have a stock of drinkable water and the tools necessary to purify your own water when your supply runs out.

How to Purify Water for Drinking

Boil your water

This is the oldest way to purify your water. Bringing your water to a boil will kill organic impurities preventing most water borne germs. This will not remove inorganic and dissolved solids from your water. Another shortcoming is that it requires a heat and fuel source which is not always available.

Iodine Water Purification

Iodine purification comes in tablets, crystals, and powder form. They work very well in removing bacteria and viruses that can cause illness when consumed. Iodine does not remove inorganic material and dissolved solids from your water. They must be dropped directly into your water and allowed to sit in the water for approximately a half an hour before the water is ready to be drank. Not to be used by women who are pregnant.

Chlorine Drops

Like iodine, chlorine can kill organic impurities from your water. Also like iodine tabs, you will have to drop the chlorine tablets directly into your water and wait about thirty minutes before drinking your water. With chlorine you must be cautious not to add more than the recommended amount as chlorine is toxic in high levels.

Water Filters

Water filters are my go to water purification method (along with distillation). Water filters come in all shapes and sizes and a high quality water filter will ensure your drinking water is safe and clean. I have used a number of water filters over the years and they come in models ranging from portable water filters for hiking up to whole house water filter systems that will purify all your home’s water. Check below for more on my water filter recommendations.

Ultraviolet Light Water Purification

An ultraviolet light is a great portable way to purify your water. In a few minutes of use all organic impurities will be killed and unable to harm you when drank. This water purification method does not remove inorganic material and dissolved solids from your water and also requires batteries.

For more water guides and tips read these articles:

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