How To Make Safe Drinking Water In The Wilderness? How To Check And Fill Them?

Going to the wild for any reason we must know how to make safe drinking water in the wilderness!

How To Make Safe Drinking Water In The Wilderness, water cup

In any surviving situation, you may find yourself, clean and purified water must be your topmost priority. There are so many ways which are easy and simple through which you can purify your water in order to make it fir for the purpose of drinking. Water can be purified by treating it with a chemical which can either be chlorine or iodine. Filtration and or ultraviolet light can also be used to purify water. Another simple and one of the easiest ways to purify water for drinking is by boiling the water but it is not guaranteeing that the water is completely safe.

All of these methods mentioned above are effective only if they are done properly. Nevertheless, you just need to select a method that you think is easy and simple and which you are comfortable with.

It is a fact well knows that you can only survive for thirty days without any food, but without water, all you have is 72 hours and after this the result is death.

If you know How To Make Safe Drinking Water In The Wilderness, you can purify the dirtiest water and make it suitable for drinking. The way you purify your water depends on the materials you have for the purification process and also the level of contamination of your water.

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How to make safe drinking water in the wilderness.

In planning trips or when we find ourselves in survival conditions, we rely on water sources in the field.
Drinking from contaminated water sources without proper treatment can cause disease.

Clearwater is not necessarily drinkable water.
There are a number of risks in drinking from water sources, understanding these dangers and handling them is a must for every traveler.

The dangers of polluted water

Drinking polluted water is dangerous and can cause infectious diseases, mostly in the intestines.
These diseases weaken the body and sometimes are accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.

Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and death.
On the wild, and especially in a situation in which we must survive, our energies must be preserved, there is no time to be ill.

Any source of water that we do not know for sure that it has no pollution is suspected of being polluted.
So when we reach such a source of water, we will purify the water.
In stagnant water sources and swamps, the danger of pollution increases.

Checking the water source and choosing the place of filling

Testing – An initial examination of the quality of the water can be done with the sense of sight, smell, and taste.
However, it is important to know that it is not possible to identify all the contamination in the water without a laboratory test.

Sight -Do not think that clear/clean looking water is necessarily water that is not polluted.

Water smell– Water that smells bad is contaminated water.

Tasteless water is clean water– However, there is a chance that the flavor of the soil or taste of the vessel we drink (plastic, metal, etc.) will affect the taste of the water.




Filling the water

Sources of running water are preferable to stagnant water sources.
When the water source is stagnant we prefer covered water over exposed water.

When reaching a water source, it is necessary to check carefully whether there are carcasses, feces, and debris in the vicinity of the water source.
Some of the diseases caused by drinking water come from fecal contamination.

When water is filled from water pit, we will always prefer troughs that are located in streams which are far from travelers paths, and as far as possible from the road that people walk on.

In the paths which many travelers pass on, people wash in the pit (washing with soapy water and shampoo leaves chemical pollution and harms the ecological texture of the pit water source).

In ponds and lakes, we approach as much as we can to the spouting, and in the absence of spouting, we will prefer the estuary.

Water pits – if available, we will prefer the active water pits (those that are in constant use). These pits have relatively high water turnover and are usually better.

Groundwater and wells  – even though the soil filters the water, groundwater is also suspected of pollution and therefore must be purified.

Cold water has fewer infections so we prefer cold water sources.

Be careful not to drink water that is foamy and Muddy

A source of water in which there are fresh and beautiful plants that attest to fresh water is a clean source of water.

It is important to remember that water is essential for the continuation of the journey/survival.

Even if we have reached a source of polluted water (not chemical pollution!) We will fill all our water tools.
In the absence of better water, we purge the polluting water that we have in order to survive.

You can change the water when you get to a better water source.
If we drank contaminated water we would take a sample and go to the hospital with the sample when leaving the wilderness.




  1. Boiling / Potting

Boiling is one of the simplest and easiest filtration method used to purify water to make it safe for consumption. It is also the most common method but one drawback of this method is that it is the least safe method to purify water.

To get this done you need to pour the water into a pot or other metal containers and apply heat until it forms bubbles.

how long to boil water to kill bacteria?

This is a question that we hear a lot, the truth is that many bacteria will die immediately the water reaches its boiling point but some of the bacteria get adapted and have the ability to cope with the high temperature for a short period of time.
In order to get rid of such kind of bacterial, you need to increase your boiling time to about 5 to 10 minutes.
So basically it is not mandatory to continue boiling the water after the boiling point but just to play safe it is recommended to boil for a few minutes more.

Boiling does not make the water completely safe!!. The fact remains that boiling get rid of bacteria and parasites from the water but there are some other substances such as dirt, pollutants and dangerous toxic chemicals which are left in the water.

  1. Cloth Filtration

Always have with you a bandana or any other piece of fine woven cloth. Cloth filtration can be used to purify muddy or dirty water before you boil it.

Attach the cloth with a rubber or clips to the container and gently pour the water on top of it and watch it pass through the cloth into the container. Rinse the cloth and repeat the process until the water looks clean

Cloth filtration is the best method to get rid of large particles such as sand, dirt and too small extent pollutants that may be present in the water.

It’s important to boil the water after the cloth filtration method because the bacteria and parasites still remain intact.

  1. Use of Iodine solution, tablets or crystals

This is one of the effective and convenient methods of purifying water. It is available in various forms that you will surely get the one that suits your budget. It is very powerful and has the ability to eliminate viruses and bacteria. Both are light in weight and easy to use. After applying the tablet you should leave the water for about thirty minutes before you can drink the water.
How To Make Safe Drinking Water In The Wilderness, water purification

  1. Using chlorine drops

Chlorine is a powerful compound as it has the ability to kill bacteria in the water. It is also lightweight, affordable, and easily accessible. After the application of chlorine to the water, it is imperative to wait for thirty minutes before you can drink the chlorinated water.  Adding excess chlorine to the water might be poisonous,  so you must pay attention and to avoid adding too much.

  1. Use a water filter

Water filters can eliminate bacteria which are present in water. On the other hand, carbon removes chemicals and bad taste, while iodine coatings can eliminate more viruses. The treated water can be taken prior to treatment and does not show any sign of bad taste. However, they are harder than iodine or chlorine, more expensive and require manual pumping. In addition, you will need to clean and wash the filters after the activity at any time; it is also important to replace them after treating a few gallons of water.

  1. Use ultraviolet light

It looks like a small flashlight. Just swish the ultraviolet light into the water for a few minutes and bacteria can already be destroyed. It is very easy to handle with you and so easy to use. However, it requires batteries in order to operate it and at some point, the batteries can become weak. In addition, solid particles in water cannot be filtered.




  1. Remote disinfection

It is a type of portable water purification method that makes use of solar energy in order to make biologically contaminated water safe and suitable for consumption. There are three main subsystems of solar water disinfection.

These are:- electric water purifier, heat treatment, and UV purification. The bottom line is that microbes are destroyed by the temperature that the sun provides. That makes solar disinfection suitable as a mobile water purifier.

  1. Purification Pumps and LifeStraws

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These are by far the safest ways to purify water for drinking from almost any source. LifeStraw is the easiest way to get clean water suitable for drinking and I highly recommend adding it to your bug out backpack.

Purification pump is a modernized way of your do it yourself (DIY). Coal, sand and earth purifier that utilize high-pressure mechanics and multiple layers of active coal and tiny nano-scale meshes to get rid of dangerous substances and organisms from the water.

Instead of pumping water into the dish, simply insert the straw device into the water and drink it. It is similar to how you drink soda with a straw. While drawing water through the straw, it will be purified in a similar procedure to that purification pump.

We hope that we helped you to understand how to make safe drinking water in the wilderness!
If you have any comments or additional suggestions we will be happy to get them from you in the comments below!

One thought on “How To Make Safe Drinking Water In The Wilderness? How To Check And Fill Them?

  1. Thank you for this article . It’s really good and informative.

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