What would a blog about exploring the outdoors be without a post on water purification? Probably a better one than this? :)
I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I always try to be over prepared for any trek into the outdoors. After a few occurrences in my life of not having what I needed, I learned the hard way.
With that, even for a short day hike with enough water for more than the party I am responsible for (i.e. kids – water is heavy and I want them to enjoy the outdoors, not dread lugging a heavy pack!), for the important things to keep you alive, I always go by the law of 3s. That way you have a backup, and a backup to a backup. And because you can never be too prepared, might as well have a backup to a backup to a backup you can use! If you are out there for long enough, you can go for quite a while without food, however, without water, you’re toast. And like that hard-dehydrated melba toast… not the soft fluffy kind.
for the important things to keep you alive, I always go by the law of 3s. That way you have a backup, and a backup to a backup. And because you can never be too prepared, might as well have a backup to a backup to a backup
Here’s what I bring along with me…
- Purified water!
Nothing beats bringing along your own water to begin with. Chances are, you are not filming a survival show, and go out with no water. DBS – Don’t Be Stupid. Bring enough water for yourselves and your party to begin with. I always have a Nalgene (or similar), backup foldable bottle for storage, and a hydration bladder.
Tip – If you have a water bottle, have your kids decorate it, providing you have kids. My Nalgene is about 15 years old, with stickers on it from me over the years, and now is starting to get loaded up by my kids. Its nice to bring a bit of home with you, wherever you go!
- Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter
As far as a filter and purifier goes – nothing beats a manual pump. It can do a good amount of water, and the filter is rated for 200 gallons. That’s a LOT of use!
- Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets
If you run out of water, and you have a broken manual filter, or, you’ve filtered more than 200 gallons, these are a must have. Each bottle is 50 tabs, which can treat 25 liters of water. You can be drinking safe water within 30 minutes.
As a last resort, if you have none of the above, you can always boil the water. The general recommendation is a rolling boil for 10 minutes, however, once the water is boiling, giving it a minute is more than adequate from my experience. If you have enough fire, boil it for longer to be safer, if you don’t, then make sue with what you have. Its better than nothing!
Just make sure for options #3 and #4 listed above, to pre-filter the water, removing any sediment, large dirt particles, etc. You can use a sock, bandana, anything that can act as a sieve to remove the larger particles.