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Survival Guide: Simplest Ways On How To Purify Water In The Wild

If you’re fond of outdoor adventures like camping, trekking, or island hopping, you should equip yourself with the most practical survival skills that could actually save your life, and others too. For one, finding a good water source and learning how to purify water in the wild are two of the most important survival know-hows that you should master.

According to Live Science, though others can survive eight to ten days without water, the human body – on the average – can only last three days without sipping any water as dehydration poses many threats to one’s health. So when you’re caught off-guard in the wilderness and have found a good source of water, you surely can’t afford to miss out water purification. The following DIY emergency tips come to the rescue – teaching you how to disinfect your water even in the absence of a filtration system.

Boiling your unclean BUT clear water is always the easiest way to go.

In the wild, purifying the water through boiling remains to be the simplest and most feasible way to do it. WikiHow reported that though one to five minutes will actually purify your water, it’s still best to boil the water for five to ten minutes.

Doing this could put off a vast majority of organisms like germs and parasites that sit in the water thus providing you with potable water.

What to do: Bring water in a pot or any fireproof container, tin or aluminum cans, over high heat until you see bubbles. Let it boil for 5-10 minutes, wait until it cools down, and settle. Pour in the excess purified water in another bottle (if you still have one) to keep you hydrated all throughout the day.

Be warned that this emergency method may be good at killing microorganisms but not as much as dirt and other impurities. Now just to be sure, it is still advisable to combine this purifying method with another water filtering process for added peace of mind – making your water cleaner and safer to drink. Or you may opt to use your shirt or other cloth to filter large bits of sediment or debris before boiling.

Use plant-based bio-filters to purify your water.

While you are still stuck in the wild, you can make use of the natural resources to resort to a DIY water filter. Find as many non-toxic aquatic plants as you can to help you survive days without potable water. LiveStrong reported that water mint, bulrush, soft rush, and cattail are some of the plants that are better at removing pollutants and other organisms in your water. Hence, berry bushes also work well.

Once you have a number of large, healthy leaves, make sure you shake it off to remove insects, dirt, or even unwanted debris. Then, wrap each leaf on its branch using a plastic bag and a string to secure it tightly. The thing here is to trap evaporated water – giving you enough water to drink after a few days.

However, this method won’t quench your thirst right away as you still have to wait for a few days. So make sure you still have enough water to drink while you’re waiting for those days.


Solar water disinfection works well in the wild, thanks to the sun’s UV rays.

Requiring a sunny, unclouded environment, this solar water disinfection (SoDis) method helps you solve your dilemma of not having any access to store-bought bottled water as reported by Wikipedia.

Fill in an empty bottle with unclean yet clear water and place it in direct sunlight – having it sit in there for at least eight hours. The UV rays from the sun will be the one in-charge to disinfect and purify the water. The World Health Organization even sees this as a sustainable method for household water purification.

Sunlight and lime can naturally purify your water.

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene suggests that the “humble lime” can actually provide you with an inexpensive and quick method for purifying water. The SoDis water treatment option with basically any citrus fruits available to infuse the water has also been recommended by survival experts.

What you have to do is just slip in a few slices of lemon or lime (if any) into a clear water container and let it sit in there out in the sun for a few hours to get bacteria-free water.

Hence, the only snag of these two methods (numbers 3 and 4) is, of course, it’s being too dependent on the sun. It can only be done in a very hot environment and may not work best with other weather conditions.

Remember to keep these things in mind as water is much more important than food, especially when you are caught off-guard in the wilderness.

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