How to Purify Water in the Wild (with Steps)

Humans are born adventurers with an innate instinct to go to places where the paved roads end wilderness begins. Living in the archaic fashion like our ancestors did thousands of years ago, shedding the social shell and modern domesticity. The days of being in a forest observing the quietness while your surroundings are shifting in the forest, a sudden voice coming from far away.

It is peaceful yet tipping to the blurred line of fear and overcoming it to be one with the wild pack. Exquisite is that feeling and being a survivalist is all about knowing your natural elements and taking advantage of them. Water is the key to any adventure, and it’s also the first resource that runs out in any given scenario. The human body loses 500 ml daily to urination alone, so running out of water can have disastrous consequences.

According to the American hiking society, dehydration is the number one reason hikers often get lost, dealing with severe dizziness and nausea. You have to think on your feet and take stock of the surroundings to drink pure water from the surrounding areas quickly. This article will teach you how to purify water from contaminated sources and survive in the jungle.

Boiling water   

Even if it looks the cleanest, any water source is filled with pathogens and viruses, giving you dysentery to N number of horrible diseases. You should boil any natural stream or pond water for 2-5 mins and then 10 -15 mins of cooling to be consumable. 

There is simply no easier way to perform purification and has worked exquisitely since the dawn of time. You can carry a simple lighter and cooking can to boil water anywhere, anytime, with not much to worry about.

Filtration Straw or Pumps

These are highly popular survivalist products in the market which are extremely portable and can purify water at a microscopic level instantly. Another great aspect is that they are also fairly affordable with no electricity required to purify water. 

The only con of these products tends to be that their filters get clogged up after a while and might create issues for you. The overall reliability is not the best, which can become an issue if you are simply dependent on them for survival purposes.

Using Evaporation 

Basic natural science concepts taught at middle and high school are lifesavers in the wilderness. Want to create water from the very ground you walk on? Here just simple steps that you need to follow:

  • Create a medium-sized hole and place a water container in the middle of it.
  • Place a transparent plastic sheet on top of the hole to create a strong seal.
  • Now place a rock at the center, touching the tip of the water bottle.
  • Let it stay under the sun for 12 hours or more.

The water will slowly evaporate and travel through the sheet to collect in the water bottle. Suppose you want to purify it further, then use a filtration straw or boil it to ensure the purest water there is. 

Read this case study of Solar Distillation to clean water in Nigeria, solving the ongoing clean water crisis.

Purification Tablets

Once again, chemical science comes to rescue you in need of the hour in the form of iodine tablets and other chemical compounds that promise to kill all bacteria. They are simple, requiring you to drop the tablet in the water bottle and wait for 20 mins-4 hours to let it do its work.

The biggest issue with purification tablets is that you’re putting a high amount of chemicals into your body. They are certainly not free of side effects and cause problems in your stomach, thyroid glands etc. 

Overall, water taste is also not particularly good, with chloride solutions being the least offensive. It’s best not to rely on them, and but they’re good enough for emergency purposes.

Sun Bathing

Being an adventurer requires you to be highly creative, conscious and resource-oriented at all times. If there is any way to disinfect water, an object, or anything else, put it under direct sunlight for hours. In a recent scientific study, experts have determined that sunlight is as good as UV rays to kill the bacteria and viruses in the air.

Putting a simple water bottle under the sunlight can cleanse it within a day. The only caveat in this scenario tends to be that you need a constant stream of uninterrupted sunlight with no cloudy weather or rain. If there’s even a doubt in your mind regarding the purity of water when using this technique, do not drink the water.

UV-powered cleansing devices

A wide spectrum of devices is available in the market that utilizes the Ultra Violet rays to kill viruses and bacteria in water. These products have battery packs that ensure long-term use and easy cleaning with replaceable batteries. Other UV products come with solar panels or hand cranks to ensure greater battery life and ease of use. 

The only downside of these products is that they can only be used in clear water and requires a filtration of the larger compound substances.

Final Thoughts

The idea of having to purify your water when adventuring doesn’t need to be something you have to commit to when under crisis. You can use wood or distillation to do fun DIY experiments in the wilderness. 

Even finding a lake, water stream or pond can be a mission you can embark on to reconnect with yourself. It also gives one a perspective of the importance of a resource like water that we take for granted in everyday life is precious. You are now ready to be an outdoor survivor and employ these newfound tips to travel in unknown paths.  

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.