How Do I Purify Water While Camping?

This article gives the reader a few tips on how to purify water for drinking while in the wilderness.

Water can be found in most places on our planet without much trouble. However, any water found in the outdoors can be contaminated with any number of diseases that are carried by animals. Under these conditions, water should be boiled for at least 10 to 12 minutes. You can remove many contaminants except bacteria without boiling. Just remember to boil water whenever possible.

Often times you will find water in stagnant pools. Even though this water is badly contaminated with mud and algae, it can be made drinkable by straining it through a makeshift filter. A simple filtering device can be constructed from a pair of pants or a knapsack. Simply remove your pants or use a spare pair if you are lucky to have them, tie off one of the legs with a piece of cord or a shoe lace, fill the tied off leg of the pants about half full of "CLEAN" sand and then pour the water into the leg so that it runs through the sand. Catch the run-off in a container. Using the knapsack, fill it about halfway with clean sand. The final step is to boil this strained water for the recommended 10-12 minute period.

If you do not have something to catch the strained water, you can improvise by hollowing out a piece of wood, finding a bowl shaped rock, or fabricating a catch basin from a piece of plastic.

There are 2 other variations of this process that can be used if sand or other materials are not available. First, you can substitute several layers of cloth instead of sand as a filter medium. Second, move 2 or 3 yards away from the stagnant water source and dig a hole. It should start to fill up with water. This water will be free of the contaminants

A solar still will also purify water for you. It will convert the murkiest swamp water into pure water suitable for drinking. This process takes a little longer but it does the trick. Once you have constructed your solar still, dig a trench underneath the plastic and fill it with the tainted water. Take care to make sure that the water level is at least 2 inches from the top of the collecting vessel. The solar still works the same for other contaminants such as salt and alkaline. This device will collect 2 to 3 pints of water per day.

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