Survival Water

How to Filter Water Outdoors

primitive survivors filtering water

You can last for weeks without food, but you can also last for a few days without water. When you find yourself in a survival situation, you need to make it a priority to find clean water, or better yet filter and purify it.

If you’re lucky, the area you’re in will provide you with a fresh source of water. However, that is highly impossible due to microorganisms and bacteria that live in these environments. Drinking contaminated water can make you violently ill that it can cause your death.

We will help you know the many different ways you can purify water in the wild so you don’t have to worry about surviving despite thirst.Β 


There are many plants in the wild that have the ability to purify and filter your water. However, don’t be too quick to try this method since you need a strong understanding and familiarity with these plants. One mistake could cause severe consequences

Here are some plants that can be used to remove dangerous contaminants from water:

  • Rice
  • Coconuts
  • Banana peels
  • Plant xylem
  • Cilantro
  • Reeds and bulrushes
  • Java plum seeds
  • Jackfruit seeds
  • Fruit peels
  • Moringa oleifera
  • Oregon grape

To filter your water with these plants, let your water soak in a bag with them and you have clean drinking water.Β 


Boiling can be done over a campfire (if you can make fire) or a stove if you have one. This process is one of the most reliable as it can kill parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens in the water despite not evaporating chemical pollution.

If you have no fireproof container with you, heat some rocks for 30 minutes in the fire and place them into your container of water. This container could be a rock depression, a bowl made of wood, a bark container that is folded, or an animal stomach. Quartz or any river rocks are not recommended as they can explode when heated.

Five minutes of a rolling boil will kill most organisms, but ten minutes is safer. Elevations high enough to affect boiling and cooking times will require slightly more time over the flame.

Tablet or Drops

Always add purification tablets or drops to your bug out bag checklist. This is the most convenient way to disinfect water when you do not know how to do so when you are in the wild.Β 

A filtration tablet usually included chlorine, iodine, and potassium permanganate. This is not harmful as long as used in small doses. In fact, they are very efficient in removing harmful pathogens in your water.Β 

The downside to this method is you still need to measure the amount of water you will purify so you don’t go under or overuse the drops. Most of them require 20 liters of water.Β 

Create Your Own Filtration System

Learn how to filter water in the wild by practicing this method at home. Gather materials like sand and rocks before creating this tool. Although filtering water with the help of nature won’t completely purify it, it can still remove physical threats and hazards and it is extremely helpful when you have no other choice to quench your thirst.

Here’s how to make a survival water filter.

UV Light Devices and Solar Water Disinfection

UV light can be used as a disinfection method since we know how damaging it is to organisms, especially small ones. These devices do not need a battery, and they are made to disrupt the DNA of the illness-causing microbes in just a few seconds.Β 

These groundbreaking products are not 100% effective in water with large floating particles, but they can surely purify clear water of any origin.

Speaking of UV light, the sun can also be a water treatment tool to disinfect your water. This is called solar water disinfection or SODIS. Just expose the plastic bottleful of water to the sun for at least a day. But the limitation of this method includes the need for sunny weather, no filtration, and can be less effective against bacterial spores and cyst stages of some parasites.Β 


This water purification method is more useful in the tropical setting or Pacific region since the water here may contain high levels of sodium and minerals which may cause further dehydration.Β 

To separate water from the minerals, you have to distill it. But this requires some items that you need to have in your backpacks, such as a container, a smaller container, and a cover.Β 

Place the smaller container in the larger one and fil the big one with water. You can cover it and let condensation naturally separate the water for you. Just make sure that your cover is indented towards the smaller vessel so that the condensation collects on the cover in a way that causes it to run down and drip into your smaller container.

You can easily gather all drinkable water you need with just enough sunlight and these tools.Β 

Survival Straws

These innovative straws are one of the smallest, lightest, and most effective disinfecting tools in the market. These new products can be used like regular drinking straws which can be connected to the drain valve on a water heater to clean up the water you found outdoors.Β 

These groundbreaking straws cal also fit in garden hoses to filter the water running through them. The work by using activated carbon filter element which filters out larger bacteria and pathogens, as well as removes odd flavors and odors from the water.

Stay Hydrated!

Whether you’re lost in the woods, trying to survive a huge disaster, or simply trekking in the wild, you need to make hydration a priority. It’s as important as shelter, and twice as necessary as food!

We recommend you bring a bucketful of clean water during these situations in the wild since building a shelter, looking for food, and trying to build fire requires a lot of energy and water. But since it’s not always possible to bring this huge amount of water, you need to be skilled in looking for water and practicing these water filtration and purification methods.

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