Survival Water Purification Methods and Tips

Survival Water Purification Methods and Tips

Survival Water Purification


When it comes to survival situations, one of the most essential elements to secure is clean drinking water. Without access to clean water, our bodies become dehydrated, leading to a host of health issues and ultimately, death. In a survival scenario, it’s important to know how to purify water to make it safe for consumption. In this article, we will explore different methods of water purification and provide some tips and tricks to ensure you stay hydrated when it matters most.


Boiling water is one of the simplest and most effective methods of water purification. By bringing water to a rolling boil for at least one minute (or three minutes at higher altitudes), you can kill or inactivate most types of bacteria, parasites, and viruses that may be present. Always make sure the water has cooled down before consuming it.


  • Use a heat-resistant container, such as a metal pot, to boil the water.
  • If you don’t have access to a heat source, such as a stove or campfire, consider using a portable camping stove or a solar cooker.
  • During emergencies, having a portable water filter or purifier can save time and effort. Consider investing in a high-quality portable water purification system.

Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatments are another popular method for water purification in survival situations. There are various chemicals available on the market that can be used to kill harmful bacteria and parasites, making the water safe to drink. Two commonly used chemical treatments are chlorine dioxide tablets and iodine.


  • Follow the instructions on the product packaging carefully when using chemical treatment methods.
  • Be aware that chemical treatments may leave a taste or odor in the water. You can use activated carbon filters or add a small amount of unsweetened powdered drink mix to improve the taste.
  • If you are pregnant, have a thyroid condition, or are allergic to iodine, consult with a healthcare professional before using iodine for water purification.


Filtration is another effective method of water purification that helps remove sediment, bacteria, and parasites from water. There are various types of filters available, including mechanical filters and activated carbon filters. Mechanical filters use a physical barrier to trap contaminants, while activated carbon filters adsorb chemicals and improve taste.


  • When using a filtration system, it’s important to regularly clean or replace the filter cartridge to maintain its effectiveness.
  • Choose a filtration system with a pore size small enough to remove bacteria and parasites.
  • If you are unsure about the water source, consider using a combination of filtration and chemical treatment for optimal purification.

Solar Disinfection

Solar disinfection, also known as SODIS, is a simple and low-cost method of water purification that uses sunlight to kill harmful microorganisms. It involves filling clear plastic bottles with water and allowing them to be exposed to the sun for several hours. The UV rays from the sun destroy the pathogens, making the water safe to drink.


  • Use transparent, non-colored plastic bottles for solar disinfection. Avoid using glass bottles, as they can intensify the sun’s heat and potentially cause the bottle to burst.
  • Make sure to place the bottles in direct sunlight, preferably on a reflective surface to maximize exposure to UV rays.
  • While solar disinfection is an effective method, it may not be practical in cloudy or rainy conditions. It’s always good to have alternative purification methods available.

My 2 Cents

Having access to clean drinking water is crucial for survival in any situation. When it comes to purifying water, it’s important to have multiple methods at your disposal. Boiling water is a tried and true method that is accessible to almost anyone. Chemical treatments and filtration systems can offer additional layers of purification, ensuring the removal of as many contaminants as possible. Solar disinfection is a great backup method, particularly in sunny conditions.

Remember, it’s essential to plan and prepare ahead of time. Have multiple purification methods in your survival kit and practice using them before you find yourself in an emergency situation. Knowing how to properly purify water can mean the difference between life and death when it matters most.

Stay hydrated and stay prepared!