Water is our most important means of survival on this planet. Our body can not function with 5% or more of dehydration. With 2-3% or dehydration, you feel extremely thirsty and that usually happens when most people take action. Our body needs to replenish its liquid, because thanks to it our body detoxifies through the release of urine and sweat. If you are so dehydrated that your body can not release enough sweat or urine to flush out the toxins, the cells in your body will stop working properly until they are permanently damaged and will basically die.
However, that does not mean you can drink the water you find. Dirty water can be as harmful and fatal as the lack of water. You should not underestimate the dangers of the many organisms that thrive in water and snow. Yes, even the snow that has been there for some time has probably already been contaminated.
There are two basic methods to filter the water and also the purification systems that are popular on the web.
Water purification systems for survival situations.
We will give you some tips and practical tricks on how to purify water in situations of survival. Some are useful because they do not require additional tools or equipment to filter the water. However, others are practical and may require you to buy some additional machines or systems to achieve the same effect. The final choice depends on you. Some systems can be much more reliable than some primitive methods. So, since life is priceless, a slightly more expensive system would be worth it.
The first and most basic way to purify water is the ancient plain. boiling method. Obviously, you need a heat source (fire) and a metal container. The time during which water should boil is questionable, since the time varies from 1 minute to 10 minutes. Of course, it makes sense to keep it boiling for more than a minute. In fact, the longer it boils, the more certain it is that bacteria and organisms are dead.
A very important point we must make is that if you are in a mountainous area and it is well above sea level, you should remember that water boils more slowly in high altitude areas due to the low atmospheric pressure. So, the higher you are, the longer the water must boil. However, one notable thing is that the higher the elevation, the lower the risk of water contamination, since contaminants are generally spread through animals. And as we know, animals live mainly under the tree line. So you may want to take that into account.
Another method, not so primitive, is to add. chemical products. There are specific types of chemicals (not everyone will do the trick, most will poison it) for water filtration. Some of the most commonly used chemical treatments are bleach, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate and sodium chlorite. These may sound terrifying but do not worry. These chemicals are generally sold as tablets for hikers and mountaineers, so it is not new or proven.
Of course, there are details that you must know and follow strictly. Then, when you add the appropriate amount of tablets to your bottle or water container, wait for the chemical to work and not to do Drink the water in the next 30 minutes. You must be patient with this water treatment and wait for the chemical to kill the organisms. You can also use chlorine (one without additives, aromas, designed to protect colors, etc., nothing great).
However, he is a strong chemist and, if you do not know what you are doing, we recommend that you do so. do not to use this method. Use only tablets that are sold specifically for hikers in survival stores or hikers. As for iodine, use a tincture of 2% and drop between 5 and 10 drops per liter of water. Again, wait 30 minutes and then you can drink the water. In addition, iodine is not a good method for long-term treatment. If you prefer, try to vary using other chemical tablets.
And of course, we have to talk about those. commercial filtration systems that are out there Many of them use pumping systems, where you put a hose in the water and another in your bottle (water container) and the pump so that the second hose basically pumps the purified water. Some of these systems may be a bit heavier than you would like to carry, others may be smaller but probably more expensive. There are others like Katadyn mini, which is a very small and light filtration system with a ceramic filter. It weighs 10 ounces and is small (as the name suggests).
Be careful with the ceramic filters however. If you drop them by accident, they break very easily. The same happens with extreme cold. If the water inside freezes, it expands and can break the filter. Otherwise, these systems last for years and if you find a compact version of light weight, enjoy it. It is much better than drinking chemically purified water (which has a different and unpleasant taste).
However, keep in mind that some filtering systems may not be able to filter out viruses or microorganisms, so, before committing to a purchase, read the manufacturer’s labels and declarations. Do not just assume that all filtration systems are equal in quality and technology.
In some cases, you may not be prepared with any of the above. That happens even to professionals. Of course, that does not mean it’s okay to do it often, but if you mistakenly forgot your purification system, here are two ideas for you.
Use soil or sand as the filter. They have the unique property of filtering out viruses, bacteria, microorganisms, etc. So, in order for this to do its miracle, get a container (your bottle or kitchen equipment) and a shirt. Place the shirt over the opening of the container and then place sand or dirt over the opening. Start pouring water through this and # 8216; filter ‘. If the water that comes out is dirty and muddy, remove it and wait until it actually runs. Then you can pick it up and drink it.
An alternative method is to simply dig a hole where the water will accumulate and drink it. But you should keep in mind that this method may not be completely reliable, since some organisms may still have found their way into water # 8216; filtered. Better to use the first method.
Another trick for you is to use the call solar distillation. It works like this. Dig a hole and pour water there (or wait for it to accumulate). Place the container or the bottle in the middle of the hole (that’s where the clean water will accumulate). Then take a large enough plastic cover and place it over the hole, so that it covers completely. You can place heavy objects like stones on the edges of the plastic cover. Make sure that this plastic sheet does not touch the opening of the container or bottle. You’ll see why.
Then, if everything is ready, you can place a stone just above the plastic sheet, so that it points exactly on the opening of the container or bottle. Basically, the greenhouse effect will force the water to condense on the rock placed on the plastic sheet and drip directly into the container. It may be the slowest and most tedious of all the previous ones, but if you run out of ideas or need water seriously, this can be a good reliable method. It’s old, so you can be sure that others also tried and came out alive.
A good tip for rounding this method is that you can place some leaves or vegetation inside the well (along with the water), so you can increase the water content. As you know, the vegetation contains water, so that while they are in heated areas, they dry; They lose the water stored in the cells of the plant. This is how you can end up with a little more water in the container or bottle than in the beginning.
What to consider when buying a filtration system?
There may be some aspects to consider before committing to a purification system.
You should know that filtering and purifying water has small differences in technique and effect. The filtering system is capable of filtering out bacteria and protozoa very well, but it does not kill viruses. That is why people are generally advised to carry a filter and chemical products (to kill what is left alive).
While purifiers are definitely the strongest choice, since they kill all living organisms and viruses, but they also involve chemicals in their system. Here is a quick tip, UV light kills bacteria and viruses so well. For example, the Katadyn system mentioned above is a filter, while the Aquamira water treatment is a purifier.
Therefore, filtering systems are doing a good job in filtering living organisms, except for viruses (which are not living organisms). The filters leave the water tasty too. What is an advantage.
When it comes to the chemicals we talked about before, they definitely improve water quality and kill all organisms, including Cryptosporidium. The only drawback of the use of chemical treatment is the deterioration of the flavor properties of water.
We should also talk about UV purifiers. They kill everything except the pathogens. The only thing that deactivates them is that UV light damages their DNA and they can not replicate. Therefore, they are not a danger to your health. You still have to be careful, because if the purified water remains exposed to light for a long time, these pathogens can react again and you should use the purifier again. So UV purifiers are a very good option.
Hikers can even carry their own UV system and devices, although the EPA has not yet approved it. Otherwise, UV purification systems are widely used in commercial filtration and purification systems.
So here is our advice. You can carry both a filter and a purifier, since both systems have their pros and cons, and working together will be completely safe, but is it necessary to carry too much weight? Know the area you are going to. If it is a completely deserted area, where the animals do not live, you will be relatively safe and a filter would be sufficient. If you go to forest areas, jungles and the like, you should definitely take the purification system (viruses thrive in those areas).
Hiking anywhere in the USA UU., Canada (North America) would only require a filtering system. If you plan an international trip to places you do not know, you should definitely prepare the purifier (or chemical system). There are different weather conditions, different environments, etc., and you have no idea which viruses are active there. You have to fight against them effectively. The good purifiers are First Need XL or SteriPEN. You can also use a chemical treatment for better effects.
Consider also the weight of the filter or purifier. The weight varies dramatically. Some heavy filtering systems can also be much more effective than others and be worth the extra weight. For international trips and weeks of time away from home, you will definitely need a more reliable system.
If you go hiking for a few days, a filter and / or chemical treatment may be enough. Also consider how long you are willing to wait for the water to be ready to drink. Some systems can act very fast, others surprisingly slow. Read the label and manufacturer’s statements and decide for yourself. Most chemical systems and treatments should not take more than 30 minutes, but again, the numbers vary.
You should also know how many people are going on a field trip with you. Is it just that you are alone, or you and your family, or are you going with a group of friends? Some systems work well for a single hiker. Like the Katadyn Mini. It is small and ideal for one person. But it would be tedious and slow to use it for a group of people. However, gravity fed systems are ideal for more than 2 or 3 people, since they can treat large amounts of water for a short period of time.
Also, when you decide to opt for a filter, you often come across a term: micron size. This basically indicates the size of the filter pores. The smaller the size, the more particles, organisms and particles it will eliminate. A good way to measure is to know that the smallest living bacteria are usually 0.2 microns. Based on that, you need a micron size filter of 0.2 or less.
Another interesting thing to talk about is the durability of the system. This means, how often do you need to scrape the blockage and its longevity. Ceramic filters can process about 2000 liters until they run out and should be replaced. Other filters can live less and yield 500 liters.
When it comes to replacement, you can find cartridges on the web quite easily. UV purification systems work with a completely different principle: they use batteries and light bulbs. When it comes to UV lamps they can keep it very long. The majority can last up to 8,000 treatments. However, consider the batteries. They run out of power in the 40-100 treatment.
Of course, our advice would be incomplete if we do not talk about experience. Most hikers consider filtering systems to be too heavy and discouraged when packing them for their trips. It is true that there are new lighter versions of the filtering systems, whose weight is negligible. In general, among hikers and survivors, Aquamira water treatment drops seem to be the most preferred option, due to its low weight and its ability to purify quickly.
We hope we have given you some valuable advice and knowledge about the filtering and purification systems that exist. All the options in the market are worth it and nothing is more valuable than your own experience. We invite you to try all the methods and systems mentioned above to acquire your own experience and test the knowledge we present to you.
You can try to borrow filtering systems from friends and test them in safe conditions. The more options you try, the better they will equip you with practical skills. If your close friends have UV purifiers, you should definitely ask them to show you how to use them. Ask your friends to share their own experience and what they learned when using these systems.
You can also try all the methods presented here with water from the same source. See how each system cleans it, changes the taste and properties of water. It is invaluable to put theory into practice. Of course, you can not try and try all available methods, but to anyone who has access, through friends and family, we recommend you practice before going on a field trip.