Water is an essential source of life for everyone, and we cannot live without it, even if we try. Unfortunately, drinking water is pretty scarce nowadays, and finding new ways to produce and source drinking water is posing a challenge. Even while the ocean is said to be the biggest reservoir for water, that water is salted, and we cannot drink it. Freshwater bodies and underground water levels are fast depleting because of our careless use of water. So we need to find new ways to access drinking water anywhere, be it the desert, the ocean, or even a hotel.
In an emergency, apart from food, water is also essential and should be your top priority. Be sure that the water you find is safe to drink, otherwise, you may need to disinfect the water so it is potable. While it is true that the human body cannot survive without water for more than three days, you also do not want to fall ill and contract illnesses from drinking unclean water. Good news for you, there are many water sources that you can find like rivers, lakes, ponds, or small streams while you are backpacking, hiking, or are in an emergency scenario. There are multiple ways to make the water clean enough and safe enough for you to drink.
- Finding water
You have to find water before you start the disinfection process. Depending on where you are and what situation you are in, water can either be found with ease or with much difficulty. As mentioned above, there are freshwater resources like streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes from which you can fill your container or bottle. Rainwater can also be collected in case there are no water sources nearby. Snow can be melted for drinking and made to go through the filtration process. There are many ways to supply yourself with water. You just have to be creative enough to think like a survivalist.
- The boiling method
Boiling water is often considered the best route to safe drinking water. This method kills all kinds of parasites, bacteria, and viruses that are in the water. Boiling water for a minimum of five minutes kills almost every bacteria but aim for boiling it for 10 – 15 minutes to be on the safe side.
Boiling water can be a simple process if you have all the materials. It can be done over a campfire or on a gas stove in a metal or glass container. If no such container is available, heat small rocks over a fire and then place them in your makeshift container.
- Survival straws
Survival straws have recently come into the market and they are already making waves. They are said to be the smallest, lightest water filtration tool that has been so efficient. These straws can be used as drinking straws and, since they are small and lightweight, are much preferred and recommended by hikers, travelers, and even survivalists who prepare for an emergency or survival scenarios.
They filter out 99.99% of bacteria and they also have a built-in activated carbon filter element that, while filtering out bacteria and viruses, also removes strange flavors and smells from the water.
- Water filters
Usage of portable water purification devices is another popular method people use to purify the water before drinking, especially if you know beforehand that you will not find a reliable source of drinking water where you are traveling. These water filters are made specifically to treat water while on hikes, expeditions, or in a survival situation.
Many of these water filters, while handy and portable, do require pumping the water by hand which, in hindsight, can require a lot of exertion and energy loss. But these will give you much cleaner drinking water and hence, are preferred.
- Using iodine
Iodine is used to treat water and is another method by which you can disinfect your water before drinking. To treat the water with iodine, first, purchase a bottle of iodine, and then use exactly eight drops per liter of water and wait half an hour before drinking the clean water. If the water you want to purify is dirtier, you might have to wait a little longer before drinking it, or you can also put more drops of iodine in it to make it safe.
- Using chlorine
Using chlorine is a method to treat water before drinking. This process is much like the process of mixing iodine with water. First, procure unscented chlorine bleach from a store. The chlorine to water ratio should be, for every one liter of water, put two drops of the chlorine bleach. Then shake the bottle and wait for 30 minutes for the chlorine to act and purify it. And then drink it. If the water is cloudier and dirtier than usual, try putting more drops of chlorine in it.
The chlorine and iodine liquid drops that were used in the above methods are also available in tablet form. These water purification tablets have become popular and the go-to for everyone because they are easy to carry, are widely available, and come with simple ready to use instructions. You just have to filter the water through a cloth, drop a tablet in 1- 2 liters of the unclean water, wait for approximately 30 minutes and there you go. Safe and clean drinking water.
Because water is a necessity for all, we must exercise caution while drinking it and not drink water directly from a natural source because it will surely be contaminated. Hence, this is the reason why water purifiers, tablets, and items such as survival straws exist. They help in the process of decontaminating the water and making it safe for you to drink.
These items are made for people and you must be aware of them and use them whenever you go out, like on a trek, hiking, or in extreme situations like in an emergency or scenarios where you have to survive in a jungle.