Filtering water is to be taken with the upmost attention and concern. Protecting yourself against impurities and improving the taste of the water you drink is an all-important aspect of life. Untreated water sources are contaminated and unsafe to drink. Thankfully, the solutions are more practical than you think.
Do-it-yourself water filters may turn out to be the last chance at your survival. Figure out which water filtration method would be best suited for you, or learn them all to increase your chances of staying alive. These methods have long been practiced by our ancestors for the means of survival and through to present day needs.
Activated Carbon Filter
This surprisingly simple DIY filter provides a great alternative to manufactured water filters and perfect for a survival situation. This is the fastest of the listed methods, but it also calls for maybe the most demanding resource for a survival situation – activated carbon. But, if you are prepared with this in an emergency bag, it would be no problem to carry out this method.
All you need is an empty plastic one-liter bottle, survival folding saw, rinsed activated carbon, and a knife or sharp edge to cut the bottle. Optional items you may be lucky enough to come across are coffee filters, but it is not truly required for this survival water filter. The coffee filters simply help maintain the filter’s lifespan.
Start with an empty, one-liter plastic bottle. Then, turn it upside down and cut the bottom off only a few inches. Make a small hole in the cap of the bottle and leave it on. Fill up the bottle with activated carbon. The bottle containing the carbon will look like it is pointing towards the ground. Finally, pour the dirty water into your new filter. And that is it. The carbon naturally filters out chemical contaminants.
But, here are a few things to further note. If you are filtering your water from a river, stream, pond, etc., you must boil the water first for at least five minutes to eliminate any pathogens. After that is complete, you may use the activated carbon filter. Also, if you have access to paper coffee filters that would help by first filtering out larger debris to maintain the effectiveness of the activated carbon. If you are only retrieving water from rain or a tap, boiling is unnecessary for those sources are cleaner than natural bodies of water.
A great alternative to this plastic bottle filter is using a turkey baster – very similar to a straw. If the turkey baster is filled with rinsed activated carbon, you can suck up the unfiltered water using your own air pressure. Now you got a survival straw!
Sapwood or Pine Filter
This DIY method is a slow one, but still effective nonetheless. Only use this technique if you have the time of half a day to a full day to let water slowly be filtered.
Utilizing the natural filtration power inherently within trees, a water filter can be created using sapwood or pine. The matrix within these trees prevent bacteria from passing through, yet guide water molecules effortlessly downward.
Using a t-shirt or similar type of cloth, tightly wind the fabric around a piece of this wood. The goal is to have water filter directly through the wood from one side to the other, while the fabric ultimately prevents unfiltered water from running down the sides of the wood mixing with the filtered water. Careful and consistent attention is needed to monitor the behavior of the unfiltered water. In other words, do your best to tie or re-tie the shirt around the wood if water is escaping down the sides. If too much water is let through the sides untreated, this process has failed. But, if done rightly so, four liters a day can be pass through the sapwood or pine filter.
Patience is key with this method. Like the snowball effect, this method can produce a lot of filtered water over a longer period if cultivated correctly in the first place. It just takes a while for the first droplets of water to filter through the wood. Once that is complete, a constant dripping of filtered water can be expected throughout the day.
Bringing untreated water to a boil is a tried and true method of removing unwanted pathogens, bacteria, and viruses. For this to be effective, the boil must last for at least five minutes. Once, the water has completed boiling, let it cool down to your liking. If you want it hot as it is, be careful with burning the inside of your mouth. To enjoy a cool drink of water, you will have to wait until it cools down naturally – which may take up to twenty minutes.
Whether you find yourself in an urban environment or wilderness setting, know there is way to create a fire. Brush up on your fire making skills or learn how to before embarking on this method. Yes, this is for sudden survival situations, but still learn now while you can.
Basic fire making skills and a pot to boil the water are needed, but these things can be created or modified in many ways. Be creative if you have to! For those still wary about this method, take the time now on learning how to start a fire from using only the nature around you. Or on the other hand, obtain the skills, substances, and materials to create a fire in an urban survival scenario with what is available.
These three incredible ways to create DIY water filters are simple means to use in a survival situation. They can be the difference life and death from being able to go just push your body longer because of clean water.
Although these water filter setups may seem simple, their efficacy is undeniable. With effort and persistence, anyone can filter water in such situations using the DIY water filtration systems stated above.