(NaturalNews) As the saying goes, “water is life” — and as every good prepper knows, water is the first consideration when planning a survival strategy in the face of a disaster. A human being won’t last more than three days without water, so it’s crucial to make sure an adequate supply of drinkable water is at hand in the case of an emergency in which normal water supplies are no longer available.
But what if you’re in a situation where your stockpiles have run out or if you’re on the move and can’t carry enough water to survive on? In most cases, finding a source of water is not too difficult, but finding clean, safe drinking water is another matter.
As I’ve pointed out before, there are several ways to purify water enough to make it safe to drink — using chemicals or filtration systems or by simply boiling it.
The problem with boiling or chemically treating water, however, is that doing so will not remove sediment or other particles and will do nothing to improve the taste. And if you are in a situation where no chemicals for purification are available, or if you can’t build a fire for some reason, you may find it necessary to fashion a simple water filter with whatever materials are at hand.
Making a simple water purification filter is actually quite easy, using items which can be found virtually anywhere.
The first thing you will need is some sort of cylinder to act as the body of your makeshift filter. A discarded plastic soda bottle is perfect, and rather unfortunately, they seem to be found everywhere these days, even in the deep woods.
If you’re using a standard plastic bottle, make the small end the bottom of your filter. First, cut off the bottom of the bottle and turn it upside down, adding the following materials in layers:
First Layer – At the bottom of the filter, add a layer of clean fabric, if possible. If you don’t have any cloth handy, use some dried grass or pebbles to line the bottom of the filter.
Second Layer – This is the most crucial layer of your filter. You’ll need some charcoal — charcoal is very effective at removing impurities and also will improve the taste of your drinking water. Make your own by starting a wood fire and collecting the charcoal after it has cooled. or use charcoal from an old campfire or tree that has been struck by lightning. Make a tightly packed layer at least a couple of inches deep, if possible.
Third Layer – On top of the charcoal layer, add a layer of sand. If possible, insert another layer of cloth between the sand and charcoal layers.
Fourth Layer – Add a layer of pebbles or small rocks on top of the sand and charcoal layers and you’re ready to purify some water. If you can, use another layer of cloth to strain out debris before you pour water through the filter.
If you’ve done a good job of constructing your “hillbilly water filter” it should take some time for the water to drip through. If it runs out quickly, your layers aren’t thick enough or packed tightly enough.
Keep in mind that the charcoal won’t filter out all the bacteria and other organisms that could make you sick. This filtration system should be used along with other purification methods, such as chemical treatment or boiling.
If you filter your water in this manner before treating it, it will greatly improve its taste and appearance. And in a situation where you can’t boil or treat the water otherwise, it’s a lot better than nothing, but it should only be used by itself as a last resort when no other methods are available.
Written by Daniel Barker
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