How to get clean water with simple tools for wild camping

Jun 14, 2024
Getting clean water while wild camping is essential for your health and well-being. Here are some methods to obtain clean water using simple tools:
Boiling water is one of the most effective ways to purify it. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute (or longer at higher altitudes) to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
You can use a simple portable water filter or purifier to remove particles, sediment, and bacteria from water. These filters typically use a combination of physical filtration and chemical treatment to make water safe to drink.
Chemical treatment:
Chemical water treatment tablets or drops, such as chlorine dioxide or iodine, can be used to disinfect water and kill harmful microorganisms. Follow the instructions on the product packaging for the correct dosage and treatment time.
Solar disinfection (SODIS):

SODIS is a simple and effective method that uses sunlight to disinfect water. Fill a clear plastic or glass container with water and place it in direct sunlight for 6 hours (or longer if the water is cloudy). UV radiation from the sun will kill most microorganisms in the water.

Natural filtration:
If you're near a natural water source like a river or stream, you can use natural materials like sand, gravel, and charcoal to create a makeshift filter. Layer these materials in a container or dig a hole in the ground and let the water slowly filter through.
Rainwater collection:
Collecting rainwater is another option if you're lucky enough to encounter rainfall during your camping trip. Use a clean tarp or container to catch rainwater, and then filter or treat it before drinking.
Desalination (for coastal camping):
If you're camping near the coast, you can desalinate seawater by boiling it and collecting the steam, which will leave the salt behind. This method requires a heat source and a container to collect the distilled water.
Remember to always inspect water sources for signs of contamination and choose the cleanest-looking water available. Additionally, it's essential to treat or purify water even if it appears clear to avoid the risk of waterborne illnesses.

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