Editor’s Note – I think it would be a great idea to have one of these already constructed in your BOB. I know that weight would be an issue, however, you would be able to create it with your own materials. You could create the filter just like Craig suggests, just backwards. You would then keep the top on the bottle to keep everything in. When you needed it, you could cut a hole in the bottom and pour water in that way. I haven’t thought of a way to seal the hole back up again, but if you have any ideas, leave a comment.
Bet you never thought you could drink water from something out of the garbage and still be okay, but that is exactly what I am going to tell you to do. You could refer to this contraption as the hillbilly water filter. With just a little science, you can make this work.
Before we even get started in our water filtering adventure, let’s establish one critical rule; any water you gather that is from an unknown source should be considered unclean. We are talking things like animal or human feces or other nasty things that the human eye cannot see. Any time you are going to drink water in a survival situation, it must be cleaned first. Period.
Two of the most common ways to clean and purify water is by boiling it or when possible running it through a special filter. Those are great options, but what happens when you don’t have the means to do either? In the video and you will see there is an option when you don’t have any of the fancy filtering contraptions, or the ability to boil water.
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of garbage in this world. You are probably going to be able to find a used water or soda bottle rather easily, which is actually a good thing in this case. Charcoal from a previous fire is typically pretty easy to find as well. This is the key to your filtration system. If you want to know the science behind it, what it boils down to is this; charcoal is filled with tiny little pores that attract and capture any of the impurities in the water. You can thank Johannes Diderik van der Waals for this very helpful bit of knowledge. He is the scientist who discovered it.
Rocks and sand can be substituted for edible greens like dandelions and chickweed if you so choose. This provides your filtering system with an extra layer of filtering before it hits the charcoal. For even more filtering, you can put a bandana over the top or the bottom of the bottle to catch some of the bigger chunks that may get through.
Now, this may not be the ideal drink of water you are craving when you are out in the wilderness practicing your skills, but, you need to hone your emergency water filtration skills before you actually need them.
When Craig Caudill is not trying to make clean water for survival he blogs and vlogs for www.dansdepot.com and teaches at the Nature Reliance School.
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