The Best Water Purifiers, According to Survival Experts
Preppers can argue until the zombies come home about the best ways to survive the apocalypse, but there’s one thing on which everyone both in and out of the bush can agree: In the event of a natural disaster, there’s nothing more important than having enough water. Humans can survive for only three days without it, so without water, you’re sunk.
If you have the space, you should try to have a lot of bottled water on hand. Stephanie Fox of the American Red Cross recommends having “at least a gallon of water per person per day” for three days if you have to evacuate and two weeks if you’re stuck at home. “But once that’s gone,” says former Army Special Operations Captain and survivalist Mykel Hawke, “you need to have a way to resupply.” As homesteader and survivalist Morgan Rogue of Rogue Preparedness explains, “The disaster itself is only part of it. We also must consider the aftermath,” during which flooding, power outages, broken water lines, and supply-chain interruptions can leave you cut off indefinitely. That’s where water purification comes in. There are several ways to do it, but the most practical ones are to boil it, filter it, and purify it with tablets. Most of the experts we talked to recommend some combination of these methods. And just to be clear, we’re not talking about a pitcher with a charcoal filter that you fill from the tap — those make your water taste better, but they’re useless against viruses, bacteria, and most other harmful contaminants from questionable water sources. We’re talking about how to purify water from potentially unsafe sources, so we asked nine experts in the field of survival to recommend the best products to keep you safe and hydrated in a disaster situation.
May 9, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.
The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).
SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan