Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Weekly Survival Challenge: Water Gathering and Purification

This week's Survival Challenge from the 7 P's Survival Show on American Preppers Radio (Listen to this weeks radio show HERE- LINK) is the gathering and purification of water using whatever you may keep in your outdoor kit. In the video below I explain the weekly challenge in a little more detail. On next weeks show we will talk in great detail about water collection, gathering and preparedness for disasters where water can be a concern (i.e. chemical spill in southern WV, oil spills and the great lakes algae incidents). If you missed the first survival skills challenge you can find it here (LINK) and you can find my first radio show here (LINK).

Here Are A Few Older Posts That May Help On Your Journey To Gather And Purify Water

DIY Tripod Water Filter (Link To My Instructions On The Process): Anytime I make a permanent camp this is my go to method for filtration and boiling of water. If you want to make a raised bed you can do so between two tripods using one as a camp chair and one as the water filter to maximize the space and resources within your camp. While I like my sawyer squeeze for backpacking I think that this filtration and boiling method provides a better tasting water while yielding water that is as clear and clean as the that of the sawyer filter.

DIY Plastic Water Bottle Filter (LINK to My Instructions on the Process): So you find a plastic bottle out in the woods and are in need of a water filter as your day hike turned into an unexpected overnight and you're out of water. Just add ground up charcoal (not commercial as it has many chemicals in it, get it from your camp fire), sand, leafy green material and cotton between each layer then just add water for your own DIY water filter!

Testing The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter (LINK To My Review): As I stated above this is my go to filtration method when backpacking. I can use the platypus bags, hook it to a water bladder or a plastic bottle and use it on the go. I prefer this method to a LifeStraw as it allows me to filter as I go and not stop and drink all of my needed water at the source.

Using Aluminum Foil As A Makeshift Container For Boiling Water (Link To My Instructions on the Process): I keep Aluminum foil in every kit I carry, in my wallet and even on my survival bracelet. A container is without a doubt the hardest survival necessity to craft in the wild aside from a knife and I always have both on my person. If you haven't practiced using aluminum foil as a container I highly encourage it but do yourself a favor and use heavy-duty aluminum foil and essentially make a fist, place it in the center of the foil and then wrap the foil around your fist. You can see this skill in practice during a minimalist testing of a survival bracelet (See My Testing HERE).

***Note On Next Few Links- While boiling in a plastic container is possible it should be thought of as a last resort. If you are going to die of dehydration and have no other method to purify water then I personally would take the long-term risk of cancer over dehydration. You can make a burnt out container from wood, use a bamboo container and much more to avoid using plastic. So moral of the story, know how to boil in-case you only have a plastic container, know that heating plastic to boil water can potentially cause cancer long-term and know alternatives to make containers in the woods.***

Produce Bag Used For Boiling and Filtering Water (LINK to My Instructions on the Process): I always keep a produce bag in my EDC bag (See it HERE) and also in my micro 10 C's Kit (See it HERE). These bags are free at every grocery store and as I show in the article can be used to both filter and boil water, but it also can be used to collect and carry water over distance. Leave the bag over foliage on a tree during the day and you will have some water collected by the time night comes. This is one of the most versatile containers you can carry in a wallet and aside from aluminum foil is my second favorite micro container.

Stone Boiling Using Tandem Stones (LINK to My Instructions on the Process):This is my favorite means of boiling when I don't have a container. An old log hollowed out with an axe with water added and then several stones heated in a fire added will get your water boiling rather quickly. Depending on the size of your log you can process a ton of water with this method.

Stone Boiling In A Plastic Container (LINK to My Instructions on the Process):This is essentially the same process with just a smaller container. For this article I used a water jug and a single granite stone. Remember to be sure that you are using a very hard rock for this process or you can have an exploding rock on your hands!

Boil Water In A Plastic Container Suspended Over Flame (LINK To My Instructions On The Process):This is one of the hardest ways to boil water as you have to ensure that the flame never touches the container because if it does you will have a hole in the bottom of your container. If you only have a very thin plastic container (platypus bag) or a hydration bladder this may be your only option. Just be sure to watch the fire carefully and use a tripod to adjust the bag so that it never touches that flame!

Boil Water In A Plastic Container On Hot Coals w/ No Air Space (Link To My Instructions On The Process):With a water bottle this works great! Now I will say this is a 2 shot deal for the most part. I have tested this out several times and two to four are about all you get out of the bottle before it gets too thin and eventually a hole is burnt through the container.

Other Means of Collection and Purification to Look Into: In the last two years I haven't covered some of these things but do have plans to do so in the future but there are only so many posts I can fit into a week. So here are a few other things to look into for your kit and skill practice: 1) chlorine droplets per container to purify; 2) water purification tablet; 3) chlorine tablets; 4) bamboo boiling; 5) steripen; 6) other survival water filters; 7) distillation; 8) digging a hole beside a creek or river for cleaner water; 9) using clear plastic to collect water (several means to do this); and  10) water vines. While there are many more methods of obtaining and purifying water these will be more than sufficient to get you going on testing your kit and working on your water purification skills.

Need Some Items To Practice? Try These:

Water collection and purification is in a tie for the top life saving survival skills with fire craft. If you can't control core temperature and rehydrate then quite simply you're dead before you even started trying to survive. So with that being said, get out there and test your gear, skills and environment. Learn by doing and you will find what works the best for you! Be sure to share your pictures, videos and lessons learned with us on here, social media or YouTube!

Be sure to join us each Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern Time on American Preppers Network's: Prepper Broadcasting Network for the 7 P's Survival Radio Show ( If you have a suggestion for a show topic or know someone who would like to be a guest then please feel free to contact me by email ( 
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