By Anthony Bryant
Originally posted on the men’s lifestyle blog site Lost Raven Chronicles
One of the most important things you need to ensure your survival in any situation is potable drinking water. There are many different ways to clean water and make it safe for consumption. Some may require a bit more skill or tooling around, but here are a few ways to ensure you stay as hydrated as possible:
1. First & foremost the easiest way to have safe drinking water is to always carry some sort of H2O purification device with you. A LifeStraw or Grayl water bottle, or even a Sawyer water filter are all great options that can filter thousands of gallons of water. Let’s face it though, most people don’t always carry something like this with them.
2. The second option is some sort of chemical decontamination. Water purification tablets typically contain some sort of chlorine or iodine as the active ingredient, these are used to kill any microorganisms in the water. So, although your water is now technically safe to drink, you are still putting chemicals into your body. You’re also not doing anything to filter out any debris or particulate matter in the water, which could contain just a ton of anything and everything. This option is something that is easy to carry with you and more convenient than most of the other methods, but this isn’t my first choice, due to the variables mentioned above.
3. Boiling. This is as simple as it sounds. Bring the water to a rolling boil for about ten minutes, and that will kill just about any type of organism out there. Safe and effective, but the downside is this still does nothing to filter dirty or muddy water.
4. Distillation. This is one of my favorite options for removing almost any possible contaminant from your water. Distillation is the process of boiling water and collecting the steam. I personally like to do this with a pot of boiling water, a large piece of plastic to put over the pot and collection container. The steam will rise off the boiling water and collect on the piece of plastic above. As the condensation forms on the plastic and the droplets get large, they will fall into your collection container like rain. That handmade “rainwater” is now drinkable!
5. Another great way to find safe, clean and rather refreshing water is consuming it from a tree! Sounds interesting, right? Well to explain, there’s a layer between the bark of the tree and the inner core. This is where all the water and nutrients from the ground are passed from the roots to the rest of the tree. This water is clean and drinkable, without having to do any of the aforementioned tasks. The process begins with taking a knife and boring a small whole into the bark towards the base of the tree. Now take something that resembles a straw, like a piece of bamboo, and put it snuggly into that hole and within seconds water should start dripping out, after a few minutes you can have a full cup of drinkable water.
Most people don’t think of water as an immediate necessity, but in the heat of the summer you can start to get dehydrated in just a couple of hours. Staying cleanly hydrated during a survival situation will keep you stronger and healthier longer than if you are exposed to toxins or pathogens in your drinking water. Most importantly, if you’re not sure if the water’s clean, then it’s probably safer to not drink it!