But even one small TEOTWAWKI emergency can disrupt or even destroy our water supply. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, fires or accidents can contaminate or otherwise shut down easily-available sources of water.
The simple fact is that we all need to have some sort of gear on hand that can help us filter water for drinking, cooking, and all the other uses. With the right piece of equipment, you can take water from a nearby mud puddle and make it clear, clean and safe to drink.
A good water filter can – quite literally – save your life. These water filters are available from a variety of retailers.
The Aqua Marine Personal Water Filter Purifier Straw is lightweight, compact Survival Water Filter, and filters just about everything out of your water. Not only will it remove 99.9% of all the viruses, microorganisms and bacteria, it also does the same job on contaminants like chlorine, and heavy metals like lead and mercury. You just flip open the far end and dip it into the water, uncap the mouthpiece and suck the water through the straw. It’s that simple.
In an emergency, you could literally drink out of a residential swimming pool with one of these things. Note: Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine or any other harsh chemicals depending on how clear the water was to start with. But at its price, you can afford to stash a few of them in your survival cache or go bag.
The Sawyer Mini is small – only about two ounces – but it’s a powerhouse. It can filter up to 100,000 gallons. It comes with a drinking pouch, and a straw. Or you can just drink right through the filter itself like a straw. It wipes out bacteria and protozoa and other microscopic nasties, but won’t filter out heavy metals or chemicals. It can also be backwashed with clean water to restore its flow rate when it starts to get clogged.
The LifeStraw Family of Survival Water Filter s is lightweight, portable, easy to use and can filter up to 4,750 gallons, or enough for a family of five for up to three years. It’s a gravity filter, and requires enough space for you to hang it up somewhere. Pour the water into the top, and it runs down through the filter element and into a clean container. It also filters out more than 99% of viruses, bacteria and protozoa, and can deliver up to 9 to 12 liters per hour. You can supply a base camp with clean water using a LifeStraw Family.
In perhaps one of the most striking endorsements ever filmed, you can watch CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen guzzle water filtered by a LifeStraw Family that was thoroughly mixed with cow dung only minutes prior.
Perhaps no other name in water filtration is as recognized Berkey. People have been relying on ceramic filters since Henry Doulton developed them in the first half of the 19th Century for Queen Victoria in London. Berkeys are available in all kinds of sizes, from one designed to provide daily clean water for up to three people, to units that can supply up to 150 people per day.
These gravity-fed ceramic filter systems are so efficient, that the test suggested by the manufacturer to check your Berkey for proper function is itself mind-blowing. If your Berkey can remove liquid food coloring from a batch of water, it’s good to go. Like other high-quality filters, Berkey removes more than 99% of bacteria, protozoa and viruses, as well chemicals and other contaminants. The filter elements do eventually clog, but you can get replacement elements, both regular ceramic, and Black Berkey elements that last even longer. The Berkey and the replacement elements can be a bit pricey, but the performance is worth it.
The LifeStraw doesn’t look like much. It’s a very lightweight tube with a lanyard on it so you can wear it around your neck. That’s exactly why I put it number one in my list – because it’s a very lightweight tube that you wear around your neck. Available from many retailers, including Brownells, it’s way more portable than the various Berkey systems or the LifeStraw Family from the same company. It’s even lighter than the Sawyer Mini and even more simple than the NDur straw. You just slip off the caps, and drink from whatever source of water you come across. Like the other filters, it removes more than 99% of bacteria and protozoa and will process up to 264 gallons. It won’t filter out heavy metals or chemicals.
Once you are finished drinking, you merely blow through the LifeStraw to flush out the remaining water and help restore the flow rate to almost like new.
I put the LifeStraw at the top of this list because of its extreme portability, relatively low cost, and ease of use.
In an emergency, clean water is vital. You can live quite a while without food, but only days without water. Everyone should have some sort of survival water filter or water filtration system, just in case.
AmmoLand Editor Comments: This article was updated to reflect changes in product improvements / availability on 09/26/2017.
Why isn’t this one on the list? It handles bacteria and virus, the filter isn’t ceramic so it won’t break or freeze, and it’s been around for years – used by some big organizations. https://www.outbackwater.com/outback-5-gallon-gravity-powered-nano-purification-system-ob-25nf/
#5 was my choice for my needs, but it’s no longer available. Also, looks like from your review none of the others remove heavy metals mercury, lead, etc?
My thought exactly, plus the Sawyer can actually be threaded right to the top of your water bottle, I use it for camping and have filled up a old coke bottle from a natural spring and screwed the sawyer right to the top of the bottle. IMHO it should be #1
Your reviews would be much more helpful, especially when comparing products, if you included (a) the prices of each product, and (b) the date these prices were in effect.
In the directions for the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System it says not to use the unit if it freezes.
Drinking Water Bottle Stainless Steel
I tried asking the company about this but received no response. Is this just when there is water in the filter, or even when it’s bone dry?
Such a hangup makes this a worthless bit of equipment if a simple freeze disables it. Wouldn’t you say?
Ceramics (Berkeley) have the same problem. If they freeze when wet, the water expands and can fracture the ceramic. You might not be able to see the breaks but they will be big enough for bacteria to pass – making the ceramic filter ineffective.
High Flow Water Filter Element, String Wound Water Filter Element - Kelandi,https://www.clandefilter.com/