Food & Water : Water Purification

Water Purification involves treatment of water order to kill harmful microbes (and remove mineral contaminants) otherwise it is not suitable for drinking.

Purification can be achieved by one of 3 methods :

[1] Boiling > kills all possible pathogens in water everywhere and at all times, even at higher altitudes. You don’t have to let it boil for a long time, a 1-2 minutes is enough. Boiling is sufficient to kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa (WHO, 2015).

If the water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paper boiling water towel, or coffee filter. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

The disadvantage is that it is not a quick thirst quencher, especially in warm climates ! Of course, you do not always have a stove with you, and you cannot boil water when you are thirsty while traveling in a bus.

As well killing the parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens in water. Boiling can also help with the elimination of other waterborne infectious agents, such as fecal matter or E. coli. However, bear in mind that although Boiling water can kill germs, other contents such as lead, nitrates, and pesticides aren’t affected. Therefore, since boiling reduces the volume of water, it will consequently increase the concentration of those contaminants previously mentioned and others like them.


[2] Water Purification Tablets > are an option most certainly worth considering. It is also recommended to boil the water before consuming it to kill the germs. The important drawback to this option is the fact that it is not 100% healthy:

  • the tablets or liquid form is a chemical (iodine or chlorine preparation or chlorine dioxide) and it can be harmful to your health if consumed in regularly. With prolonged and frequent use, abnormality of the thyroid gland activity occurs. 
  • Due to the chemical composition nature of these tablets, the water does not taste better either. If you dissolve the tablets or the liquid in the water, most pathogens are eliminated.

Did you know that all you need to survive in a normal environment is oxygen and water? When you consider that oxygen is available for free practically anywhere in the world, all you have to worry about is water – or in short, your hydration.

However, as you may know, drinking water from the wild can easily put someone on their deathbed, depending on the region / country. In such cases, you need a product that is capable of purifying all types of water. In other words, you need the best water purification tablet out there!

Of course, water treatment tablets can also be used in tap water, especially if you think it could be easily contaminated. Basically, such tablets make sure that you drink healthy, safe water wherever you are.

So, without further ado, let’s get started right away ….

Buying guide & Reviews for Water Purification Tablets

Most people may think that water purification tablets – including drops – are very easy to choose and use. For example, they will claim that all you have to do with such tablets is add them to the water, wait according to the instructions, and then enjoy your clean, safe drinking water.

However, things are a bit more complicated. Believe it or not, there are more than a few things to consider when purchasing water purification tablets.

For example, the choice of a particular brand or type of cleaning tablets will depend on the purpose and the way in which you plan to use them. In short, you can’t just order a random pack of water purification tablets without doing some research.(Just What You Are Doing Now !)

This is exactly what you should keep in mind when purchasing these types of products.

Common types of water purification tablets

We will now talk more about the types of water purification tablets. So, as you recall, these tablets may contain any of the following three main chemical elements and/or compounds :

  1. chlorine
  2. iodine
  3. Chlorine dioxide

The first two – chlorine and iodine – are ideal against the parasite Giardia lamblia . The last chemical (chlorine dioxide) is highly effective against bacteria, viruses, cysts and Cryptosporidium – in contrast to the chlorine and iodine tablets.

This latter pathogen is responsible for cases of cryptosporidiosis which can occur in a city with clean water; cases of cryptosporidiosis can have different origins. Like many fecal-oral pathogens, the disease can also be transmitted by contaminated food or poor hygiene. Other exposure risks include :

  • People who swim regularly in pools with insufficient sanitation (certain strains of Cryptosporidium are chlorine-resistant)
  • Backpackers, hikers, and campers who drink unfiltered, untreated water
  • People who visit petting farms and open farms with public access
  • People, including swimmers, who swallow water from contaminated sources.

You can clearly see why chlorine dioxide is the prefered choice. It is seen by some as an alternative to the rather unhealthy, harmful iodine and chlorine-based tablets. For example, iodine should not be used by pregnant women. At the same time, we don’t believe that someone would use chlorine-treated water if they were pregnant.

Therefore, one chooses the middle way/safe alternative and despite the 4 hours required to condition the water cleaning process but the side effect risks are lower.

Practical uses for water purification tablets 

>>> Disaster victims and population groups in developing countries

After a disaster – or in a developing country – the water usually needs to be cleaned, not just filtered. This is done so that the viruses that are transmitted to humans through human waste are killed forever. Of course, basic filters and filtration processes cannot do this.
In addition, NGOs operating abroad can easily supply certain countries with water purification tablets, as these are packaged in such a way that they can be labeled as non-dangerous goods.

Benefits of water purification tablets

It is extremely important that people consume fresh and pure water every day. However, in today’s world where contaminated water is one of the earth’s major problems, it can be difficult for someone to find truly pure water.

>>> Eliminate Dangerous pathogens

As you already know, these tablets purify the water by getting rid of harmful viruses and bacteria that cause most water-related diseases – salmonella, dysentery, cholera. The chemical substances used in these water purification tablets are – as highlighted above – very efficient when it comes to purifying the water of pathogens, viruses, bacteria and parasitic elements.

Chlorine and iodine can neutralize, for example, Giardia, E. coli bacteria and Cryptosporidium. These bacteria can be found in water that has been contaminated with animal feces. In addition, water purification tablets actually keep the water clean for a long time, as their active ingredient does not allow any further growth of microorganisms in the water.

>>> Lightweight, compact & easy to transport.

>>> Inexpensive and readily available. No special or additional tools needed. Shelf-life of 1-2 years when unopened.

As mentioned earlier, all you need is a tablet and the container of contaminated water. If you opt for the usual water purification tablets, you can have pure, fresh water ready to drink within 30 minutes.

>>> Emergency Disaster Relief

As mentioned earlier, a disaster will make it difficult for rescuers to take supplies with them. In addition, depending on the severity of the disaster, people may not have access to any type of drinking water.
It is therefore obvious how helpful water purification tablets can be in such situations. Even the dirtiest of ponds can become a viable source of water with a pill like this!

NB : Water purification tablets  are NOT a long term solution for drinking water safely.

How do water treatment tablets work?

They simply just dissolve in water and go on to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses :

  • Before you put the tablets in the water, it is important that you take out the larger particles / debris that you see. In short, do some water filtration.
  • Then you need to add the tablets, which will quickly dissolve in the water.
  • When they are completely dissolved, the manufacturer will ask you to shake the container for about 10 minutes before letting it sit. This is done so that the active ingredients contained in the tablets are evenly distributed in the liquid.

As you can see, water purification tablets don’t work on the principle of rocket science! It is simply that the chlorine / iodine / chlorine dioxide do such a good job of eliminating the pathogens.

Besides just researching water purification tablets that “just work” our recommendations – and there are only 2 – had to satisfy a number of other criteria not least their ability to kill ALL pathogens, namely viruses, bacteria and cryptosporidium. ONLY two satisfied this condition as regards the elimination of cryptosporidium, namely :

  • Katadyn Micropur MP1 and
  • Potable Acqua Chlorine dioxide

This selection does not imply that other products and/or variables don’t exist OR should not be considered because they were not effective against the cryptosporidium pathogens.

Before discussing our final recommendations, other criteria taken into consideration which influenced our final choices were :

  1. time to purify ( = ease of preparation)
  2. amount purified per tablet
  3. weight: a crucial consideration for any survival /emergency/ backpacking gear.
  4. taste and smell: If you’re highly sensitive, we recommend you get the Potable Aqua with PA+Plus since the PA+Plus tablets neutralize the iodine after-taste and color in the water. Alternatively, if you like a strong chemical smell that leaves you 100% confident that any living organism that once lived in your water is certainly dead, then pee-yew, Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets are right for you.

Here are our recommendations :

PRODUCT Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets : (20 count) Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets : 30 Count
Amount purified per tablet 1 Litre 1 Litre.
Time to Purify 240 minutes. 240 minutes.
Microorganisms the Tablets Are Effective Against including Cryptosporidium.
Taste & Smell Sensation. (The lower,the better).
Side Effect/s ? Possible slight throat irritation.
Value for Money
Overall Rating
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[3] Water FiltersWhat do they actually do ?

In effect, Water Filters remove unwanted impurities from water such as sediment and pathogens so to result in better quality water with minimal taste, odour and harness.

As we shall discuss shortly, there are many types of water filter and we want to recommend the best personal or survival water filter to you so that whatever your final decision, you know you will be using a trusted and efficient device.

Water is undoubtedly the most necessary liquid for living things, and its consumption is vital for the hydration and proper functioning of the body’s organs and systems.

Water filters present a safe way to consume water at home, in the office, in the gym, in nature, or wherever you are. They are ideal in critical situations conditions where you must risk drinking water that looks and smells suspicious.

Simply put, a water filter should improve the quality of the water. There are essentially two ways of doing this:

  • Water filters that utilize chemical-physical effects and can remove dissolved substances (such as salts or minerals). These include ion exchanges and the property of adsorption with activated carbon .
  • and physical water filters that hold back impurities purely mechanically (like a sieve) depending on the pore size.

The 2 main types of water filters in use today are pump-action filters and drip/suction filters. The former utilize a pump to force raw water through a filter cartridge. The latter are filter cartridges that use a gravity drip action (like an IV bag) or are placed in line on hydration bladder hoses.

When used on a hydration bladder, the user simply sucks water through the filter as needed. For example, the Katadyn Pocket filter has a ceramic cartridge with silver embedded inside.

The ceramic filters out the larger pathogens, and the silver eliminates pathogens like viruses. Most filters like this will pump about a quart per minute. If time isn’t an issue, you might opt for a gravity-fed system as described below.

Water filters or survival filters are ideal devices for all ages and to fight against dehydration .

Pollution of the environment is very latent these days, so having something that helps you drink water safely without getting sick is worth the investment.

Compared with bottled water (which many prefer to remove thirst ), water filters will save you money because they are economical, but they are also portable and have quite high durability if their quality is good.

In the following review, we’ll discus the best water filters that you can get from Amazon be they Filter bottles , pocket water filters , water filters with pump …, we have selected for you the 8 best water filters and filter bottles for your next survival /  wilderness adventure.

Filter Bottles

(I) The Katadyn ‘Be Free’ 1.0L Water Filter Bottle

Katadyn - Be Free 1 L Filter Bottle Model
Volume: 1 liter
Flow: 2L / min
Technology: 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane
Effective against microorganisms: bacteria, protozoa and sediments
Ideal for frequent use and for cloudy water
No need for accessories or backwashing
42mm opening for quick filling
Protection cap
Lifespan: up to 1000 L depending on water quality
Dimensions: 27 x 7 x 8 cm
Weight: 63g

The Katadyn Be Free 1.0 L is one of the best filter bottle models on the market today. Certainly a safe option when you are in situations where there is no immediate safe drinking water readily available.

  • This filter guard  is effective in removing bacteria, protozoa (giardia and cryptosporidium) and sediment.
  • Its featherweight of 63 g is absolutely not felt and yet this filter gourd is devilishly efficient, handling up to 2 liters of water per minute. 
  • Its EZ-Clean Membrane cartridge is easy to clean by a quick rinse in water. 
  • The Katadyn Be Free 1 L is also ideal to use when you encounter murky waters ( in torrents, rivers, springs…) but not dirty. Robust and durable, in design and is constructed without the use of BPA (Bisphenol A) or PVC materials.

(II) Salomon Soft Flask, 500ml, 17oz – 42mm

The new Soft Flask XA Filter , designed by the Salomon brand , is a new filter bottle on the market. If you decide to go on long treks & excursions without having to load yourself with a heavier water filter this 52 g filter bottle will do just fine. 

Salomon Soft Flask XA Filter
Volume: 500 mL
Eliminate 99.99% of protozoa, cruptosporidium oocysts and bacteria
Ideal for frequent use and for cloudy water
42mm opening for easy filling
New technical valve that propels water into the mouth so as not to tire. Higher flow rate and a more pleasant mouth feel, no dripping until you pinch your mouth
PVC and Bisphenol A free.
Weight: 52g
  • The Salomon Soft Flask XA Filter eliminates bacteria and protozoa and is suitable for use with clear and cloudy water, like found in  rivers or other natural water sources that you may encounter in the wilderness. 
  • Big advantage of this filter bottle , it compresses as you drink! A real asset to prevent your water from tossing around in your hand or in your trail backpack. This filter bottle is also made without BPA or PVC materials.

Pocket Water Filters & Filter Straws

(III)A : Lifestraw Personal

  • Easy to use, this filter straw eliminates bacteria (e.coli, etc.), parasites (giardia, Cryptosporidium, etc.) and micro-plastics.
  • this ultra-light water filter quickly will easily find a space in your backpack pocket.
  • The principle of using the Lifestraw Personal is simple: you just need to prepare the water filter by opening the bottom cap and leaving it in the water for at least 20 seconds. Then you open the top cap to take 5 large, quick sips of water to circulate the water. You can then sip your water from a lake or a beautiful river without worrying about getting sick!

Lifestraw Personal - your straw of life!
Technology: 0.2 micron hollow fiber membrane
Eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, parasites and microplastics
Filter life: 4000 liters
The pores become clogged when the filter is at the end of its life, the water can no longer pass through
Without Bisphenol A
Recyclable product
Dimensions: 22.5 x 2.5 cm
Weight: 46g

(III)B : Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

  • The Sawyer’s Mini Water Filtration System is a lightweight, compact and versatile personal water filter. It fits in the palm of your hand and weighs only 38 grams (filter only). With 0.1 micron filtration, it removes 99.99999% of bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E. coli, and 99.9999% of protozoa such as giardia and cryptospridium.
  • Versatile, the Mini Water Filtration System can be used on a bottle, flask, water bag or with the supplied straw to drink directly from a water source. With a capacity of up to 378,500 liters of filtered water, it is just as suitable for weekend hikes as it is for long trips lasting several months. For this, the filter is easy to clean and does not require a replacement filter cartridge.
  • Simply run the water backwash through the filter using the included syringe.
  • A compact filter straw to always have with you. Active filtering against bacteria and protozoa thanks to 0.1 micron hollow fibers. Similar to the LifeStraw device, it is a hollow-fiber membrane water filter. So, the water passes through this mesh-like membrane which then catches / traps bacteria, protozoa, algae, and other waterborne pathogens :

(III)C : Lifestraw vs. Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System. Which is Better ?

Name of Filter Device Lifestraw Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System.
SPECIFICATIONS : 1 - Micron Filter Rating ; 2- Filter Duration ; 3- Length (cm) ; 4- Weight (g) ; 5- Flow Rate ; 6- Cleaning mechanism. 1= 0.2 microns filter 2= 4,000 gallons 3= 22.86 cm 4= 57 g (approx.) 5= N / a 6= Air back-flushing 1= 0.1 microns filter which is the superior of the two devices. 2= 100,000 gallons 3= 12.70 cm 4= 57 g (approx.) 5= 1 litre / 5.5 minutes 6= Water back-flushing using its special syringe.
These water filters have probably saved thousands of lives by providing a cheap and easy solution for clean drinking water. Compact & Easy to use. This was designed for use in 3rd world countries. It was not supposed to be a back-country solution for backpackers and survivalists. Instead, it's a cheap, disposable water filter that could be distributed to save lives. It is only a straw - ideal of course for life-threatening situations where water access is severely limited. Consequently ... Must squat down and stick your head close to the water to drink. - You have to use a lot of mouth-suction power (especially with murky water). - You have no way of taking filtered water with you. - You cannot fill up a cooking pot. Compact & Easy to use. This is more than just a straw ! Its versatility means it can be used for other tasks such as - Be used as a straw to drink directly from the source. - Drink from pouch or water bottle. - Squeeze clean water through the filter into a bottle/pot. - Spliced into a water bladder hose.
Value for Money.
Overall Rating web page. (Click Image).

(IV) MSR TrailShot

The TrailShot , designed by the MSR brand , is an essential pocket micro-filter and among the best personal water filters on the market. The TrailShot eliminates bacteria , protozoa and particles. However, it is ineffective against chemical pollutants and viruses. 

  • This pocket-sized skin filter allows you, just like the Lifestraw Personal , to drink your water straight from the source. 
  • You can also easily fill your water bottle or water bag with this TrailShot model. 
  • It is in effect a pump system to filter the water. So you can either directly pump the water filter with your hand and drink directly OR pump the water into your gourd. 
  • If you come across a lake, river or other water point during your ‘adventure’, use it and drink straight from the water source ! 
  • You will appreciate its light weight of 140g as well as its ease of cleaning. It’s a real pleasure to be able to drink water directly from the source!
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
Technology: 0.2 micron hollow fiber membrane
Flow: 1L / min
Eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, protozoa and particles
Ideal for frequent use and for cloudy water
Filter life: 2000 liters
Easy to clean, just shake the filter to restore the field start
Dimensions: 16 x 15.25 cm
Weight: 140g

The Best Pump Water Filters

If you encounter more questionable waters sources for example in your living in another country OR your normal supply of water may become contaminated (virus outbreak), you may need to choose a Pump Water Filter

  • This certainly a more bulky, but nonetheless more more powerful and efficient system. 
  • All of the models presented earlier in this article are effective in removing bacteria, protozoa, and particles. On the other hand, they are not effective at filtering viruses , which are the cause of many serious illnesses. 
  • A water pump filter system possesses this important feature and therefore protects you from situations where because fresh drinking is not readily available and you need to rely on other sources whose quality is not guaranteed.

  • There are 2 models (= options V and VI) we can recommend which are pump water filters:
PRODUCT NAME Katadyn Water Combi Filter Katadyn Vario Water Filter, Dual Technology Micro-Filter.
FEATURES - Effective against microorganisms - Effective against bad taste - Suitable for small groups up to 3 people - For single person use - Suitable for extremely dirty water - Suitable for clear water only - Suitable for cloudy water - For daily or very frequent use - For more frequent use - Lightweight and portable for on-the-go adventures - For travels by motor home or car - Stationary use - Lightweight and portable for on-the-go adventures. - This is one of the smallest and fastest water filters on the market ; It eliminates bacteria , protozoa and other pathogenic particles. - The Vario has a ceramic filter which filters out impurities coupled with fiberglass as a microbiological filter . - The Katadyn Vario then makes it possible to reduce the chemical content and improve the taste of the water thanks to the presence of the activated carbon granules present in the water filter.
Technology ; Flow ; Dimensions ; Weight ; 0.2 micron hollow fiber membrane ; 1 L / min ; 27cm x 6cm ; 580g. ceramic filter cartridge and 0.2 micron glass fiber membrane and replaceable activated carbon granules ; 2 L / min (Faster Flow) or 1 L / min (Longer life) ; 10cm x 19cm ; 425g ;
Functions Eliminate bacteria, protozoa, cysts, algae, spores and sediment ; Eliminate viruses associated with particles from 0.2 microns ; Effective against chemicals. Ideal for frequent use and for cloudy water. Eliminate bacteria, protozoa, cysts, algae, spores and sediment ; Eliminate viruses associated with particles from 0.2 microns ; Effective against chemicals. Ideal for frequent use and for cloudy water.
Effective against bad taste.
Lifespan. Ceramic up to 50,000 litres depending on water quality / Activated carbon up to 400 liters. Up to 2,000 litres depending on water quality.
Value for Money
Overall Rating Web Page.(Click On Image). website website website website link (CLICK IMAGE).

The Best Gravity Water Filters

This is the third and final group of water filters we are considering. Needless to say, they are particularly useful if you are traveling with several people to countries where access to drinking water is limited or non-existent as well as in situations of when the main water supply source is cut-off as a result of damage or contamination.

The principle of this type of filter is a water filtration system that works with gravity force in pushing the water down while it filters. It is easy to use and efficient.

Our RecommendationLifestraw Mission ( option VII)

  • The Lifestraw Mission can filter in a large pocket of 5 or 12 litres of water
  • Its quick connection hose to a purification cartridge eliminates bacteria , parasites , micro-plastics and viruses(Rota virus, hepatitis A). 
  • If you take a lunch break in the middle of your hike, take the opportunity to fill all your gourds with filtered water by hanging the large bag on a tree branch as illustrated below….
  • The Lifestraw Mission can, in fact, filter up to 12 litres of water in 1 hour , and is often used by groups of hikers, survivalists as well as preppers. Certainly a safe bet for your drinking water options.
LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System
Technology: 0.02 micron hollow fiber membrane ultrafiltration cartridge
Flow: 12 l / hour
Eliminate bacteria, protozoa, microplastics
Eliminate viruses associated with particles from 0.2 microns
The kit includes a bag of 5 or 12 liters of water to be filtered
Ideal for frequent use and for cloudy water
Lifespan: up to 18,000 liters depending on water quality
Without Bisphenol A
Dimensions: 10 x 19 cm
Weight: 425g

Concluding this article about water purification it would be wise to consider the argument as regards Rain or Snow for drinking water purposes :

In nature and when one is faced with critical drinking water shortage situations it seems so logical to use rain or melted snow as drinking water source – IF AVAILABLE. After all, it costs nothing and it is sustainable ! 

However, be prudent ! From a health point of view, it is not recommended to collect and drink rainwater . Rainwater seems clean, but it is not. Precipitation contains pollutants from the atmosphere such as metals, salts and exhaust gases from motor vehicles and factory plants.  It doesn’t matter if you are in the countryside because rainwater carries those pollutants with it for hundreds of kilometres.

Opinions on the health effects of drinking melted snow (or ice) differ. Snow is also polluted, of course, because it contains pollutants from the atmosphere. 

If you’re stuck in a snowy area and dehydrated because you don’t have drinking water, this could be an emergency solution since you do not have any alternatives. In any case, the first thing to do would be to scrape away the top layer of the snow. One litre of snow yields about 300 ml of water.




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