5 Ways to Purify Water for Survival in the Wilderness

BROUGHT TO YOU BY Mortons On The Move

"You may not think about purifying water. But carrying fresh water with you on a backpacking trip would add weight to your pack. Think about it this way. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you drink 64 oz of water a day. Then you add in the water needed for coffee, cooking, and cleaning. Multiply all of that for three days. That’s a lot of weight added to your already overflowing backpack."

The Importance of Purifying Water

Freshwater is readily available in the front country — a city, town, village, etc. Turn on a faucet, and you have potable water. However, in the backcountry, you often have a lot of water available, but not all of it is safe for consumption.

Water Purification Versus Water Filtering

Water purifying uses chemicals to kill bacteria and other contaminants, while water filtering physically removes them from the water. As a result, water purification is generally more effective at killing bacteria and is often used in areas with unknown water quality or waterborne illnesses. Water filtration removes larger contaminants such as dirt and sediment. Many often use it in areas with relatively clean water sources. However, both methods can make water safe to drink, so choose the one that best meets your needs. You may even use both.

5 Ways to Purify Water in the Wilderness

1. Boiling Your Water  While water purification methods have come a long way in recent years, boiling water is still one of the most effective ways to make water safe to drink. Boiling water kills bacteria and viruses and gets rid of harmful chemicals like lead and mercury.

Using Water Purification Tablets/Drops

Water purification tablets are a simple way to clean water when camping or hiking. But how do they work? Most water purification tablets contain iodine, which kills bacteria and viruses. When you drop a tablet into a water bottle, the iodine releases and starts to kill any harmful organisms in the water.


Although boiling water kills bacteria, it doesn’t remove all impurities. The best way to make sure your water is completely clean is to distill it. Distilling water involves heating water until it turns into steam and condensing it into water.

Become a Mortons on The Move Insider

Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!

Swipe up

To read the full article on 5 Ways to Purify Water for Survival in the Wilderness