How Survival Water Filters Can Save Your Life

Man on a lake in nature

Today’s world is so unpredictable, we never know for sure what tomorrow is going to be like. You could be hit with an emergency situation in the blink of an eye.

If something horrible were to happen and you didn’t have access to clean drinking water, would you know what to do? Bottled water can only last you so long before you had to go out and search for your own source of water.

Mini Water Filtration System Used with a Water Backpack

In this article, we are going to discuss survival water filters and other water purification systems for s. We hope that the information we discuss here will give you enough insight on which survival water filter or purification system will work best for you.

Survival Water Filters vs. Survival Water Purifier

When you’re in the market for some kind of water purification method to put into your survival kit, you may be confused by the difference between a survival water filter and a water purification. The primary difference between the two is, as REI points out, the size of the microorganisms that each product fights against.

A survival water filter works by straining out bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella, as well as protozoan cysts such as the microbes Cryptosporidium and Giardia Lamblia, which are biological pathogens most commonly found in the United States and Canada.

You can purchase a full on the mini filtration system, or you can purchase a water bottle with an integrated LifeStraw. Both options will work.

Water Pump Filter For Carrying

A water purifier will combat these pathogens, but they also combat against virus’, which are usually too small for filters to capture. If you find yourself traveling through under-developed places in the world, you may be better off choosing a survival water purification system.

Survival Sullivan suggests that if you want to make sure you water is really clean, you can use either a chemical treatment like a tablet or simply boil it.

Survival Water Filters

When you are filtering your water, you should know that there are several different levels of filtration. Practical Survivor points out that:

“As long as the water has been purified properly, filtration at this point would mostly be to make the water more attractive. Since most of us are not used to, drinking water with, leaves, algae, dirt, etcetera. So, at least a minimal amount of filtration is recommended. Since, while you can ingest/digest those above, most of us would prefer not to.”

With that in mind, you could simply run your water through a clean piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter so that leaves, dirt, and bugs were removed. However, if you want extra filtration, you can’t go wrong with a microfiltration system.

These water filtration systems have the ability to catch the smallest of bacteria and even virus’, depending on how porous the ceramic filters are and the overall quality of the filter.

You should note that micro filters like a LifeStraw will remove debris, bacteria, and virus’, but not any chemical contaminates.

Water Purification Systems For Survival

If you’re a little iffy about drinking water, even if it’s gone through a filtration system, you still have the option of purifying it. The easiest way of purifying your water is by boiling it, to which you’ll need fire-safe vessels like a pot or a metal bucket or can.

By boiling the water, you are going to kill off any harmful microbes. The amount of time you should boil the water is debatable, but Wildwood Survival recommends that you boil it at very least for 5 minutes and up to 20 minutes for an extra sense of security.

Filling up a Bottle Using Products Mini Water Filtration System

If you are going for a lightweight option for your pack (let’s face it, those metal pans and/or buckets can add weight which can hinder your progress in a survival situation), Outdoor Gear Lab points out that you have the option of a water treatment drop or tablet.

These effective tablets are affordable, and they can treat a large amount of water with minimal effort. All you’d need is water (ideally without any debris) and some survival water storage, be it a water bottle, a jug, or some other vessel or bag, and drop a couple of drops into the water. Granted, you’ll want to follow the directions on the packaging for optimal purification.

What to Consider When Buying The Best Survival Water Filter or Purification System

We can’t tell you which water treatment option is better for your situation, be it a filter or a purifier, but we can give you a few things to consider when choosing between the two.

  1. Are you looking to keep your pack as light as possible? If so, you might want to choose a tablet purification system or a filter straw. Both are effective without being cumbersome. If you are an average hiker, you could choose a mini filtration system.
  2. How much time do you have? If you want water immediately, you could use a personal filtration system, but if you have a bit of time to kill, you can use chemical treatment drops.
  3. How much water do you want to have on hand? Some systems only allow you to filter a small amount of water at a time. If you’re only going to be in the wilderness for a few hours or days, this isn’t going to be a concern, as you probably have your own bottles of water on hand.

However, if you think you will be gone for any longer than that or you are with a group of other hikers, you may want to choose a system that allows you to purify a larger amount of water. Then, you should also consider if you have something to contain all of your clean water.
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System Design


Of all the filtration methods available on the market, you have to choose the best survival water filter or purification for your circumstances. We hope that the information you gathered here will help you make that decision. Water and hydration are incredibly important in any situation, so you definitely want to feel confident in the choice you make.

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