Video:How to Purify Water on a Hiking Tripwith Danielle Lessovitz
Knowing how to purify water on a hiking trip is an important skill for any serious hiker, as it could one day save your life. Find out how to collect, filter, and purify natural water so that it is safe to drink.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Purify Water on a Hiking TripHi, I'm Danielle Lessovitz for About.com, and today I am going to show you how to filter water when you are out on a hiking trip.
Why Purify Outdoor Water?Let's say you have run out of water and you are thirsty, you are really thirsty and you happen to stumble upon a river with clean, clear flowing water. Now you think to yourself, what is the harm in drinking this water? Well, unless you want to wake up two weeks from now with the worst gut wrenching pain, I would think again about drinking unfiltered water from natural sources. So today I am going to show you how to get rid of that unwanted bacteria using three methods. Let's get started.
Identify the Water SourceFirst we will want to find a source for our water. Because bacteria thrives in stagnant water, you will want to find a source of flowing water be it a river, creek, or stream. If however the running water smells, if it has an odor than that is a sign that it is contaminated, full of sulfur or has a lot of organic matter growing in it and it is not a good source of water. In fact we will want to keep on moving. If however the water is full of debris or cloudy, that is okay. We can filter our water using a sock, preferably a clean sock made of either cotton or silk.
Option 1: Purify Water Through BoilingNow that we have collected our water lets start with our first option, the most ancient form of purifying water, and that is boiling. Pour the water in a metal or tin container and place it over the fire. Bring it to a full boil. Continue boiling the water for at least ten minutes to kill harmful bacteria like giradia. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. Once the water has cooled, transfer it to a different container.
Option 2: Purify Water With TabletsIf you do not plan on building a campfire than option number two will work for you and that is tablets. There are two types of tablets: Iodine and Chlorine. Iodine will get rid of most bacterial while chlorine will get ride of bacteria and some viruses, today I am using iodine. For these tablets, measure out two for every one quart of water. Drop into the water and shake well to break down the tablets. It is important to clean the threading of the bottle as well. To do this unscrew the lid slightly and allow some water to seep through the opening.
Option 3: Purify Water With a FilterOption number three is a water filter. First make sure that the filter is EPA approved and removes bacteria up to .1 micron in size. Today I am going to show you how an inline water filter works. For the inline filter attach the source tube to a gravity bag, a camel pack or a faucet should you be so lucky to find one. The water will pass through the filter and come out of the second straw. You can use an inline filter in a different way, simply insert the filter into your bottle, screw the lid on like that and now you can drink from it like a normal straw.
On your next hiking trip, remember, drinking plenty of water will prevent dehydration. Drinking plenty of unfiltered water from natural sources, well that is just a recipe for disaster. Thanks for watching, to learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.