In an emergency when you are unable to access mains water you may have to use whatever source you can find. However you need to ensure that it is safe to drink and this is where water filters are the answer.
There are several different types of filter and we have a few suggestions for you below.
Katadyn Hiker Water Filters
This filter consists of a pump with two tubes attached, one to collect water from a stream or pond, the other to discharge clean water into your bottle. The pump can filter one liter a minute. The Katadyn Hiker Pro is six inches tall and weighs eleven ounces.
The main filter uses a pleated cartridge design which provides fast and easy pumping. Also a prefilter blocks larger particles before the main filter removes all harmful impurities and delivers clean water into your bottle. The filter will block microorganisms and chemicals to remove the threat of infection from bacteria and salmonella.
The Hiker can also be used with cloudy water which will emerge clear and fresh from the carbon chamber. Of all the water filters available the Hiker is claimed to be the best selling microfilter in the US Outdoor Market.
Platypus Gravityworks Water Filters
The Platypus Gravityworks filter comes in two sizes, either 2.0 or 4.0 liters. The advantage of a gravity filter is that it removes the need for a pump. The filter comprises two containers connected by a tube and filter.
The dirty water reservoir is hung from a branch so that the water flows down through the filter into the second container. Up to one and a half liters can be treated per minute.
It filters out both bacteria pathogens and protozoa and every microfilter is individually tested to ensure it meets EPA guidelines.
The system is ultralight and compact weighing just 6.3 oz. This is rated as the top gravity filter because of its durability and versatility.
Lifestraw Personal Water Filters
The Lifestraw is a drinking straw with a built in filter. This means that you can place the end into dirty water and suck out clean water into your mouth. Described as the ultimate survival tool it removes bacteria, parasites and microplastics.
The Lifestraw can filter 4,000 liters, enough drinking water for an individual for over 5 years . Weighing just two oz this is a no brainer for your bug out bag. At least one or two of these water filters should be carried by your group.
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filters
This consists of two parts. A squeeze bottle that you fill with dirty water and a filter which you screw into the bottle. You can then either drink directly from the filter or squeeze the water into another container.
It removes all bacteria, protozoa and it also removes 100% of microplastics. The Sawyer Squeeze Filter weighs three ounces so is another lightweight filter that is both easy to use and to carry.
Katadyn Collapsable BeFree Water Bottle
The BeFree water bottle is a soft shell bottle that holds just over half a liter. To use you fill the bottle with dirty water, attach the EZ-Clean Membrane to the top then squeeze to release water that is safe to drink. The bottle can be folded so is easy to pack. This is another lightweight model that weighs just under three ounces.
The filter is designed for solo use and is described as ideal for on the go adventures, but would also make a great addition to your survival kit.
Aquamira Shift Vacuum Water Bottle
The one feature that distinguishes this water bottle from the others listed above is the vacuum insulation which keeps your cold water cold.
The bottle can accept any Series IV replacement filter to remove bacteria and protozoans for protection from biological contaminants in water from streams and lakes. The filter can treat up to1000 gallons of water.
Having access to clean water is essential in a survival situation. This means that a water filter of some sort is one tool that must be included in your bug out bag. The water filters listed above are examples of the different types that are available so should help you decide which is the best for you.