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Whether you’re backpacking or camping with family or in a place where the water is un-sanitized, it is important to know how to purify your water so it’s safe to drink. There are many different ways to purify your water in the wilderness, but boiling water is the oldest you can think of. Your first priority if stuck in the wilderness is where to find water.
Your Water Sources
If you have any flowing streams or streams, then you know you have an ideal place to find drinkable water. If you are around Lakes , ponds or rivers, again, you will be in luck. You want to avoid any stagnant water, due to the high level of bacteria found in there. If you’re high in the mountains close to snow, this is another great alternative If you can’t find any water up high, then walk downhill and look for vegetation.
How Long Should I Boil Water For?
The Wilderness Medical Society also came out with a great recommendation on how many degrees you need to boil your water so it becomes and is considered purified.
160 ℉ – kill all pathogens in 30 minutes
185 ℉ – kill all pathogens in 3 minutes
In the time that it takes for water to reach the boiling point (212 ℉) all pathogens will be killed and when your water reaches a rolling boil, the water has already become safe to drink.
Very dirty water should be filtered with a cloth or material like a bandana to remove any extra sediments. You can also let the water settle and then pour off the clearer water on top.
For Tools to help you purify your water please click here.