How To Purify Water During Outdoor Camping?

How To Purify Water During Outdoor Camping

Do you travel outdoors with heavy water-filled bottles from home? Your outdoor activity could be fishing, hiking, hunting or any other outdoor activity but if you are not equipped with drinking water after some time you will be distressed.

Water is very necessary for proper functioning of the body. Drinking it at regular intervals is mandatory. Stay hydrated when outdoors through drinking not water but clean water to avoid falling sick.

Judgment about Water

The deceptive thing about water is that, with the naked eye, it may appear clean, but microorganism makes it contaminated. These microorganisms are visible only under a microscope. Purify water before you drink it. You may find a clean source of water outdoor, but you cannot be sure. It could be from:

  • Flowing water
  • Water flowing over rocks
  • Water rolling over moss

The above sources possibly have portable water, but you cannot be sure. If you treat your water through filter sterilization etc. that way will be the safest way to consume water. Water even outdoors can be treated through boiling, filtering, ultra-violet rays as well as chemicals. If the water of river, pond, lake appears dirty and stagnant, treat it before consumption.

Before moving outdoors, check your bag for water purification kit. You could carry water purification tablets, water filter, which is light in weight, fire initiator and a fireproof container for boiling water. However, make sure your pack is light to carry, but you can make water clean.

Making Purification Process Easy

There are some crucial points, which should be done before water purification. Moving water is to be used rather than stationary water. Collect water from lake and ponds after side-lining the top scummy top layer. When it comes to spring, take collect water from spring head. Drinking water a few meters from the source can also be contaminated.

Pathogens through Water Intake

The following microorganism in water collected from the wild outdoors:

  • Bacteria – It is single-celled pathogen which can infect living creatures. E. coli and Salmonella are the names of pathogens under this category.
  • Giardia – Beaver fever is also called after the symptoms it produces. It is a protozoon. It passes from stools to mammals. The incubation period is 7-10 days. Its consumption leads to diarrhea, weakness, and loss of appetite. 
  • Cryptosporidium – It is a protozoon. The symptoms of intestinal distress, as well as fever, become visible after seven days after consumption.
  • Viruses – These are waterborne. Sewage gets mingled in water.
  • Chemical – Chemical contamination happens through agriculture chemicals. Do not collect water near the farm or factory.

Methods of Purification

Next time you go outdoors you can purify water in the following way:

1. Boiling

Take water in a fireproof container and put it on the stove. Let it boil for at least ten minutes. Water will start rolling. It kills the most stubborn microorganisms like bacteria, viruses’ parasites protozoa and other pathogens. It does nothing for the mud and chemical pollution.

Once water is boiled, allow it to stand for sometimes. Mud will settle in the bottom of container. Take the water above the mud for use. Elevations places will affect boiling and will require little more time.

Boiled water is very bland. Stir it, so some air oxygen mixes into water. It is safest method of disinfecting method. In winters ice can be melted. It is a time-consuming method slow method.

Small batches of water are boiled at a time. Water once cooled is shifted to bottles. Fuel is required. The container can be of metal, ceramic, or glass container. No extra equipment is required. Pot and heat source is needed.

2. Chemical Treatment

This is done in two ways; through chlorine and iodine. Iodine comes as tablets tinctures and crystals. Pregnant women and thyroid patient should keep away from iodine.

Tincture of iodine 2% is strong compared to 10% of the povidone-iodine solution. 5-10 drops of tincture iodine 2% in one quart of water permitted to stand in the shade for half an hour is the method.

Iodine tablets are puny, light in weight and the new ones have reduced chemical smell. However, iodine tablets need 30 minutes for effectiveness. Iodine tablets have small shelf life sat six months after the bottle is opened.

The amount of chemical used varies with the amount of water, its quality, and temperature. Cold and muddy water requires more disinfectant say four drops per quart whereas warm and clear water suffices with two drops.

Put chemical in water and close the lid. Shake the container for a minute or so. Let the water settle for half an hour in a shaded place. Drink clear safe water dysentery can be an emergency call. Never mix chlorine and iodine. It is low cost chemicals. Chlorine comes as tablets. Dissolve in water and let it stand for 15 minutes. Iodine and chlorine come in the following chemical collections:

  • Polar Pure or Iodine Crystals – It is affordable. Advised for longer trips. It is effective against Giardia, viruses and has a long shelf life.
  • Aquamira or Chlorine dioxide – It lacks taste and company claims it increases the taste of water. It acts on cold water and is good for cold weather. Scientific studies have shown that it kills bacteria. Users find it effective against giardia and cryptosporidium.
  • Portable Aqua or iodine tablets – These lightweight tablets can be purchased as one stage or two-stage treatment pack. It comes with taste neutralizer. Add two tablets to a quart of water and permit it to stand for 30 minutes. Its shelf life is for four years.
  • Bleach – Its taste is not good and comes cheap. It protects against giardia and bacteria.  

Water filters are easy to use. The models available are personal, larger, and portable. The water filter is effective against protozoa and bacteria but not against viruses. If it has inbuilt iodine system viruses will also be destroyed. Water filters strain water internally.

The mud is left out, and water tastes good. The options are beginning with filter straw to more advanced systems. Handheld filters are also popular.

The filter should have pore-size efficiency. Filter rated at one micron or tiny still will keep away giardia cryptosporidium and parasitic eggs and larvae. The difference between a filter and a purifier is that purifier uses a chemical to destroy microbes along with filter.

3. Ultraviolet Light Methods

At right intensity, UV light has enough radiation to destroy the DNA of bacteria and other organisms. Water is passed through a UV irradiated chamber and water gets sterilized. However, it is an expensive method.

It is very important to stay hydrated when outdoors. For instance, hiking is a strenuous activity, and you sweat a lot. The body requires water for it to function well. Symptoms like headaches, fatigue or for the matter muscular cramps are signs that water in the body has fallen below normal. Drink clean portable water, and you will feel better. Purify water when camping for your welfare.

How To Purify Water During Outdoor Camping?
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About the author

Michael Everett

I am Michael, I like camping and have camped many times over the place. I'm the creator of blog rainycamping.com, through my blog I want to share my camping and travel experiences for people, there are explanations, questions and things you need.

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