By Thomas Conroy
Midwest America --(Ammoland.com)- Water is required to survive.
Many experts say you’ll live for only three days or so if you completely stop consuming water.
FEMA suggests having at least one gallon per person per day for emergency preparedness.
Here in the United States, we take safe drinking water for granted. It’s as close as the nearest tap or faucet. In public buildings, drinking fountains are just another part of the normal plumbing.
But even one small TEOTWAWKI emergency can disrupt or even destroy our water supply. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, fires or accidents can contaminate or otherwise shut down easily-available sources of water.
The simple fact is that we all need to have some sort of gear on hand that can help us filter water for drinking, cooking, and all the other uses. With the right piece of equipment, you can take water from a nearby mud puddle and make it clear, clean and safe to drink.
A good water filter can – quite literally – save your life. These water filters are available from a variety of retailers.
Here Are My Top 5 Survival Water Filters (none of these are rated for use with salt water)
5. NDur Survival Straw
The NDur Survival Straw ( http://tiny.cc/wde2ix ) is lightweight, compact, and filters just about everything out of your water. Not only will it remove 99.9% of all the viruses, microorganisms and bacteria, it also does the same job on contaminants like chlorine, and heavy metals like lead and mercury. You just twist open the far end and dip it into the water, uncap the mouthpiece and suck the water through the straw. It’s that simple.
In an emergency, you could literally drink out of a residential swimming pool with one of these things. Note: the ceramic filter inside is so efficient, it’s good for only about 25 gallons, depending on how clear the water was to start with. But at its price, you can afford to stash a few of them in your survival cache or go bag.
4) Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
The Sawyer Mini ( http://tiny.cc/21e2ix ) is small – only about two ounces – but it’s a powerhouse. It can filter up to 100,000 gallons. It comes with a drinking pouch, and a straw. Or you can just drink right through the filter itself like a straw. It wipes out bacteria and protozoa and other microscopic nasties, but won’t filter out heavy metals or chemicals. It can also be backwashed with clean water to restore its flow rate when it starts to get clogged.
3) LifeStraw Family
The LifeStraw Family ( http://goo.gl/OXjv1C ) is lightweight, portable, easy to use and can filter up to 4,750 gallons, or enough for a family of five for up to three years. It’s a gravity filter, and requires enough space for you to hang it up somewhere. Pour the water into the top, and it runs down through the filter element and into a clean container. It also filters out more than 99% of viruses, bacteria and protozoa, and can deliver up to 9 to 12 liters per hour. You can supply a base camp with clean water using a LifeStraw Family.
In perhaps one of the most striking endorsements ever filmed, you can watch CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen guzzle water filtered by a LifeStraw Family that was thoroughly mixed with cow dung only minutes prior.
Now that’s putting your money – or something – where your mouth is.
Perhaps no other name in water filtration is as recognized Berkey. People have been relying on ceramic filters since Henry Doulton developed them in the first half of the 19th Century for Queen Victoria in London. Berkeys are available in all kinds of sizes, from one designed to provide daily clean water for up to three people, to units that can supply up to 150 people per day.
These gravity-fed ceramic filter systems are so efficient, that the test suggested by the manufacturer to check your Berkey for proper function is itself mind-blowing. If your Berkey can remove liquid food coloring from a batch of water, it’s good to go. Like other high-quality filters, Berkey removes more than 99% of bacteria, protozoa and viruses, as well chemicals and other contaminants. The filter elements do eventually clog, but you can get replacement elements, both regular ceramic, and Black Berkey elements ( http://tiny.cc/xof2ix ) that last even longer. The Berkey and the replacement elements can be a bit pricey, but the performance is worth it.
The LifeStraw ( http://goo.gl/v6Ceu5 ) doesn’t look like much. It’s a very lightweight tube with a lanyard on it so you can wear it around your neck. That’s exactly why I put it number one in my list – because it’s a very lightweight tube that you wear around your neck. Available from many retailers, including Brownells, it’s way more portable than the various Berkey systems or the LifeStraw Family from the same company. It’s even lighter than the Sawyer Mini and even more simple than the NDur straw. You just slip off the caps, and drink from whatever source of water you come across. Like the other filters, it removes more than 99% of bacteria and protozoa and will process up to 264 gallons. It won’t filter out heavy metals or chemicals.
Once you are finished drinking, you merely blow through the LifeStraw to flush out the remaining water and help restore the flow rate to almost like new.
I put the LifeStraw at the top of this list because of its extreme portability, relatively low cost, and ease of use.
In an emergency, clean water is vital. You can live quite a while without food, but only days without water. Everyone should have some sort of water filtration system, just in case.
Thomas Conroy is a firearms aficionado and writer who lives in the Midwest.