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Thoreau said, “Water is the only drink for a wise man.” Here’s how to purify yours when you’re out in the wild.
To complete this How-To you will need:
A camp stove or campfire
A water purifier
Water purification tablets
A container to collect water
Step 1: Pick your water carefully
Even if you’re intending to purify it, pick water carefully—ideally, from a running stream. Avoid standing water, and/or water that is dark, smelly, or filled with debris.
Step 2: Boil it
Boil water for about five minutes on a camp stove or over a campfire, removing anything that floats to the top as it bubbles.
Step 3: Use a purifier
If you do a lot of camping, invest in a water purifier that uses a chemical-free system. Look for one with an absolute pore size of 0.2 micron.
Step 4: Use chlorine dioxide tablets
If you don’t want to lug a camp stove or invest in a pricey purifier, take chlorine dioxide tablets along on your camping trip. Just drop them into water, wait a few hours, and the water is safe to drink.
Warning: Avoid iodine purification tablets, which while still sold, have lost favor with campers because of their danger to people with thyroid conditions.
Step 5: Collect condensation
If you are lost & have no means of starting a fire to boil water, collect condensation. Dig a hole in the ground, put a container inside (fashion one from bark if you must), and cover it with plastic or cloth secured with rocks & with a stone in the center, so it hangs lower than the sides.