What are 3 main ways to purify water?

What are 3 main ways to purify water?

Discover Three Essential Ways to Safely Quench Your Thirst: The Water Purification Guide

Water, the elixir of life – so says the maxim. And yet, the liquid that's seemingly synonymous with vitality can often be teeming with invisible dangers that can put our health at risk. However, in our technological age, where every necessity and convenience has been optimized, something essential about water still eludes many—safety. In this guide, tailored for the health-conscious, the outdoor enthusiast, and the sustainability champion in you, we will deep-dive into three elemental methods that ensure that your gulp is as pure as it can be. 

Boiling: The Old Master's Test

Among the most ancient of purification methods, boiling is akin to the trial by fire for impure water. The process is straightforward enough – heat water to the point where it bubbles and holds at that state for 10 minutes. This time-honored technique guarantees a kill-off of nearly all microbial foes, be they bacteria, viruses, or even parasites.

The Science Behind It

The logic behind boiling water is beautifully simple. The energy in the heat causes the water to evaporate, and in the process, it leaves behind the bulk of the impurities. Once the water achieves a full, rolling boil, the minute organisms within are subjected to temperatures that no microbe can withstand, resulting in a clear, safe drink.

Pros and Cons


  • Inexpensive: You only need a heat source, a pot, and patience.
  • Effective: It's a virtually foolproof way to purify water.


  • Time-Consuming: Requires waiting for water to boil then cooling down to drinkable temperatures.
  • Resource-Intensive: It demands a constant heat source that may not always be available.

Filtration: Nature's Best Engineer

Nature filters water through soil and rock over time, giving many the purest water known. You can mimic this process with modern water filtration systems, which work by passing water through a porous material, trapping undesirable elements.

The Science Behind It

Today's water filters use a range of components, from ceramic to activated charcoal. These materials consist of microscopic pores that stop larger contaminants, while others, like activated carbon, bind chemical components through a process known as adsorption.

Pros and Cons


  • Convenient: Portable filters can be used on-the-go.
  • Reliable: Many filters meet rigorous NSF International standards for water safety.


  • Maintenance: Filters require regular cleaning and replacement to remain effective.
  • Selective: Some filters, like UV filters, may not remove certain types of contaminants.

Chemical Treatment: The Portable Purifier

For water purification on the move, nothing beats the portability and simplicity of chemical treatments. Tablets or drops that contain chlorine, iodine, or other substances can effectively neutralize harmful pathogens from your water source.

The Science Behind It

Chemical treatments are game-changers because they can disinfect water without heat, which makes them ideal for situations where boiling is impractical. The active chemicals work by impairing the organisms' ability to function – a bit like when you put a plastic bag over a fly to catch it.

Pros and Cons


  • Compact: Treatments come in small, lightweight packaging.
  • Rapid: Purification can sometimes be achieved in 30 minutes.


  • Taste: Iodine treatments, in particular, can leave an undesirable flavor.
  • Resistance: Over time, some pathogens can develop a tolerance to certain chemicals.

The Best Method? It Depends

Water, as a living, adaptive force, often resists simple categorizations. Similarly, the most effective purification method is one that takes into account the source's peculiarities and the context in which we find ourselves. 
While boiling is the veritable standby, the inconvenience of waiting and the need for a heat source make it less than ideal for every situation. Filtration is a balanced approach, but one that demands consistent maintenance. Chemical treatments, though capable and portable, may leave a taste to be desired and cannot be used regularly due to the risk of microorganism resistance and long-term health effects of certain chemicals.

Conclusion: A Tale of Adaptation and Preparation

In the end, as with all things in life, adaptability is key. A traveler will cherish the convenience of chemical treatments, a homebody the steadfastness of boiling, and a naturalist the elegance of filtration. Remember, these methods are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they can complement each other beautifully, ensuring that no matter the circumstances, your cup runneth over with a drink that is both safe and satisfying. Choose wisely, and savor not just the water, but the wisdom in how you've chosen to purify it.

Until next time.
Brandon & Angela

The 5 Cs

The 5 Cs

One of the first things I ever learned in the bushcraft arena is that your knife is probably the single most important tool to have. Using your knife you can collect & prepare shelter material, collect & process food sources, create fire and make other tools.

Needless to say, our cutting tools are very important, hence why they are one of the 5 Cs.


A fixed blade knife 4”-6” should be top of the list in this category. The blade should be flexible but not so thin as to be easily breakable. Your belt knife (EDC) should also have a 90 degree spine edge to be of best use with a ferro rod or for processing wood fiber. Stainless steel blades or corrosion resistant coated blades are usable, and obviously resist rust and corrosion, but they can hinder you a bit also. A stainless blade is harder to sharpen, and sometimes will not work as well with ferro rods. The same applies to a coated blade, you need to get the coating off the edge to maximize potential. A little more care care is required in a true high carbon steel blade (oiling, honing, etc) but I think it’s a good trade-off. Think back to your Grandma’s kitchen cutting block…..What was in it?


A saw is extremely useful in our craft, for two primary reasons. Firstly, less energy needs to be expended in a sawing motion during an operation like processing larger fuel. Secondly, more accurate cuts can be accomplished and less finishing work is needed to a cut end.

There are countless brands and types of folding saws out on the market, or you can fashion your own.


Let’s all admit that when we think of outdoorsmen or our mountain man ancestors, one of the first images that comes to mind is either an axe or a tomahawk. The reason is simple. In the course of human evolution and development, the stone axe was probably the second cutting tool we ever developed.

An axe with a handle approx. 28” in length with about a 3lb head is perfect for felling and wood processing. This size of tool is very efficient in helping prepare and improve a camp. No need to go all Paul Bunyon!

The tomahawk as we know it today is really just a modern interpretation of those first stone axes our ancient primitive ancestors created. Small and light, with a narrow cutting face, the tomahawk lends itself to finer cutting work, and even food processing/skinning if you remove the head from the haft.

Machetes/Specialty blades

Machetes, parongs, kukri, etc all have a place for use. The thing to remember here is basically the terrain you’re in, and the most likely needed uses of the blade. A 2.5lb kukri blade is not going to be my best choice for skinning out and prepping a rabbit. Conversely, my 5” bushcraft knife wouldn’t exactly be the first choice for hacking through jungle thickets.

Basically, the right tool for the job is the rule here. 

Whatever cutting tools you pick, make sure they are of good quality, and remember to keep them sharp and oiled. 

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