How Do You Purify Water When Camping

When you’re in a survival situation or an emergency, one of the biggest problems that you’ll need to solve immediately is getting a supply of purified water that’s safe to drink.

If you don’t manage this water filtration, you could be dead in just a few days or even sooner. It pays to be prepared and knowing several methods for purifying water is the knowledge that has the potential to save your life.

In this guide, you can find all the possible ways you can clean water and filter water. By the end, you’ll know how to turn dirty water into clean drinkable water so you can avoid dehydration.

Ways to Purify Water during Camping

While it can be when camping or hiking, you need such skills, yet in the cases of natural disasters or power outages, you could find you need these skills for water disinfection at home.

You can learn all you need about ways to purify water and cleansing water using DIY filters to filter the water or using additives and water purification tablets, among others, to get your emergency water. (Learn How to Boil Water While Camping)

How Do You Purify Water at Home?

You may be surprised to find there are over 10,000 deaths per year from people drinking contaminated water. If this wasn’t enough to purchase a water purifier, it should be enough for you to know how to deal with such water so you can make drinking water without effort.

Many homes rely on a RO (reverse osmosis) filter or an RO UV (Ultraviolet) water purifier for drinking water. There are, however, other methods if you don’t have these or want the expense. Here are a few of the most common methods for water purification.


When you boil your water for an extended period, you have one of the best ways to purify water. Bacteria and viruses dissipate at high temperatures, eliminating impurities from the water.

Chemical additions often vanish from the water as a result of the boiling process. Dead microorganisms and impurities will accumulate toward the bottom as boiling can’t remove these. To fully remove impurities, strain the water using microporous strainers or water filters.

Water Chlorination

This is a traditional process involving adding a mild chlorine bleach solution to your water. The bleach solution should contain around 5% chlorine. The mixture functions as an oxidant, killing microorganisms quickly and making water safe to drink.


Distillation is a water purification process involving the collection of condensed water droplets after evaporation. The resulting liquid is free of contaminants. However, it isn’t as effective as an RO filter and is very slow to gain any considerable amount of water to drink.

Adding Iodine

Iodine is a red compound which you can purchase in tablet or liquid form. It delivers high killing power as it destroys bacteria and viruses.

It does, unfortunately, leave an unpleasant flavor and can be lethal if consumed in large doses. While it is effective, it should be a last resort. In use, you only have to add 5 drops per quart of water.(Learn About Pick Up Truck Camping)

Clay Vessel Filtration

Clay pots purified muddy water as they stop mud passing and only let potable water pass through the natural filtration.

UV Light Radiation

Water exposed to UV Light will have all microorganisms killed; however, by itself, it doesn’t leave water drinkable. It needs coupling with an RO filter so it can remove impurities and heavy metals.

Water purifiers are essential, and the most effective is a UV RO Water Purifier. However, not all homes have these, and if you have a power outage, they won’t work. You can purchase a manual water purifier that uses filters and gives you clear and healthy drinking water.

Ways Purify Water Without a Filter during Camping

How Do You Purify Water Without a Filter?

If you are in the outback, you may need a method to purify water at a moment’s notice. Here are ways to treat water and get rid of contaminants if you don’t have access to a bottle filter.


Water boiling water is among the best ways of water purification methods as boiling clear water can make it safe to drink as long as you get rid of the bits.

Bacteria and microorganisms can’t survive in boiling water and will die during the heating process. Bring your water to a rolling boil for 1-minute minimum.

Try only to boil water that is clear as you could have dirt and leaves in your water that could leave heavy metals. Most waters from lakes etc. can be boiled and purified. (Learn How to Make Coffee Camping)

Purification Tablets and Drops

If you get caught out, you should always carry purification tablets or drops in your emergency kit when camping or hiking. If you don’t know how to purify water in the wild, these can help.

Much like your home purification tablets, these are iodine, chlorine, and sometimes potassium permanganate or chlorine dioxide. In small doses, none of these is harmful, although for removing harmful organisms, they are very effective.

There is one drawback, and that is you have to measure your water effectively. Not doing this means you could overuse or under-use a dose. Most of these tablets need about 20 liters of water.

Here are the steps for how to clean water and purifying water with tablets or drops:

  • Filter 20 liters of clear water
  • Fill your container, then add drops or tablets as per instructions.
  • Shake or stir your container for 10-20 seconds
  • Leave your water to settle for a minimum of 30 minutes before drinking.


This method of purifying water is better in tropical settings. For the distillation process, all you need is a type of container and a smaller container. To catch the water, you need something such as plastic sheeting or a tarp that could work.

You fill the larger container with dirty water and place the smaller in the center.

Cover with the sheet and place a small weight so the drips will fall in the small container. You can cover this and let the surrounding solar heat evaporate the water, where it then drops to the smaller container.

It is a slow method, and you may not get enough water to fill a bottle if there is over one person.


When water is cloudy, one of the simplest survival methods is sedimentation to treat the water in the wild. Treating water this way can be a good first step to avoid all the debris that could come from the water source. You find this is effective for murky water.

Take your water and let it stand for an extended period. As you leave it, it will let all particles sink to the bottom of your container. On the top, you will see the water is clear.

As long as your container is large enough and open, you can scoop out the cleaner water. From here, you can add your other chemicals to treat your water for disinfection or go to option 1, boiling your water to kill any microbes. (Find the Best Reclining Camping Chairs With Footrest)

You can also follow on with any water filter option you have in place.

Here you have some of the best ways to clear water. However, not all will leave you clear in your mind and psychologically, you may not want to drink water that contains bleach or if it has the iodine smell.

One thing to put in your camping gear is the new water filter options that fit onto a plastic water bottle. You have the ideal method to get sufficient bottled water without needing to use chemicals.

How Do You Purify Water When Camping