Water is fundamental to survival. More important than food. It can be more important than shelter (if the weather and elements aren’t too extreme), and it may be second in importance only to air.
But, when you are in a survival situation, a fresh supply of water is not always easy to come by, and a ready-made water purification system may not be in your bug out bag. What to do then?
Try this simple water purification system. The necessary equipment is simple:
- Two stainless steel water bottles
- 10 feet of 1/4 inch soft copper tubing
- A cork or rubber stopper
- A wet rag
So, what do you do with this odd assortment of items? You distill your water to remove chemical contaminants such as salt from sea water or heavy metals.
You will use one water bottle for heating the “dirty” water and the other water bottle to collect the distilled water. Use the cork on the bottle to be heated and push the copper tubing through the cork into the top of the bottle to be heated, and the other of the copper tube will go into the collection bottle. The cork helps to ensure that as much of the distilled water is collected as possible. The wet rag is for the purpose of laying across the copper tube to cool to water so that it will drip into the collection bottle instead of evaporating.
Please note that, when distilling water, certain substances have a lower boiling point than water, so you will want to let the first bit of steam escape before trying to reclaim your water.
A few notes: do not fill the water bottle to be heated more than two-thirds full with the “dirty” water and do not heat to a rolling boil because you do not want the dirty water to escape the bottle or for the cork to blow. Be careful to keep other contaminants out of the collection bottle. Also, you may need to distill the same water a few times to remove all of the contaminants.
See a video demonstrating the water distillation method in action:
How do you purify your water for a survival situation? Tell us below.