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Survival instincts in humans help them survive through emergencies, calamities, and national disasters. If you are to make a list of survival elements needed by any human, water is in the top three. During emergencies such as floods, and drought, water available for drinking, cooking or bathing is contaminated. Microorganisms, chemicals, and other impurities. You can get water from algae infested pools, paddles, contaminated rivers, and other sources and clean it for use.
Having basic human survival skills are advantageous during such occurrences. Water filtration and purification techniques can be used in converting the contaminated water to safe water for drinking. Filtration is responsible for removing all solid elements and bacteria from water. Purification is a step further which removes viruses and chemicals that are present in water.
So, what is the difference between a water filter and a water purifier?
Water Filters Vs. Water Purifiers
While most people use water filters and filters interchangeably, they are two different things.
- Water Filters
Water filters are more popular than purifiers. They remove impurities in water. These impurities include copper, lead, nickel, chlorine, and more compounds found in contaminated water sources. They also reduce bacteria and protozoa in the water though at a lower efficiency.
- Water Purifiers
Purifiers remove all bacteria, protozoa, viral, and parasite contaminants present in water. Water purifiers are not easy to find, but manufacturers develop them in conjecture with water filters. This ensures all microorganisms and chemicals are removed from water in one process.
In times of emergencies, here are the best water filters you can buy today;
Life Straw Universal Filter
The filter is designed to be used on water bottles. If you like carrying your water bottle around, you can get the fitting size. The stage two filter cleans up to 1,000 liters of water. Its efficiency is rated at 99% in removing bacteria, protozoa and other contaminants in water.
LifeStraw Personal Filter
The universal filter is easy to carry and can fit in any backpack, and duffel bag. It is highly recommended since it can filter up to 1,000 liters of water at high efficiency. When used, it removes approximately 99% of bacteria and protozoa. It costs $20.
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
Buying a low-cost filter system with high versatility in cleaning your water source. It removes impurities, protozoa, bacteria at an efficiency of 99.999% it can be used at the water source where it removes all impurities. The filter is easy to carry around, and you will enjoy drinking safe water. The $19 filter can clean up to 10,000 gallons of water.
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
The all-in-one package filter bottle has an efficiency of 99%. If you do no have disposable bottles, this is the ideal model. It goes for $45 and can filter 1,000 liters before replacing the filter.
Katadyn Hiker MicroFilter
Hiking is fun when you have a clean water supply. The model is one of the easiest to use filters in the market. All you need to do is to pull out the filter, pass water through the filter, and get 99% clean water. Its straightforward functionality makes it a great choice.
Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle
The filter works within 15 seconds to produce clean water. It uses the UV light to purify water to a 99% level. With this bottle, no pumping, squeezing, or sucking is needed to get clean water.
MSR Trailshot Water Filter
Hikers and adventurers commonly use the model because it is handy. Its sucking and squeezing features make it a god model to be used at a water source. It fills the bottle in 60 seconds and can filter 2,000 liters of water. It produced water at 99% free of impurities.
SteriPen Ultra UV Water Purifier
The purifier uses UV light to kill 99% protozoa and bacteria in water. The shortcoming of this model is that it only kills microorganisms but does not remove other impurities in your water. For water that is not hazy, it will make it drinkable. You will no longer incur costs to buy filters. The purifier can produce 15,000 liters of water.
Matador Hydrolite Packable Filtration
The filter Has a set of 2-liter hydration pack with a horse attached to a Sawyer mini filter. It can filter 100,000 gallons of water or a 30D water-proof puncture-resistant backpack. It has a stash pocket for expandable storage. It is however pricey with its costs averaging at $190.
MSR Guardian Water Purifier
The military-grade pump gets rid of bacteria, protozoa, and water viruses, making your water the cleanest. It is best for camping and hiking. It can produce up to 10,000 liters of water. Its cost is at $349 in most stores.
LifeSaver Bottle 6000
The filter is quite expensive as compared to other models. It goes for $150. Its high cost is attributed to its efficiency in purifying water. It kills 99% bacteria and can also fill up to 6,000 liters of water per cartridge.
Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System
The Berkey filter is useful for large groups of campers. It uses gravity to drive the dirty water through filters and down the collection container with a spigot. It can filter up to 6,000 gallons making it a suitable survival system.
The Survivor Filter Pro
The small and compact filter system removes 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in water. It also removes up to 99.5% heavy metals found in water. It is very fast making it an excellent choice for large water filtration. It produces 17 ounces of clean water in a minute. The filters can be used effectively to produce 100,000 liters and maintain high efficiency.
The dirty lines may contaminate clean ones.
Top Things to Consider When Buying Portable Water Filters
Drinking clean water is useful for your body regardless of where you are at. Portable water filters are favorites to travelers, hikers, and campers. Before buying one, check out for the following:
- Weight: A light water filer is very portable.
- Filtration speed: every filter has a specific filtration rate. A filter that produces more clean water at a fast rate is the best for traveling or camping.
- Filter Capacity: filter cartridges have a limited lifespan from the tie it is first used. Models that can be used for a long time and produce more gallons of water are ideal.
- Ease of Use: while most small and compact filters are easy to use, some have detailed installation and set-up instructions. Ensure you get a model that is comfortable and easy to use.
- Cost: always buy a filter that is within your budget.
Types of Survival Portable Water Filters
Straw Filters/ In-Line water filter
They are the lightest and most affordable water filters. They are made using straws for drinking water from the source.
- Easy to carry
- Have a long lifespan.
- Very affordable
Unlike the straw filters, these models have woven membrane filters. More pressure must be applied for water to pass through the membrane. They can remove bacteria and protozoa in water sources.
- Remove sediments and debris in the water.
- Improves water taste and the odor by removing particles.
- When holes are clogged, filtration stops.
- Cannot remove chemicals and metal pollutants dissolved in water.
Most pump filters are small and can fit in the backpack. Pumps rely on ceramic filters, fiber filters, and activated carbon. Filters are porous with 0.5-1 micron holes for water passage.
- Can block asbestos, lead and other heavy metals from passing to your water.
- Improves the water’s taste and smell.
- Does not eliminate beneficial minerals form your water.
- Low maintenance costs since carbon filters are replaced once annually.
- Ceramic filters do not stop organic compounds from passing to your water.
- The fiber membrane could turn to be a breeding zone for bacteria if not replaced on time.
Most bottle filters use fiber filters and carbon activated filters. They are conducive for travelers and adventurers since they can fetch and clean water with their drinking bottle with ease. Only clean water will reach your mouth.
- Reduces arsenic, heavy metals, and other dangerous contaminants in water.
- All beneficial minerals will remain in the water.
- Blocks bacteria and protozoa from reaching you.
- Fluoride and cadmium are not removed.
Gravity filters are made using two containers placed on each other. To filter, water is added on the top container, and it passes through filter mediums before reaching the bottom container. Most use a combination of activated carbon and ceramic to filter contaminated water.
- Removes bacteria, protozoa, and parasites in water.
- Can remove chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides.
- Removes chlorine from water.
- Filters last up to 1 year before replacement.
- Takes time to assemble
- Some need large filters which are not very common.
- If the second container is not clean, it may contaminate the water again.
UV Light Filters
Portable UV filters are handful picks for hikers and campers. Some run on batteries while others have a rechargeable solar panel which is useful in the process of filtration.
- Perfect for killing bacteria and microorganisms in water.
- It’s very fast.
- Improves water taste and smell.
- Not ideal especially for very dirty water since sediments and debris are not removed.
- Does not remove chlorine and heavy metal contaminants.