Making your own water purifier in the Wilderness

Make a water purifier and survive the apocalypseMaking your own water purifier in the wilderness isn’t as tough as it may sound! Sure, the wilderness is a little overwhelming, and you may be lacking the sophistication of man-made plastics, but you can still come up with all of the resources you need to survive! The first thing you will need to find, is some flexible bark. Birch bark has been suggested by many people as a good flexible bark for this step, as it will need to be curled into a filter. This filter can be wedged into some rocks or anywhere that allows you to access both the top (to pour dirty water in) and the bottom (to retrieve the funneling, filtered water). You can use a piece of rope or rip off a strip of clothing to tie the cone shape up, if you prefer, however, it is oftentimes doable without any rope or tether material. Make sure to leave an opening at the bottom (the top should be wider).

After you have constructed your cone, you will want to line the cone appropriately, also known as “layering”. This involves finding some filter material, grass, gravel or small rocks are all excellent choices. In a tight spot, you can use sand, however, you may need to place some cloth or grass at the bottom to avoid the sand spilling into the drinking container. Charcoal is next, the middle of the funnel and most of the material should be charcoal. Please refer to the above material on “How to make your own Activated Charcoal”. It is important that it is activated charcoal in order to remove the bacteria.


The top of the funnel should consist of a couple of inches (at least) of small gravel, rocks, or grass. You can use whatever you used in the bottom of the cone once again. This first layer collects the majority of the gunk in your dirty water. The charcoal filters the bacteria. The bottom layer filters any remaining small pieces which have still made their way through the cone.

Finally it is time to filter the dirty water and produce higher quality drinking water. Pour your dirty water, very slowly, through the top of the cone, with your clean water container ready to receive the purifying water exiting the bottom of the cone. Remember, since this cone is a crude wilderness water purifier, pouring slow is essential in keeping your purifying cone intact. You may want to re-filter the same water multiple times in order to increase the purification of the drinking water.

Note: This does not completely purify the water and should be considered for emergencies only. This method will somewhat purify the water and provide much cleaner drinking water.

Emergency Water Purification Methods

Here are two emergency water purification must haves, which we recommend on amazon:

AquaMira Military Water Purifier Tablets, Chlorine Dioxide, Pack of 50

Survival Personal Water Filter - Purifier Straw for Camping, Hiking and Prepping | Filters Bacteria and Parasites (Green Paracord Fire Starter)

Creating a Solar Still Water Purifying Device

The sun is an excellent reusable resource which can be harnessed to create your very own solar still, which indeed can purify water. Yes - you can use the sun to purify your drinking water! Things you will need to create your own solar still:

  • (1) Large bowl to hold water
  • (1) Weighted cup (a cup that will sink when placed in water)
  • (1) Medium weight stone, smaller than your fist.
  • (1) Cellophane / Clear plastic food wrap

Place the bowl in the sun, and fill the bowl with your dirty water, but not to the top of the bowl. You should leave enough room to place the heavy cup in the center of the bowl, without allowing any of the dirty water to “spill into” the cup. The cup will be where your purified water will escape to, so you want to keep this cup clean on the inside (even though it’s sitting in the dirty water).

Drinking Water from a Wilderness Emergency purficiation coneNow you will wrap the cellophane tightly across the top. The plastic wrap needs to be pressed tightly to the bowl, creating a dome surrounding the cup in the center of the dirty water. Place the stone on top of the cup at this point. Place the entire contraption in the direct sun, allowing the water to evaporate. The weighted part of the cellophane, where you placed the rock, is directly above the cup, therefore, as the heat builds in the dome, clean drinking water from the evaporation process is directed to drip into the cup. The impurities will be left behind in the bowl. The cup will contain cleaning, purified drinking water. This can be replicated on a more massive scale, with larger ingredient equipment, to produce greater evaporated, purified water gains. It may take multiple hours to accomplish a complete evaporation, sometimes days or even weeks, depending upon the amount of sun available and size of purification system.


Note: Evaporation can sometimes leave parasites in the water, so it is advised you still boil the water after it has been purified through the evaporation method.

Please remember: These mentioned methods of purification are intended to remove biological impurities and threats (bacteria etc) and cannot remove all threats. In order to remove chemical threats, special processes and/or chemical filters are required; thus it is suggested you also care about where you attain your water. Choose natural streams which show no sign of a source of contamination (no mills or industrial development zones nearby).

Tags: how to make a water purification device in the wilderness, how to purify water in the wilderness, how to purify water for survival, organic water purification method, purify water for survival in the woods, how to purify your water while camping

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