Having clean water to drink is something you will really appreciate after the SHTF. Since drinking contaminated water can wreak havoc on your body in more ways than one, being able to drink free of worry that you will ingest waterborne bacteria or waterborne protozoan parasites and cysts is of the utmost value to you. Avoiding things like Giardia, E. Coli and Cryptosporidium in an already uncertain world post TEOTWAWKI is priceless, but the good news is that you can do so for about $20.00.
In the past we have discussed using coffee filters and even tampons for water filtration. Those are still great ideas, but better yet is carrying something reusable that can filter through 264 gallons or 1,000 liters of water to make it immediately drinkable. No heat source or boiling is required; all you have to do is insert one handy device into a water source and suck like you would when drinking through a straw.
Fact of the matter is that you will be drinking through a straw: a LifeStraw. The LifeStraw, a Time Magazine Invention of the Year award winner, is the invention of Vestergaard Frandsen of Switzerland for use in Africa during the course of humanitarian projects. Since Africa is known to have unsavory things in its waters that can make people very ill, the LifeStraw is especially important to individuals living or traveling in remote areas without access to luxuries such as clean, running water. Although this tool was created with Africa in mind, it is still extremely useful to anyone who might find themselves without clean drinking water regardless of location.
The LifeStraw has no chemical components, no moving parts, and requires no batteries. It is about nine inches in length by one inch and diameter and weighs approximately two ounces. Although it does take a few seconds to get the flow of water started initially, you can suck a high rate of water through it after that. Being that it is light and easy to store, it is the perfect addition to a BOB, vehicle, or even your pocket. You also do not have to worry about it failing due to reaching the end of its functionality (264 gallons) because when it can no longer filter effectively, it stops working.
Sure you can boil water to drink in a crisis scenario, but boiling takes time, especially in the event of a power outage. If you are in the wilderness, you will have to collect materials to start a fire, then wait for it to heat water to a boil. Once your water has boiled away all of the microorganisms and bacteria you do not wish to consume, it then needs to be cool before you can drink it without scalding yourself. You can go through all of this, or you can pull a LifeStraw out of your pocket and drink immediately from any water source.
With the LifeStraw it is possible to lay down on a river bank and drink immediately from that body of water. If the body of water from which you are drinking is muddy, you may have to pause and blow back through the straw to push mud out before returning to sucking clean drinking water through your straw. Another option is to fill a cup or bottle of water and insert your LifeStraw through the mouth opening and suck like you would a regular straw. After use, shake excess water from your LifeStraw before storing. Do keep in mind that LifeStraw does not filter salt, chemicals, viruses, or heavy metals and it will not give water a more pleasant taste.
A great LifeStraw testimonial can be located here. While the LifeStraw is well-known, it is one of many filtration products and you should explore different options to find one you are comfortable using. Similar possibilities include the Seychelle Water Filter Purifier Drinking Straw, the Outdoor Survival Water Filtration Purifier Drinking Pip Straw, and the Personal Water Philtre Straw should you want to keep your options open. Any filtration device will improve water quality; it is just a matter of how much improvement you get and how much you are willing to spend to get it.