Water- filter/ purifier types
This will be a fast look at popular types of water filters and purifiers in the prepper context.
Filter Vs. Purifier?
Im going to go with the lowest common denominator first.
A filter can remove bacteria, which are most likely to make you sick. This also includes bugs like Crypto which are parasites and are larger enough for the filter to remove.
A Purifier removes or more usually kills Viruses.
That’s the big difference between them. That’s it. Everything else is just wrapping and what you can use it for.
Straw Type filters-
These are popular and for good reasons.
They are easily carried in a pocket, or bag.
They are wrapped in decent packaging so they are protected from damage.
Included in these types are the Sawyer, which is kind of a hybrid which I will explain in a minute.
In this category is also the Filter/Bottle combinations. There are a ton of these, it comes down to the same thing, never drink from the bottle without the straw unless you wash the bottle first to avoid contaminating your clean water.
Downsides to the straw types?
The biggest is they aren’t good for filling a separate container with clean water. This is the biggest detractor from the straw types. Also, they aren’t good for a group, each person should have 1 of their own for drinking water.
Some of the straw types can be rigged as a gravity filter with additional hoses and 2 containers needed.
The hazard here, you have to keep clean water out of the container which had dirty water or it will cross contaminate.
Another huge drawback for me, you might not see it.
I like freeze dried food in pouches, just heat water and add to the pouch.
If I have to suck water through this to get clean water, what am I going to do, drink water then eat the freeze dried stuff dry?
Or spit the water after Ive sucked it out of wherever, back into the pot to heat it?
Something to think about when you are packing things which need to be together to work. If you cant use your filter to get water for your food, you need a larger container to boil water to purify it.
The biggest drawback to the straws and bottles where I live.
Stock tanks filled by windmill or pumped from another source can have up to 6 inches of algae built up on top of the water. I found out the hard way when I had a straw instead of my MSR at a tank like this. I spent a good amount of time trying to get enough water exposed to drink with the straw.
A pump type with a hose long enough to get below the algae works great.
These are simple in concept
You fill 1 container with water, gravity pulls it through the filter elements and then the clean water collects in a second container.
In my opinion, there is only 1 for home or base camp use
These are literally what everything tries to be. Great filters and easily to rebuild with spare parts.
They are great to keep on the kitchen counter for filtering municipal water out of the tap. They will also filter fluoride/arsenide with the optional elements
Other options if your budget doesn’t allow for a Berkey right now
Lifestraw makes a gravity system for families for base camp use. Not the most portable for use on the go but you get clean water out of the hose which can be heated without contamination of your cooking or drinking containers.
Ive honestly never used this filter, I have a Berkey in my kitchen and I am very pleased with it.
Im going to add this filter here again now, readers of this blog will eventually get sick of it but I love it
I wont bore you with details about why I love the MSR, look here if you are curious:)
I run with the Miniworks and call it good.
A purifier does exactly that. It takes questionable water and removes or kills everything including viruses.
Or almost everything
The thing to remember is you are not doing yourself any favors by going cheap if you want a purifier.
In the US, MOST viruses are vaccinated against in adults so do you “need” a purifier?
That depends on wanting a ‘pretty good” vs “best just in case”
Or vice versa, use the tabs to kill the bugs, then filter it to get the rest of the garbage out. Whatever works for you.
Like all of my posts, you need to get out and learn what works for yourself.
Water filter /purifier types