There is tons of useful water-related gear available.
It is commonly said that you can survive up to three days without water. However, you really don’t want to be a test case.
Access to clean water makes everything else in a crisis much easier to handle. Clear, running water can still be teeming with waterborne pathogens just waiting to turn a bad day even worse. At home, having the means to quickly set aside a large amount of clean water and keep it protected from contamination can also be crucial.
There are tons of useful water-related products available. Here are just a few to get you thinking about filling your water needs.Sawyer S3 Foam Filter
If you are traveling in an area where heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury, as well as pollutants and pesticides, for instance, might be present in the water, the S3 Foam Filter is a great option. Its replaceable foam membrane removes waterborne pathogens such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses. To operate, fill the silicone bottle with water and screw on the filter. Squeeze the bottle, alternating from the top to the bottom, for about 10 seconds. Then, either drink directly from the bottle or pour the water into another container. It isn’t a permanent solution, but, that said, one filter should be sufficient for one adult for a month or two of daily use.
- Size: 14.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 10 ounces empty
- Capacity: 20 ounces
- Filter life: 400 refills/62.5 gallons
- Includes cleaning plunger
The Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier is a pocket-sized device that uses a mix of salt and water to create an oxidizing solution to disinfect water. You add brine to the device, select the amount of water you are disinfecting, and it creates the solution. Pour the solution into your water and wait the prescribed time. The Potable Aqua PURE is effective against all waterborne pathogens, including viruses.
- Size: 1.2 x 1.7 x 3.7 inches
- Weight: 3.8 ounces
- Treats from 1–20 liters of water at a time
- Rechargeable via built-in solar panel
Chlorine dioxide tablets are an improvement over the older, iodine-based version. These not only disinfect the water, they also usually improve the taste a bit. These tablets are effective against bacteria, viruses and cysts, including giardia and cryptosporidium. Drop one tablet into a liter of water and let it react for four hours before drinking. As the tablet dissolves, it creates chlorine dioxide, a water-soluble gas that will penetrate the cell walls of waterborne pathogens and kill them.
- Available in 20- and 30-tablet packages
- Shelf life of four years from the date of manufacture
- One tablet treats 1 liter of water
- No unpleasant chlorine smell or taste
MSRP: Starts at $11.99 (20 tablets)
Incorporating Sawyer’s Point ZeroTWO filter, this system couldn’t be easier to use. The kit comes with a gray reservoir, blue reservoir, filter and tubes. Fill the gray reservoir with up to 4 liters of questionable water and then hang it from a tree. Connect the gray tube to that bag and then to the filter. Connect the blue tube from the filter to the blue reservoir. Let gravity pull the water through the filter. In about 10 minutes, you’re ready to drink with the help of this gear.
- Filters up to 4 liters at a time
- Removes viruses, bacteria, protozoa and cysts
- Includes syringe and adapter for backwashing to clean the filter
- Skip the blue reservoir to direct filtered water into a cookpot or water bottle
Many urban buildings have exterior faucets that lack handles. These hose bibs are designed to help reduce or eliminate theft or vandalism. You’ll find these handle-less faucets on schools, office buildings, stores, rest stops and even some high-rise apartment buildings. If water is still flowing from the taps in the building, a sillcock key will allow you to access the water using the outdoor spigot. The sillcock key includes four sizes: 1/4 inch, 9/32 inch, 5/16 inch and 11/32 inch.
- Dimensions: 6.5 inches on each side
- Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Allows access to most modern tamper-resistant hose bibs
- For emergency use only
Given a little advance warning, you can add upward of 100 gallons of water to your emergency supply. Roll out the WaterBOB in your bathtub and fill it up. Once it is full, screw on the caps. When you need water, attach the included siphon and use it to pump water out into a pitcher or other container. Keep in mind that this is a one-time-use item. Once you’re done with it, slice open one side, let it drain and toss it into your recycling bin.
- Holds up to 100 gallons of water in an airtight bladder
- Fits in any standard bathtub
- Fills in about 20 minutes, depending on faucet’s flow rate
- Keeps water clean and fresh for about four months
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the Prepper Fall, 2018 print issue of American Survival Guide.