Survival Tips: 3 Ways to Treat Water

You can go about three days without water. Whether you are hiking the Appalachian Trail, backpacking in another country or need some clean water in general, having safe drinking water is essential for survival. Keep reading to learn about our Survival Tips: 3 Ways to Treat Water.

Treating water is essential in any of these situations:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hotels with dirty water
  • Traveling to another country/developing country
  • Any place where you think the water is contaminated

There are three methods to treat your water:

1) Chemical

2) Purification

3) Filtration


The water at your house is most likely treated this way! A lot of municipalities use Chlorine Dioxide to treat your drinking. Using Chlorine Dioxide to treat your water kills bacteria while enhancing the taste by neutralizing unpleasant flavors. The CDC even recommends using Chlorine Dioxide for disinfecting water. That’s a good thing to keep in mind next time you’re on your outdoor adventures.  

Unlike other water treatments that contain iodine, chlorine dioxide is a powerful oxidant, making it more capable to kill protozoan cysts such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia which are liable for more than 80% of waterborne illnesses.

We recommend using the Aquamira Water Treatment 1 oz.

Benefits to using the Aquamira Water Treatment:

  • Kills odor-causing bacteria while improving the taste of drinking water.
  • Treatment has a 4-year shelf life
  • Treats up to about 30 gallons or 120 liters
  • No aftertaste
  • Lightweight and minimal in size
  • Easy to use
  • Made in the USA

The only thing to consider for using this method is the amount of time that the process takes. We recommend having a second drinking water container. Drink that as you wait for the process to complete.

How to Treat Water using the Aquamira Water Treatment

1)Pour 7 drops of Part A and 7 drops of part B into mixing cap.

2)Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow chemicals to work.

3)Mixture should go from a clear to a bright yellow color when finished.

4)Add mixture to drinking water and shake or stir bottle or hydration bladder.

5)If using a Nalgene bottle, flip the bottle upside down and slightly unscrew the lid to allow treated water to fill the lid and cover the threads. (This is called threading!).

6)After mixing, let water stand for 15 more minutes before drinking. Wait 30 minutes if water is very cold or turbid.

7)Drink up!


Water purifiers remove waterborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and protozoan cysts. They are also known for filtering heavy metals, chemicals, particulates, pesticides, herbicides, and microplastics. This is done through ion exchange which permanently binds pathogens. While this whole process is cleaning your drinking water, it is also improving the taste!

We recommend using the Grayl Geopress Purifier.

Benefits of using the Grayl Geopress Purifier

  • Quick and easy: Only takes 8 seconds per 24 oz (5 liters/minute).
  • Removes waterborne pathogens
  • Filter particulates: silt, microplastics, etc.
  • Activated carbon: absorbs chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, flavors and odors
  • Durable: built to withstand impacts while on your adventures (10 ft drops onto concrete)
  • BPA-Free: made from polypropylene #5, food-grade silicone, TPE, ABS food-grade plastic

How to Treat Water Using the Grayl Geopress Purifirer

1)Twist and pull Outer Refill from Inner Press

2)Scoop water with Outer Refill and place on hard, flat surface

3)Turn cap half a turn to allow air to vent during purification

4)Using your bodyweight, press the Inner Press into Outer Refill as it purifies

5)Drink up!


Filtration systems are preferred if you are wanting fast and easy results. Filtered water improves the drinking water’s taste and is also chemical free. It is also easy to maintain while on the trail. Filtration systems need to be cleaned regularly for complete results.

Although they are easy to use, filtration systems are the heaviest options, and they require regular maintenance to prevent clogging. However, another factor to consider is that they do not kill viruses.

We recommend using the Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System and the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter Water Filtration System.

Benefits of the Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System:

  • Certified for 0.1-micron filtration, meaning there is no pore size larger than 0.1 micron in size
  • Kills removes 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa (salmonella, cholera, E. coli, cryptosporidium and giardia)
  • Water passes at high flow rate for easy drinking

How to Treat Water Using the Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System

1)Fill drinking pouch/water bottle with water.

2)Screw the Micro Squeeze onto pouch/water bottle.

3)Drink up!

Benefits of the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter Water Filtration System:

  • Quick and easy use: disinfects water immediately
  • Removes dirt particles and sediment from water
  • Filter physically removes particles, protozoa and bacteria down to 0.2 microns in size
  • Activated carbon: reduces chemicals and improves taste

How to Treat Water Using the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter Water Filtration System

1)Place input hose in a fresh water source. Adjust the float to prevent prefilter off the bottom and away from sediment.

2)Insert bottle adaptor into a clean water container or connect hydration connector to bladder

3)Begin pumping handle a in slow and steady manner. Approximately 48 strokes per minute = 1 liter of water

4)Remove bottle adaptor/hydration connector from container/bladder.

5)Remove prefilter from water source

6)Continue pumping to empty remaining water from pump body.

7)Drink up!

Before your next adventure, it’s always a good idea to have a water treatment method on hand. Don’t let your trip get ruined because of only having unclean water to drink. The quality of your drinking water has a huge impact on how much you’ll enjoy your adventure!

*Use code SQUATCH for 15% off your water treatment purchase*

Red Beard’s Outfitter

Inspiring Adventure