Portable Water Filtration System: a Necessity for Survival in a Disaster

Having a good portable water filtration system could mean the difference between life and death in a long term survival scenario. Many of the situations that you're preparing for involve the use of chemicals, nuclear radiation or the shutting down of municipal systems such as the water supply.

In all of these scenarios, your access to clean water will at best be restricted and in the worst case scenario will be non-existent. A portable system will allow you to get through the first few days while you get real information about what's going on. 

Key Features

When you're looking for the best portable water filtration system for your needs, you should look out for the following key features:

  • Longevity - there's no way of knowing how long you'll be relying on your portable water filtration system for, so you need to find one that will give you multiple uses. You should make some simple calculations based on each adult in your party needing at least two liters per day plus water for cooking and cleaning to give you an idea of how many liters you'll need. Work on a worst case scenario of being reliant on the portable system for a week and use the total number of liters needed as a guide.
  • Small filters - most filtration systems will take out the large pollutants in the water, but for truly sterile and drinkable water, you need to find ones that have filters small enough to pick out radiation and disease. You'll find that each system measures their filtering system in nanometers, and as a rough guide, the polio virus is 25 nanometers wide so you'll want a system with numbers in that range. Obviously you'll pay more for the smallest filters but it's worth it in the long run. 
  • Volume - lastly you'll need to consider how many liters the system can filter at one time. Special bottle tops that fit over normal plastic bottles will typically filter around two liters a minute, while the more heavy duty systems can give you up to three gallons a minute. You'll need to find the best compromise depending on the overall size of your survival party.

Portable Water Filtration System Best Buys

With your portable water filters checklist in hand, you're ready to start shopping. The following brands offer a market leading filtration system using slightly different techniques:

  • Lifesaver - the Lifesaver jerry can works on the same principle as the screw top filtration systems but on a larger scale. The jerry can holds 18 liters and is good for over 20,000 liters of usage. It also comes with a shower attachment meaning that you can get more use out of the system than just cooking and drinking. Expect to pay around $250 from online stores.
  • Aqua Sun - if you've got a larger party or further to travel, the Aqua Sun range should be your choice. Each portable system operates using solar power meaning that it will be usable when you get to your base camp. They come in briefcase form, making them easy to transport and protect and will filter 60 gallons an hour in full sunlight. You will need to provide your own water storage containers and at nearly $1500, you need to be sure it's the right option.
  • Steripen - the final filtration system worth checking out is the Steripen. This clever device looks like a thick needle and you simply place the needle in your water and it will be fully sterilized in under a minute. It is USB rechargeable making it perfect for travel and comes in at less than $100.

Don't assume that bigger is always better as you will need to transport your portable water filtration system over all sorts of terrain as you get to your safe camp. Make sure that it meets the needs of your group without being too difficult to maneuver. 

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