5 of the best ways to get drinkable water while in the field

Food, water, and shelter are three essentials that everyone needs to survive while out in the field.

Out of those three resources, water reigns supreme. Humans can live without food and shelter for extended periods of time, but no more than a week (typically less) without water. But, if you’re in a war zone, how do you fill up your canteens when you’ve been in the field for days and there’s no sign of resupply?

Well, we’re glad you asked.

If you’re near a body of water and can pump or collect water, you’ll need to put it through some filtration before ingesting it safely.

Related: This forgotten soldier survived 4-months in Dunkirk by himself

1. Boil the water

If you’re in an area where creating a fire to boil water is safe — do it. Bring water to a full boil and let it continue for at least a minute. Once the time is up, cut the heat and let the water cool down. Filter the water through a clean flannel or t-shirt or before you drink it to remove small particles of debris.

2. Use a UV light water kit

UV light is widely used to kill bacteria and other organisms found in water. However, this method won’t remove metals and other harmful minerals. Filter the water through a clean flannel or t-shirt before you drink.

3. Iodine and chlorine tablets

This method chemically kills the bacteria and other organisms living in the water. Pay close attention to the directions on the tablet box or you could end up ingesting a few million harsh, little critters.

Iodine and chlorine tablets

4. Use a LifeStraw

This device is an ultra lightweight, clean water drinking system that works without using any chemicals, batteries, or moving parts. This ingenious device is perfect if you, unfortunately, are desperate enough to drink from a rainwater puddle left a tire track in the mud.

Yes. We admit, that scenario was nasty — but it can happen.

Also read: 14 images that hilariously portray your first day on a field op

5. Portable filtration pump

This unique hand-pump system allows you to efficiently filter clean water from streams, creeks, and other bodies directly into your canteen.