3 Easy Methods for Water Purification While Hiking

Clean drinking water is an essential resource for any survival situation. A strong and healthy person can survive without food for almost a month but just four or five days without water. Staying hydrated is often a problem when it comes to hiking. Hikers are exposed to harsh weather conditions and lose a lot of bloody fluids due to the extraneous activity. However, a person can only carry so much water on their backs and most backpackers only carry 2 liters of water at a time, which is the average amount of water consumed by a person daily.

Being dehydrated on the trail can be dangerous as it impairs cognitive functioning and can cause the hiker to become disoriented and confused. This increases the risk of injuries and accidents that can happen on the trail.

Unfortunately, finding clean drinking water can be difficult in remote locations where people usually go for their hiking and backpacking trips. The good news is that there are some simple water purification methods to help you stay hydrated on your outdoor adventure


The most tried and tested method of purifying water that has been used for centuries is boiling it. Most backpackers carry fire starters which means they can easily make a fire. All you need is a small saucepan or tin or steel container to add water and pace it on the flames. The boiling process kills off all the dangerous bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms that are usually found in natural water resources and the water becomes safe for drinking!


Another tried and tested method is using iodine to purify water. Most people carry iodine in their first aid kits, so it is easy to get your hands on it. All you need to do is to add a few drops of iodine to the water (ideally five to ten drops for one liter of water) and wait for 30 minutes. This allows the iodine to kill of most microorganisms and bacteria. However, it is often ineffective against Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which can cause diarrhea.

A female hiker drinking water from a cup at the campsite

Purification Tablets

Water purification tablets are becoming increasingly popular among hikers, backpackers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. They are an extremely convenient and very effective method of purifying the water ad making it safe to consume. Depending on the type of tablets you have, you need one or two tablets per liter of water and wait around 30 minutes for the water to be safe for drinking. Water purification tablets are inexpensive, small, and easy to carry, and can be added to any kind of water container.

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