December 15, 2015


As per the survival rule of threes, you've got about 3 days before you are incapacitated due to lack of water.  That puts it among your higher survival priorities in the grand scheme of things.

Water weights about 8 lbs. a gallon.  The US Army recommends a daily consumption of 50-75% of your body weight in ounces, depending on your level of activity.  1 gallon = 128 ounces  =  4 quarts.  So, if you weigh 150 lbs.: 150x.75=112.5 ounces or .8 gallons That's about 6 1/2 pounds for each day's worth of water.

Now let's think 72 hours, because a lot of preppers like that time frame for short-term emergencies.  72/24=3 days. 3x6.5=19.5 lbs for your water supply for that period.

Due to the weight and bulk of water supplies over a period of time, a lot of us get water filters to help provide for our hydration needs.

My primary field filter is an MSR Waterworks.  I picked this one because I liked the construction quality, maintenance parts were readily available, and you can clean the filter (and restore full operation) with a steel wool pad.  The Waterworks is discontinued, but you can get the MSR Miniworks, shown below:


That would be my primary filter.  For a secondary filter system, I found these Frontier Straw-type filters:

I picked up a couple back East, but haven't been able to source them locally.  I did, however, find a better substitute made by Sawyer:

It comes with a small 16 oz water bag, but can be attached directly to plastic soda/water bottles you may scrounge up along the way.   You can also use it as a regular straw filter.

Throw one of these in your kit, and at least you won't go thirsty.

I don't care for Camelback-type hydration bladders after I had one spring a leak in a pack during a hike.  I stick to 1 and 2 quart GI Canteens, and Nalgene bottles.   The GI canteens have a cup and stove that fit over them in the canteen pouch, and the Nalgene bottles screw directly onto the bottom of my MSR Filter.  The MSR will also screw onto the bottom of a Camelback for those of you who run them.

1 comment:

  1. Having a couple of paper coffee filters to rubber band onto the intake of any filtration device will give its filter a lot more life. For most intake devices, a single coffee filter can be quartered with a knife to make them go further. Paracord, broke down, solves the problem of attachment to intake device when rubber bands have seen their fill of ozone, and fail when you try to use them.

    People who want to branch out from USGI cups and canteens might look at the British system: One imperial quart bottle with a large mouth; a bail-handle plastic cup which fits over the top of the water bottle; a bail-handle stainless steel cup that the bottle fits into; and a hexy stove that the cup fits into. Lid for the cooking cup costs a couple bucks extra. All fits, with its fitting fits, in a dedicated MOLLE pouch similar to a USGI GP pouch, but bigger. The British rig's pouch has some room for hexy tabs and tea bags or coffe pouches, plus matches. This is a serious rig for a people who take tea breaks seriously. Operation Market Garden comes to mind.

    I've never been able to like bail handles on canteen cups. Wondering why our .mil changed from L-handle to bails a long generation or so back. Could have been because the draft ended and the volar army started, that might be too cynical. L-handles are more easily broken due to abuse than bail handles. But L-handled cups probably cost more to make, also.

    Seeing as how it's winter: people who don't have them, might consider being on the lookout for WW2-era 1-qt stainless canteens. These are the ones that have a folded horizontal seam, not the aluminum ones that have welded side seams. These canteens give a person the ability to heat up a larger volume of water. Drawback, is that letting the canteen's content at full volume, will likely rupture the seam (happened to me, but was fixable.)

    And on canteens, a person just should have a USGI arctic 1qt canteen rig. It's not so great of a thermos, but its plastic cork will pop off prior to rupturing the rig due to the freezing of its contents. And its cup his huge, for soup and such, and has the L-handle rather than bails.