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Filter from Nature

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Hey, Camp Folks!

There are lots of cool things you learn throughout your camp stay. Some are crafty while some are athletic, others are academic and some are survival skills. The proper filtration of water is an essential survival skill which can come in very handy should you ever find yourself in need in the wilderness! Water filters can be made with common camping material and other natural items from around a campfire. Check out what you need:

Plastic bottle, scissors, cloth, charcoal, sand, grass, and rocks.

It’s surprisingly easy to put together. Simply cut off the bottom of your plastic bottle, position it upside-down, and lay a small piece of cloth over the mouthpiece opening—this is just to ensure nothings falls through. Gather some charred pieces of wood around the campfire for your charcoal and fill the top inch or two of your water bottle with it. On top of that, add an inch or two of sand. Then roll up a good handful of grass and put that on top of the sand. Last, add a couple inches of rocks.

Pour your stream water or whatever water source you have handy over the stones in your plastic bottle. The water will run past the rocks which will filter out any larger particles like chunks of sticks, leaves, or dirt in your water.

After that, the grass will catch any other larger particles like frog eggs and other things you definitely don’t want to drink!

The water then reaches the sand which starts working on catching lots of the smaller contaminants that slipped by the rocks and grass.

Lastly, the water passes through the charcoal to give it its final and, in some ways, most important stage in filtration. I say most important because the charcoal layer is the one that works on the most micro level removing contaminants from the water that you can’t even see!

Now that this water is filtered, keep in mind that you still don’t want to drink this—you just ran water past a bunch of stuff that you found on the ground! It’s not purified for consumption! You need to boil the water. Parasites that can do you harm cannot survive at 170-175°F, so bringing your water to a rolling boil is a surefire way to provide yourself with properly purified and 100% safe water for drinking.

Enjoy your drinking water and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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