One of the most important things you want to carry before you go hiking or trekking outdoors is water. Even though this naturally occurring gift is abundantly available, we cannot just use it the way we want. There is only a certain amount of fresh water available on Earth, that can be drunk without purifying it. So, before embarking on a journey outside, here are some useful tips as to how you can make water potable and safe enough to drink.

Boiled Water

The most primitive way of purifying water is to boil it. This has been done since ancient times, and it does not require any special equipment. Boiling water is the simplest way by which it can be made safe enough to drink. All you need is a metal pot and a stove. According to scientists, just one minute is enough to kill a lot of the impurities in water. At higher altitudes, though, one needs to boil water for longer in order to ensure maximum purity - be sure to check the advice for boiling water at high altitudes, if this applies to your intended route.

Using a Disinfectant

Certain disinfectants can cleanse water or purify it. Iodine or Chlorine are considered to be the best water disinfectants. A little bit of these can kill a lot of the harmful infectants in water. Chlorine and iodine can disinfect water by reducing the count of harmful impurities significantly. Also, the cloudy water needs to be strained properly after adding these solutions to it. This is a very effective way to purify water as it minimises the chances of waterborne diseases.

Filtering the Water

Filtering water can be yet another effective way to purify water to make it fit for drinking. Compact water filters are available to make water potable when you are outdoors. The compact water filters are easily available and are also very easy to carry around. The three common types are: gravity filters, pump filters, and squeeze filters.

Price of these filters vary, primarily based on micron rating, design, quality, etc. Before buying a filter, it would be wise to do a bit of research about the technical specifications to find out if it can remove all harmful pathogens or only a few of them. For instance, good water filters can do their work very quickly, and can remove around 99.96% of harmful bacteria as well as 99.9% of protozoa. But filters will not be effective in removing viruses from the water, so in order to ensure optimum purity of the water, it is wise to filter and boil the water before drinking it.