Selecting water purification strategies, method and equipment for bug out and bug in scenario


I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 months working hard on getting a 8-12 month food supply in place – I’m pretty much there.  I’ve got the beginnings of a decent first aid kit / medicine stock, etc – more work to do here but I have a good base to build on.  We have a solid plan for home and property defense.  But when I take a good hard look at my preps, I realize my water prep situation is in need of some serious improvement.  And since, without water safe drinking water, my 8-12 month supply of food will be pretty useless, I figure I should go ahead and get things corrected as soon as possible.

I read the fantastic Prepared review / guides on Best Portable Survival Water Filters and Best Home Water Filters.  Great information, but I must admit I am still quite overwhelmed as there are so many different options and set ups!  I believe I am stuck in an “analysis paralysis” situation.  So I thought I would post asking for some guidance in making a decision on what gear to buy.  

First, let me outline my current water situation and also what I’m trying to prepare for:

Current Water Situation and Set Up:

  • I have about 1.5 weeks worth of drinking water (store-bought bottled water) in my prepper pantry.  I am going to try to add a bit more bottled water but there isn’t much more space for it.
  • We own our own house – we live in a smaller resort town in New England, but the area where our house is located is relatively rural.  
  • On our property, we have a good sized pond with a small natural fresh water stream feeding the pond.  We are going to be adding trout to our pond in the next few weeks.  Our pond water is not clear and there is a large amount of muck and silt on the bottom of the pond – we have been working hard to clean it up.  Needless to say we don’t swim in the pond. This will take some time to clean up.
  • I do have a biomass emergency stove that I bought several years ago that I could use to boil water (for dried food pouches, etc).  But boiling for water purification just doesn’t seem like a good long term option, as pointed out in some of the excellent guides on this website.

What I Would Like to Prepare For:

  • Get Home Situation – surviving on foot getting back to my house from my work.  On foot it would be probably a two day walk if on the highway / paved roads, probably a day or more longer if I had to go through rough terrain like the woods.  While it’s possible I would encounter water sources on the journey, I haven’t really spent much time planning a route back home from my work, nor have I spent any time looking at potential water sources that I could find on the way.  However, it’s safe to assume that in Northern New England in the woods I would encounter some fresh water on my way.  Also, if we had to bug out, I would imagine my water preps for the get home situation would also work for a bug out situation?
  • Bug In Situation – most scenarios I am preparing for center around a bug in situation that would last months, perhaps up to a year.  I am not at the point in my preparedness where my family and I could survive long term (gardening, chickens, livestock, etc).  At this point my goal is to ensure myself, my two small children and my husband could survive without having to leave our property for up to one year.  

A Few Other Things For Consideration:

  • For all of my water preps, I am concerned about filtering out viruses as well as bacteria and protozoa.  Chemicals if possible.  
  • I have a two year old and a 4 year old, so hard to suck from water filtration bottles aren’t an option for them, nor is the survival straw option really.
  • I am willing to invest in the best, most durable water filtration / treatment options.  Even if it takes multiple months I’ll save up the money.  Buy once, cry once?
  • One thing that I am quite confused about is finding a filtration option that will last reliably for a year?  I know there are so many options and there are limits on how long the filters will last.

I appreciate everybody’s help in advance with helping me make these decisions and providing guidance and feedback!


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