Be Prepared: Water, Lots And Lots Of Water

It’s week 4 in our Be Prepared like Normal People series. This week’s focus is water. We’re getting into the nitty gritty of emergency preparedness.

emergency preparedness

We have to have water. Have to. But it isn’t common sense to fill the basement with little water bottles. Where are you going to go with all those bottles? Nowhere. And what are you going to do with all the empty water bottles if there’s no recycling to be found? Fill up the basement.  Like I said, not common sense.

And water is heavy, if you are going to be on the move it might be the water or the kids. Choose wisely.

The tricky part about water is that it’s everywhere. Unless you are in the desert and then I am sorry about that. We can see the water but we can’t always trust it’s clean to drink. If you aren’t prepared to filter water you might be forced to drink dirty water.


In the middle of an emergency do you really want to risk an attack of beaver fever? Technically called Giardiasis and it’s the most common ailment of drinking unfiltered water in Canada. My point is an emergency is no time to be suffering from parasites.

Be prepared and there will be safe clean drinking water for all. Maybe even some clean water to wash your face and brush your teeth.

Water Filtering and Purification

There are many ways to filter and/or purify water and sure you can mix up a super cheap bleach solution and it will get the job done. Only a bleach solution just purifies the water, it won’t filter it so you’d be looking at gulping down a muddy glass of water. Maybe even with a few critters in it. Same with purification tablets.

Uhm, no.

I would only drink water that is both filtered and purified, a clean clear glass of water. So I’m only going to cover the methods that do both. ‘K?


Boiling and Distilling

Boiling and distilling takes some time, some supplies and requires a heat source. It’s not the most convenient method of filtering water.  But I think there’s merit in learning how to do it, Survivorman uses it nearly every episode. Using the two methods together filters out nearly all contaminants and debris.

One of the benefits of boiling and distilling is that nothing expires. And I like that. Also it’s super cheap, I like that too. The down side is that you need a fuel source and a big pot, not always convenient to carry.

Visit Mayeux Ministries How to Distill Water video for some boiling and distilling know how.


Water Filters

 Water filters come in several varieties. Some have a cleanable non-expiring filter. Others have a self-contained filter that captures all the contaminants and keeps them in the filter festering, like a hot soup of pathogens and parasites. Ew. These filters have an expiry date whether you’ve used it or not. They are not ideal for emergency preparedness.
Invest in a water filter with a cleanable non-expiring filter. We have an MSR Miniworks EX filter that we use for camping. It gets the job done, slowly and requires a lot of manual labour.
The benefit to a camping style filter is that they are lightweight and easy to pack and the filter will not expire. That said, the filter will max out after pumping so many litres, having a replacement is a good idea. A good water filter will get out debris and contaminates, it won’t help the taste much.


This is the newest and greatest on the water purification market. It filters all contaminates out of water and produces clean tasting water, quickly without any manually pumping. That’s a water filtration system I can support.
The AquaPail does not have a shelf-life but will expire after filtering a certain amount many gallons, similar to a water filter. Interestingly not only does it filter out micro-organisms but it will also kill them. No festering hot soup of pathogens.
I’ve been happy with our MSR filter until I learned about this Aqua Pail, I’m itching to give it a try. The downside to the Aqua Pail is that it’s expensive. It’s a save up your pennies kind of water purification system.



Basic Task:

  • Give boiling and distilling water a try. Either in the kitchen or on a campfire.
  • Determine which emergency water filtration system suits you and your family best.
  • Get started. Either save up or procure what you need.

Advanced Task:

  • Plan for emergency water in the car.
  • Plan for emergency water in a 72 hour travel kit.

Overachievers Task:

  • Have a dry water emergency run. Which should wet (get it?). Either camping or at home, imagine all the water is contaminated.
  • Try out all your filters and supplies. See what works and what doesn’t. Report back, please.



  1. Carol Anne says:

    Very interesting! That AquaPail sounds great. The “hot soup of pathogens and parasites,” not so much.

  2. Water is always the one I worry about. We keep some, but forget to check it, or use it and don’t refill our supply. Plus, the whole carrying thing. Water filter it is, and that aqua pail looks like a good idea.

    • I’m going to be saving up for one of those pails. We bring jugs when we go camping and the filter. The AquaPail seems like a simpler option.

  3. I had never really head of Aquapail! It really sounds and interesting system. The part of the world where I am living a certain Reverse osmosis is getting very popular. What technology does this AquaPail based on?

    • I hadn’t heard of it either. It’s a multi-level filter, check their website for more information. The advantage is that it’s so portable. I’ve never seen a portable reverse osmosis filter. Is there such a thing?

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