Water Filters for SHTF

Water filter

Water is what makes the world go round. Without it nothing will grow and humans need it so much that after 3 days we will shut down. With the recent issues in the US with hurricanes the subject of water has become a hot topic among some, especially those affected. So you have no clean drinking water around you, but you have a water filter. What kind of water filter is best for a disaster application in a city or large town?

Deep in the woods on a hike you have certain things to be concerned about in the local water, but in a city or large town it is a whole different ball game. You have the standard parasites, and bacteria, but you also have pesticides, chemicals, and viruses to contend with. What kind of water filter do you need to protect you and your family from the variety of contaminates found in a flooded city, or downstream from a flooded city.

Life Straw – Small compact size, inexpensive, and easy to use sums up the Life Straw. If you are going into the woods for a week or so and will be drinking from local bodies of water you would be wise to have one in your pack. If the SHTF and you will be drinking from area bodies of water like farm ponds, and rivers that run through cities, is it enough? Per Life Straws website it removes 99% of Bacteria and 99% of Parasites and that’s the extent of its filtering capabilities. It will not remove viruses or chemicals of any type, so using it in a stream deep in the woodlands might be acceptable, but you will need more for a water source in or near a city/town.


Sawyer Mini – The characteristics of the Sawyer Mini are essentially the same as the Life Straw. It will remove Bacteria and Parasites, but will not remove anything else. One of the main advantages over the Life Straw however is the amount of water it can process, which is a staggering 100,000 gallons.

Pitcher Filter/Faucet Filters – The popularity of filtered water is high in the United States, and one of the most popular methods are through pitchers with filters in them or filters that attached to your faucet. Unfortunately those filters will not help you much in a post SHTF situation. This is because they are made to remove the chlorine taste and other items like benzene, and copper. They will not filter out parasites or viruses, let alone chemicals. If in a post SHTF situation this is all you have…….it’s better than nothing.

Big Berkey – The Berkey line of filters are expensive and bulky, but well worth the money for removing contaminates. According to Berkey’s website it will remove 99.8% of Radiologicals, 99% of Heavy Metals, 99.9% of Pharmaceuticals, and 99% of Petroleum products on top of the usual viruses and bacteria. If you live in a city and are planning to Bug In, and will be getting water from questionable sources this is the filter for you.


Katadyn – The Pocket is a small sized filter intended for camping and backpacking, and like the Life Straw and Sawyer is good for Parasites and Bacteria. It doesn’t have the capacity of the Sawyer, but more than the Life Straw; its winning factor is the fact that the filter can be cleaned over and over. For a stationary Bug in situation though, Katadyn offers the Drip series, which has the Gravidyn. While it doesn’t remove as many contaminates as the Berkey filter it will reduce chemicals in water.

These are just a handful of the water filters on the market, but they are names I see most in Prepper posts throughout the web. For filtering water of as many contaminates as possible you will have to go big and stationary. None of the popular “pocket” sized filters will do the job. There are of course water filter systems that are made to go in the water line of your home which will filter out many contaminates. More than stationary those are permanent though, and would be hard to filter hand carried water from a water source through.

Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.

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