The Best Types of Water Filters in an Shtf Emergency Scenario

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Water is essential for survival, and the fact is, you can only live for up to 3 days without it. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep a bottle (approximately 20 oz) of potable water with you at all times to rehydrate when needed. As a prepper, preventing last-minute planning is always crucial, and it is essential to consider how to make it through an SHTF disaster before it occurs.

Flooding, electricity failures, and water supply contamination are common after natural disasters like a hurricane strike. Bacteria and organisms from chemicals or sewage leaks can cause serious illness when they mix with groundwater. Furthermore, streams, lakes, and rivers can also get contaminated with toxic substances.

Water filters are portable devices that ensure you always have access to safe, purified water. Using different treatment systems, you can transform undrinkable, unsafe water into clean water at any time. Water filters come in various models depending on your requirements. Water filter pitchers are certainly the most popular type providing water free of bad tastes and odors, but they’re not the best for emergency scenarios. Which filters are? Let’s find out!

Hurricane in Key West

Things to Keep In Mind When Selecting an Emergency Water Filter


When shopping for your prepper’s water filter, it is crucial to think about your convenience. There’s no point in buying a water filter that is not portable, as you’ll be uncomfortable carrying it around.

Filter Speed

If you plan on sharing your water filter with others, the filtration speed per minute is another vital factor to keep in mind. Some filters purify only a few ounces of water, while others can go up to 20 ounces at a time. Finding a filter that filters quickly consequently produces more potable water that you can share and store for later.


Every filter cartridge has a specific lifespan known as filter capacity. High-quality filters work effectively for extended periods without requiring frequent maintenance. This is helpful as you may not have access to maintenance supplies, especially in emergency situations. Depending on their lifespan, make sure you stock up on extra filter cartridges for SHTF emergency scenarios.

Ease of Use

The most important factor when selecting your water filter is ease of use. Unfortunately, not all water filters are user-friendly and come with extensive instructions. Some also require regular checks to ensure effectiveness. Try to pick a convenient filter that can be used at all times without having to look for paperwork or instructions.

The Best Portable Water Filters for Emergency Situations:

1. Straw Water Filters

Light and easy to use, a straw filter looks like an ordinary straw, only slightly larger. The mechanism also works precisely like a straw. To filter water, all you have to do is drink through it from the water source or attach it to a water container.

Inside the device, tightly woven fibers create tiny pores or membranes. These remove bacteria, parasites, and other harmful substances allowing only purified water to pass through.

However, straw filters are ineffective in removing dissolved chemicals like metals and chlorine. In addition, they are not an ideal solution for long-term use as filtered substances can block the cartridge pores over time.

Top Recommendation: LifeStraw

2. Water Bottle Filters

Water bottle filters are usually made of activated carbon or fiber which significantly reduce dangerous contaminants in water. Bacteria are also treated effectively with these filters.

Water bottle filters can’t remove certain salts dissolved in water, such as fluoride and nitrates, which cause dehydration and make water taste odd.

Apart from filtration, you can also use these bottles to store water.

Top Recommendation: Clearly Filtered Stainless Steel Bottle

3. Gravity Water Filters

These easy-to-use systems don’t require power or a constant water supply and filter enough water to last the whole day at a time. Gravity filters are known to remove several contaminants found in outdoor water sources as well as dissolved substances.

The filtration process uses gravity to push water through several carbon and ceramic cartridges that purify the water. Gravity filters come in foldable bags or metal bodies with a tap so you can also store leftover filtered water.

Gravity water filters are larger in size than other water filters and made of several parts. If the parts are not assembled correctly, contamination will remain a problem.

Top Recommendation: Big Berkey

4. Pump Filters

Small enough to fit into your backpack, pump filters require lead lines to connect your source to where you want to store the purified water. Pumps rely on ceramic or activated carbon filters, but, unlike other systems, you have to manually use the hand pump to draw and purify the water.

Filter cartridges within the pump can last up to a year. However, if you forget to change it in time, the filter could become a source for further contamination due to trapped bacteria; maintenance is key.

Top Recommendation: SURVIVOR FILTER PRO Portable Water Filter Pump

Finding the Right Filter for the Unforeseen

Finding the right filter for unforeseen, SHTF emergency scenarios is not difficult when you understand what your requirements are. The portable water filters listed above are easy to install, maintain, and pack up easily while effectively purifying your water for drinking

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