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Army Veteran, Prepper, Survivalist

Bug Out In Style - SHTF BUG OUT PLAN

Get a hard copy for future reference (for when, not if, the shtf.)




Having a strategy in place for all of your survival necessities is going to be helpful to you in the event that you have to bug out. This strategy can ensure that your basic needs – such as having clean water – are met. 

The time to prepare for such a situation is now – before you need it – before your survival is on the line. 



Many people don’t know that they can survive longer without food than they can without water.

Your hydration is paramount to your survival, so you need to know how you can purify water when you are on the go. You may not have access to a faucet with clean water, and end up having to drink from a river or stream. Being able to cleanse the water before drinking it will help you avoid parasites and toxins that can harm your health.


There are many different options for portable water purification. 


Water Filter Straws  

One of the simplest methods to use to make sure you have a portable way to get clean water is to use water filter straws. These straws are always lightweight, so each member of the family can carry one in their bug out bag.  

These items are tubes that are designed to look like large straws. How thick these tubes are is going to depend on the brand that you buy. Some of them have attachable pieces so that they can be fixed to a pocket or backpack for quick and easy access.  

The outside of the tube is durable enough to be able to withstand an accidental drop without it affecting the filtration system. The way these filter straws work is fairly simple. Regardless of the brand that you buy, the inside of the straw will contain a microfilter.  

This microfilter is made to withstand years of use. When a person wants to use it, you would do so just like you would a regular plastic drinking straw. You just insert it into whatever water you have on hand and then you can take a drink.  

There are currently no straws on the market that can effectively filter salt water, so you could not use water from an ocean – but you can from something like a creek, river, or lake.  

Some people think that if a body of water is in nature and runs over rocks like a stream does, that this is nature’s way of purifying the water. They believe that it is okay to drink “as is” like that.  

But the water that you drink unfiltered can not only make you ill, but in some cases, it can kill you. Unfiltered natural water contains harmful bacteria. But it is also loaded with parasites and things like insect particles.  Plus, there can be things like algae and decomposing wildlife if the water is deep enough. If there has been flooding, then the debris and whatever else the flood waters carried along could have been deposited in the water you are thinking of drinking from.  

It is just not worth it to risk your health – especially when you are in a survival situation and may not have access to medical care. Fortunately, water filter straws are not expensive. You can easily afford one for every member of the family.  

One brand that you can buy for your bug out bag is LifeStraw. This device can effectively filter your drinking water so that it removes 99.999999% of the bacteria and parasites that could make you sick.  

Or, if you prefer, you can get Logest. You can buy these as individual straws or get them in the multi-pack. This brand works like LifeStraw and can also remove the things that could impact your health, including E. coli and salmonella.  On top of that, it also works to lessen the odor the water might have so that it tastes better when you drink it. Water purification straws are easy to use for even the youngest members of your family. 

Water Filter Hand Pumps and Gravity Purifiers 

When you are on the go, you must have a portable method to clean water. Some people think they will just look for wood, start a fire and boil water. But that is not going to cut it because you will not always be able to find the fuel necessary to start and keep a fire going – or you might be trying to avoid being seen by others, and a fire would defeat that.  

Plus, the amount of water you need daily would require you to constantly be able to build a fire and boil the water. That is not only inconvenient – it is also time consuming and if you have to bug out immediately, you could lose the chance to get the water treated so that it is drinkable.  

You are better off making sure you have a way to filter the water at a moment’s notice.  

Besides using water filter straws, you also have the option of using hand pumps or gravity purifiers as a means of getting clean drinking water. 


A water filter hand pump is a device that works easily. You just connect the pieces, put the hose line into whatever body of water or collected rainwater that you are using and them pump the device.  

The filter in the pump will clean and purify the water so that it is safe and tastes good.

The handpump can filter out metal, bacteria and fecal content from wildlife that could endanger your health. Ones like the FS-TFC 4-Stage are effective at making sure the water you drink is safe. It can remove 99.99% of the things in water that are harmful to your health. Plus, it has a solid flow rate, so if you need to stop and gather water into a water bottle, you can do so and then be back on your way fast. 

Gravity purifiers are another item that you can use when you are on the go and you need a way to clean your water. These are lightweight so they will not be too heavy for your bug out bag.  

You will want to choose one that is known to be effective, such as the Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System or the Waterdrop Gravity Water Filter.   Both work by pulling water through the filter using gravity.  All you have to do is to get the water from whatever source you are using and put it into the reservoir for the unclean water. Then you place the clean water holder below the reservoir holding the dirty water.  

The water travels from one section to the next through the force of gravity. As it travels, the device does the work of filtering out the contaminants. 

The good thing about these types of filtering systems is that they can clean water quicker than some of the other filtering options on the market. 


You will find that you can have access to clean water in less than 3 minutes. The reason that the devices can get the water so clean has to do the strength of the filters and the types of fibers as well as the design.  But each filter can vary, depending on which brand you buy. The filter cartridges are replaceable and can be used to clean well over 1,000 gallons of water, so you will want to invest in backup filters for the future.  

Water Purifier Tabs 

Being on the go, you need water purifying tablets. These are tablets that you can drop into water to render it safe for you to drink. Depending on the type you buy, the directions may vary, but the usual amount is 2 of the tablets per quart of water you want to purify.  

Once you add the tablets, you must wait the recommended amount of time on the tablet container to consume the water. For your on-the-go situation, you are going to want to be sure to have enough of a supply of whatever brand of these tablets that you buy.  

The ingredients in the tablets can be things like chlorine or Tetra glycine hydro periodide, which contains iodine. 

Regardless of which one you get; the ingredients work to make the bacteria in the water unable to hurt you.  

It can also neutralize parasites and eliminate the viruses that could make you sick. This method protects you from developing serious illnesses that can end up being fatal. The types of bacteria and content in untreated water simply is not worth taking a chance that you will be okay if you consume it.  

You do not want to be sidelined with a parasite-borne illness when there’s chaos going on – especially not when water purification tablets are so inexpensive to buy and lightweight to carry around in a bug out bag. 

One type of tablet you can buy, Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets, can be purchased in multi-packs so that you have enough to last for a while. This one can purify water even if there has been a natural disaster, like flooding that is contaminated the water supply. 

This brand is effective at treating water that may be contaminated by Giardia lamblia. This is a parasite that can cause severe internal infection that can lead to extreme tiredness, diarrhea, and the need for medical intervention in some cases.  

You can also buy Aquatabs. These work like the Potable brand, but the ingredients differ. These tablets use chlorine to clean water regardless of the source. You can even use them to treat muddy water on the ground after a rain or a flood so that you can have a clean water drinking source.  

Water Bladders 

When it comes to survival situations, most people pack their bags with the standard 72-hours’ worth of supplies

While that might be a promising idea to at least have something, if you are also dealing with trying to get children and pets to safety, you are not going to have enough room to carry, keep or store enough water for every need. That is where water bladders can come in and take care of that burden. A water bladder is a container that can hold water. They are simple to use, can be filled quickly and can provide for your and your family’s water needs when you are on the go.  

Without enough water, your health will be impacted, so you want something you can depend on. These bladders are made of durable material that can stand up to a lot of pressure applied and it still will not rupture.  They are often leak proof and have an automatic shut off valve. Many of them do come with handles that are made for either gripping the bag or attaching it to carry as you are on the go, but you will want to check to make sure the one you get has good, quality handles.  

They work by having a tube that connects into the water bladder that feeds the mouth piece. This is what makes a water bladder so important. This gives you the ability to make sure you stay hydrated even as you are on the move.  So, you could be walking or running and without breaking stride, because you have close access to it, you get a drink of water. These items come with covers for the drinking valves so that they can stay contamination free of things like dirt and debris. 

A water bladder has the smaller drinking opening, but they also have large, wide mouth openings to enable the bladder to be filled. Though varied brands will have different liter capacities, you want to look for ones that hold 2 liters.That is because this level of water is the amount that can help to keep you hydrated throughout your day. The amount of water you need to drink while on the go will depend on external factors, too – such as the temperature.  

You can find a good hydration bladder in the Source Hydration Bladder Kit. This bladder is not only double sealed for durability but it also has a taste free reservoir. It can stand up to temperature extremes as well.  

There is also the WACOOL 3Liter BPA Free EVA Hydration Pack Bladder which has a similar design to the Cherainti version. One of the differences is that this one can hold more water. It can store 3 liters instead of 2. 

You can find bug out bags that have water bladders built right into them, too. And you can add the water bladder to the inside of your backpack so that it is easy to carry and access if you are bugging out on foot. 

Collapsible Water Containers 

When water is in a filled container, it can get heavy – too heavy for you to be able to carry, especially when you are in the middle of a survival situation. Not only that, but you simply do not have room in your bag to store all the water that you need.  

Since you still must stay hydrated, you need to look at other options. There are numerous types of collapsible water containers on the market. These are containers that can expand to hold water, but when they are empty, they can easily fit into your bug out bag or even in your pocket.  

So, they do not take up a lot of space. The shape and amount of water they will hold is going to come down to personal choice. The smaller ones will hold a liter, while the larger ones could easily hold a gallon or more.  

What you want to look for is a container that you can easily collapse to get going when you need to leave. But you also want to have these containers so that they hold enough water for every one of your family members who may be on the journey with you. 


You can get a collapsible water bottle like the Silicone Leak-Proof Reusable one that, when collapsed, is easy to take along anywhere because it is lightweight and can be tucked into a small space.  

Or, you can get something like the Vapur Solid Flexible Water Bottle. This one comes with a handle so you can easily attach it to the outside of your bug out bag for quick access.  

Now, if you are on the go and you are stopping for an evening to set up camp, you may want something that is still collapsible so you can easily carry it, yet one that will still hold more water for things like your cooking or washing needs.  

You do not want to be walking back and forth to a lake or stream to get enough water to do everything you need to take care of. That is why you may also want to consider getting something like the Portable Water Canteen. This canteen is lightweight, weighing less than a pound when it is collapsed, and easily expands to hold four gallons of water. Plus, it has a spigot for easy access. That means you do not have to struggle to pick it up and pour from it when it is filled with water. 

Once you are done using it, you can let any remaining water out and head on your way. This is a container that can safely be used with water purification methods. 

There are also collapsible water jugs like the WaterStorageCube. This container can hold a little over five gallons of water once it is expanded.  While these are portable water survival options, they also come in handy on your homestead. For example, if you have a rain barrel catching water for you, you can use purification tabs to cleanse the water for you.  

As with most all your survival gear, you need to carefully teach each member of the family about water safety and how to use the gadgets and products that you have purchased to keep everyone healthy.  

Little ones, when faced with extreme thirst, may see what appears to be clear water in a stream and readily drink from it. They need to know about what cannot be seen, and what you have gotten to protect them from harm.  

Have them practice using the methods you select so they know how it works and how the taste will differ from what they are used to. Even the methods that help improve taste may not bring it to the level it was in the comfort of your own home using a faucet.  



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