Best Water Filters For Camping & Prepping

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

8 Responses

  1. JP in MT says:

    We keep Life Straws, Life Straw water bottles, and mini-Sawyer filters with us, in quantity, when we are out. I also have a Katadyn Vario pump filter, that can travel. Our travel trailer has a counter top water filter on the sink and we use a Camco filter system to filter stream water to refill our tank.

    At home we have a e-Spring filter system and a Berkey as a back-up.

    And I still want to add a Berkey travel filter system to our equipment stash.

    Yep, I think water is important.

  2. Greg M. says:

    Thanks for a good article. Clean water is super critical, an absolute necessity. Berkey makes a good system. In a bugout situation, I will use mostly boiling for purification.

  3. Jack says:

    Thank you for pointing out the truth. Most all water filters sold for camping and emergency are a huge SCAM and not worth what you pay for them. My belief is that folks “get away” with using these products because they begin with relatively safe sources of water and have to deal with few serious viruses which are the hardest to filter out. Because I live in the Philippines and understand we have some nasty things in water sources here, that I never had to cope with back home (USA), I did a deeper study on these products. The fact is, most folks DO NOT understand the testing results (if provided) with the products. We read that the XYZ filter removes less than or equal to a certain size when in fact the target virus easily slips through the filters pore size. Removing “up to” a certain size virus will NOT remove the actual virus you wanted to treat for. Over the past few months, I have gravitated to using one of three methods to kill all harmful organisms and then only worry about a filter that will remove heavy metals/ chemicals and hopefully improve taste. It is easy to say these words “SHUT UP-DRINK” and surely thirsty kids will do so. We strive to NOT get ourselves into that position in the first place by providing water that is both safe and tastes good. The truth is, I no longer trust even the Berkfield filters unless used with boiling or chemical pretreatment. Here is what we have gravitated to:

    1. If we have time and are hunkered down, we boil water collected from the wild. When cool, we filter to remove heavy metals, chemicals/ petroleum. Aeration further helps with taste improvement

    2. if the water is clear but we have no means to boil the water we chemically treat. In the Phils, I can purchase tablets at many pharmacies for P6 (about 12 cents USD) which will treat 2 1/2 gallons of water in about 30 minutes. Many folks have to treat their contaminated well water with this product on a daily basis or risk illness. We then will filter as above. Plain bleach of other products will work also.

    3. If no other water source were available, we do have the means to treat really cloudy water. You can construct a filter to clarify muddy, nasty looking water. Not a practical thing to do on the go, only at a base camp. Our solution, a chemical treatment with a flocculent additive that will coagulate the particles in the water. After waiting for the flocculent to work, you can filter the water through bandanas, face cloths and even coffee filters as a final step. Again, we filter the water to remove petroleum products, ag chemicals (pesticides) and heavy metals. Products to look for :
    a. Chlor floc powder
    b. P&G (Procter &Gamble) sachets. Developed around 2004. This product was essentially given away at cost. It works the same as chlor floc but on a larger scale. After development, it was manufactured overseas to keep cost low. Relief agencies health organizations etc may purchase the product in bulk for around 6 cents USD per packet. Online line stores (Amazon) sell 12 sachets for around $20 bucks USD, a VERY hefty markup. You can get a case of 240 packets on Amazon for $99.00USD. We order a box of 240 sachets from Indonesia.
    Here is a PDF on how to use the product:

  4. Jack says:

    What does “MUV” stand for?

      • Jack says:

        JP, Again, I am VERY suspicious of any product until I may review the independent lab test results. The vast majority do little or nothing at reducing virus contamination in the water regardless of the claims they make. Actual virus removal versus some quoted number of “up to XYZ amounts” can make all the difference in the world. It is deceptive of a manufacturer to make claims of greater than
        the specified amount of virus to know we have a product that actually will perform in the real world. Filter manufacturers have played the game for years. For sure, I will be looking for the independent lab tests on this new product and I certainly do hope it works.

        • JP in MT says:


          I have no information on the product nor experience with it. Just the ones I listed as using.

          I was providing the link because I was curious too.

  5. Bobbo says:

    VG info on an important topic. TYVM!
    I’m a Berkey guy, live on well & septic.
    I don’t store water, as I’m moving out of state soon. I do filter my water through a Berkey & have Berkey sport bottles in my BOB’s & GHB’s. In addition to gatorade powder & instant coffee…
    I do have a well hand pump, not yet installed-again I’m moving soon.
    Having a water supply is IMPERATIVE. Most SHTF scenarios will be of a hunker down type, as I see it. Hence I’ve planned accordingly.
    A second source, such as a stream or a pond will get primary consideration in choosing my new diggs. Well & septic may have drawbacks, but the system is far better than being dependent on local government for my survival.
    Prep on folks!