The natural resource after oxygen that no one can survive without is water (just watch Three Amigos or that irrational Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 show!). No matter where you go, you need to drink water to be able to survive. Without water, any living being will suffer from dehydration and even die in the worst cases.
However, water also brings along various illnesses. In fact, waterborne illnesses claim hundreds of lives in places without proper water treatment facilities. During emergency situations like disaster relief, waterborne diseases are very common.
Since water gets contaminated very easily, the risk of waterborne illnesses is high. That’s why there are various water filtration systems available today, for home and commercial uses.
However, when you’re out camping, or in a survival situation, it isn’t possible to carry a water filter along. It isn’t possible to carry hundreds of liters of packaged drinking water either. Drinking water from springs and streams sounds nice, but can actually make you sick.
In order to remain safe and consume uncontaminated water, you should consider using water purification tablets. Purification tablets are used by people in field activities who consume drinking water from untreated sources. They are easily accessible, affordable, and easy to use.
Water purification tablets were developed for use by soldiers and used to be part of their canteen pouch. Back in those days, soldiers used to filter drinking water with a cloth and then boil it. But this process consumed a lot of time, and lighting a fire was also risky.
That’s when these tablets were developed, for purifying water on the spot. Even to this day, these tablets are part of first aid kits or medical supplies for military use or disaster relief purposes.
Whether you’re a survivalist, an outdoor adventurer, or are in the armed forces, you definitely need to have water purification tablets with you at all times.
You might find interesting to read our article about Lifestraw vs Sawyer.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CARRYING SOME WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS
You can never go without water, but clean, safe drinking water is hardly available when you’re outdoors. Even if you are a normal tourist, packaged drinking water can also be unsafe sometimes, depending on the place.
In underdeveloped countries, safe drinking water is still not freely available, while in the wild, you never know when water turns poisonous. Whether it is for work, travel or emergency situations, protecting yourself from dodgy drinking water should be your top priority when outdoors.
Tap water, municipal water, lake water, and even packaged drinking water have often been found contaminated with bacteria and viruses. In worst cases, contaminated drinking water can result in more than just an upset stomach.
Keeping all these reasons in mind, water purification tablets are a must in your backpack, survival kit, or bugout bag. Water purification tablets are fast acting and easy to use. Today there are a wide range of water purifying tablets available that are safe, cheap, and iodine-free.
Some of the reasons why you should consider carrying some water purification tablets are:
They protect you from dangerous bacteria and viruses: From E.Coli to Hepatitis A, there is no end to the types of impurities that contaminate water.
Even when you buy packaged water, you cannot see how well the water has been purified before being bottled. Carrying some water purification tablets with you all the time gives you quick access to drinking water no matter where you travel to.
They help in emergency preparedness: Whether you’re at home or traveling, you never know when a natural disaster like a hurricane is going to strike and contaminate all the water. Having some water purification tablets ensures that you can keep drinking safe water even during an emergency.
They are compact and easy to carry: We have all used water purification drops at some point, and they are good if you’re not traveling.
When you put the bottle inside a backpack or survival kit, they can leak and get wasted. On the other hand, tablets are more compact, they don’t leak, and can be used even if they get crushed. They have a big advantage over purification drops because they will not be confiscated at the airport.
They are perfectly measured: Unlike purification drops, you will not need the help of your chemistry professor to mix the right amount of water. Simply put one tablet in the specified amount of water and wait for it to dissolve. It’s that simple.
They are safe to use short term or long term: Today’s chlorine-based tablets are far safer than the iodine tablets that were used earlier. Chlorine-based tablets produce no unpalatable smell or taste and don’t change the color of water. They are also safe to be consumed by children and pregnant women.
They save you money: Buying packaged water every day can be expensive when you’re traveling. The expense will only rise when you need packaged water for even brushing your teeth or washing vegetables. In such cases, having purification tablets will allow you to make tap water safe, and save on bottled water expenses.
Instead of carrying water, carrying tablets instead will save you money and space in your bag, and let you make any water safe.
Check out our suggested survival water filters article.
TOP 5 WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS
1. KATADYN MICROPUR MP1 PURIFICATION TABLETS
If you want chlorine tablets that don’t taste awful, the Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets are the ones to choose. This brand of water purifying tablets is one of the most sought after because of the high potency.
The tablets are available in packs of 20 or 30, with each tablet purifying a liter of water. There isn’t much difference between two brands of water purification tablets, but what makes Katadyn stand out is the lack of any unpleasant taste or smell.
Chlorine and iodine purifiers are known for the strong aftertaste, and that often makes people stay away from water tablets. But these tablets can be safely used, without altering the taste or smell of water.
This is a stable, easy-to-use water purification option that’s effective against most viruses and bacteria, including giardia, and cryptosporidium. Although there is a slight odor during the dwell time, there’s hardly anything once the job is done.
Conclusion on the Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets: For a chlorine dioxide tablet that leaves no aftertaste, the Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets are the best in the market.
No, these are not candy you take to the movie theater when watching another outstanding Transformer or Fast and Furious movie! That would be strange and unwise.
- (+) Lightweight and safe to use
- (+) Don’t break down
- (+) Kills all viruses and bacteria
- (+) Inexpensive
- (-) Take some time to work
2. AQUATABS AQT100 WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS
Aquatabs have been trusted for over 20 years as a reliable portable water purification solution. They kill almost all micro-organisms and prevent cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and several other waterborne diseases. Each pack contains 100 tablets and can treat up to 200 quarts of water. They can also be used to treat rainwater, lakes, rivers, wells, cisterns, or any collected water.
Conclusion on the Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets: This trusted brand is one of the best on the market today. They act fast, leave no unpleasant taste, and are easily available everywhere.
And they don’t violate your trust like Facebook does but let’s get back on track.
- (+) Inexpensive and easily available
- (+) Fast acting
- (+) No unpleasant taste
- (-) Shelf life only 5 years
We recommend checking our list of the top survival canteens here.
3. POTABLE AQUA WATER TABLETS
One of the most popular brands of water purification tablets is Potable Aqua. They are iodine tablets, and they do have a distinct taste and smell, but they make the water safe for consumption.
Potable Aqua tablets are used worldwide by outdoor adventurers, militaries, emergency organizations. Whenever you need to drink water of dodgy quality, these tablets will disinfect water quickly.
These tablets are intended for short-term use only and are not meant for regular use. They rid the water of most bacteria and viruses, safeguarding against waterborne illnesses.
The product comes in a small bottle, around three inches tall. Each tablet contains 20 milligrams of Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide, which releases eight milligrams of titratable iodine into water. The iodine takes roughly 30 minutes to penetrate the cell walls of the microorganisms, making them inactive and making the water suitable to drink.
Since these are iodine tablets, they shouldn’t be used for a long time because they can cause conditions such as hyperthyroidism. Children and pregnant women must not use iodine tablets.
Conclusion on the Potable Aqua Water Tablets: These tablets are inexpensive and easily available, and make water safe for drinking. However, if you have thyroid related conditions, you should either stay away from these or consult a doctor before use.
No, you don’t need to use these at your home when eating your morning cereal!
- (+) Compact packaging
- (+) Contains 50 tablets
- (+) Cheap and easily available
- (+) Makes water safe to drink
- (-) Iodine can be harmful in the long run
- (-) Cannot be consumed for the long-term
4. AQUAMIRA – CHLORINE DIOXIDE WATER PURIFIER TABLETS
If you aren’t sure about using iodine tablets, then chlorine is a safer option. Compared to iodine, chlorine purifying tablets can be used for both short and long-term, and can also be consumed by children and pregnant women. In fact, chlorine is regularly used to treat drinking water in several countries. It is the safest purification method.
When it comes to chlorine water purification tablets, Aquamira is a well-known brand. Whether you’re traveling, going for camping or hiking, preparing a bug-out bag, Aquamira water purification tablets are a must.
Aquamira also makes water purification drops, but the tablets are easier to carry and take up less space. However, the Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets take four hours to do its job, like all other crypto-combatting tablets. So if you’re in a hurry, filter a few bottles from beforehand for emergency use.
Although the Aquamira tablets have a four-year expiry date if unopened and come individually sealed, there’s a huge downside. The water smells and tastes utterly chemical.
In fact, the smell is so strong that if you make the mistake of tasting or smelling the water before its four-hour mark, you will end up coughing and sneezing. At that point, it smells like pure bleach. Therefore it is always recommended that you always drink the water only after four hours, not any sooner than that.
Conclusion on the Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets: Although potent and useful, these tablets should not be your primary because they take four hours or more to do the job. If they are all you have, make sure to always have a couple of bottles filtered from beforehand.
No, you don’t need to use this product in pancakes – that is not necessary.
- (+) Very potent
- (+) Compact packaging
- (+) Individually sealed tablets
- (+) Four-year expiry if unopened
- (-) Takes too long
- (-) Has a strong bleach smell
5. POLAR PURE IODINE WATER FILTER PURIFIER
This is another iodine water purifier, but unlike tablets, these are crystals (but have nothing to do with the crystals that comprise Superman’s home in that amazing Man of Steel movie). What the product does is sterilize water from all viruses and bacteria, without giving them a chance to mutate and become immune to the purifier. Polar Pure is an essential supply in any shelter, emergency kit, or travel bag.
This EPA certified product has no expiry, unlike tablets and drops that expire after a few years. If you store the bottle in a cool, dark place away from damp, it will last years. This product also exceeds the minimum threshold for sterilization.
One bottle of Polar Pure can treat up to 2,000 liters of water, unlike tablets which can decontaminate up to 25 liters. There is an integrated temperature gauge that helps in measuring exact dosage.
The cap acts as the measuring device. Besides that, the bottle weighs only five ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. The size is perfect for carrying in any kind of bag or kit. However, since these are iodine crystals, the product will stain anything that comes into contact with it.
Iodine is also not terrific for long-term use since it can cause conditions such as hyperthyroidism (you don’t want to drink soda either for the long term for many reasons but this is another topic). This product isn’t suitable for children or pregnant women.
Conclusion on the Polar Pure Iodine Water Filter Purifier: If you are okay with using iodine-based water purification products, this is one of the best in the market. It’s compact, affordable, and filters up to 2000 liters of water. The cap acts as a measuring device for the right dosage.
- (+) No expiry
- (+) Easy to measure and use
- (+) Compact and lightweight bottle
- (+) Filters up to 2000 liters of water
- (-) Strong iodine smell
- (-) Stains water and anything that comes into contact
- (-) Not fit for long-term use
Water purification tablets are extremely essential for including in a survival kit, bug out bag, or a travel bag. They are inexpensive, easily available, and are more compact and secure than purification liquids. Whether you choose iodine or chlorine, these tablets are must-have for safe drinking water.