Improvised Water Filter

A basic water filter with gravel, sand, charcoal and cloth.

Since the human body is about 75% water and you will die in three days if you don’t get any, you should probably know how to obtain clean drinking water by using a filter. In survival situations, a nice off the shelf filter might not be available to you, so here is an informative little guide to show you exactly how to make your own improvised water filter and keep yourself alive for as long as you need to.

So, to make a simple water filter out of everyday items, all that you need is some clothing and a water bottle. You stuff the clothes into the bottle and run the dirty water through it. This is the absolute simplest filter that you can make. It is not going to be nearly as good as one that you add charcoal to.

To get charcoal to add to your water filter, you are going to need to make a fire. Let it get going really good until you have a fair amount of red hot embers at the bottom. Then douse it with sand. Wait a while until the coals are cool and voila, you’ve got yourself some charcoal.

Take your newly manufactured charcoal and crush it into the size of small pebbles, a quarter inch should be about the right size. You then take your crushed charcoal and add it to the cloth in the water bottle to make a better water filter. The water might come out dark at first, but if you keep putting water through the filter it will eventually become clear.

If you do have access to sand, you might want to consider adding it to your filter as well. The best filters are composed of sand, charcoal and fabric made from cloth or paper.

This type of filter does not guarantee purity in your drinking water, A filter can not remove poison, radiation, chlorine, salt or other contaminates like that. Improvised wae filters are best used in situations where you might have to filter some dirt, mud, or insect larvae out of your drinking water.

Remember that boiling in conjunction with your homemade filter is the best way to get the purest water that you possibly can get.


Justin Trovrt has been in plenty of situations that require a level of survival instincts that daily life can not provide. He knows that knowledge is power and wished to share some of his power with anyone who is willing to listen. Follow him at

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