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Prepping For SHTF

Options For Survivalist Water Filters

Why should Survivalist worry about water filters?  Because when the city water supply stops, the water in the local lakes and streams may not be safe to drink. Most survivalist have stockpiled water, and that is fine – there is nothing wrong with stockpiling water. But you need some kind of solution for after your stockpiles of water run out. A lot of people might say “I’ll just dig a well if I need water” – ok, lets get back to reality. Most of people are not going to dig a well overnight.

Here is short list of waterborne diseases and parasites:

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Cholera
  • E. Coli
  • Dysentery
  • Salmonellosis
  • Polio
  • Legionnaires’ disease

The first filter for us to look at is the Royal Berkey.  The Royal Berkey water filter is made out of 304 stainless steel, has a capacity of approximately 3.25 Gallons, and has 2 filters (with each filter being able to filter an estimated 3,000 gallons of water).

Royal Berkey Water Filter

Assembly of the Royal Berkey water filter was pretty easy, and only takes about 10 – 15 minutes. The thing with stainless steel, you can leave it stored at a retreat for years, and not worry about mice or rats chewing holes through it. One of the problems with storing items at a retreat is rats and mice will chew into it. I have no idea how much food has been ruined at the camp because of rodents.

Berkey Light Water Filter

The next filter to take a look at is the Berkey Light water filter. Instead of being made out of stainless like the Royal Berkey, this one is made out of plastic, Plastic has its advantages, such as being light and easy to transport.

One disadvantage to plastic, rodents can chew holes through it. So if you have a problem with rodents at the retreat, then you might want to go with stainless.


The Berkey line of filters should be considered as home based, or stationary filters. Meaning, you would not want to take the Berkey Light or Royal Berkey on a 10 mile hiking trip.

If your looking for a more portable filter, then take a look at a filter designed for hiking and camping. Examples of these include the Katadyn and MSR brand names.

As a last resort to get out of the cities, some people might have to bug out on foot. This is a good example of where the portable filters can come in handy.

Keep in mind that a lot of filters will not remove viruses. To understand how your filter handles a virus in the water supply, see the documentation of the water filter on the manufacturers website.

Handheld Water Filters

If your looking at buying a water filter, take into consideration whether or not the filter removes viruses. Or does the water require chemical treatment after the filtration process to kill viruses?

Drinking water after SHTF

Another example of a portable water filter is the Katadyn Vario.

Capacity (gallons) ~ 530 (glassfiber) ~ 106 (carbon)

Dimensions (inches) 7.5 x 4.0

Output (gallons) up to 2 quarts per minute

Output (Liters) up to 2 Liters/min

Technology AntiClog Technology with 0.3 micron glassfiber (no cleaning needed) Activated carbon granulate Ceramic pre-filter

Weight (grams) 425

Weight (oz) 15

Short list of water filters:

  • Berkey Light – home based
  • Royal Berkey – home based
  • Katadyn Vario – portable
  • Katadyn Hiker – portable
  • Lifestraw – very portable.
  • Sawyer Pointone – very portable.


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