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When you’re bugging out, you want to keep the load as light as possible. Carrying all the water you’ll need for the journey, particularly if your travel is longer than three days, may be not only difficult, but almost impossible. Water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon, so if you plan for just one gallon per person per day, it would add 25 pounds to each person’s bugout bag. That is a lot of weight to carry long distance if you’re an adult, but for a child, the pack becomes almost impossible to carry. That means the adults may have to add to their load if more is necessary.
A lighter weight alternative is necessary. That’s why it’s smart to plan bugout routes that have sources of water along the way. You can’t be certain of the quality of the water, so having good water filters is important. You may wonder how many to store in your bugout bag. The answer varies by the number of people in your family, the distance to your bugout location and whether you have adequate filters there. You should have a minimum of one personal filter per person and consider having one for the family.
Water purification tablets are lightweight and inexpensive, so carrying a pack of those can be helpful. You should have charted out a route with water sources, etc. along the way, paying close attention to the type of contaminants that might be in the water. Chemical contaminants need a different type of filter from those with biological contaminants. Carbon filters can remove heavy metals and some other types of contaminants, while most personal filters and water purification tablets take care of the biological components that cause harm.
When planning your route, address the problem of both types of contaminants and the likelihood of each in your water source. You can expect personal water filters like Berkey, Sawyer Mini and LifeStraw to remove bacteria, protozoa, parasites, organic compounds like herbicides and pesticides as well as chlorine. The Sawyer Point Zero Two also filters viruses. Some of these filters are guaranteed for use with up to 100,000 liters of water. That might be good enough for most people, but if you face a situation where there’s heavy metals, arsenic, salt or chromium 6 you need a filtration system like the Berkey Go.
The Berkey Go is a great addition to your BOB. It weighs 3 pounds, so it’s not super light weight, but it’s not incredibly heavy either. It can hold 1 quart of water and filter 1 gallon per hour. It uses the black Berkey filters which filters out most viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, plus more! The filter on this water filter should last for 3000 gallons.