General Prepping, Wilderness Survival

Make A Hillbilly Water Filter (From Trash)

POSTED: March 18th, 2013, LAST UPDATED: December 18th, 2013

After reading this you will never look at that discarded water bottle you find in the woods the same again. In fact, that garbage you are so disgusted with just may save your life one day. How you wonder? Well, the hillbilly water filter is how. A little science and ingenuity is all you need to purify water with stuff you will likely find in the great outdoors.

Water that comes from an unknown source is widely accepted as unsafe to drink. You just don’t know what has been put into that water, whether you can see it or not. We are talking deadly bacteria, feces and a variety of other nasty impurities that would do a real number on your body if you ingested them. For that reason, you absolutely must purify the water before you consume it. You must have water to survive.

One of the most common ways to purify water is to boil it. Unfortunately, in a survival situation, that is not always an option. You may have some of those handy purification tablets, but again, what do you do if you don’t?

As a last resort, you can use the hillbilly filtering system to get life-sustaining water into your system. You can watch the video and see exactly what I am talking about. Basically, you need a discarded water bottle or plastic pop bottle. Foliage, like edible dandelions and chickweed, will act as a filtering system along with some charcoal material. Remains of an old campfire are perfect for this part of your filtering system. If you happen to be in need of a makeshift water purification system in the winter or in a place where foliage is not around, rocks and sand can be used.

While this system is relatively effective, do not expect crystal clear water the first few runs through the system. However, it will be safe to drink. If you have the time, run your water through the filter several times to get a clearer product.  As I said earlier, this may not be the best system, but it is effective and it will get you what you need to survive until a better purification system is put into place.

Craig Caudill is an outdoors enthusiast who regularly shares his knowledge at You can see more of his articles here. He is also the chief instructor at his Nature Reliance School.