Clear running water does not equal safe drinking water! This is a myth…
Sure, clear running water is more likely to be safer than drinking water from a stagnant pool, but SAFER, isn’t 100% safe. Ideally you should treat all water from outdoor sources.
HOWEVER, if, and it’s a big if, the only choice is between dying from dehydration or drinking untreated water, you go ahead and drink that water as that is your best chance of survival. If you are already badly dehydrated you may not last the night, but if you drink untreated water, the bacteria and parasites that it may contain, usually take 24/48 hours to make you ill. The bottom line is – you can die from dehydration in the woods, or you can drink the water, walk out and spend a few days in hospital.
Anyway, back to treating water, there are a number of things you can do to make water safer to drink, these range from simply boiling clear water to carrying purification tablets and water filters. The Practical Survivor website has done a great 101 detailing the common water purification options. Check it out below, it is a great read.
(Photo from: The Practical Survivor)