The next phase of prepping would be to add redundancies to your inventory, after you have a good and balanced starting point. The reality is that once you think you have a prepping category cornered, you quickly realize that you can always improve your preps. Many new to prepping will initially run to the gun store and spend in excess of $1,000 - $2,000 to buy that “manly” AR-15 and a case of ammunition. How do I know; this is what I did. While having guns is cool and they obviously add a few inches of girth to your ego, your money could have been better spent if you are on a budget. In hindsight, I would have spent that initial financial commitment on food, water, and shelter. Think about it; for $2,000 you could purchase a year’s worth of food for a single person, the survival items needed for your Bug Out Bag, and a quality shelter. More than likely, you would still have a little money left over.
Given the current economic climate, increasing jobless claims, and the marketing campaigns targeting the prepper community, building a solid survival plan is becoming more challenging. Not only is getting a grip on prepping confusing, there has been a rush of poor products hitting the market to fill the new revenue void. While at the same time, food is becoming more expensive, a rumored shortage of ammunition, and big-brand guns manufacturers are not taking any new orders. There are many reasons why there are shortages and prices continue to increase. Sure, if I won the lottery I could go out and purchase an infinite amount of quality supplies, but let’s get real. Money is tight. This first article will focus on what I think is most important, Water Filtration, with a budget of $50 or less.
Product: Lifestraw Personal Water Filter
Ideal Placement: Survival Bag and/or vehicle
Filter Life: 264 Gallons / 1000 Liters
Manufacturer Specs: Removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria. Removes 99.9 of waterborne protozoan parasites. Reduces water turbidity by filtering particles of approximately .2 microns.
Reviews: This product reviews extremely well, and is ideal to throw in your survival bag and/or vehicle. I have purchased a Lifestraw, but have yet to field test it (field test pending major disaster or extended camping trip). The filter works right out of the package, and there are no moving parts; therefore you do not have to assemble the product. Given the construction of the filter, it is not designed to be put under moderate weight. So, be careful where you store it. Another consideration is the filter life (264 Gallons), so have several for extended use, or another water filtration device.
Ideal Placement: Survival Bag or Every Day Carry (EDC)
Filter Life: 20 Gallons
Manufacturer Specs: Removes 99.99999% of cryptosporidium and Giardia. Weighs less than 1 ounce. For best results, should be used in conjunction with water treatment drops or tablets.
Reviews: I have not used this filter. While I cannot fully endorse this product, if you are on an extreme budget this may be the product for you. While the Frontier filter does reduce bacterial and viruses, it is not certified to remove the more than 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.99 percent of viruses required by the U.S. EPA water purifier standard. For maximum protection, the Frontier should be used in conjunction with water treatment drops or water purifier tablets. I would purchase this product as a redundancy water filtration device, or for bartering/trade.
Product: Ceramic Water Filter Kit
Price: $29.99 + Shipping (Cheaper Than Dirt) to $39.99 (Amazon)
Manufacturer: Just Water
Ideal Placement: Home/Vehicle Water Filtration Kit
Filter Life: 6-8 Months
Manufacturer Specs: Removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria. Removes 99.9 of waterborne protozoan parasites. Reduces water turbidity by filtering particles up to .2 microns (rated at .5 microns)
Reviews: I have not used this filter, nor do I own it. However, I do use ceramic style water filters. This product can be used for 6+ months, if it is cleaned regularly. The manufacturer states it has a filtering capability up to .2 microns, but this depends on what is being filtered and if you use the included sock. Additionally, you will need two food safe buckets to complete this system.
How would I use the above items? If I had to choose one product for Water Filtration, I would probably select the Ceramic Water Filter Kit. While it is not practical for a Survival Bag, it does provide the most bang for the buck (6-8 months of filter capability). If I were to use two or more of the products, I would put the LifeStraw in my Survival Bag and the Aquamira Frontier in my butt pack. Lastly, I create a gravity feed bucket system using the Ceramic Water Filter Kit.
Let us know if you have any experience using these products, or if you can recommend another water filter for under $50. Look for our next article in this series, the Survival Bag. Until Then… Be Prepared. Get Connected.