Any true survivalist knows that water needs to be purified in some way or another before it is deemed potable or safe to drink. Purification may be achieved using a water purifier or by boiling for 1 minute in a stainless steel bottle (such as the uninsulated Kleen Kanteen), mess tin, canteen cup or pot over an open flame. Boiling water is my favorite method of purification because it is 100% foolproof and effectively kills all harmful pathogens such as giardia and cryptosporidium as well as cysts and viruses.
What if you found yourself in a life/death situation where you did not have anything to boil the water you’ve collected in? Today I’m going to show you how to boil water in a plastic bottle. Bet you never dreamed it could be done! Fascinated? Excited? Ok, let’s get started!
Obviously, you’ll need a plastic water bottle. A thin-walled recyclable plastic water bottle like the ones from vending machines will do just fine. Plastic water bottles are in abundance everywhere. You see them in drains, on the street, in malls, on beaches, in parks, on waterways and a multitude of other places – even remote areas. This is a great example of someone else’s garbage becoming another person’s treasure.
Here are some quick tips for doing it right:
- First, remove the cap, fill the bottle 3/4 full with the contaminated water (I suggest you clarify or filter it first before purifying) and suspend over a fire (presuming you’ve made on already). The reason why you need to take the cap off the bottle is that you could get a steam explosion and that could be potentially fatal or very harmful to you and anyone else standing by.
- To suspend the bottle over the fire grab a long sturdy stick, turn one end of the stick into a spear point then jab it firmly into the ground at a 45-degree angle. Get a smaller Y shaped stick (such as a fork in a tree branch), sharpen the bottom end into a spear and plant firmly into the ground. Next get a piece of string, rope, paracord or wire and tie the neck of the bottle to the top of the stick.
- The base of the bottle should be dangling directly into the flames. It will take about 15 minutes to get the water in the bottle to a rolling boil.
The bottle will shrink in the boiling process but won’t affect the overall integrity of the bottle so it could potentially be used a couple more times if needed.
Knowing this important survival skill may just save your life one day!