I take my green bandana with me everywhere I go. This trusty bandana has seen me through all kinds of situations. It is not just a fashion statement. It can be used as a sling, a pouch, a hot pad, or even as a rope. Today I want to talk about using it for water filtration. Yup, when the going gets tough and hot and dry your bandana can be your best friend.
When out in extreme conditions a good thing to remember is the rule of 3: you have 3 minutes to live without air; 3 days without water; 3 weeks without food. To learn more about the rule of 3 click here. Since most people can only go 3 days without water, knowing how to filter and clean water when you are out in the wilderness could save your life. Before we get started it is important to note that while we will be removing impurities from the water, we will not be removing bacteria. I suggest using some form of Iodine or chlorine tablet after filtering the water and before you drink it (see link below). Now on to the fun part, filtering water with your bandana. This is a great and convenient way to filter water while out and about since all you need is your water bottle and a bandana.
Step 1) Take your bandana and fold it in half, then in half again, until it is in a square that fits over the top of your empty water bottle. (see below)Now keep in mind that the more times you are able to fold it the more layers the water will have to go through. Meaning the more it is folded the cleaner the water will be. I folded mine 3 times. The key is just making sure you can still cover the mouth of the water bottle and make a small bowl inside the lip.
Step 3) Start by slowly pouring the contaminated water into the make shift bandana funnel. Maintain an even flow as you pour the water. Just be sure that the water goes through the bandana, and not over the sides into the bottle you are using to collect the clean water. Again, the water needs to pass through the bandana. The water filters through the bandana and gives you clean water. This leaves the impurities on the top of the bandana, which you should dispose of carefully to prevent them from falling back into the water. Once you fill your bottle, or run out of water, your bandana should have caught all of the impurities. You can filter it again by repeating the process, just be sure if you are using the same bandana you either wash it first or use the same side to filter through again.
And now there you have it, a simple water filter made from your trusty bandana. Some of you may be asking, how does it work? Well, this would fall under the category of a gravity filter. As gravity pulls the water from one container to your bottle, the bandana acts as a filter, similar to a coffee filter. The tightly woven threads leave enough room for the water to get through but stops the rest of the gunk from passing through and into your bottle.
Once again, be sure though to use some sort of tablet, either chlorine or iodine, to kill any bacteria that got through the filter and is still in your water.
One last tip. You can also use your bandana to collect water. Just simply tie it around your ankle in the morning and then walk through the grass. This allows it to collect the morning dew. The water droplets will absorb into the bandana. Then simply wring out the wet bandana into a cup or bowl or even straight into your mouth for a resourceful drink.
Thanks for reading this week, as we learned about water filtration. Now that is enough reading for today. Grab your bandana, get out there, and start exploring. If you have any other great tips for using a bandana while hiking or camping let me know, either in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.