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Aside from the air we breathe, drinking water is the single most important resource in any survival situation. If you don't have water to drink, you could be dead in as little as three days. However, unless you live in the middle of a barren desert, it's rare to be without any form of water source. The real threat of terminal dehydration comes from something far more insidious: drinking contaminated water.
Finding a source of water can sometimes be difficult, but it's nowhere near as difficult as finding a source of clean water. The vast majority of natural water sources are jam-packed with microbiological contaminants like harmful bacteria and parasites. Hint: those are both things you do not want to drink.
There's only one thing worse than trying to survive while severely dehydrated—trying to survive with dysentery and vomiting while severely dehydrated.
So, it's apparent that water purification is a top priority for survival, but what's the best way to accomplish this? Boiling water can be effective, but it's also a very time-consuming and labor-intensive process. You've got to gather wood and kindling, make sure it's dry enough to light, figure out an ignition source, and wait for your water to reach a boil. Even then, unless you have a canteen or heat-resistant vessel to use, you'll be SOL.
Fortunately, there's a better way to purify water quickly—and we're going to be giving it away for free to one lucky reader (more on that later).
If you've ever spent any amount of time looking into how to stay hydrated in a survival setting, you've almost certainly heard of the LifeStraw line of products. These innovative devices remove contaminants using hollow fiber membrane micro filtration with a 0.2 micron pore size.
This means that dirty water goes into the LifeStraw, microorganisms are physically removed, and safe drinking water comes out. No batteries, no pumping, and certainly no waiting for water to boil.
All LifeStraw filters (such as the original LifeStraw and LifeStraw Go water bottle) remove 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa from water, while the larger LifeStraw purifiers (such as LifeStraw Family) can also remove 99.999% of viruses. The filters can be used to purify 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water, and the purifiers will work for a staggering 18,000 liters (4,755 gallons).
The LifeStraw was originally introduced in 2005 by Swiss-based company Vestergaard, as a humanitarian aid tool for people living in developing nations. It has been deployed and used extensively in countries such as Haiti, Pakistan, Thailand, Kenya, and Rwanda.
The personal straw filter was a massive success among those who didn't have access to safe running water, and for relief in locations where natural disasters contaminated the water supply. To this day, thousands of LifeStraw filters are being distributed for free in countries around the world by humanitarian organizations.
Given the success of LifeStraw's personal filter, it soon became popular as a consumer product for survival and emergency preparedness kits. The straw-like filtration technology was later applied to in-home use with the launch of the LifeStraw Family in 2008, and in 2014 was adapted into a refillable water bottle, the LifeStraw Go.
The team at LifeStraw (and their North American distributor Eartheasy) have generously provided us with 3 products to give away at random to one lucky OG fan. This will be OFFGRIDweb's first online giveaway, and we're excited to be able to give something back to those of you who continually support the site. Just like RECOIL magazine, we plan to offer many more giveaways in the future, so keep an eye out for them as a recurring feature on the site.
Below, we'll explain what's included in this giveaway, and how you can enter to win. It's 100% free and takes only a few seconds to submit.
The one that started it all. The LifeStraw hand-held filter weighs only 2 ounces, meets FDA and EPA standards for drinking water, and leaves no chemical aftertaste. As we mentioned before, it can filter out 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa from 1,000 liters of water—enough to use every day for a year for all your drinking water.
The LifeStraw makes a great addition to any survival kit, and has an MSRP of $19.95.
The LifeStraw Go is one of the newest additions to their family of products, and provides an all-in-one way of purifying water on the move. Rather than stopping to drink at a water source, you can simply fill the sturdy 22-ounce bottle with water from a lake or stream, screw on the cap, and filter the water as you drink it from the flip-top bite valve. It even includes a carabiner to clip the bottle onto your pack.
The LifeStraw Go uses the same filtration technology as the standard LifeStraw, so it too will remove 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa from 1,000 liters of water. The MSRP is $29.95.
Unlike the standard straw and Go water bottle, the LifeStraw Family 1.0 is both a filter and a purifier. This means that it removes the same bacteria and protozoa removed by the filters above, but also 99.999% of viruses.
The purifier can process 18,000 liters (4,750) gallons of water at a rate of 9-12 liters per hour, after which the filter should be replaced.
The LifeStraw Family is ideal for purifying water at home, at your base camp, or in any sort of group setting. Just hang it from a rafter, and fill it as shown in the video below:
The LifeStraw Family 1.0 is currently sold at an MSRP of $74.95.
We've seen comments on our Instagram page asking about how to get our OFFGRID morale patches. There are currently only two ways to get these patches: meet one of us in person at a show or event, or be the lucky winner of one of our giveaways. So, if you want a morale patch, now's your chance.
We'll even throw in a copy of the latest issue of our printed magazine for the contest winner.
So, to recap, here's what one random fan will win:
Giveaway Starts: Sunday, 1/3/2016 @ 10am PST
Giveaway Ends: Monday, 1/11/2016 @ 12pm PST
The giveaway is open to people ages 21 and over and who reside in the USA only. Winner will be contacted after announcement with any questions needed to fulfill giveaway. Once winner is contacted and requirements verified, we'll ship the prizes via insured ground shipping.
If you want a chance at winning the LifeStraw items listed above, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter giveaway module below. One (1) RANDOM entrant will be chosen as the winner.