One of the first things newbie preppers do is get themselves set up with water. In my own case, I purchased a 55 gallon water barrel and lots of bottled water and indeed, this set the groundwork for moving forward not only with my own preparedness activities but with Backdoor Survival as well.
Fast forward a few years and a lot of research later, and I now know that having stored water is not enough. An essential component of every family preparedness plan should be a simple, non-mechanical method of purifying water whether at home or in a bug-out-situation.
What is the Lifestraw Family 1.0?
A personal Lifestraw is great for one-on-one drinking water but for cooking, bathing and other activities, it is useless. Filtering systems such as the Berkey (which I adore!) work perfectly in this situation but if you must leave your home for parts unknown, carting a big Berkey on your back is not likely to be high on your priority list.
The LifeStraw Family is perfect. It is lightweight, portable and a cinch to use.
A Cinch to Use? Tell Me More
A detailed manual comes with the LifeStraw Family but to get started, all you need to do is follow the instructions on the outside of the bag. In the simplest of terms, here is what you do:
Take the LifeStraw Family out of the bag.
Hang it up on a hook or a tree branch or anything really. You want the hose to hang straight and without any kinks that will impede the flow of water.
Pour water into the feed bucket.
Prime the filter by letting water out of the red spout for a about 10 seconds. Close the red valve.
Open the blue spout and you are good to go. You now have pure, clean, drinkable water.
When done (typically at the end of the day), backwash by squeezing the red backwash bulb 3 times with both taps closed.
The feed bucket holds about 2 liters of water. I used raw, non-potable from the pump outside my front door and was able to filter 4 liters of water in about 20 minutes. The stated flow rate is 9 to 12 liters per hour so my experience tracked well with LifeStraw Family specifications.
How Does It Work
Technically, this is how it is explained on the Eartheasy.com website:
LifeStraw Family uses advanced hollow fiber technology. Water is forced through narrow fibers under high pressure. Clean water exits through tiny pores in the walls of the hollow fibers, but bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other contaminants are trapped inside the hollow fibers and are flushed out by backwashing. This is a highly efficient method of filtration.
- Filters up to 4,750 gallons or 18,000 liters of water to 0.02 microns (20 nm)
- Removes minimum 99.99% of viruses (>LOG 4 reduction)
- Removes minimum 99.9999% of bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction)
- Removes minimum 99.9% of protozoan cysts (>LOG 3 reduction)
- Requires no electrical power, batteries, or replacement parts
- Requires no running water or piped-in water supply
- Flow-rate of 9-12 liters/hour
One thing I want to point out is that the feed bucket includes an inner, removable filtering basket that pre-filters your dirty water. Stones, clumps of dirt, leaves,, bugs, worms and other nasties will get caught in this basket. Okay, maybe not worms but you never know.
Note: The LifeStraw Family 1.0 will not filter out chemicals. It will only filter out bacteria, protozoa or viruses. The hollow fibre membrane filter will remove those elements, not heavy metals or chemicals.
Now for the part you have been waiting for! One lucky reader will win a free LifeStraw Family 1.0. In order to win, I would like you think about the following question.
How will a LifeStraw Family fit into your overall water storage strategy?
As with all Backdoor Survival giveaways, the goal is to make you think. There is no right and no wrong answer; I simply want you to get used to thinking outside the box so that you stay on top of your game, mentally.
To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific on Thursday with the winner notified in the following Sunday Survival Buzz.
Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.
The Final Word
I plan on leaving my Lifestraw Family 1.0 in my car. That way I will have it with me whenever I am away from home. It is light enough that I can strap it to my bug-out-bag and portable enough that I can run to the car and get it if bugging in.
So what do you think? Would you like to win a LifeStraw Family?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? The LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifiercontains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and is the perfect solution to your portable water purification needs – whether bugging in or bugging out.
waterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage: Have you considered storing water in your bathtub? The Water Bob is a bladder that you can use in your bathtub to store water if you know that a storm, flood, or hurricane is brewing.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.
NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle: These $8 water bottles have served me well. I fill them up with water from my Royal Berkey and keep one bedside, one at my desk and another in the bathroom. Keep in mind that price-wise, some colors will be more expensive so if color does not matter, go with the cheapest (currently the green version). Have a few of these around will be useful with your Lifestraw Family as well.
55 Gallon Water Barrel Combo: Back in January 2011, I paid about $160 for the same thing so anything less than $150 (with shipping) is a great deal. I feel that every household should have at least on 55 gallon water barrel.
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.
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