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When SHTF these survival cooking and survival water purification methods may save your life

Knowledge about survival cooking and survival water purification techniques is paramount if you are going to live more than a few days, when you no longer have access to the mains electric, gas or water supplies.

Bringing water and food up to certain temperatures can kill harmful bacteria, fungus, viruses and germs in general, thus turning previously useless food or water in a precious resource.

7 survival cooking methods if the grid is down

Sometimes we can get into a very unpleasant situation if a grid is down, and the biggest problem, in this case, is that we won’t be able to cook our food using the usual cooking method. Nowadays almost every way of meal preparation requires electricity. Of course, some people use gas stoves for cooking, but it’s not a great solution in a survival situation, because there is a possibility that the gas may stop flowing. Only propane stoves can work well in such a situation, but for this, you must be sure that you have enough propane.

It’s really necessary to have the possibility to cook. It’s impossible to imagine our life without meal preparation. Cooking is necessary not only because it makes our food warm and tasty, but also because it kills bacteria which is probably inside of some raw food and which can harm our health. It’s especially necessary to cook any kind of meat properly.

The best survival cooking techniques

A barbecue grill.

If you can’t cook using your stove, then the easiest survival cooking method is using a barbecue grill. People usually have it at home for the situations when they want to make a good steak or some chicken wings. A grill replaces a stove perfectly. It’s even possible to put a pot on a grill for cooking, the only disadvantage is that this pot may become black on the outside.

Modern barbecue grills work using propane, but it’s also possible to choose an old-fashioned way and use woodpile or charcoal. If you do this the gas burner may become damaged, but if you’re in a survival situation it’s still a good method. Besides, a gas burner is replaceable.

A fire pit.

Many families have fire pits on the yards of their houses, and this can be really helpful in a critical situation. There is just one thing you need to prepare to be able to cook using a fire pit: it’s a metal grill. Just put it over your fire pit and cook. You can buy it in any store that sells fire pits.

If you’re cooking using a fire pit, make sure that the woodpile is burning down fully. In this case, it’ll be hotter, but the food which is located on the grill won’t be burnt.

A fireplace.

After the USA was colonized for the first time, cooking in a fireplace was the most popular method of meal preparation for more than a century. If people needed to cook in pots, they put them right into the coals or located them on a metal frame that was placed over a fire. But if people needed to cook meat, they put it on a spit; we usually cook kebabs or rotisserie chicken using this method nowadays. 

A wood-burning cooker.

This cooker replaced the fireplace some centuries ago, as it was a modern and safe solution for cooking. Many people from the West still prefer to use it, although people from the East prefer modern stoves. The top side of this cooker is flat so that you can cook on it. If you have such a cooker at home for heating purposes in an emergency situation, you may be sure that you will have the possibility to cook in any critical situation.

A camping stove.

The purpose of these stoves is to cook in survival cooking situations when electricity is not available. Here are 3 main types of camping stoves which are divided by the fuel that they need:

  • Wood-burning ones look just like portable boxes where you need to put some wood, and which have pots on top.
  • Propane stoves aren’t the best idea, because if you’re out of propane you won’t be able to cook. It’s not very helpful if you’re in the wood.
  • Dual fuel stoves are the oldest type of camping stoves, they use gasoline or some special fuel. Of course, you may run out of gasoline pretty fast, but still, it’s easier to find it than to find propane.
prepper cooking survival water purification

A solar oven.

This type of survival cooking is great, especially if it’s summertime. There is just one disadvantage in solar ovens: they cook really slowly. But if you practice a little bit, you’ll get in love with these ovens, because they are very effective and it’s pretty easy to use them. Here are 3 types of solar ovens:

  • Reflective box is the most popular type. It’s pretty easy to create it by yourself or you can always buy it in a store. It consists of a box with valves. The inside of this box is coated with a reflective material, so that sunlight is reflected onto the pot which you should place inside your oven. You can make cooking in this box even more effective if you put your pot in a special oven bag which is similar to the ones which we usually use when we cook a chicken or a turkey.
  • Parabolic reflectors are another type. It’s better to use the biggest ones. These reflectors can be made from large outdated TV antennas. The inside surface of such antennas has reflective material. If you put your pot right into that place where the antenna’s receiver is located, it will fully get the sunlight. Make sure that you hold your pot in this place all the time so that it doesn’t relocate.
  • Fresnel lens is the most effective solar oven that you can imagine. It looks like a flat magnifier made of plastic. Such lenses (but bigger ones) were used earlier for the TV screens and were located on the backside of the TV-sets. The focal point is about 2 feet behind the Fresnel lens. Such lenses are so powerful that they can even melt a coin.
solar cooker uk

A Dutch oven.

All previous methods were mostly for meat and fish preparation, although they are also good for baking. A Dutch oven is a really old-fashioned method of baking which was used by colonists and pioneers many years ago. Those people just put a piece of bread or a slice of a pie into such an oven and after that, they located this oven right in the coals over the fire. More coals were placed on the top side. It was heating and the food was cooking. This method is also really great if you want to prepare a casserole meal.

Now you’re prepared for Survival Cooking

It’s really great to have a possibility of survival cooking using different methods because you never know when you get to a critical situation during which you won’t be able to cook using your favorite method. Prepare yourself for such situations, so that you can be sure that in any emergency moment you’ll be able to cook and that you actually know how to cook using these things. It won’t be great to destroy your food by not knowing how to use some stoves or ovens if you’re in an emergency situation and if you don’t have too much food. So, it is better to learn how to do this stuff now when you’re not in a critical situation.

Now let’s take a look at survival water purification techniques…

8 survival water purification methods to keep you alive!

There are many things you may need for your survival if you get to an emergency situation. But drinking water is probably the most important one because it is possible to live only 3 days without water, or even less if you’re located in a really hot and dry zone. So, water is what you’ll need to live.

But what you really need is pure water, not just clean water. It’s possible to find clean water in many places, but, unfortunately, this water isn’t pure. Clean water means that this water is transparent and not dirty, whereas pure water means that there are no microbes in it.

Different types of bacteria in your water can lead to many problems with health, sometimes it can even make you die. Even if your water is purified but not perfectly, you may have some health troubles, for example, you can vomit and have diarrhea. They are usually not dangerous for your life, but if you’re dehydrated even a small number of bacteria can literally kill you. If you’re in a survival situation, you must be very careful with water, because you never know if it’s dangerous; so, before drinking it you should purify it really well to make sure that there are no microbes there.

It’s possible to name several methods of water purification. They can be divided into 2 main types: chemical purification mechanical filtration. These types can definitely help to make your water pure.

The best survival water purification methods

Filters for survival water purification.

The most popular method of survival water purificiation is using mechanical water filters. They get rid of all the microbes and also, they destroy the sediment in this water which will look clean after that. But this method has a disadvantage, unfortunately. The filter needs to work down to 2 microns to kill bacteria, but if you also want to kill possible viruses and make the water completely pure your filter must work down to 0,2 microns. Mechanical water filters mostly can’t work so well and make your water completely pure.

If you want to have some really good water filters, find the back-flushable ones which have really good quality. This is how these filters work: when the water is purified, it’ll run back under pressure, so the whole filter will be clean. You can use such a filter for millions of liters and only after that you should take a new one, so they’re really long-lasting. Of course, such filters cost a lot, but it’s worth it if you care about your survival. 


Here is one more popular method of water purification. It is usually used in many cities to purify water in swimming pools and in water supply systems. Chlorine kills all the bacteria and makes the water absolutely clean. It’s easy to buy chlorine in many supermarkets, it’s usually named «household bleach» there. Remember that you don’t need a «color safe» type or the one that has a nice smell. Take a standard bleach. Add 8 drops of it to one gallon of water, it’s enough. Then wait 30 minutes, during this time chlorine will do its purification work.


Iodine works just like chlorine; the only difference is that you should use more of it. You need 2% iodine in conjunction with 47% alcohol. Then add at least 20 drops of it to every gallon of your water. In case if your water is non-transparent, you should add up to 20 more drops. A lot of countries that belong to the Third World use this method to purify water and it works fine.


This is the method which means heating water and making it boil. It’s really great to kill all the microbes, but, unfortunately, it’s possible only if you have the ability to boil water (you need fuel or gas for it). Boiling water must be in this condition for not less than 5 minutes. The disadvantage of this method is that it’s impossible to drink water immediately after boiling as it will be too hot. So, you need to cool it somehow at first. But if you’re planning to drink some tea or if you’re fine with waiting for your water to have a normal temperature, then this method will work for you. WARNING: If you take water from a chemically contaminated source then boiling water can in fact concentrate the chemical even further, making it an even more toxic scenario!! Be careful!


If you need to destroy all the microbes in your water, it isn’t a necessity to boil this water. Just heat it until it will be 158°F (which is 70°C). This method is called pasteurization and it was discovered by famous chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur in the 19th century. One of his goals was to find a good way of water purification, so that’s why he invented this method.

If you’re in the woods, there is a small chance that you have a thermometer with you to check what temperature your water has to realize if it’s purified now. For this purpose, there is a useful tool called WAPI which means «Water Pasteurization Indicator». This device was created for the third-world countries. It looks like a capsule made of plastic which has a wax pellet inside. So, start heating the water and then just put WAPI into this water. When the pellet melts, you can be sure that your water is purified now.


This is probably the best way to purify water for your survival because it kills all the microbes and viruses. But it’s not easy to distill water. However, it is also the hardest to do. First of all, you’ll need an enclosed container where you will heat your water. The steam will come out of the water and then, it’ll be passed through a condenser back into the water. There can be different types of condensers, but usually, a coiled copper pipe used for this purpose. So, the coil will go downhill and the water which is completely pure now will drip down.

salt water purifier - solar still
A sea water solar still (Courtesy of Wikipedia)


Of course, you can buy some good filters in any store, but there is a possibility to do a bio-filter by yourself using some materials which you can find almost everywhere. Bio-filter can kill 99% of the bacteria and besides, it cleans the water from many types of pollution. You can create this filter in any container, for example in a big pail that can hold several gallons of water.

You need to make 3 layers to create a bio-filter: the top one is gravel, then you should add sand, and the bottom layer is activated carbon or charcoal. So, when you pour your water, it’ll come from the top layer to the bottom one. Every layer helps to purify the water so that in the end you get it purified.

If you just created a bio-filter, don’t be afraid if the water after purification will come out really muddy with some black specks. This will clear up when you pour some gallons of water through this filter. But if you rinse the ingredients before making your bio-filter, then the number of cleanings will be decreased.

Tablets for chemical filtration.

There are some companies that produce special tablets that can purify the water. These tablets have special halogens. They can purify water really well, but, unfortunately, the water will have an awful taste after this process. If you choose this purification method anyway, make sure you take a lot of tablets, because when you are out of them, you won’t be able to purify water.

Survival Water Purification

There are many methods of water purification, but not all of them can kill all the microbes. Some of these methods are really good if you need to purify your water at home, other methods are very helpful if you’re outdoors in a survival situation. As you can’t live without pure water, you must be able to purify water using different methods, when it’s necessary. Put several tools for water purification not only into your home medical box but also into your survival kit.  

Remember these survival cooking and survival water purification techniques!

I know it’s a lot of info to take in, in one blog post but these simple techniques can save your life in any survival or prepping situation. In fact, the better you prep using these techniques (i.e. prepare fire-lighting tools, a fire-starting kit, buy water purification tablets etc) the easier it will be when you need to use these techniques.

Have fun, have a practise with the techniques, taste the unique taste of iodine water, and eat burnt meat off an open fire! It’s all good fun, but better still, you’ll be better prepared when the time comes to use it.

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