Filtering Water and Cooking on the Trail

BG: “Hi folks. Backwoods here. Today we are gonna make a little video showing you guys how to cook out on the trail. I just walked into this place; obviously it’s a swamp/river. Got good flowing water here. Wanted to talk a minute about that. We are looking for water to purify. You can see it is decently cleared as tannic. Most of your rivers and streams in Florida are gonna be tannic. In other words, just because it looks brown, doesn’t mean it is dirty. That is from all the leaves, the roots, all the other organic matter that falls into the water and it just like turns it into like iced tea. That does not mean it is not good to drink.”

“Also, you want to try and find, boiling water if you can out on a lake is going to be a different deal. In a lake however, you want to try and go with your greener or clear lakes. Green water usually means that there is a healthy eco system in that lake that has planktonic algae growing in it. That produces an entire food chain. Also, look for aquatic animals. If there is fish living in it and bugs coming off it, here when I first walked up there were two or three little bass swimming around the edge. There’s lots of minnows swimming around the edge that generally means it’s at least not to polluted for them to survive in there. This is pretty pristine here even though it is a little tannic so we are gonna go ahead while we have the opportunity, we are gonna go ahead and take some of this water and filter it.”

“First thing we are gonna do is get out our water filter. Here we are going to be using the Sawyer water filter. We got that packaged up here in our pack here. Zip lock bag is also going to double as an extra water container for us. We’ll keep that one, keep it clean. Here with this system there is just a couple parts. That’s the back flow for cleaning the filter. This is the filter itself and then we have our water pouch so we are gonna go ahead and open that up. This also fits a, this also fits 2 liter bottles so if you find some of those lying around it works pretty great. So I am just gonna go here, there’s not gonna be a lot of debris in this water. If there was I would use some panty hose, which I also have. I’m trying not to disturb the mud on the bottom. Let’s get out here where it’s a little clean and we’ll start filling that up.”

“The other thing I didn’t mention was, here in Florida we have a lot of brackish water. Even though it may look fresh it could possibly contain salt. Especially off the Saint Jones River or anywhere in Northern Florida. Around the cost we are here close to Tampa Bay. This river does flow into Tampa bay. However I do know there is a water control feature south of here that prevents the salt water from coming back up this far. So we’re just gonna go ahead and fill this guy up.”

“Alright we’ve got our pouch filled up here so now I’m gonna put the cap back on it. I did find one thing useful using it the first time. You actually had to move it along the water to get the pouch to expand. So I just kind of pulled it across the top of the water and it filled right up. But just kind of dunking it didn’t really work; the pouch was squeezed tight closed from being rolled up. So, if you have that problem just move it along the water and it will open it right up. So now we will just take the lid off of it and we are gonna screw the water filter on to its place. It has a little protective cap here on the end and we’ll go ahead and filter it and look at it. I want to show you what the water looks like straight up out of the river first.”

“Well, here’s the water straight up out of the river. It’s not too bad, it’s pretty clear even though the river looks kind of dark. It’s not that bad, but once we filter that it should be much better.”

“A fresh, clean zip lock bag, we are gonna go ahead and, you don’t wanna use, you don’t wanna put filtered water into anything you’ve ever had unfiltered water in. You can actually drink this straight out of the bag. It pretty much works with gravity but you can squeeze it. It has one of those tips like a sports bottle. In this case we wanna save it so we are just gonna go ahead and let it drain. The thing I wish they had of done was put some kind of an eyelet on this bag so you can hang it but you can actually compress the bag and it speeds up the process a little bit.”

“Ok, we’re gonna take another look at it. Much clearer, let’s get a closer shot of that. There is still a tiny, tiny bit of color in there but any particulars that are in there are now gone and it’ll be safe to drink. Some of you are probably asking, “Well, I didn’t see you drink any of that.” but I’m gonna go ahead. I actually tried some and it’s great. (Drinking) Especially on a hot day like today. It tastes like bottled water.”

“Real quick I wanted to show you a hazard out here in the wilderness. Especially in wet and swampy areas. This is poison Ivy boys and girls. Okay. Leaves of three let it be. This can put you out of action.”


“If we wanna get a fire going, it’s really wet down here we are right next to the river. We want to try and find stuff that’s kind of high and dry. There is a piece of cypress tree right there. You can tell by the way it breaks there that it is really dry. Go ahead and gather that guy up and some of this other stuff that is a bit, it’s not lying directly on the ground. You know, we’ve got stuff lying up in these limbs; we’re just kind of gather up some of that. We need little stuff, big stuff. Get us a little pile going on over here. Here is some great, great tinder right there. Let’s get all that little bitty stuff. We need all that to get our fire going. Carry this back over here. This stuff that’s laying right here in the mud’s not going to work. We are going to find kind of a dry spot and start prepping that. Gonna go find some starter material. I see a palm tree over here. Let’s go check that out. On the way over to the palm tree I noticed some very, very fresh signs of wild hog here. So, there is food around so and we actually seen them on the way in here. So this would be a good place to have a base camp. A; you’ve got unlimited supply of water and you got game in the area. So let’s go back to the palm tree now.”

“We are gonna keep our eyes peeled for that guy. Alright like I showed you guy’s in the previous video, all that stuff up in here is dry. We wanna get in there and get that fiber that’s in between. Its right there, see it coming out? Okay, this stays dry even when it rains. That’ll catch our spark from our carbon match. We are gonna get a pretty good fistful of it. The other thing is, the ground is pretty soaking wet so we are just gonna go ahead and get us a palm here. That’ll give us something to put our fire on.”

“Spruced it up a little more. Got a little more courser, dryer stuff on top of it there. See if we can get that to go. Boom. The thing is, is that if we can get it going long enough to actually start catching some of this wood. I hear the wood boiling now. If we can keep that going long enough. Get some air in it.”

“Looking pretty successful. We’ll start building on it. We don’t need a huge fire.”

“Okay, we just got our canteen cup up next to the fire. You notice there is almost no smoke. Look up, no smoke. No sign of smoke. Go ahead and take advantage of this while it’s going pretty good. Got my good old top Raman. You don’t really need hot water for these. They are a great source of complex carbs that will keep you going out here and there is really no excuse for not buying them at .29 cents. They weigh practically nothing to put in your pack. The flavor packet is also very high in sodium to help water retention. You’re going to be sweating a lot in the summer time. Just wanna keep the fire going here. Notice its already burned through the palm leaf but by the time it burnt through the palm leaf the ground was already dry. Just gonna try and keep the fire up around the canteen cup.”

“This one is not knapping as well because it is a little wetter. But we do have a coals going on there so we will just keep nestling them up against the canteen cup.”

“This is Backwoods here out in the wilderness eating Raman noodles. Pretty good. These are gonna store up for quite a while. Little stale, but all in all not bad. Came out, did it on a little improvised fire. Started without matches or anything. Hope you learned a little bit. We’ll be back for more videos on some other gear you can bring that will make this process a lot easier and we can do a little bit more elaborate meals than just Raman noodles. Once again, not bad for the middle of nowhere.”

“Once again, Backwoods. See ya next time.”


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