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There are two types of chemical treatment: those using iodine and those using chlorine. There are a variety of products on the market, so follow the directions on the bottle. Be advised that many of the tablets have an expiration date and become ineffective after that point. Also, once the bottle has been opened, the tablets must be used within a certain period. When in doubt, buy a new bottle. Remember that chemical purification methods may only be partially effective, depending on the water temperature.


Always have at least one backup method for water purification in case one fails. This can be any combination of methods. You can choose from the water filtration page or your own ideas. Don't forget that you can always boil the water. If boiling is your backup method, make sure you have enough fuel with you.

When using chemicals to treat the water, the taste may feel like you are drinking a swimming pool. Try adding flavoured vitamin C to iodized water, it completely eliminates any taste or colour of iodine. You must wait until the iodine has purified the water before adding the vitamin C. You can get many different types of flavouring, like orange and lemon powder used in military packs.

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