How Long to Boil Water So It's Safe to Drink - It's a critical issue when hiking in the wilderness or traveling in some foreign lands. Filters and purifiers can work well, HOWEVER:

The ONLY 100% reliable method for killing waterborne pathogens is boiling.

According to the Wilderness Medical Society...

  • water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and
  • water temperatures above 185° F (85° C) kill all pathogens within a few minutes.

So by the time water temperature goes from 160° F (70° C) to the boiling point (212° F or 100° C), all pathogens have been killed, even at high altitude.


The Backpacker's Field Manual, Revised and Updated: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills
by Rick Curtis

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