We have a lot of questions/answers which revolve around the use of filters and purifiers for air and, even more, water.

TL;DR: It would be beneficial to TGO to have information that helps people with their bush-crafted filters. Would Q&As for various subtopics about absorbing chemicals, activated carbon, etc. be tolerated here? If not, suggestions for where else to put the various sub-topics would be appreciated.

Despite what some have claimed here on TGO, I have found that making your own filters, even reasonable quality carbon ones, completely sourced from foraged materials in an outdoor setting is a viable option for water treatment and possibly air treatment too. And not just for survival scenarios.

So I have no doubt that those question are a good fit here, but the problem I'm running into now is that these questions/answers then often beg a discussion of how to make the best filter. After all, most want their water as pure as possible, and it has to be a really good filter to work well for various air uses. This is a problem because this topic generally devolves into non-TGO knowledge that is used in TGO-style crafting.

In my answer to the recent air filtration question I specifically skipped details about making charcoal and about activated carbon. TGO might be the best site for making charcoal (though it wouldn't surprise me if there's already a Q&A for that), but not so much for the rest of it. Because of this, we discussed in comments on the question until we could start a chat.

Ideally, we could link together related Q&As so they flow together nicely. But could questions about carbon filters in general be an ok fit on TGO? What about questions about activated charcoal?

If they are not wanted here, then where? Some of the discussion gets a little bit chemistry-related, and there is a chemistry SE I think. But that doesn't cover all of it. Maybe DIY SE could house some of it? Do you think some of the carbon surface-area/pore/absorbency stuff seems like an engineering SE thing? I'm willing to make Q&As wherever would be appropriate and to link to them from other SE sites, but I'm not sure where is a good fit... or even if you're just OK with having them here on TGO.


2 Answers 2


Would be great to have a clearinghouse for bushcraft water filters. There’s a lot of opportunity to leverage technology from developing world. I know there’s an MIT group testing water filters made from tree xylem (in brief—some tree branches provide exceptional filtration) https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.technologyreview.com/s/520706/how-to-build-a-plant-xylem-water-filter/amp/

Note: I’m a complete agnostic as to where on the various sites this should live

  • My initial knee-jerk reaction was to +1 this support for allowing the topic here. Not sure if I should have. As much as I want it here for personal reasons, I feel like various sub-topics required would be migrated away to other sites unless we green-lit "Questions which would be off-topic will be virtually on-topic if they work well as foundational link-ins to what would be on-topic"... not sure that will fly.
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 15:56
  • Water filtration in the outdoors is on topic
  • Water filtration/purification for a house gets migrated to diy.se
  • A number of questions have already been asked on this subject, make sure yours are not dupes.
  • While I do enjoy the brevity of most of your questions and answers, and think it's a great thing 90% of the time, this is one of those cases where the details really are important as it is a nuanced question (though not at all hypothetical). You have technically answered the question as it appears in the title and possibly the TL;DR, though the answer is of very limited use. Perhaps I should not have included a TL;DR.
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 15:50
  • The previous is certainly not a slam. I'm not sure what I expected since TGO meta is not the "what SE does this go on?.SE" I suppose more of a discussion is what I was after. I'll ask around the metas of the other sites, starting with DIY at your suggestion, of what they think about these various related sub-topics.
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 15:53

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