Top 5 Best DIY Water Distillers For Camping, Emergency Survival & Prepping

Learn How To Easily Build The Best Portable Water Distillers

Learn how to build the top 5 portable homemade DIY water distillers for camping, hiking, emergency survival & doomsday prepping.

Build The Top 5 Homemade Portable Water Distillers For Camping & Emergency Survival

Learn how to make your own homemade portable water distillers for purifying water. Best DIY kits for emergency survival, backpacking, and Doomsday prepping. is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Portable water filters fall short in their ability to turn salt water into drinking water. The best low cost method to desalinate water is to make your own homemade water distiller / desalination kit.

Portable Water Distillation Overview

No portable water filters will filter salt water and most will not filter water-soluble chemicals (like chlorine or fluoride) or some heavy metals. Properly distilling water pretty much eliminates all of the potential bad things from water, but it is the most difficult method for purifying water.

We provide details and parts lists for the best two homemade options for distilling water below if you need to convert salt water into drinking water. We also include three more primitive water distillation methods to finish off our top 5.

Why Buy An Electric Water Distiller Like This One When You Can Build Your Own

An Electric Water Distiller is not as good as a homemade DIY water distiller for emergency survival.

Top 5 Homemade Portable Water Distillers

Although you can find water distillers for sale on Amazon and other stores, we can't recommend any of those as they are really expensive for what you get.

Some of the less expensive but still costly water distillers you might buy are either overly complicated, are difficult to set up and operate, require conditions to be just right (like it really needs to be cold outside before they work), are electric and require way too many watts and time, and/or they require a pump to help move the water from one container to another.

Instead, we recommend that you start out with a simple low cost homemade water distiller like one of the two options below. Both of these models are durable, reliable and portable for home, bunker, or wilderness water distilling.

Easy To Make Water Distiller Using Parts From Home Depot

Make your own homemade stove top or campfire water distiller using inexpensive parts from Home Depot.

1. Homemade Teapot Distiller (All Parts From Home Depot)

Watch the YouTube video below for a quick and easy water distiller that you can make yourself. You can make your own inexpensive water distiller using your own tea kettle with parts that you can order from Home Depot. In the video the tea kettle round metal spout has approx. a 1-1/4" outside diameter which would be typical.

The Black PVC Coupling With Stainless Steel Hose Clamps has an inside diameter of 1-1/2" and the clamp will clamp down on the slightly smaller 1-1/4" teapot spout. The parts list below from Home Depot assumes that the tea kettle that you have also has approximately a 1-1/4" outside diameter spout.

The main tube (the copper pipe) is a "copper water heater supply line" which is 18", although you could also use a 24" copper supply line. The black rubber looking "coupler" is a 1-1/4 in. PVC Flexible Coupling with Stainless Steel Clamps. There are two white schedule 40 PVC parts. We provide the complete parts list below with links to for the exact parts that you need in addition to a teapot.

Either take the parts list and your teapot to Home Depot to make sure everything fits properly. Or, and this is the beauty of ordering from Home Depot, you can order the parts we list below online. If for any reason it is not a perfect match to your tea kettle, you can take everything up to your Home Depot and exchange for what you need.

For example, if your teapot spout were too small in diameter, it may work better to get a 3/4" PVC to 3/4" Male Thread PVC adapter instead of the 1 in. x 3/4 in. Sch. 40 PVC Reducing Male Adapter and also get a 1 in. PVC Flexible Coupling with Stainless Steel Clamps instead of the same part in 1-1/4" size.

There's a good chance that the exact parts list we provided below will be the exact parts that you need for your teapot, and that will save a trip for you if you order online.

DIY Homemade Water Distiller


  • Very easy to make. Convert your own tea kettle (or buy one) to a water distiller.

  • Save a lot of money making your own inexpensive water distiller.

  • Will distill salt water or dirty water and kill all bacteria, protozoa & viruses, plus remove all heavy metals, chemicals, and micro plastics.

  • You can use a stove top burner, rocket stove, or small camp fire to boil the water.


  • There are more efficient water distiller designs (although at much higher costs and not worth it in our opinion to spend that kind of money).

Make Your Own Homemade Distiller With A Teapot + These Home Depot Parts

Parts diagram and list for Home Depot portable teapot water distiller for emergency survival or doomsday prepping.

NOTE: If you need a teapot, get a teapot with a removable spout whistle and it should work nicely. You can find better teapots to use as a teapot, but for distilling water, this one would work for that purpose.

Turn A Teapot Like This One Into A Homemade Water Distiller

The perfect teapot to convert to a portable homemade DIY water distiller will have a removable spout whistle.

2. DIY Salt-Water Survival Bottle (Compact Desalination Kit)

Here is another do-it-yourself homemade water distiller that works really well. Watch the YouTube video below for instructions how to assemble and use this water bottle distiller. All of the parts and tools can be purchased from Home Depot and Amazon and we have a list with links below.

This solution with a steel water bottle and copper coil is a little more compact and portable than the previous teapot water distiller shown above, but this steel water bottle distiller requires some drilling and soldering work that is not too difficult, but certainly harder than just assembling parts to a teapot as in the prior model.

Distill Salt-Water Or Dirty Water With A Do-It-Yourself Survival Bottle Kit

You can distill salt water or dirty polluted water at a campsite with a homemade survival bottle distiller.

DIY Homemade Water Distiller


  • Moderately easy to convert a steel water bottle into a water distiller.

  • Save a lot of money making your own inexpensive water distiller.

  • Will distill salt water or dirty water and kill all bacteria, protozoa & viruses, plus remove all heavy metals, chemicals, and micro plastics.

  • You can use a stove top burner, rocket stove, or small camp fire to boil the water.

  • -This project is enjoyable to construct if you like building things.


  • There are more efficient water distiller designs (although at much higher costs and not worth it in our opinion to spend that kind of money).

  • If you have zero soldering experience & tools, there is a small learning curve plus extra expense for the tools.

Check Current Prices & Availability:

Home Depot (Parts List)

Amazon (Parts List)

Parts & Tools Assumed That You Already Have - Available on Amazon or Home Depot If Needed

  • Electric drill and 1/4" + 1/16" (or close to 1/16") drill bits (to drill holes in steel water bottle top)

  • Hammer or mallet (to drive 1/4" tubing pieces into steel water bottle top)

  • Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle (to clean off flux just after soldering)

  • Soldering Iron - Optional to fill 1/16" hole as shown in video - You could use a propane torch and/or a soldering iron on this project

  • Small piece of round flat rubber (used as a gasket on the 1/4" 90-Degree Brass Elbow - when using the bottle as a water bottle)

  • S-Hook or coat hanger wire or any wire hook (to hang water distiller bottle over a fire)

  • Camp stove or equivalent (we recommend the KampMATE stove if you do not already have a small camp stove)

NOTE: Four More Do-It-Yourself Water Distillers

The following four methods are more simple, less durable, less safe and are more primitive than the above two homemade water distillers. However, the skills below for distilling water are really good to have in your prepping stockpile of knowledge. No parts list is required for these three as the videos show the simple materials required for each method.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After collecting the water in any of the water distillers #3 through #6 below, a much better last step would be to filter the collected water with a portable water filter such as any of those listed in our article Best Portable Water Filters For Emergency Survival And Prepping.

For these methods below, the best portable water filter type would be the straw filter, such as the pen sized HydroBlu Sidekick. This would help eliminate possible contaminated water in some of these methods if you are not careful, such as animal or insect poop / urine, fungus, mold, poisonous plant chemicals, or very tiny microorganisms.

3. Plastic Bottle Solar Distiller

Homemade Plastic Bottle Solar Water Distiller

Simplified Video Instructions:

1) Cut the bottom off a plastic bottle and fold the plastic under as shown.

2) Cut out the top of an aluminum can and fill it with dirty water.

3) Place the aluminum can in the sun and place the plastic bottle over the top of it.

4) When the water condenses inside the plastic bottle gently shake it.

5) Open the plastic bottle cap, and pour the small amount of water.

4. Solar Distilling Water Bowl

Homemade Solar Water Bowl Distiller

Simplified Video Instructions:

1) Place a clear plastic bowl over a section of grass lawn in the sun.

2) Wait for water to condense in the bowl.

3) Turn the bowl over and swirl it and then pour the small amount of water.

5. Solar Tree Or Bush Water Condenser

Collect Water From Trees Or Bushes With This Plant Water Condenser

Simplified Video Instructions: (The video goes into a lot more instructions and very important tips)

1) Pick an appropriate plant and branches.

2) Place a rock in the end of the bag if needed to make the closed end of the bag hang lower.

3) Place a clear plastic bag around the tree or bush branches in the sun.

4) Tie the bag off tightly around the branch making sure the closed end is lower than the tied end.

5) Wait perhaps 4 or 5 hours for water to collect in the bag.

6) Empty the bag(s) into a container.

7) Pour the water from this container through a filter (such as a Tee Shirt) into another container. This filters out anything that may have fallen into the water.

6. (Bonus) Solar Still In The Ground

Make Your Own Solar Still With A Shovel & Plastic Sheeting

Simplified Video Instructions:

1) Dig a hole (in the early morning that will later be in the sun) approximately 1.5 feet deep and 3 feet in diameter.

2) Add green vegetation (preferably broad leaves) in the hole.

3) Throw a bucket of sea water (or dirty water) over the vegetation.

4) Place a container (cup or bowl) at the bottom center of the hole to catch the water.

5) Place a plastic sheet over the hole, creating a funnel with a hole over the container. Add dirt or something around the edges to keep the plastic sheet in place.

6) Wait for the water to condense and fill your container.

7) Remove the container. Replace the container after drinking or storing the the water, and start over.

8) Repeat any of the steps if the system produces less.


Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web site is for information only. and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone using any items described on this web site including using or making water distillers.

If You Liked This Article

Please share this article and check out our related article Top 25 Best Portable Water Filters & Other Purification Methods. This article is an in depth article on water purification and includes the top 10 portable methods to purify water and top 25 portable water filters.

We also have an article Top 10 Best Campfire Stoves & Cooking Gear that may be of interest to you as it covers the basics and tips for boiling water to kill micro-organisms.

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