Royal Berkey Water Filter at the Bug Out Location

Between July 30 – August 1 my family and I spent 3 days at the bug out location. While we were there, I decided to hook up the Royal Berkey water filter and give it a test run. The Royal Berkey had been assembled, but never actually used. And like all survival gear, it needs to be tested before its actually needed.

Its not enough to have survival plans, those plans have to be tested from time to time in a variety of conditions. And then, the results of those test have to analyzed. From the results of those test, what do you need to improve the outcome?

Royal Berkey water filter

Water is one of the basic survival needs- food, water and shelter.  But having just “water” is not good enough, it needs to be “safe water.”

Related Article – Survivalist Water Filter Options.

Using the Royal Berkey

Water was taken from a nearby creek and poured into the reservoir. In about 15 minutes I could hear the first drips of the water hitting the bottom of the holding tank.

In about an hour, I was able to get a juice glass of water from the Royal Berkey.

One of the popular questions I see about the Berkey system – “do you have to prime the filters for them to work?” To get a real life answer, I did not prime the filters. The water was just poured into the reservoir with dry filters, and in about 15 minutes the water started dripping.

Stainless Steel

The Royal Berkey is made out of stainless, so rodents can not chew through it. This makes it a good choice if your looking for a long term storage filter – in other words, something you can store and not have to worry about it.

One of the big issues with storing goods at a remote location is rodents. Anything made out of plastic or cardboard can be chewed into by a mouse or rat. So lets say that you had some plastic water filters stored at your camp, how do you know for “sure” that when you need those water filters their not going to have chew holes in them?

Royal Berkey Capacity

Each filter can filter around 3,000 gallons 2 filter unit – about 6,000 gallons 4 filter unit – about 12,000 gallons For most people, it would be impossible to store 6,000 – 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water. But with a Royal Berkey and 2 filters, its possible to make an estimated 6,000 gallons of water safe to drink.


A 2 filter system should be good for 2 – 4 people. But for 4 active adults, or more then 4 people, you might want to consider looking at a 4 filter unit.

Lets say you plan on having 6+ people in your group, I would consider going with something like a Imperial Berkey, just for the larger holding tank.

  • Royal Berkey – Holding capacity: Aprox. 3.25 Gallons.
  • Imperial Berkey – Holding capacity: Aprox. 4.5 Gallons.
  • Crown Berkey – Holding capacity: Aprox. 6 Gallons.

If I was going to buy a Berkey water filter for a camp / cabin or remote location, I would start looking at the Royal Berkey and go from there.  Depending on location, summer time heat, how many people, available water sources, I would probably start looking at the Royal Berkey, and move up the line to the most expensive filter that I could afford.

Safe drinking water is not something you want to go cheap on.