water survival skills ~ Finding, boiling and ways for purifying water in the wild

-------------------------------------------------11/14/18
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Learn how to make a simple burn bowl above, so you can use it to boil
water.

#4 Survival Skill: Getting water from the weather.
Water, water everywhere. Whether you have rain or snow, you
can secure potable water.

How to collect rainwater (the right way).
Collecting rainwater is relatively simple water survival skill. You
just need a catchment system to remember a few things if the
rainwater is for drinking (and not just for the garden):

  • Minimize contamination.  Keep the vessel clean whether
    you have a rain barrel or a cup. Be sure also to remove any
    overhanging branches. Getting water from a rain gutter is
    good for collecting water for your plants, but not for you. The
    roofing materials and debris on the roof including bird poop
    will make the water unclean for drinking

  • Pre-filter the water as it collects. If possible use a fine
    wire mesh to keep leaves, bugs and other materials from
    getting into your water container. In a survival situation, you
    can use a T-shirt or a mesh like pantyhose. Bird droppings
    are your main concern with collecting rainwater. Be sure to
    purify any water you collect. Use a waterstraw or water
    purification tablets if you have them.

How to get drinking water from snow.
Turning snow into water  in the wild is another water survival skill
to master. The first thing to know is that you should not eat
snow!  Don’t eat the snow because it will immediately decrease
your body temperature. Also there are other dangers of eating
snow directly from the ground ~ don’t gamble with pathogens to
cause sickness and even death. In short, you’ll need to boil it or
purify it after you get back to liquid form.

Here are some methods for getting drinking water from snow:

  • Scoop up snow directly into a container. Do not try to
    make the snow more compact by rolling it into a ball with
    your hands or flattening it. Your camp hands will have a dirt,
    debris and bacteria that will otherwise transfer directly into
    your water, which is something you’ll want to avoid.

  • Don’t scoop the yellow snow. Get your snow from out in
    the clearing, away from plants. You should also get the
    snow from underneath and not on top. The water underneath
    will have filtered a bit naturally. There will be a higher water
    content and less air.

  • Know that you’ll need more snow than you think. Gather
    more snow than the amount you want to drink. Snow isn’t as
    compact as water as it’s comprised of snowflakes and lots of
    air. It’s going to take a lot of fuel to melt it. If you have a
    rock in the fire pit you can use it to melt the snow faster.  
    Put a hot rock in your pot with a little snow and the heat will
    melt the snow faster than from scratch.

  • Fill half a pot with water and boil it. Once you have some
    water boiled, that’s when you’ll want to add more water,
    which will melt easily into your boiled water.

  • Don’t have a pot to boil? You can melt snow if you have a
    plastic container by placing it close to the fire. Your body
    heat can also help melt small portions of water, but the
    fireside method is a better.

Water Survival Skill: Build a Simple Charcoal Filter.
You can make swamp water drinkable fi you're clever! To make a
personal water filtration system you'll need  a couple of plastic
water bottles, some sand, charcoal and rocks. First you'll need to
make real charcoal (you can't use the charcoal briquettes that you
buy at the store because those are ladened with chemicals).

Make a larger water filter with food grade buckets using the same
principle.
Above, Alan Kay of the History Channel shows you how to make a
transpiration bag to help you survive by collecting water from plant life.

Before you drink the water from the transpiration bag, it’s best to
purify it as there may be bird poop or toxic bugs, but you’ll fare
better with this raw water than any water from a lake, stream or
pond. In short, it depends on how thirsty you are and how dire
your circumstances. Filter it using a clean shirt or bandanna, or
panty hose that hasn’t hit the ground.

Tips for collecting water from plants using transpiration:
  • Look for live and water loving plants, such as willow or
    cottonwood. Berry-producing shrubs are another good choice.
  • Go for trees with large leaves, which will have more moisture.
  • Ensure the tree gets lots of sunlight to speed the
    transpiration process.
  • Inspect the branch for bird droppings,  bugs, mold or mildew.
  • Tie the bag tightly so you don’t lose any water vapor in the
    process.
  • Make sure the bag points down to collect the water.
  • If it’s windy, you can place a small stone in the end of the
    bag.
  • If you have more than one bag use them all as you won’t get
    much water from just one bag.
  • Make sure your bag doesn’t have any holes or get them from
    the prickly tree branches.
  • Wait 4-5 hours.

How to extract water from a plant.
Another way to get enough water to survive is to extract water
from a plant that’s not toxic. Look for healthy and vibrant plants
with greenery. With a small pocket knife you can cut into the
plant stems and the moist pulpy stalks. The technique involves
squeezing until the liquid drops.

Don’t suck the plant directly because the plant exterior may have
bacteria and dirt. Instead have it drip into a container or directly
into your mouth.

How to build a distillation pit.
Another method of  getting water from plants is through a
distillation pit. A distillation pit solar still can help you secure
potable water even with sea water. You can get fresh water from
a pit through evaporation.

It requires having a plastic sheet, a tarp or a Mylar blanket, a cup,
some plants and seawater.
Above, learn how to make a burn bowl.

When water boils it’s safe to drink provided there aren’t any
contaminants in your water source. You can’t just boil away
radiation, pollution, chemicals, heavy metals or microplastics.
Then there’s  salt. Not even a water filter can filter the salt from
your water,though there are special water filters than can handle
the other contaminants.

Some general rules for boiling water:

  • Boil longer in high altitudes. The higher the altitude, the
    longer you'll need to boil your water.

  • You can't boil floodwater to make it potable. It’s never
    safe to drink floodwater by boiling it or otherwise, because
    of the gasoline and other chemical contaminants that
    infiltrate the water source.4

  • You can't boil water to make it taste better. Make your
    water taste better by filtering it for debris. Filter water for
    dirt and debris with a clean pantyhose sock, use a bandanna
    or filter with clean part of a T-shirt. Another way you can
    make bad water taste better is if you find pine needles to
    make a tea. This is why many people bring drink powders,
    coffee and teas on their backpacking journey.

#2: Water survival skill: getting water from plants.

How to make a transpiration bag to collect water.
Do you know how to make a transpiration bag? Collecting potable
water is a vital prepper skill and often overlooked is the
transpiration method of collecting potable water. When you learn
how to make a transpiration bag, you’ll always want to carry with
you a plastic bag.

A transpiration bag is a method for collecting water from plant
life. It allows you to collect a condensation of water from the
plant as it transpires, so you can drink in a survival situation.
Sweating is one form of transpiration, and so is the condensation
that collects from the morning dew.  It you want a more technical
answer, transpiration is the exhalation of water vapor through the
stomata, which is a pore in the epidermis of leaves and stems
that control gas exchange. When you put a bag over the leaves,
you collect the water that would otherwise just evaporate.

To make a transpiration bag, put a plastic bag, preferably a long
clear bag over a tree branch that has fresh green leaves. Look for
a non-toxic tree and a branch without any bugs.  Tightly close the
bag. Water will condense inside the bag and it will be ready to
drink. It won’t yield a huge amount of water, and it may take 4-5
hours or more, but it may be just enough to help you survive.
Above is an important lesson for purifying waters if you don't have a
container. You can boil water with rocks and what you find in nature.

What if you don’t have a metal container and you’re stranded?
How can you obtain potable water? A metal container or even a
glass one will help you purify water, but if you don't have a camp
pot to boil water, you can make a container out of wood.

Here’s how to make a burn bowl…
If you can master firebuilding, then you can make a burn bowl. A
burn bowl is a primitive wooden bowl made with burning rocks.
Here's how to make one...
Water Survival Skills
Finding water, boiling water and purifying water in the wild

How to secure potable water:
Securing potable water is an important survival skill. Thankfully
collecting water for survival and making it potable is a skill you
can easily master by remembering a few techniques.

Below are the prepping skills you’ll need to secure potable water
and survive. Learn how to get water from plant life, how to distill
water and more...

Water Survival Skills
Do you know how to get clean water in an emergency? Finding
water is a survival skill and not just luck. An obvious place to
look for raw water is from such sources as remote lakes, streams,
and stagnant ponds. You can also collect rainwater, harvest snow
and take advantage of condensation. Once you find a water
source, you can ensure it’s potable.

#1 Water Survival Skill: Boiling water.
One of the most basic water survival skills is boiling water.  It
doesn't take a genius to boil water, but it takes a prepper to
know that boiling water is an effective means of disinfecting
water to make it potable. Preppers also know that one of the
basic survival items to own is a quality stainless steel camping
pot for helping you collect water in a survival situation.

If you have a metal container or glass, you can easily boil water
to make it potable. Boiling water to make it safe to drink because
it will kill the parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens in water.
Boiling can also help with other waterborne infectious agents,
such as fecal matter or
E. coli.

Water Survival skill: Boiling water with rocks:
If you don't have a glass or metal container, you can boil water
with rocks and tools you create from nature. Below, Tim
MacWelch shows you how you can use a wooden bowl, a bark
dish, a stone cavity or even a hole in the ground to boil water.
Above learn how to build a distillation pit that in part uses plants to get
potable water.

#3 Water Survival Skill: Solar water disinfection.
Solar water disinfection is another water survival skill that every
prepper should master, but it’s really more risky than  the other
methods. In principle, the water becomes disinfected using the
sun’s energy and you can accomplish this feat with a water bottle.

Solar water disinfection is risky and time consuming. It could take
you two full days to disinfect the water adequately. Even then
you may not be sure you’ve killed all the pathogens. The water
may have parasites, cysts or bacterial spores.
Water Survival Skills
The Prepper's Water Survival Guide