Are you preparing for economic collapse? Or perhaps you are simply preparing a simple weekend outing. Whichever event, or any in between, you likely have some form of checklist to guide you. If water is not the very first item on your list, it is time for some crucial editing.
It has been said untold times how important water is, but somehow this precious commodity rarely makes it to the top of the list. Perhaps it is because we take it for granted that water is an abundant resource, available at the turn of a valve. Unfortunately, though, fresh and clean water is becoming more and more difficult to find.
City water supply infrastructures are fighting to meet the needs of growing populations in the face of extended droughts, and infrequent rain showers are depleting underground aquifers and streams. The unending thirst for water in the cities fuels an almost hidden battle in rural areas once rich with abundant groundwater. Wells in those areas that have supplied landowners for well over a century are drying up, forcing residents to dig new and deeper wells.
The time to have water on hand is not when you need it, but rather much further in advance. It is well-known that by the time you feel thirsty you are already fighting the first stages of dehydration. There is a danger in assuming that we can stretch our personal need for water beyond what the body truly needs. And just what are the body’s requirements for water?
An average person needs close to a gallon of water each day, and people engaged in more physical labor require even more than that. Living in our modern world it may seem like we don’t consume that much on a daily basis and we survive just fine. Remove such conveniences as air conditioning or the more passive lifestyle and the increased need for water becomes evident.
Finding food in a time of need can actually be much easier than locating a source of safe water, but in reality it is much more important to consume the latter of the two. The human body can only survive for three to five days without water and each successive day becomes increasingly difficult to function. The symptoms of dehydration begin with simple discomforts, but will quickly lead to more debilitating pains.
Thus, whether camping or preparing for an unforeseen event, water collection, purification and storage is absolutely essential. One popular water purifier is the Paratrooper’s Water Filter, which can fit in your pocket. It is important to learn the basics of storing enough water as well as how to maintain that storage as fresh, potable water. There are no shortcuts. Food can be processed in a myriad of ways such as smoking, dehydrating, curing, canning and more, but water comes at an unwavering price.
Each gallon of water weighs a little more than 8 pounds, and there is nothing that can be done to manipulate that number. When considering an ample supply of stored water, it is important to allow for its weight, whether it will be stationary or transportable. But to store it, you must have a reliable source, or better yet, multiple sources.
Harvesting rainwater is a popular method of water capture, but this method only works when there is rain to be captured. With the increased spread of drought in many areas, rain harvesting can be done, but storage capacity needs to increase due to the extended lapse between opportunities to do so. There are also methods to trap water through evaporation, but the amount of water captured with this method is often much less than the body’s daily requirement.
Wells are practically essential to homesteads, but many suburban locations may discover it is possible to drill a well in one’s own backyard. This activity is the preferred method, but must be done well before any emergency arrives since drilling activities would be among the lowest priority during a crisis situation.
Whether storing water or capturing it at a source, never assume that it is potable. Contaminated water can do more than make a person sick, it can be fatal. Learn the methods of testing and purifying water in advance of your need and you will be well ahead of the game when the need does arise.
What water tips do you have? Tell us in the comments section below.
This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: Staying Alive: How To Find Water In Desperate Times