Making a simple still is not an extremely complicated task, and the old-fashioned and low-tech devices can take undrinkable and foul-smelling water, even ocean water, and turn it into safe drinking water.
When Louis and Clark spent years exploring what was to become the United States as we know it today, the explorers often garnered their drinking water straight from the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The pair likely just used wood barrels to hold their liquid, letting the silt drift to the bottom and drinking the cleaner water on top. Unfortunately our rivers, streams and creeks are mostly far too polluted to drink as Louis and Clark did.
A lightweight simple still is fairly portable and provides peace of mind during a long-term emergency or for daily use at an off-the-grid homestead. There is a “watering trough” in my little hometown in rural Ohio that folks come from miles and miles around to fill up their jugs and barrels. Although the local health department maintains that the water from the spring-fed source in the hill is not safe to drink, residents pushing 100 have ingested no other type of water their entire lives. Maybe we just got lucky and have one of the few clean, openly flowing watering holes left in the state.
But staking your life and the lives of your loved ones on luck during a survival scenario could surely spell nothing but doom and gloom. Knowing your water and routinely testing the sources available around your home in advance will help you determine what type of contaminants it contains, and this will help you stockpile the right kind of filter to keep you safe. A simple still at your homestead or retreat is a good start, but follow the backup rule and carry some portable water filtration system with you when in the woods, at work, and in your vehicle.
Copper is perhaps the most common material used in still-making. The attractive and shiny material is not cheap, and commercially purchased stills can run into the several thousand dollar range. For our simple still, aluminum will do the trick just fine.
Simple Still Supplies
- A 5-gallon plastic bucket
- Aluminum pot with a firm-fitting lid
- Power drill
- 3/8 inch drill bit
- 1/8 inch drill bit
- A cooking thermometer
- Hot glue gun and sticks – rated for high temperatures
- Metal file
- Teflon tape
- 20-foot-long refrigerator coil
- A consistent heat source such as a house stove, wood stove, or a well-regulated fire
- Two 3/8-inch compression adapters from the plumbing section in the hardware store
How to Make A Simple Still
Using the power drill and the 1/8 inch drill bit, drill a hole in the aluminum pot lid a few inches in from the edge lip of the lid.
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Continue reading at Off The Grid News: How To Drink Dirty Water In A Crisis With A Simple Still