Water

Just getting from one place to another, or Living a Nomadic Life Style and everything in between

Water

Postby ConSeannery » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:46 am

We all know that you can't go more than a few days without water before your body begins to shut down, but it's also true that drinking bad water can be just as nasty or even worse. Filtering, boiling, iodine, etc. are all good ways to go about making water safe to drink, but just how long does water need to be boiled in order to be safe to drink? Some sources say ten, fifteen, twenty minutes, some say that water is safe as soon as it hits a rolling boil, the CDC says it should be boiled for one minute. With numbers all over the place like that, what is the actual amount of time? How good of a filter do you need, because boiling won't get rid of chemicals, animal droppings, or other physical debris. Should filters be of a certain style or material? Will a $100 Ultimate Survival Filtering 5000 be needed, or could coffee filters or T-shirts work? How often should reservoirs be cleaned, how thoroughly and with what? Are there places water can be gotten that no amount of filtering, boiling, or purifying chemicals can make safe to drink?

Seems to me like water is a really under-discussed topic on this forum, often forgone for things like guns, knives, shelter and food. You won't always need shelter, you can go weeks or months without food, and guns do you no good if you're dehydrated and delirious.

So, let's talk more about water. Can you share the answers to my questions above? How do you plan on finding and purifying water, should the need ever arise?
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Re: Water

Postby SoB » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:00 am

The area around cape
Town is very dry but there are loads of small dams. But yes water will be a issue for me. Hope full I ca. Use desalination. My end goal is a wetlands region on the border between south Africa and Namibia. But driveing or sailing up means passing through some very dry areas.
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Re: Water

Postby Mrknot » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:34 pm

Great topic!
I live in a very wet region, (it's raining cats and dogs right now), with a large river only about 1 mile from my house. In an emergency situation water would be pretty easy to come by.
When out in the woods, I generally follow the the 1 minute at a full boil rule. If I am higher that 3,000' above sea level, (up on Mt Hood usually), I add another minute to that. As far as filtering goes, unless your water source is downstream from an industrial facility and may contain chemical pollutants, a couple of coffee filters should do the trick...
I keep a couple dozen coffee filters in my BOB and camping gear, they weigh next to nothing and are super cheap, (a 100 pack at the dollar store costs...a dollar).
Up on the mountain, I've consumed tons of water from stagnant pools and flowing streams using only the coffee filter and boiling method...
I also keep an eye-dropper bottle of bleach in my kit and will usually add a few drops, (after boiling), just to be on the safe side. Although bleach does not kill giardia or cryptosporidium...it does a number on any other nasties though...
A little packet of flavored drink mix, (Gatorade, Tang, et al), goes a long way towards making questionable, purified water more palatable as well...
For real emergencies I have an MSR micro works filter that will take just about anything larger than a virus out of the water. I would only use that though if I suspected chemical contamination...
I used to have an MSR Steri-pen that used UV to purify water, but it was broken on a long canoe trip a few years ago and I never replaced it...it just seemed a little superfluous and depended on batteries to work...
I also keep a half dozen or so 5 gallon buckets around and in the event of a real, long term emergency, it wouldn't be too hard to rig up a filter with those using rocks and crushed up charcoal...
For short-term emergencies, really, nothing beats having potable water stored up. Store-bought bottled water keeps indefinately if kept in a cool, dark place. And tap water, stored in clean, 2 liter bottles, (or milk jugs), will be good for a REALLY long time...
The water in your hot water heater and the tank on your toilet, (not the bowl though, duh!), are also good resources in an emergency...
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Re: Water

Postby UnderDude » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:40 pm

I've got a liner kit for the bathtub. Drop it in, fill the tub, and presto! Large tub of water. I also have a waterbed drain kit to pull the water out as needed. I save all 2 liter plastic soda bottles for water storage. I have iodine and bleach to purify questionable water and Ascorbic acid to kill most of the bleach and iodine taste from the water. Now I keep some crystal light drink mix on hand as well as a few bottles of Mio. We have LOTS of water stored for home.
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Re: Water

Postby Bob » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:59 am

I plan to kill my neighbors and drink their blood.

Now that I have your attention, I agree most people take water for granted.
I keep several cases of bottled water on hand at all times.
Ready to drink stored water is kind of like ammunition, there is storage room for only so much.
I have been several "real" hurricanes and can remember them telling us to NOT drink tap water without boiling.
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Re: Water

Postby Red Star » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:27 pm

That's where gallon bottles or the rectangular 2.5 gallon ones(handle/spout) come in handy. It's what I always get.
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Re: Water

Postby UnderDude » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:47 pm

2 liter bottles are a little more easily moved around. You can put 4 of them in a paper grocery bag, 6 of them in a reusable grocery bag. I have 60 of them stored away.
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Re: Water

Postby zombreach » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:21 pm

I'm with Bob--neighbors blood... :twisted:

I always have a gallon of drinking water in the house and I recycle all my pop and juice bottles--there are at least 2 dozen or more in my house at a time. My husband does not like to buy bottled water--the whole green thing--so I do not have much stored up in the house. I do know how to filter water and there is a creek behind my house...the thought of drinking that slime is gross though.

I'm going to die of thirst...
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Re: Water

Postby Bob » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:07 pm

Don't worry, you will be in good company.
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Re: Water

Postby kiltedninja » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Make a filter from three sticks tied together at the top, a handkerchief or t shirt and some charcoal, pour your water through it and boil it for a few minutes just to be safe. We're taught that in Mountain Warfare training.

Having lived the last three years of my life in the desert, I can appreciate the necessity of water. However it rains once every couple days here at Camp Lejeune. I also keep about two gallons of water in my room or car on any given day.

My first aid kit also has some water purification tablets in it.
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