Prepper and DIY Basics

How to Find, Make and Purify Water


You may not have ever thought of yourself as a prepper, or maybe you have, but either way, learning how to find and purify water in both the wilderness and urban areas is an essential survival tactic that everyone should needs to know. We can survive quite a while without food, but without water, we’re doomed within days. It’s critical to learn some do-it-yourself skills that don’t require modern technology, and that can help you survive in the event of any kind of disaster.

When it comes to finding water in the wilderness, the first step is being able to recognize the clues as to where water hides, and the different types of water sources. Many times water may be found hidden in tree holes or the roots of plants, but it may take a great deal of work to extract it – and sometimes you just don’t have the tools or the time. Additionally, you may be able to find water by following birds and animals (or their tracks) to their water source, but this may also take a lot of effort and time. Instead, probably the easiest way for a survivalist to find water is to make a below-ground still. In order to do this, you just need a few items: something to dig with, a small container to collect the water in, a drinking tube (optional), some plastic sheeting (ideal, but in the absence you may use any synthetic material), and a rock.

To get water by using a below-ground still, you first must choose a section of the ground that is not only moist, but gets a good deal of sunlight for a majority of the day. You then dig a hole into the ground approximately two feet deep and three feet across, with a little extra depth right in the center where you put your holding container. You need to make sure that the soil below the container is as flat and level as possible, so you don’t lose any of the water you have gained.

If you have a drinking tube, you will put it in the container and run it up the side of the hole. Although it is more beneficial to have a drinking tube so you can keep the evaporation and condensation process continual, if you do not, you can always remove the container to take a drink in an emergency.
Once you have placed your drinking tube, the next step is to place your plastic sheeting over the hole and cover the sides with rocks, soil, or any other items to secure it. Then put a single rock in the center and let it hang down several inches until its low point is centered just above the container below. To finish it off, check the edges to ensure they are secure. If they aren’t, add more soil and rock to stabilize the sheeting.

What you have just created is essentially a DIY solar still; it is probably one of the easiest ways to obtain water, because it works without a lot of effort. As the water evaporates in the hot sun, it is trapped and condenses on the plastic sheeting, eventually running down the slope of the sheeting and dropping into the holding container. One other way to get additional water into your container is to fill the hole with some moist leaves or foliage. They will provide additional moisture, but this should not be done unless you are certain the plants are not poisonous.

Sometimes just obtaining water isn’t enough. There are times when you must filter your water, if possible. Making a DIY water filter is simple to do, and may be put together with a plastic bag, a hollow log, a can, or any other similar item. Just layer rocks, sand and cloth a few times within the container, poke 5-6 holes in the bottom, and hang it from a tree branch. When you pour the water in the top, it will filter naturally and come out through the holes in the bottom. You can also boil your water to purify it, but in the absence of an ability to build a fire, sometimes a filter is all you’ve got.

Preparedness is important, and it’s not something anyone should put off learning about. Preppers aren’t just about preparing for long-term disasters and living off the grid, most often they are just regular people with a DIY curiosity, and a desire to understand critical survival techniques in the event of a natural disaster. Finding water is an important skill – and now you know.

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