3 days without water.
Our next survival priority is water, particularly in Australia where water can be hard to find, and temperatures can skyrocket.
Dehydration can not only kill you but suffering from even mild dehydration can make decision making difficult and can lead to costly and life threating mistakes.
Drinking contaminated water can lead to diarrhoea and other illness. These illnesses can cause your body to lose more fluid than what you are taking in which will increase the rate of dehydration. For this reason, especially in a survival situation you should never drink untreated water. For similar reasons you should never drink salt water (sea water) as well.
Fortunately, there are several ways to easily treat water both fresh and salt to make it drinkable. However, to achieve this you will require some resources, so it is always best to be prepared.
Depending on your location and the environment you are in will differ how you will locate and treat water to make it safe for drinking. In this blog we will cover four possible scenarios and what would be the best way to obtain safe drinking water in that scenario. We will also give you an idea of what emergency kit you should take with you for each scenario.
Scenario one, The beach:
While you are at the beach there is an abundance of water however it is all salt water and will need to be treated before you can safely drink it. The best method to treat salt water is a solar still. Admittedly this method will take several hours and will require the hot rays of the sun.
A solar still will basically heat salt water to the point it evaporates leaving the salt behind. We then trap the evaporated water on a sheet of plastic allowing it to condensate and drip clean fresh water into our cup.
You can buy a professional solar still or you can make an improvised one. To make a solar still you will need a sheet of plastic a small weight and a collection cup. Some kit that you could carry in this environment to ensure water could be a couple of large plastic bags, some sheets of strong aluminium foil which you can make collection cups from. An added bonus would be some rubber tubing that you can use as a straw to drink the water from the cups without having to open your still up each time.
Scenario two, the creek:
Once again at the creek you have plenty of water, but it may not be safe to drink. For this reason we need to treat it.
There are so many ways to treat fresh water from purification tablets to UV light pens and premade filters. All these options are good and have their place. I personally carry a water filter with me in my kit for ease of use.
If you don’t have any of these options, the straining and boiling would be your best bet. You need to strain the water first to get any organic matter out of the water. The reason we need to remove the organic matter is because baddies such as viruses and bacteria will stick to this matter. By removing the matter, we increase the effectiveness of the treatment. To strain the water, you can run it through a clean bit of cotton cloth.
Once the water is strained then we need to bring it to a rolling boil for at least one minute. The higher the altitude the longer you need to boil.
Some kit that you can take to ensure that you can treat water in this method is a clean cotton bandana, a fire source such as matches, lighter or ferro rod and some strong aluminum foil in which you can make a container to boil water in.
Scenario three, the snow:
I will not go on to long for this one as it is very similar to the creek however conventional filters wont work nor will purification tablets as the water is frozen.
For this scenario find the cleanest and freshest looking snow and go to the boiling method.
For this you will need a container and a fire lighting method. Your fire lighting method should be robust as most natural materials will be wet and frozen making them hard to ignite.
The final scenario is the dry creek bed:
A lot of Australia can be very dry, and it will be harder to find water in these areas. In a cruel twist this will also be an area where water will be very important due to the hot dry conditions.
If you can find some nontoxic trees growing in a dry creek bed or other area they will be your best source of water.
In this situation we will make a solar still but using the leaves of the tree as our water source. By placing a large plastic bag over a branch with many leaves and sealing it when the sun heats up the leaves moisture will escape and then condense on the bag dripping down and collecting.
For this method you will need several large plastic bags and some string to seal them.
As always be careful and do some research of where and how you could find safe drinking water in your area before you head out. And always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back so they can send help if something bad ever happened.
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