survival preschool: H2O

I will be going into finding and purifying water and waters survival importance later, but here is a nice video demonstrating one method of purifying emergency water.


5 thoughts on “survival preschool: H2O”

  1. Dear Tgace,
    I am greatly encouraged by this video. Making scrambled eggs is more difficult, once you get your tools together. However I have one question.

    How do you clean the filter bag afterward?

    You keep the bag’s outside clear of contaminants, I get that, but eventually you have to clean it.

    Just wondering. The long haul is always harder than the first try.

    Thanks for this,
    Ann T.

    1. To be honest, this is the first video that I have seen using the filter bag. If its like most systems I have seen, you don’t clean the bag. You just keep using it as long as water flows out of it. When it gets clogged and no longer passes H2O through you toss it. It should be good for quite a quantity of water if its similar to other filter systems I have seen.

    2. The filter bag is an engineering upgrade from the good old field expedient “Cut off the leg of a pair of pants..” idea for filtering out particulates. It’s a huge upgrade and I’ve never seen it before so I’m impressed.

      I don’t think you worry about cleaning the outside of the filter bag. These types of systems are meant as stop gaps to carry you until you get to ‘first world’ public works and/or ‘normal’ conditions are established again.

      That’s just an educated guess on my part btw.

  2. I have always been a fan of the sand and charcoal filter system. You need sand (or really really fine pebbles) and not dirt, dirt will just make mud.

    Basically you take a vessel and punch holes at the bottom. I have used 1 gallon juice jugs, cutting the bottom off and punching holes in the lid, trash cans also work, anything that will hold water works. You may want to add a thin layer of small pebbles at the bottom to prevent the sand/charcoal from falling through the holes. Then alternate layers of sand and charcoal until the vessel is filled. Make sure that the layers are complete layers and the more layers you have the more filtering it will do.

    Charcoal can be made by having a campfire (which you will need later anyway) and burying some of the hot coals in ash. they will continue to be hot for some time so this does take some prep work. The lack of oxygen while they are hot will make charcoal. The difference between this charcoal and activated charcoal is surface area, but it is fundamentally the same. Surface area is what allows the charcoal to bond to chemicals in the water so activated charcoal would work better in the same volume but if you just use more layers you can get the same effect.

    Sand will remove the larger particles and some heavy metals from the water. Charcoal will remove the chemicals (pesticides and other nasties). Just pour the water into your filter and let it drip out the bottom into a collection vessel.

    Once you have collected the water you should boil it for a few minutes to kill any microbes (which are not removed by the sand/charcoal). Any standard campfire cut in a “keyhole” shape should be sufficient to let you rake some coals into the smaller section and boil water off that heat, just make sure you have a vessel suitable to boil water in (soda cans, pots, metal from a car door, etc can work if you do not have a canteen cup or anything else that will survive the heat).

    Let the water cool and you have safe water to drink.

    The fire also creates ash which can be used through a similar leeching process to make lye, which can make soap (when mixed with oil/fat) or as an electrolyte in homemade batteries. With electricity from homemade batteries made out of pennies, nickles and lye you can use electrolysis to make bleach (sodium hypochlorate NaClO) out of salt water to disinfect as well. If you do too much electrolysis though you will end up with sodium chlorate (NaClO3) or sodium perchlorate (NaClO4) both of which are explosive and not good for disinfecting, so that may end up being a survival kindergarten class 🙂

    Campfires are really useful for more than heat, cooking and scaring away wild animals. Just remember, if its too hot to touch its too hot to leave unattended. pouring water will only make ash-mud on the surface, you must stir it too!

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