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Obtaining Water In Emergency Situations

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt desperate for water? Or, maybe when out hiking you considered the "what if" situation where you thought through the process of not having available water and how you would go about obtaining and cleansing water to prevent dehydration? In a perfect situation you should have a water filtration bottle and water filtration tablets as a spare and some bleach in a bottle.

When it comes to procurement of water in an emergency, we all want to be in control and be choosers, not beggars. However, have you ever noticed how many water fountains or Stop-N-Rob stores are not on the hiking trails or in the mountains where you may be? You will rarely see crystal-clear streams in places where water may be scarce. I recall life in Montana years ago and he crystal clear streams, however, in the majority of the nation you will not find these conditions.

If the only water available looks awful, a little bit of overkill is certainly justified when cleansing it. We call this a double-duty process. You will need double-duty disinfection for the water. That will require a filter cloth, and a little bleach to give your water the old double-tap.

Here are some easy 1-2-3-4 steps to assist you and you should be killing all the disease-causing pathogens and keeping new ones from growing in water storage.

1. Rough filter chunky, slimy, or particle-laden water by pouring it through a piece of cloth. This will help you exend the life of your filter.

2. Use a reputable filter with some capacity for microbe destruction. If possible, use a ceramic filter as it will screen out big pathogens, while a silver or iodine element will kill the more diminutive bacteria and viruses.

3. Now the real doubling occurs, Add 2-4 drops of household bleach per quart or liter of water. Shake aggressively, and let the water sit for one hour.

4. You can now store or drink your water. It will be safe as it's going to get. Any mini-microbes that slipped past the filter should be thoroughly fried by the chlorine. It can be stored or drunk as long as it retains a faint bleach odor. Use this technique with swamp water, an aging water filter, or any time you are feeling a little paranoid about your self-made water water supply.

Keep in mind, even store bought bottle water, any size, that has been stored over a period of time can make you sick. Consider treating the water when it is time to consume. I witnessed a troop in my former life who thought he had good bottled water straight from a pallet and ended flat on his back for a period of time. You never know how long the water has been in storage and in what tempartures.

If you are traveling in a foreign land, consider filtering all water. Period. 1 star or 5 star facility, store bought, or in a eating establishment. The locals body can handle the water. You can't. I have witnessed numerous cases of troops becoming ill from bottled water, ice in drinks, and tap water. I was in Cape Verde once and had briefed the crew, DO NOT DRINK THE WATER or CONSUME ICE. They didn't listen and our mission was grounded 48 hours extra. In another case we discovered a small store refilling empty water bottles from a water hose at the rear of the store. Doesn't cleaning your water sound more enticing at this point?

Your call. I promise you, you do not want to become sick from bad water while hiking through the mountains. Especially while you are alone.

What say you?

Bravo Echo Out

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