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Friday, December 4, 2009

Post from: Pioneer Living. Net

This will be my last post for a short time. I thank you for guesting here and hope you all take care.

A human can survive a maximum of 3 days without the intake of water, assuming you are at sea level, at room temperature, and a relative humidity. Depending on the climate conditions, it has been recorded that people have lasted longer than two weeks with no water supply.

In cold temperatures water is still very important and requires the same 3.78L (1 gal) of water per day. In snow conditions snow must be melted first.

A lack of water causes dehydration, resulting in lethargy, head aches, dizziness, confusion, and eventually death. Even mild dehydration reduces endurance and impairs concentration, which is dangerous in a survival situation where clear thinking is essential. Your body requires 3.78L (1 Gal) to 6L of water or other liquids each day in the wilderness to avoid dehydration and to keep your body functioning properly.

Dark yellow or brown urine indicates dehydration. Because of these risks, a safe supply of drinking water must be located as soon as a shelter is built (or even before, depending on conditions). In a survival situation, any water supply may be contaminated with pollutants or pathogens .

There are some plants which will provide you with survivable sources of water. Most tree roots and vines contain lots of water, and can be purged by breaking into 3 ft. sections, and standing upright above a water catcher. Avoid any vegetable liquids which are cloudy, milky in appearance, or colored in any way.

Water can be gathered in numerous ways. In areas of abundant moisture, water can be scooped out of a creek or pond. Rainwater (which is typically safe to drink) can be caught in makeshift containers. If these easy sources are not available, a bit more ingenuity will be necessary. Water can be collected from condensation traps or solar stills. Clothing can be used to collect dew from vegetation.

Although you cannot drink salty seawater, if you are near the beach, you can dig a sand well on the opposite side (from the sea) of a windblown dune. Below sea level, the sand well will fill with drinkable water. It may taste salty or brackish, but the sand acts as a filter reducing the salt content the further you dig inland.

Stagnant water can be made drinkable by filtration through a sieve of charcoal.

Animal blood is not suitable for re-hydration, as it may be diseased. In addition, because of the nutrients it contains, it requires energy to digest. Mammals all have blood-borne pathogens so the animal must also be cooked. Urine contains salt and other toxins, which also makes it unsuitable to drink, although it can be refined in a still.

A common survival skill is that cacti can be sliced open to obtain water. While some cacti do have fluid inside, the barreled cacti is best.

Many birds, mammals, and some insects, are reliable indications of water, either through a stream or a soaked patch of earth.

In extremely dry environments, it is necessary to take extra care to prevent water loss by:

Breathing through the nose to prevent water vapor escaping through the mouth

Not smoking

Resting in the shade and avoiding strenuous labor during sunny, hot periods and move very slow.

Not eating too much (the human body uses a lot of water to digest food )

Not drinking alcohol, which hastens dehydration

You can gather moisture in these ways:

Transpiration - collecting transpired water via a plastic bag.

Melting ice

Well water


Utility-Scale Atmospheric Water Gathering

Harvesting/collecting dew from plants and grasses

Solar still

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