3 Reasons To Build A Water Purification Kit
Reason 1: Without Water You Die
Everyone knows that water is vitally important to survival, especially in wilderness survival or in extreme conditions. What some people don’t know is just how fast you can become dehydrated enough to the point that your ability to survive and meet your basic needs is severely degraded. I often hear people say (and I have said it myself) that without water you can only live for three days. But in reality you can become incapacitated or even die much sooner without water in extreme survival situations. Not just extreme heat either. Extreme cold can also burn through a lot of water and fast. It takes water to burn calories and generate heat. Extreme activity and pushing yourself to go harder and longer than you know you should; even in moderate temperatures, can also take its toll on your water levels very quickly.
At the USAF Survival school we used to teach that once you are thirsty you are already 5% dehydrated and at that point your capacity to think clearly and make good decisions is already degraded by 25%. Essentially meaning that 1 out of every 4 decisions is likely to be the wrong decision. That’s a critically important thing to understand! Because in an emergency or crisis situation you have to be able to make a lot of decisions and most of them will be important decisions. Especially since you are only going to be concerned with accomplishing tasks that will keep you alive or possibly lead to your death. Skip forward a few bad decisions and only 5% more dehydrated. Now you are at 10% dehydration. You may be saying to your self, yea sure, but I have 90% left… Well the reality is that you could become unconscious at a 10% dehydration level!
See the following link or read below for what the Mayo Clinic online says about the signs and symptoms of dehydration:
Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
- Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
- Few or no tears when crying
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
- Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
- Lack of sweating
- Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
- Sunken eyes
- Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
- In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- No tears when crying
- In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
According to the Mayo Clinic, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better indicator is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.
So as you can see hydration is critically important!
But the good news is that staying hydrated can be very manageable if you have the right items on hand to help you out. I always recommend having at least one metal water container in your kit. I prefer to carry a 1 liter stainless steel water wide mouth water bottle. I also recommend carrying a kit similar to the one in the video below at a minimum.
Reason 2: The Items In The Water Purification Kit Are Multi-Use Items.
The water related items I recommend keeping in your bag as a minimum are as follows:
1. A 1 Liter Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Water Bottle or canteen. This can be used to boil water in, make char cloth, etc.
2. At least one or two Jolly Tanks – Click here to see a post I did on the Jolly Tanks. Jolly Tanks are designed to be able to carry Fuel (Gasoline, Diesel, Ethanol, Etc) for up to six hours! They can also carry 8 liters or 2 gallons of water indefinitely.
3. A 100% cotton triangle bandage or cravat. Can be used as a water filter, or as a pressure bandage, sling and swath for a broken arm, make char cloth and more. Click here for a video I did on How To Make Char Cloth.
4. A small vial of household bleach with an eyedropper for chemical purification. 4 Drops per liter is plenty strong enough to kill most all bacteria and other water borne pathogens. Wait at least 30 mins after the bleach has been added. If you want to conserve some people say you can also do 2 drops per liter and wait at least an hour. Personally I go with 4 drops. A bleach solution is also an outstanding disinfecting chemical for cleaning contaminated gear or other items. Just use a solution of about 1 Tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water to be strong enough to disinfect most items.
5. A Small cup or container to hold all of the items and something that can be used as a dipping cup or filling cup. This item can be used to fill the Jolly Tank or Stainless Steel Water Bottle, it could also be used for gathering wild edibles, and just holding small items that you don’t want to loose.
Reason 3: A Water Purification Kit Is Cheap To Build!
All of the items I described above can be purchased for very little money especially when you consider how important water is to your survival! All of the items listed above can be purchased for less than $30.00!
Here Is A Look At The Items I Keep In My Water Purification Kit.
As I said earlier I prefer a 1 liter wide mouth stainless steel water bottle, like the one featured on the previous link. The video below doesn’t show the 1 liter stainless steel water bottle, but does an ok job touching on the other items in the water purification kit.
You can also watch the video here in case you don’t have Flash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLteQIZb9Lo
What other items do you keep in your water purification kit? What items should I think about adding to my kit?
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