Peter Kummerfeldt: Finding Water in the Desert

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Always take lots of water along, and never depend on being able to find it! But it’s a really good idea to know where to look for water in the event of an emergency. Here are some desert water tips from survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt.

Here’s Your Guide In Choosing The Best Type Of Water Well

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Water wells are beneficial resources as they enable us to access free natural water. As a matter of fact, studies have deduced that 15 million households in the United States get their supply of fresh water from wells.

There are three main kinds of wells: the drilled well, the driven well, and the dug well, each having unique features. The drilled wells have deeper depths than the other types of wells. The driven wells simple in construction and cost-effective but can only tap shallow waters. The dug wells are manually constructed using hand shovels and dug until water appears.

But which one is fit for you? Here are the various factors you ought to consider while choosing the right type of well for your household.

14 Factors to Consider While Choosing the Right Type of Water Well

1. Unique Aquifer Characteristics

Groundwater is stored in aquifers, which are bodies of permeable rocks containing and transmitting groundwater. Their distinct characteristics may determine to a great extent the kind of well that they may be able to accommodate.

Examples of these distinct characteristics are the nature of the underlying rock, the capacity of the aquifer itself, the depth at which the aquifer is located beneath the ground, and the porosity of the underlying rocks, among others.

It is not humanly possible for you to know these characteristics. This is why you require the assistance of a qualified geologist, by all means.

As a general rule, if the aquifer is located deeper beneath the soil surface, your well has to be correspondingly deeper, and vice versa. The drilled type would suffice this role pretty well. You will, however, have to sink a shallower well like the dug well if the aquifer is closer to the soil surface or is larger in size.

2. Hydraulic Factors

Hydraulic factors are those that concern the smooth flow of water beneath the ground surface. They, too, have the ability to influence the performance of wells. This component includes the hydraulic gradient, the water pressure, and the volume.

Just like the aquifers, hydraulics are also undetectable by the ordinary homeowner. You will have to seek the intervention of a qualified geologist to help you out on this.

3. Intended Means of Drawing Water

Sinking a well is one thing, drawing water from the same well is yet another case to solve. Before settling on a given type of well, ask yourself the following questions: “Which equipment will I use to draw water from the well?”, “Do I have a storage tank, or will I be drawing water for immediate use only?”

This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!

Water may be drawn from the well by use of various equipment, including buckets, electric pumps, or manual screws. The kind of equipment determines the possible depth of the well. In relation to that, electrical pumps have the ability to draw water from deeper depths than buckets.

You should, therefore, consider opting for a deeper well like the drilled well if you intend to draw water by means of an electrical pump. If you want to use a bucket or manual means of getting the water, the shallower dug well is your better bet. If you, however, choose to use water screw to draw water, then the driven well would be your ideal type.

4. Cost Implications

‘A plan is what you want to achieve, but a budget is why you can’t,’ so goes the old English proverb. Indeed, the ultimate decision as to whether you will have your well of choice largely depends on your financial resource endowment. This is because the expenses involved in digging a water well are potentially enormous. This, again, is dependent on the precise kind of well you desire.

The drilled well is. by far, the most expensive. It requires huge financial resource investments. This is due to the sophisticated equipment used to drill its depth and permanent structure. It is followed closely by the driven well type. The dug well comes at a distant third since it’s done without any use of big machines.

With all that said, you have to ascertain your financial strength first and foremost before determining which well to settle for. Discuss this with the others in your area who have already dug theirs for a rough clue. You should also discuss the issue further with the company that you shall contract to do the job for you.

5. Water Table

This refers to the level of soil beneath the surface in which the ground is saturated with water. The water table is determined by various parameters. These include the amount of precipitation the area receives, the elevation of the area, and the nearness of the area to water body like streams, lakes, or rivers.

In case your intended well site is closer to a body of water, it means that the water table is also high. This also implies that your preferred well should be shallower. Because of this, consider settling for the dug well type. The same case should apply to areas that receive higher precipitation.

If, however, your intended well site is situated in an area that is far away from a water body, this means that the water table is lower. Your preferred well site should, thus, be deeper in nature, all the other factors held constant. You will have to choose between the driven and the drilled wells. The same case should apply if the area receives less precipitation.

6. Soil Type

Soils determine the nature of wells that may be sunk in several ways. A sandy soil is pervious, meaning that they allow water to pass through them easily. It is less likely to retain water. For you to sink a well in them, that structure has to be deeper than usual. Because of this, the drilled well would be your best option.

Meanwhile, grounds like clay are impervious, making them more effective in retaining water. As such, you do not have to sink your well to deep to access the aquifer. This being the case, you will be required to sink a relatively shallow well like the dug well.

In some areas, the soils are rocky in nature. It is not possible for you to dig a well singlehandedly. You will have to employ sophisticated drilling machinery to carry out the task. If you intend to dig a well in such areas, you will definitely have to opt for the drilled or the driven types.

7. Amount of Precipitation

Precipitation is the sum total of the amounts of rain, snow, dew, sleet, or hail, which either falls or condenses into the ground within a duration of time. It determines the amount of water that may be possibly accessed whenever a well is dug in the ground. It also determines the water table, which subsequently establishes just how deep a well ought to be.

Before commencing on the task of digging a well, ask yourself, “How much precipitation does this area receive per annum?” If your intended well site is located in an area that naturally receives higher precipitation, then you will have to settle for a shallower well such as the dug well. This is because the water table is naturally expected to be higher.

If the location of your well is in an area that hardly receives any meaningful precipitation such as a desert, you have to settle for a deeper well. The drilled or the driven wells may suffice. This is due to the expected lower water table.

8. Terrain/Topography

This refers to the nature of the land in your area. It touches on such pertinent aspects as the elevation of that land above sea level, the inclination of the said piece of land, and the nearness of the piece of land to natural water sources like streams.

The terrain or topography determines to a great extent the depth of the well and its possibility to supply you with water all throughout. If the site of your well is located in an area of higher elevation, you will definitely have to opt for the drilled well or the driven well. It’s because those types of wells are deep enough to reach the water table and guarantee the unhindered supply of water.

If the well is at a lower elevation, then you may consider settling for either the dug well or the driven well. This is due to their capability of reaching the water table even at shallower depths.

9. Possible Contaminants

Contaminants are substances that may poison, disparage, and defile the water in the well. They chiefly originate from industrial effluence, raw sewage, agricultural chemicals, decomposing bodies, and underground chemicals.

If these contaminants get into the water, people are at risk of acquiring water-borne diseases, food poisoning, and hygiene-related disorders such as Cholera and Typhoid.

In as much as all the various kinds of well may be impacted by these contaminants, some are more vulnerable to them than others. The dug wells are particularly vulnerable because they’re shallow nature, and they are not securely sealed.

Your first task should be to ascertain whether these contaminants do exist in your area. If they do, then consider opting for the deeper and the more permanent well types such as the drilled and the drive wells.

10. Volume of Water Required

Under this consideration, you will basically aim at answering the following questions: “How much water will I require in a typical day?”, “Which buildings or facilities am I digging this well for?”, “Are there any other alternative sources of water?”, and “Is this well going to be my only source of water?”

If the well is to be your one and only source of water, then it has to be deeper and more permanent in nature. The drilled well fits this particular bill perfectly well. If it is to be complemented by other alternatives, then it has to be shallower in depth. The dug well would serve the purpose well, in this case.

But if the well is to supply water for the typical household, then it also has to be shallower. The driven and the dug wells would be great choices. In case the well is for industrial, agricultural or large scale uses, then it has to be deeper and more permanent, hence, the drilled wells.

11. Expected Lifetime

The different kinds of wells are intended to supply water for varying durations of time. This is mainly dependent upon the entire length of time you intend to stay in a particular area. If you have plans of moving elsewhere, then you may consider having a dug well; it can tap shallow levels of water, it’s easier to construct, and it’s budget-friendly.

But if you’re going to live in your residence for good, then you may want to settle for a drilled well, other factors considered yet again. This is for the sheer reason that this type of well is permanently constructed and ensures a relatively stable supply of underground water for your household.

12. Prevailing Legal Regimes

Different regimes impose various pieces of legislation to oversee the construction of these wells. In some municipalities, the residents are completely prohibited from constructing such wells at all. In others, they are allowed but are with a lot of restrictions, including the depth limit, the number of wells per unit area, the type of well or boring tools, among others.

You have to take the initiative of familiarizing yourself with these regulations. This is to avoid unnecessary frictions with the various government bodies. It is also to ensure that you get as many benefits as possible from the wells. Abiding by these regulations may also shield you from the possible dangers that may come along with flouting the rules. These include accidents, landslides, and the contamination of the water, to name a few.

13. The Number of the other Wells in the Vicinity

All wells get their water from underground aquifers. It goes without saying that the more the number of wells per unit area, the less the amount of water to be derived. This is due to the competition for a scarce resource.

If there are several other wells in the vicinity, you may opt for either the drilled or the driven wells. They provide more access to underground water. This being the case, your continued supply of the water is less likely to be interrupted even in moments of extreme drought.

14. Technical Skills

Different kinds of wells require varying degrees of technical skills to install. Deeper and more permanent wells like the drilled wells require more sophisticated equipment and technical expertise.

Moderately deeper wells like the driven wells don’t need big machines to construct. Dug wells, on the other hand, require almost no technical skills to sink. The challenge is to ascertain whether you indeed have what it takes to sink the kind of well you want or not.

In Conclusion

The factors identified and explained above are by no means exhaustive.  Make your own research and connect it to your own needs, so you could make the smartest choice when going further with providing your source of water!

This article has been written as a guest writer by Matila Ollie Jose from Costfreak for Survivopedia.


4 Ways To Solve Hydration During A Disaster

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You can go several days without food, but going without water for more than a day isn’t an option. Especially if the disaster destroyed your home or took out your power, you’ll fade fast after twenty-four hours.

Your judgement and cognitive processes will be compromised and your energy will flag. Then after a few days, your organs will shut down and you’ll die.

It’s as simple as that. If your disaster involves extremes of temperature of the need to stay on the move, your window is even shorter.

So what do you do to stay hydrated when you’re in a disaster?

Prepare in Advance!

I can tell you from personal experience (I live in Orlando, Florida) that if a major weather event is announced, people lose their minds. Many of them quite literally buy 15 or 20 cases of water that they won’t need but that makes it impossible for you to buy a single case.

Of course, after the emergency is past, they’ll return it all en mass (seriously – I’m writing this immediately post-hurricane and it’s happening as I type). But that won’t do you any good for the days that you may be out of power.

So, it all goes back to being prepared before the emergency is upon you. Most everybody drinks bottled water so keep a couple of cases around. Restock as you use it then you don’t have to worry about that dingbat that believes the sky is falling and she needs 15 cases of water and 40 cans of tuna.

Gallons of water are dirt cheap, too, and you can get more water into the same space as a case would consume.

If you don’t have enough stocked back to allot a gallon per person per day in case you lose power or something else interrupts your access to water, get it in gear. As soon as you hear the first whisper of a significant weather event, go shopping.

Please, though, buy what you need, but don’t be ridiculous about it. A gallon of drinking water per person per day is enough for hydration and minimal personal needs such as brushing your teeth or cooking a can of condensed soup.

When calculating your water needs, take extreme weather into account. If your power is out and you don’t have air conditioning – or heat – your body will need more water to stay hydrated. In the heat, you’ll sweat it out. So include at least an additional 8 ounces, and 16 are better.

If you’re going to be working hard and sweating profusely, allow an extra 36 ounces. As a baseline to determine your water needs if you’re inside and not sweating it out, divide your body weight in half and that’s the number of ounces your body needs. If you need to trim it back a little, that’s fine for a short time. But don’t cut it back by much.

You Don’t Need Bottled Water

If you don’t have the space to stockpile enough water on a regular basis, or you just got caught unprepared, then chances are good that you’ll be facing empty shelves at the store.


This Device Easily Turns Air Into Water!


I personally always keep a couple of cases of water around just because we go through it, but when that a hurricane is heading our way, I stockpile tap water in milk jugs.

I don’t recommend storing water in milk jugs long-term because the plastic is thin and easy to puncture, but for the short-term, they’re great. There’s nothing wrong with faucet water in the case of emergency, and it won’t cost you anything over your regular water bill.

The same thing goes for ice. Most of us are big fans of multi-purpose products, so once you fill up your jugs with water, pop them in the freezer. Then you’ll have ice and drinking water in the same container, and solid blocks of ice melt much slower than smaller cubes.

One water need that many people don’t consider is having enough to flush the toilet. After a few days in 90-degree weather, an unflushed toilet gets foul and can actually be a health hazard.

So what do you do? Fill up the bathtub before the storm! That water will even work for drinking water if need be, or can be used for personal hygiene or washing the dishes before you use it to flush the commode.

Consider Alternate Hydration Methods

It’s always the water that people rush to snatch off the shelves, but it’s not your only option for proper hydration.

It’s most certainly the best, but it’s not the only option. You can use sports drinks – not energy drinks! – to meet some of your hydration needs.

You can also use sparkling water, seltzer water, mineral water, or club soda because they’re just different forms of carbonated water.

Club soda usually has small amounts of table salt, potassium bicarbonate, or sodium bicarbonate to add a slightly salty flavor. It always surprises me when I see the water shelves cleared off but the club soda is still well-stocked.

Other comparable substitutes for part of your water needs are tea and coffee, but they’re diuretics, so don’t substitute more than a cup or two and go for.

Coconut water is also an excellent substitute – maybe even better for water for hydration. A note of warning for those of you who haven’t had coconut water: it’s an acquired taste and it doesn’t taste like coconut.

Sports drinks and club soda may be most effective following physical exertion because your body has just expelled minerals as well as water and these drinks are specifically designed to replace what you lost.

You may not consider it, but pre-made Jell-O is also hydrating but it’s also full of sugar, so tread carefully.

Adhere to Water Advisories

If you’re on city water, you probably won’t lose water, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to drink. Main lines break or flood water breeches them somewhere along the way and contaminate it so pay special attention to local official warnings to boil water.

If you’re on a well, it’s always best to assume the worst and boil your water for at least a minute before you drink it. Sanitation tablets also work, but you need to let the water sit for an hour or so in order to give the sanitizing solution time to work.

This isn’t just a matter of being cautious – it may actually mean the difference between being healthy and being sick. In another article, I discussed the dangers of post-disaster contaminated water, but to summarize, the bugs that contaminate your water often cause diarrhea or vomiting – both of which contribute to rapid dehydration.

So, your drink water to hydrate and it’s swimming with bacteria that make you lose hydration. Boil and sanitize your water if there’s any doubt whatsoever about its cleanliness.

And whatever you do, don’t drink from springs, ponds, or rivers without purifying and sanitizing it first.

Water isn’t optional regardless of your situation. If you need to ration, do so, but make sure that you’re getting at least the minimal amount to keep you going. You can skimp on food to a certain extent, but water isn’t an area where you can really do that.

Prepare in advance and follow safety precautions after a disaster!

As we all know, the best way to avoid being caught without what you need is to be prepared well in advance so that you don’t have to beat the neighbors to a limited water supply.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

How To Easily Collect Rainwater To Water Your Garden, Flowers and Landscape!

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Creating A Simple, Inexpensive Way To Collect Rainwater When we first started our little “farm” back in 2010, we had little to work with. No house, no electricity, and no on-site well for water. So when it came to planting our

The post How To Easily Collect Rainwater To Water Your Garden, Flowers and Landscape! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Prep Blog Review: Are You Ready For September?

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National Preparedness Month is just around the corner. It should be a time of reviewing our skills, stockpile and weak spots.

The worry that still keeps me up at night? WATER. Here are some fresh blog findings that helped. 

What are you doing for prepping this September and how can we help?

1. Let’s Talk About Water Storage

“I’ll start off by saying that I’m in west Georgia and the bulk of our state has been under drought conditions for several years. I believe it was two years ago when our local reservoirs were almost empty (it gave the county a good chance to clean out the old tires (close to 1000) that had been tossed into the water over the years and to clean out the old sunken boats, junked cars and other trash and garbage that has accumulated over the years. The reservoirs have pretty much refilled and since there is no housing boom and so many houses sitting empty they will remain pretty close to full for the foreseeable future.”

Read more on The Survivalist Blog.

2. Methods To Transport Emergency Water From Source To Home


“Water. You all know that water is among the very highest of priorities for survival. The vast majority depend on flowing water from their local municipal water department while others depend on their wells. Since many of you are also preparing for a worst-case collapse scenario whereby the infrastructure may also collapse or be interrupted, one of your highest concerns should be a plan (and the methods) to move emergency water from an external source back to your home…”

Read more on Modern Survival Blog.

3. How Much Water Do You Really Need to Stockpile for Disaster Preparedness?


“One of the most frequently asked questions about emergency water is how much do you need to stockpile.  I love that you can find exact numbers in gallons recommended all over the web. As if we all have the same water needs! If you want to find out how much water YOU really need to stockpile to be prepared for all types of emergencies, read on.”

Read more on Primal Survivor.

4. How To Build An Off Grid Gravity Fed Water System Cheaply


“An off grid Gravity Fed Water System is a great option for running water. Since many of us off grid dwellers and tiny house owners do not have running water.  Yes, you can live without running water. Indoor plumbing has been around a long time but mostly for the wealthy. Your average 16th century English Farmer would have to carry in water. The same still holds true for many parts of the world today. The system I’m going to show you how to build is not a whole house solution. The principles will scale up, though. This is a cheap and easy solution to get a gravity fed water system for a sink. So this is perfect for doing a few loads of dishes, brushing teeth or hand washing.”

Read more on Survival Punk.

5. Survival Water Purification: Hidden water sources, tools for preppers, and storage ideas

“Preppers live by this fact: a person can live a month without food, but only a few days without water. And while pollution or disruption of the water supply is entirely possible, most preppers fail to stock enough water. They’ll need water not only for drinking, but for cooking and cleaning as well. A water strategy for preppers includes storing water; filtering, purifying, and sanitizing water; locating water reserves; and creating new water supplies. Discover these methods of water filtration.”

Read more on Happy Preppers.


This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia

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How Many Ways Can You Build A Water Container?

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Survivopedia water tank

Preparedness comes in many shapes and forms, but water storage is one of the main problems to be taken care of in any survival scenario. Storing food for long term is not a big problem anymore, since freeze dried foods became affordable for the masses, but water storage is another discussion.

We can’t live without water, or at least we can’t live without it for more than three days anyway. Regardless of your situation, whether you’re an urban prepper or you’re already living off-grid somewhere in the countryside, storing water in a big tank on your property as a backup system would be a great idea.

I am talking about building a water tank and hooking it to a rain water collector; now you can see why DIY-ing your own water container would be a good thing for long term survival, because rain is a given regardless of your geographical location.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of people are getting their water from the public water supply system, which is totally dependent upon power to work. If the power goes, everything goes, including your source of potable water.

Hence, today’s piece about a few DIY ideas about how to build a water container, because there’s no way around it: if you don’t store enough water, you’ll get in trouble in no time if the power grid goes down.

Now, if you’re looking to build your own water supply system (as a backup for irrigation purposes, for your livestock or things of that nature), the water tank is usually the most costly part of the project.

Plastic water containers are generally a good idea as they’re fairly easy to set up and install basically anywhere, but they are pretty expensive if you order them in large sizes. So, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the answer.

Project 1: How to Build a Concrete Water Tank in Your Backyard

Concrete water tanks are used for thousands of years, I think the Romans were the first civilization to implement them on a large-scale.

However, you can build your own concrete water tank in your backyard for relatively little money and without requiring mad-engineering skills. This particular tank is 12 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep and it is capable of holding 4 tons of water or 4 thousand liters (1000 gallons give or take).

Also, it’s built very close to the house itself, for making it easy to connect it to a rain-water collecting system. Unlike plastic water storage containers, concrete-made ones are cheaper to build and they will last longer. Also, plastic is not the best material for storing water long term, as it encourages bacterial growth and also leaks BPA, which is a well-known endocrine disruptor.

The materials used in this DIY project are mild steel rods for the frames and the edges, concrete, an electric welder and a few basic tools like a vice, nuts and bolts, a few planks of wood and small mesh chicken wire. Just take a look at the video tutorial and you’ll get the general idea.

Video first seen on Davethe Biscuitman.

Project 2: How to Build a Rain Barrel System

This project is a lot easier to DIY as it ‘s composed basically from 4 plastic barrels (50 gallons each) hooked to a rain water collecting system and it’s mainly used for providing clean/fresh rainwater for a veggie garden. However, if SHTF, the water stored in these containers can be used for survival, so it’s a win-win situation.

The barrels are installed very close to the house and they’re hooked to a rainwater collecting system which keeps them filled with pure water, provided it rains enough.

The materials required for this DIY project (beside the barrels) are relatively common: a few cinderblocks, a diamond blade, plywood and a plywood cutter, water sealer, a drilling machine, bulkhead fitting and threaded adapters, a garden hose fixture, garden hose, a slip locknut wrench, Teflon tape, mosquito screen, a hot glue gun, a hose mender kit, door&window caulk and some basic skills.

Just watch the video tutorial, it’s pretty explicit and straight forward. If you plan to use this system for potable water storage, it would be advisable to use food grade approved parts when you’re building it (caulk can be toxic, regular water hose contains lead and so on and so forth).

Video first seen on BubbleBeet.

Project 3: How to Build a Water Tank Using Plastic Bottles

This project uses plastic bottles for building a water tank and it arrived to us courtesy of Peace Corps USA in Tanzania, as they were helping the locals with a rainwater collecting system.

Basically, the water bottles are used as bricks for the water tank itself, being filled with river sand. In the first phase, you’ll have to build the foundation for the water tank and make sure it’s perfectly leveled. In the next step you’ll have to make the bottle-bricks, i.e. to fill them thoroughly with dirt/sand or whatever, making sure they’re very well filled. The dirt-filled water bottles will be used as bricks in the water tank and the gaps will be filled with cement.

To reinforce the water structure, you’ll be using a wiring/mesh system. Using this clever method, you’ll be able to build a 1000 gallon water tank spending next to nothing and using readily available/recycled materials. Watch the video tutorial below.

Video first seen on oldsoul247.

Project 4: How to Build a Sand Water Cistern

In our next project, we’ll explore how to collect rainwater from a roof, storing it via a sand cistern and re-using it for irrigation purposes or survival if SHTF.

What’s interesting about this experimental project is the fact that it’s a closed system which stores water in the pores of the sand, keeping it cool. The water is not exposed above ground at all and that’s an obvious advantage if you think about mosquitos and other insects that thrive in stagnating water. Also, being stored in the ground and away from sunlight will prevent algae from growing inside the system.

Usually, the word cistern is associated with a large water container (plastic/cement made) placed above ground. But this particular system once completed will totally disappear in the landscape. Are you amazed yet? Well, check out the video tutorial below and start building!

To get the general idea, using this method you’ll be able to capture 600 gallons of rain water in a 1 inch rain over 1,000 square feet of roof. And one big advantage of this clever system is that as water percolates into the sand, it gets filtered free of charge!

Video first seen on OklahomaGardening.

Project 5: How to Install a Rain Water Capture Cistern

This project is about digging a 500 gallons exchange system that will capture rainwater from the roof of your house for sustainable gardening or, who knows, for helping you in a survival scenario.

Keep in mind that this project requires some serious excavation and a water pump/filtration system, other than that it’s pretty straight forward and massive fun. Check out this video tutorial and start working!

Video first seen on Shawna Coronado.

Project 6: How to Build a Typical Water Storage Tank

This is not your regular DIY project, but watching the following video tutorial will make you understand how big-industrial sized water storage tanks are designed and built and maybe you’ll get ideas about how to improve your own home-made projects. It’s like a lesson in engineering and you may be able to translate some of these macro-ideas into your micro-DIY project. Enjoy!

Video first seen on Wessex Water.

I hope the article helped. And if you are interested in more ways to obtain water, click on the banner below to find out more!


If you have any other ideas or questions, feel free to comment in the dedicated section below.

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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