Storing an amount of extra water and food to be prepared for 1-week is smart and cheap preparedness insurance for many of the “most likely to happen” disruptions that you may encounter one day. You may be surprised that the majority of Americans apparently do not have a solid 1-week supply of food at home, […]
All living creatures require water in order to survive. In fact, scientists who search for extraterrestrial life beyond our solar system consider the presence of liquid water to be an essential criterion for the possible presence of life on other planets.
Humans can survive weeks without food, but they only can survive about three days without water! Although many parts of the U.S. are blessed with an abundance of fresh, drinkable, surface water, there are many arid regions where this essential element of life is far more difficult to find. Thus, the ability to find fresh, drinkable water while adventuring in the wilderness is an essential skill.
The step to finding fresh water in the wilderness is to obtain, carry and learn how to read a topographic map; this handy tool will not only display the details of the terrain you are traveling in, but is also will reveal any sources of fresh water in the area. Thus, leaning to determine your approximate position on the map by using the surrounding terrain features is of paramount importance, because doing so will enable you to decide which direction you need to travel to reach water sources on your map.
Of course, water always flows downhill, so you should always look for creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes in the valleys between mountains and in the lowest-lying areas in flatter terrain. Another trick for obtaining water in wooded terrain is either to dig up the roots or cut the branches from trees; then, cut them into short sections and stand them up vertically in some sort of pan or trough to allow the water to seep from them. In fact, some trees and vines contain a considerable amount of fresh water. Using this method can be very productive if the right plants are chosen.
But in more arid regions, surface water is often difficult or even impossible to find. If in such a location, you should look for the presence of water-loving plants and trees such as birches, alders, cottonwoods and willows, since these are good indications of subsurface water sources. Also, another good place to look for subsurface water sources in arid regions is in the outside of a bend in a dry creek bed. Thus, by digging a hole or ditch in these areas and allowing the water to seep into them from below ground, you often can obtain drinkable water in areas where there are no sources of surface water.
Yet another method for obtaining fresh water in arid terrain is to build a “solar still” by first digging a hole in the ground deep enough to encounter moist soil and then placing a catch basin such as a cup in the bottom of the hole before covering it with a sheet of plastic, such as a garbage bag; then, secure the sheet with rocks to hold it in place. After that, place a small rock on top of the plastic sheet, directly above the catch basin, so that as the water condenses on the underside of the plastic sheet, it will then run downhill and drip into the catch basin.
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If this isn’t possible and you’re traveling in barren, rocky terrain, then the best place to look for water is in depressions, caves or crevices in the rock, where water can accumulate. Last but not least, you can sometimes use animals to find sources of fresh drinking water. For instance, some animal species, such as grazing animals and especially feral or wild pigs, never stray far from a source of fresh drinking water since they require large amounts of this precious resource to digest their food. In addition, many species of birds, such as pigeons and mourning doves, always visit fresh water sources after leaving their roosts in the morning and before returning to their roosts in the evening. By noting their direction of flight during these times of day and following them, you can find fresh water.
It should be noted that even the clearest mountain streams often contain harmful bacteria, and you should always carry some means of purifying any fresh water source. However, if such tools are unavailable, you can construct a crude water filter by pouring it through charcoal from a fire and then purifying it by boiling it.
What advice would you add on finding drinking water? Share your thoughts in the section below:
I’ve been a long-time user of pitcher-type water filters; my old Brita filter has had probably hundreds of gallons put through it. The filtered water it produces tastes better, and I like the fact that it pulls a few nasty items out of the water my family and I drink every day. Without a doubt, I am a big proponent of filtered water. After using my Brita, I feel uncomfortable drinking unfiltered water. Call me pretentious, but I would rather not consume strange heavy metals in my water.
However, I recently received an EPIC Pure Water Filter pitcher-type filter in the mail for a review. It was a great opportunity to do a little research, and see if the newer, more impressive-appearing EPIC offering was a better product than the tried-and-true Brita product that I’d been using for years.
Why use a water filter every day?
In a SHTF/survival-type situation, water filtration is a no-brainer. Assuming the power grid is down, any water you can source that isn’t bottled can be assumed to be contaminated with some sort of offending nastiness, and absolutely should be filtered and purified. However, in day-to-day life, it’s easy to become complacent about the water that flows from your faucets. We take it for granted that the water has been made safe for us to drink by the unknown people at the water treatment plants. We turn the tap on, and we blindly think that what comes out MUST be okay. But that “okay” water was processed with additives such as chlorine and aluminum sulfate, fluoride was probably added, and then it ran through miles and miles of metallic pipes underground, where it then makes the trip to your domicile, through the iron or copper plumbing that’s probably joined with lead solder, coursing out through the faucet that has bacteria living happily inside. Most people don’t think about it, and I’ll admit I never did until I started doing research for this article.
Related: Trace Pharmaceuticals and Water
My house has city water supplied to it, and though the water company sends out yearly reports on water quality, the list of agents listed on the report definitely makes me take pause. Yes, at the time of the report, the water quality is hunky dory – but how quickly can this balance be upset? If something goes awry at the water treatment facility, how much water will run through my house and my family before the problem is caught and addressed? Will the powers-that-be even let me know there is/was an issue with my water?
Now, I know that the people who are employed by the city to maintain the water supply used by thousands are highly qualified and trained to ensure that I have safe water that flows out of my faucets. I also know that the Safe Water Drinking Act means that there are federal standards, regulated by the EPA, so that my water meets quality standards. The EPA monitors the water for many organisms, bacteria, metals, chemicals, and other contaminants that can make you sick, give you cancer, or make life generally completely unpleasant in a multitude of ways. However, the EPA doesn’t regulate many water-borne items, such as aluminum, chloride, and copper. In large enough quantities, these items and others that may still be in your water can do funky stuff to your systems.
Wells aren’t immune to contaminants either; pesticide runoff, petroleums, MTBE, metals that occur in the ground, bacteria, and other nasties can find your way into your dug or drilled well. Again, most people don’t consider these issues once they have their well installed and tested – if everything is reported as fine, people run on automatic and think the water will always be fine.
All this being said, here in the USA and other developed countries, it’s safe to say that usually your water meets minimum standards for safe drinking water. However, it’s also safe to say that you’re getting some additional unhealthy contaminant passengers along for the ride – no matter what the yearly water reports from the city water department say.
The Ins and Outs of Water Pitcher Filters
So, me being the slight alarmist that I am (you have to be to run with this crowd, right?), I try to play it safe and drink filtered water, if it comes from my tap. I don’t have the space or funding to really hook up a high-end in-line pre-faucet water filter, so I choose to run a pitcher-type filter for my drinking water needs. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to keep clean water available. Fill the pitcher, stick it in the fridge, and let it do its thing. It’s easy for the whole family to do (provided the teenagers remember to fill the pitcher back up after they use the last of the water), so it’s a nice, simple, foolproof way to keep a half gallon or so of clear, clean-tasting water ready to go.
Basically, the way a pitcher-type filter works is simple: open the lid, located at the top of the pitcher. Pour your to-be-filtered water in the top, straight from the faucet if you’d like. Put the lid back on, and let the pitcher work its magic. Water is pulled from the reservoir at the top of the pitcher by gravity, coursing the H2O through the filter(s) located underneath the reservoir. The inside of the filters contain any number of elements – almost always activated carbon is involved; Brita uses coconut shell-derived carbon. Activated carbon, if viewed through a microscope, is porous and covered in lots of crevices that attract and hold impurities and contaminants through a process called adsorption.
Activated carbon works pretty well to eliminate a number of nasties in your water, such as chlorine, and some pesticides and some solvents – this is why activated carbon is commonly used in fish tank filters. However, activated carbon eventually reaches its holding capacity and no longer can be used to reliably filter water eventually, so the filter must be replaced at periodic intervals. Other elements can be added to attract and reduce or eliminate other contaminants – but after quite some time searching the web for research on what these elements might be, it seems that most water filter manufacturers play their cards pretty close to the vest, leaving us to wonder at the magic of proprietary water filtration processes.
Since water pitchers function by pulling water through filters via gravity, there is generally not enough pressure to purify via reverse osmosis, and many bacteria can still get by – so it’s not recommended that you use pitcher-type home filters to cleanse water from streams, lakes, rivers, mud puddles, or the like. Sediments and contaminants will be filtered for sure, but you can still get sick through bacteria infestation. Dedicated outdoor-type water filters are recommended for naturally-sourced water filtration.
The EPIC Pure Water Pitcher Filter System
I, for a while, thought I just had a standard pitcher type filter. However, upon digging about, I was excited to find that I had been sent the new EPIC Pure Pitcher. The Pure is like a Brita only for survivalists or preppers.
My EPIC Pure pitcher filter features a large, replaceable filter and a pitcher that holds, by rough estimate, three quarters of a gallon or so of water. The filter supports about 200 gallons of water filtration (my Brita does 40). The filter elements and pitchers are 100% BPA free, and the filters themselves are 100% recyclable, which means that over the lifetime of the filter, you have potentially saved using 1,500 plastic water bottles – a definitive environmental impact. EPIC boasts that their filters will remove up to 99.99% of contaminants that can be found in tap water. I investigated their website to see what they actually remove, and the list is ridiculous: most are contaminants, and pesticides are things I’d never heard of but sound awful, and the metals removed list includes chromium 6, aluminum, mercury, lead, arsenic, TTHM, and Radon 222, among other things. I won’t throw the full impressive list on this post, but definitely check out the list of what the EPIC Pure filter keep out of your body.
The Pure’s Competition
I’ve used a Brita pitcher filter for years, as I stated at the beginning of this article. Mine is a Brita Water Filtration System, the same model you can get online or at Target or Wal-Mart. Brita has the market cornered on accessible, household name pitcher filters. The Brita is an affordable pitcher filtration for the masses and 100% made in China.
The Brita features replaceable filter cartridges, and they last approximately 40 gallons per filter, according to Brita’s website. However, the Brita offering really concentrates on improving the taste of the water, instead of actually doing a really thorough job purifying. According to Brita, the pitcher filters they offer just remove or reduce chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury. There is no mention of filtering out pesticides like DDT, or other common contaminants and metals such as lead. Brita does offer products that remove more contaminants, but not in the pitcher format we are analyzing here.
Battle Royale: EPIC Pure VS. Brita Water Filtration
So in the interests of doing a straight apples-to-apples test, I bought a brand new Brita filter cartridge from Amazon, and performed the standard pre-soak that Brita requires. I loaded up the new filter in the Brita, and filled both up with straight tap water. The larger EPIC reservoir took almost 15 minutes to filter. The Brita was much faster to process, probably just five or six minutes. But in both cases, the water that was produced was crystal clear, and devoid of any of the slight chlorine smell that my city water usually has.
I went all Mythbusters on my taste test, and filled three glasses with water: one glass with tap water, one with water from the Brita pitcher, and one with water from the EPIC pitcher. I had my wife and son each try out the water, and report which glass they thought was from each aquatic offering. I then asked them to do the same for me. The results? The tap water was a gimme; its taste and smell was very distinct, with the rather not-great metallic chlorine taste. All three of us nailed which glass held the city-fed tap water.
As for the filtered water, my wife and I both were able to distinguish the EPIC filtered water, but I can personally tell you that the taste from both the EPIC and Brita products were quite close: clear, with no metallic or chlorine tastes – and very, very good. There was no smell from either glass.
Where the EPIC filter really made a marked difference in taste was in coffee, believe it or not. The EPIC filtered water definitively produced much smoother, rich-tasting coffee from my home coffee maker. I have no science to back me up, but I am theorizing that the pH-modified alkaline EPIC water knocked back on the acid produced from the coffee, and the resulting beloved caffeinated product was far superior as a result.
Read Also: Epic Travel Bottle Review
So, Brita or EPIC? The Brita absolutely produces excellent-tasting water, and filters out a few undesirables in the water stream. But, if you can afford it, the EPIC offering is certainly a better product for the environment – its filters last 2 ½ times longer than the Brita offerings and are recyclable. The EPIC filter is certainly better for you and your family. If you buy bottled water to drink around the house because your well or tap water is unpalatable or unsafe, the EPIC will pay for itself in very little time. The EPIC pitcher is more expensive, and the replacement filter cartridges are also pricier (Made in the USA – yes, they will be more expensive). Yes, it’s pretty expensive – but the EPIC has something else going for it that makes it worth every penny, in my humble opinion.
I mentioned earlier that I had perceived health benefits from my switch to drinking water from the EPIC Pure pitcher, and it’s true. I have a condition known as GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease) where the muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach relaxes, allowing built-up acid to splash up into my windpipe and lungs, causing severe heartburn and general chest discomfort, along with irritated lungs. GERD’s onset for me is usually stress-related and is exactly as much fun as it sounds.
Once I received the EPIC Pure water pitcher, I immediately started using it for all the water I drink. Within a couple days, I noticed a huge difference in the amount of heartburn and windpipe discomfort I was experiencing. At first I attributed it to a switch in coffee brands I made at the same time I received the EPIC filter; I did not know that the EPIC was a Pure pitcher with pH benefits because they use activated coconut carbon filters which are alkaline. When I brought some of the new coffee (from Main Gun Coffee Company – DEFINITELY check them out if you’re a coffee aficionado) to work for use at my coffeemaker there, I had acid issues kick in again. There went the coffee theory.
However, when I started doing research for this review, I realized what which product had been sent to me, and the gears turned. The GERD symptoms definitely lessened right when I started using the filter, and when I drink water from other sources, sometimes I’ll have issues. So, it is my personal postulation (that is purely my own conjecture and could be completely wrong) that the alkaline pH levels that the EPIC Pure water pitcher introduces reduces acids that the body produces, driving down my heartburn symptoms. Take it for what it’s worth to you, but I believe the EPIC Pure product to really work, and has positive health benefits that go beyond eliminating contaminants and nastiness from the tap water I drink. It tastes great, makes bitchin’ coffee, and I feel better. Winning.
Wrapping It Up
The EPIC Pure water pitcher is great, whether you just want clear safe water, or you’re looking to try health solutions that go beyond pumping pills in your face. The initial sticker shock is a definite turn-off,and I’ll admit to you that when I got the filter and I looked into what using it would cost me, I rolled my eyes and uttered a “yeah right.” But I’ve used the pitcher extensively, comparing it to a very common competitive filter, and I’m now a true believer in this filter.
For those of you who don’t want to take the hit on the Pure system, EPIC also offers a full line of other outdoors-rated filters, including the Stainless Steel Travel Bottle that allows you to drink from almost any water source you can find. If you’re looking to try the next level of personal home water filtration, and don’t want to invest in under-sink in-line plumbing filters or clunky faucet add-on filters, be sure to look at the EPIC Pure pitcher filter system. It’s head and shoulders above the competition, and you’ll feel better for it as a result.
What are your thoughts? Is the 70 dollars for a home tap water filter too much, even if there are health benefits besides hydration? Do you use something different? Sound off in the comments below!
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Reports of polluted drinking water contaminating whole communities have flooded in recently. As if we didn’t need another reason to unplug, various studies have uncovered the truth about our ‘drinking water’. It is diseased and ‘deadly toxic’.
In the US, more than six million people drink contaminated water, plagued with PFASs, which have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, high cholesterol and obesity. This is according to a Harvard University study published in August which used data from more than 36,000 water samples collected from all over the nation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013-2015. You can view their advice here.
Lead author of the study, Xindi Hu, says that: “For many years, chemicals with unknown toxicities, such as PFASs, were allowed to be used and released into the environment.” The toxins have been used over the last 60 years in many things from food wrappers to clothing, to cooking utensils. “We now have to face the severe consequences” Hu added.
The worst affected states are as follows: California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts and Illinois.
Drinking water was tested in 33 states, the study set the limit as 70 parts of PFASs per trillion (ng/L). Concentrations ranged as high as 1,800 ng/L for PFOS (Newark, Delaware).
A separate national report released Tuesday (Sept. 20) found unsafe levels of chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium — known to cause cancer in animals and humans — in tap water across the country.
But the States are not alone, one of the world’s leading human rights group has focused on the consequences of contaminated water in indigenous communities throughout Ontario, Canada.
In a study that lasted almost a year, Human Rights Watch collected samples of water in Batchewana, Grassy Narrows, Shoal Lake 40, Neskantaga and Six Nations of Grand River. Whilst conducting their research, they found children suffering from skin disorders, mothers who spent hours a day disinfecting their babies’ bottles, due to the presence of E.coli and other toxins in the water. You can view the gallery they complied whilst carrying out the research here.
The ‘make it safe’ campaign has been set up as Canada’s obligation to end the water crisis. Ontario Regional Chief, Isadore Day called the lack of clean water in 2016 “discriminatory and unacceptable”.
The HRW wants to know why Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), failed to spend funds over five recent fiscal years and sent more than $1 billion in funds back to the Treasury Board as “surplus” when it could have been used to clean up the water, the report said.
The group has praised the new government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau despite this, for promising $4.6bn earmarked for infrastructure funds in indigenous communities over the next five years.
That’s not all – more than 300,000 UK homes were affected by the cryptosporidium parasite found in water supplies last year when animal excrement was leaked into the Franklaw Water Treatment plant in Garstang. People were warned to not drink or use the tap water unless they have boiled it as the microscopic bug infected those with sickness and diarrhea. The company said it was making “good progress” in tackling the problem which it maintained posed a “very low” health risk but the precaution needed to stay in place.
Many are asking the question: why is this an issue in 2016 and in some of the most developed countries in the entire world? It is shocking that communities are being let down by the governments on something as basic as polluted water. If there ever was a time to start converting to your own drinking water, it is now.
Awhile ago (years ago actually), I had researched and checked reviews while looking for a good quality heavy duty drinking water storage container, one that I could use while camping or RV’ing, as well as for hauling water from one place to another. It provides a water supply to simply set on the table with […]
LifeStraw is a compact portable water filter. It enables you to drink straight from rivers and lakes, or from a container filled with water that you’ve scooped up from that water source. The way it works is simple – just place the bottom part of the LifeStraw in the water, and sip through the top […]
Water is a high priority commodity during a time of disaster. There are things that you can do in your home immediately before a potential or impending disaster (e.g. hurricane, tornado), or right afterwards (e.g major earthquake) to ensure an emergency supply of water for drinking: Note: I’ve done a number of posts on […]
It’s not often when worry is put to rest, especially when it comes from playing in water.
A prime reason I chose my home was because it had a Water Well, a key item in maintaining independence from outside resource. Without need of a municipal water supply, I can live on my property without worry of water suddenly not being available. I only then needed to worry about it being drinkable.
That’s why I took on the task of doing a review of Test Assured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit with enthusiasm. I knew I had good tasting well water at my taps, but all the same, I wanted to know chemically how well my well water really was. (Say that 5 times fast.) Most importantly, I wanted to put to rest worries that there could be something in it that could potentially make me sick.
If you can follow directions how to mix cake batter, you can do all of the tests without messy eggs, butter, milk & stuff. It’s simply fill a vial, dip in a test strip & compare colors from a chart. If I can do it, you can too.
The Complete Water Analysis Test Kit is 10 tests in one. Ten of the most common contaminants you need to be concerned about if you intend to use water to drink, cook or bathe.
Alkalinity: Water with low alkalinity can be corrosive and irritate eyes. Water with high alkalinity has a soda-like taste, dries out skin and causes scaling on fixtures and plumbing.
Hardness: The amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals. When using hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean, be it your hands, hair, or your laundry.
pH: An index of the amount of hydrogen ions (H-) in the water. When water has a pH that is too low, it can lead to corrosion and pitting of pipes in plumbing and distribution systems.
Chlorine: A highly efficient disinfectant added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing pathogens. But too much of a good thing is not necessarily good. Too much can burn & kill.
Copper: Reddish metal that occurs naturally in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air. New copper pipes leech copper into water which can be harmful for babies. Older pipes not so much, because of the natural patina that develops on the metal surface.
Iron: Water high in iron may taste metallic, be discolored and appear brownish, Iron leaves red or orange rust stains in the sink, toilet, bathtub or shower.
Nitrates & Nitrites: Naturally occurring chemicals made of nitrogen and oxygen. The primary health hazard occurs when nitrate is transformed to nitrite in the digestive system. The nitrite oxidizes the iron in red blood cells to form methemoglobin, which lacks the oxygen-carrying ability of hemoglobin. Too much nitrate & nitrites in drinking water can cause serious health problems for young infants.
Lead: If you don’t already know how dangerous consuming lead is, go back to eating your paint chips. Lead poisoning is a real concern with older homes with leaded plumbing.
Pesticides: Commonly caused by ground water contamination. Just where do you think the bug spray your neighbor uses winds up?
Bacteria: The most worrisome fear, pathogens in your water that can make you REALLY sick. This test requires 48 hours for results.
The testing was easy to do. The kit is packaged well & clear in it’s instructions. It makes me wonder if this is EXACTLY what is used by “Professional Water Testers” who charge $$$ for the convenience.
Is it worth it?
The results largely confirmed what I already knew… I have safe, clean well water.
Test results showed that my water is clear of Chlorine, Iron, Nitrates, Nitrites, Copper, Pesticides or Lead. Further, (and most importantly), my water is Bacteria Free.
The test kit did show that Alkalinity is right in the target range for drinking water at 80 to 120 ppm. (parts per million). Hardness, in the moderate to hard side, with approximately 100 to 200 ppm. And the pH right in the ideal range of 6.5 to 8, (7 being neutral).
The bottom line… A water softener could be a smart purchase, otherwise I should fill a tall glass & toast myself for having good water coming from my well.
I highly recommend getting the kit. Get several, since each kit is single use. It’s pretty smart to test your drinking water whenever large weather events occur, which can effect your regional water supply. Or if you travel, and want to be sure the water that’s available is safe.
I suppose I could get an independent lab do the same tests for comparative results. But unless folks buy a kit or two from this AMAZON LINK, I don’t see me shelling out the $$$ for that. However, just by testing regularly once a year, I can determine what may have changed. The kit makes doing that very affordable. (Way cheaper than hiring it done)
Add the Complete Water Analysis Test Kit to your Prepper Needs List. If you seek to know just the Lead content, Test Assured offers a separate test kit for that as well.
For more information about this product & other products by Test Assured, visit their website.
The post Complete Water Analysis Test Kit / APN Product Review appeared first on American Preppers Network.
Here’s the thing about water that most of us already know, but many ignore… ‘you can’t live long without it’. In fact, water will rapidly become a NUMBER ONE concern following most any major disaster. As I’ve said before, I believe that many or most people who are actively involved in preparedness, often overlook the […]
The Environmental Protection Agency is not protecting underground drinking water supplies from oilfield contamination and in several instances has allowed companies actually to dump wastewater into aquifers, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report.
The report blasts the EPA for its oversight in California, where, since 2014, the state has allowed oil companies to violate safe-drinking water laws. An AP analysis in 2015 found that California had handed out 2,000 permits giving oil companies permission to dump wastewater into federally protected drinking water. The tragedy impacted at least 11 aquifers.
“It shows a massive failure to protect our drinking water,” Kassie Siegel, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, told AP. “The takeaway overall is that the EPA doesn’t collect and states don’t provide the information for the EPA to exercise the oversight that’s its job.”
The GAO report found that the “EPA has not consistently conducted oversight activities necessary to assess whether state and EPA-managed programs are protecting underground sources of drinking water.”
“For example,” the report found, “GAO found in June 2014 that EPA does not consistently conduct oversight activities, such as annual on-site program evaluations.”
The EPA mostly agreed with the report, AP said.
The report also found that the EPA did not have enough personnel on staff to inspect the oilfields, and that EPA administrators did not have adequate data about oilfields or aquifers to conduct inspections.
What is your reaction to this story? Share it in the section below:
When disaster strikes, begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will ravage you and your family much quicker and more critically than any shortage of food. If you do not have clean water for drinking, cleaning, food preparation, and for bathroom-sanitary purposes, crippling sickness could tear through your family — especially without the hope […]
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Jay Morgan. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today. DRINKING WATER – BACKGROUND: How to sterilize water? Simple: You don’t need […]
There a number of dangerous survival myths circulating around the Internet. For example, one of the most common ones is the idea that you should suck out the venom if a snake bites you (doing this will only make things worse). There are several others, and many of […]
(Sometimes called filter candles) If you have a gravity water filter system such as the Berkey, or any type which uses ‘filter candle’ elements, every once in awhile you will need to clean the filters that are inside. They eventually get coated with ‘stuff’, the outside of the filters become discolored, and the flow will […]
To know which one is the best (a water filter or water purifier), you first must understand the terminology and how it relates to water treatment standards. The term ‘water filter’ is widely and generally used to describe many water filtration devices. While the term can be an accurate description, the meaning when talking about […]
Those in survival circles tend to hang out around the smaller end of the water purification spectrum. Tools like the Lifestraw and Sawyer filter are must-haves in your kit whether to get home or bug out. But what is on the other end of the drinkable water rainbow? Turns out there is a 10-liter water purification system in the form of an easy-to fill-bag with backpack straps, hanging loop, inline filter and simple instructions.
So why have you not heard of this unique and functional water solution? Most likely it’s because you have never been in a bad enough situation to need one. The DayOne Waterbag has been deployed all over the globe following natural disasters and those humanitarian affairs caused by selfishness and greed. And especially when the bad things team up to inflict maximum distress on people in need of safe drinking water.
The DayOne Waterbag does it’s magic by attacking dirty water in three sequenced steps. First, the premixed chlorine packet disinfects the water in the DayOne as well as generates a residual precipitate of undrinkable things to settle out into the engineered reservoir on the south end of the bag. By using a combination of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation the chlorine binds to larger molecules, bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables pulling them down and out of the drinkable portion of the waterbag.
The steps of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation are like a solar system forming from the dust of a supernova explosion. The particles must combine until reaching a minimum density before being pulled to their deaths by a giant black hole. In our case, before the earth’s gravity can capture the microscopic debris and imprison them in conical jail at the base of the bladder, the bad stuff must combine with more tiny undesirables until the mass of the flocs is large enough to overcome the viscosity and polarity of water molecules and sink like the Titanic (except the Titanic took 160 minutes to sink while the DayOne Waterbag needs 30 minutes).
Also Read: Sawyer Mini Filter Review
The result of this dance of the molecules a stinky slimy mess falling to the bottom of the DayOne Waterbag in what can be quite a visible sludge. And for those pesky critters that resisted the chemical obstacles in the waterbag including Giardia and Cryptosporidium and other nastys, a final and deadly filter lays directly between the bag and your mouth.
Some Settling May Occur
In order for the chemistry to work it’s magic, about five minutes of agitation is needed before the bag is to be left alone. After the chemical packet is dumped into the full waterbag and the top is sealed, the bag needs to be shaken like a cramping hamstring. To included handles are attached to the bag just for this purpose. But be careful not to puncture the bag in something behind it if hanging on a tree. The necessary five minutes of effort goes by quickly (at least the first few times), and when compared to how long and how much sweat it would take you to squish two and a half gallons of dirty water through your hand-pump water filter, the initial 300 seconds of effort are not worth complaining about.
After five minutes of physical intimacy with the bag, it needs to be left alone but upright for 25 minutes. And then you have safe drinking water. I wondered why 25 instead of 30 minutes which is half an hour and also easier to remember. I guess the 5+25 equaling half an hour is also pretty simple.
Related: DIY Activated Charcoal Water Filter
The flow rate is about 1.5 liters per minute, or plenty fast to choke yourself, or to fill a dozen quart-sized water bottles about one every 45 seconds. Well, not quite. I found the flow rate is based upon the water level in the bag as well as the height difference between the bag and the flow tube. One and a half liters per minute is on the generous side, and drops from there. A good solution is simply to hang the bag high and let the tube drop straight down into your container. If you really need the DayOne I doubt you will be counting seconds like I did in this review. And don’t squeeze the bladder to speed the process like I often do with my CamelBak bladders. You might disturb the dangerous sediments.
The DayOne Waterbag was not designed with the casual backpacker in mind. Instead it was created to provide safe drinking water to those who need it most and the children who are most vulnerable to waterborne diseases and toxins. Which is exactly why you should have one. Things are all rosy right now, but we have proven to ourselves time and time again that as first-world as we are, in less than a week we can become third-world like the best of them.
Bone-dry the DayOne Waterbag weighs one pound. Soaking wet a little more. Full of water it drags you down to the sum of 23 pounds. So it’s hardly a concern when off duty especially since it rolls up or folds flat, or pretty much squishes into whatever shape makes you happy. When full, the DayOne Waterbag is like a giant CamelBak bladder with shoulder straps. I carried it around full and found it much less uncomfortable than I expected. The shoulder straps are just that, one-inch wide straps. However, the bladder is 100% free of hard spots, poky areas, and pressure points. I guess it’s like a tiny waterbed strapped to your back. But unlike other bladders, and even dry bags that have similar closures, I did not find the DayOne Waterbag to be waterproof. Some seepage did occur out the top lighty soaking my back. For the best seal, don’t fill the bag to the max line. Also, don’t bet your life or valuable electronics on the hose clamp preventing every drop of water from sneaking out the discharge tube.
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The DayOne works best in warmer climates, but did pass water quality standards down to 40 degrees F, or 4 degrees C. I’m told the disinfectant properties of the packets increase with temperature which makes sense. The little packet of magic powder that is added to the water contains the single active ingredient of 0.546% Calcium Hypochlorite (also known as bleach powder). Given the warnings that “Dry product causes substantial but temporary eye injury” it would be wise to avoid getting your face anywhere near the powder and stay upwind of the pour. There is also a detailed method for cleaning the bag and and backflushing the filter. Here are the gory details on using and servicing the DayOne Waterbag system: (click here)
The DayOne Waterbag was designed for humanitarian battlefields where polluted water is the enemy. Trying to suck your way to survival through a filter straw, or zap a path through the pathogens with your UV pen might sound like high-tech low-drag solutions to the number one concern when bugged in or out, but those are only short-term personal solutions. Are you really going to play mommy bird and spit a mouthful into a crying child’s beak? Or regurgitate a pot full of water to rehydrate your freeze dried fritters? No matter how you slice it, you will need a more substantial water filter solution when hours turn to days turn to weeks making the price of 30 minutes for 10 liters of clean water the best deal on the the planet.
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