Friday, February 24, 2017

An excerpt from “Backwoods Brief” by Aaron R. Roberts

As 65 percent of the human body, water is essential to people. Water flows through the blood, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and flushing wastes out of our bodies. It cushions our joints and soft tissues. Without water as a routine part of our intake, we cannot digest or absorb food. Whatever you consume, you have to be aware that the digestion process needs fluids to digest right.
The connection with all of the foods I have mentioned or will mention is that they involve boiling water. If you can find a clean but iffy water source, the mixes will help secure the thought of always boiling your water. It is not very beneficial to carry lots of water. I know most of the book’s authors will say otherwise but the truth is no matter where you are at unless you live in the desert, water can be found. Ponds, lakes,  streams,  abandoned houses. In some instances, you can look for water around cottonwood tree, the tree, the  Rio Grande cottonwood to be specific.
Other sources to follow to find water are as plain as the noises around you. Follow the birds.
If this is a true apocalyptic situation, you might find it necessary to bend once strong rules and laws. Your survival is what matters. If the opportunity arises and it’s either die of thirst or break into a house only, you can answer this question. Would you take any chances thirst or break into a house only you can answer this question. Would you take any chances on  breaking into a house or go thirsty and possibly die of dehydration?
Water is the only valuable necessity that can’t be hunted, especially in a city setting.
Urban areas are more likely to have retention ponds that store hundreds of gallons of water.  It may not be easily obtained but is a thought to crunch on. You’ll come across two kinds of water in the wild, potable water that’s already purified, and  water that can kill you.” When it comes to questionable water—essentially anything that’s been that’s that’s been that’s been on the ground long-term, like puddles and streams. Your best option is boiling water, which is 100 percent effective in killing pathogens, but sometimes boiling isn’t an option.
Rain, snow, and dew are reliable sources of clean water you can collect with surprising ease, with surprising ease, to  itand they don’t need to be purified. Rain is a no brainer. Set out any clean pan or arrange your clean pan or arrange your tarp to catch the rain. You always want to melt any clean, white snow. The snow must be a bright white. No other colors are acceptable. Any snow that has a red or yellowishto itis well past the area of being safe, even if you boil it.   Also with a couple of bandanas, you can collect water by soaking up dew and ringing out the bandanas.
You can also try collecting water with a transpiration bag. Like humans, plants “sweat” throughout the day—it’s a process called transpiration. To take advantage of  this clean, pure source of water, put a clear plastic bag  over a leafy branch and tie it tightly closed. When you  return later in the day, water will have condensed on the  inside of the bag, ready to drink. This brings us back  to the number one essential to have with you at all time.
It is your water purification supplies. So why not do it right the first time. You are responsible for your health and drinking bad water is a good way to die slow and painful.
Your water supplies should include but are not limited to any of the following. It all depends  on what you are willing to learn and how big your budget is. Just remember though, the more  expensive to buy the more complicated it may be to replace. These can consist of an inexpensive SP128 Mini Water Filter by Sawyer. It is light weight and can be strapped to your pack by a carbineer. It is a plus on saving room in your pack. It cost around twenty bucks or you can always do the old standby and boil it.
Also you can add liquid iodine or bleach to your pack. Iodine and Bleach  work in moderation. Our body needs water. So if there is a scarcity of drinking water, it is best to consume less food. Food requires a lot of water for digestion.
However, make sure to drink water at intervals, whether thirsty or not. If you wait to drink water only when you are thirsty, you run the risk of dehydration, which leads to lethargy, dizziness and bad decisions.
Also commercially available, is crystallized iodine. It can be used to remove biological contaminants from water. Iodine tends to give water an unpleasant taste which can be counteracted by adding vitamin C to the water prior to consumption. A last ditch effort, similar to iodine, is using bleach. Only use unscented, household chlorine  bleach. You can filter it through a bandanna or allow it to settle for a few hours. Then using a straw to drink off the top of the water would be recommended. To use bleach, you need to pack it in a way that so it will not spill. I used a sealed glass bottle and a needle to inject it into the bottle. I will use the needle to drop eight drops or add 1/ 8th  teaspoon of bleach for each gallon of clear water (2 drops per quart). Stir well and let stand for 30 minutes. This will not kill off the worse parasites such as Cryptosporidium or Giardia, but it will get rid of most of the others. So boil if at all possibilities. There is nothing more soothing than  hot water on a cool night.
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” H. Auden
There are thousands of items on the market out there that work wonders for making water safe or safer to drink. I have tried Iodine, bleach, and boil for my water but you have to find out what works for you. Water temperatures above 160 degrees Fahrenheit kill virtually all pathogens within 30 minutes, including bacteria and the two prime backcountry nemeses: giardia and cryptosporidia. At 185 degrees Fahrenheit, they’re dead in just a few minutes. Almost nothing can survive sea-level boiling temperature (212° F) for any length of time, though a few pathogens like botulism can persist at even higher temperatures (none that are a concern in the backcountry).



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