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Tag: drinking water after shtf

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1
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How safe is the water source at your Bug Out Location?  Currently, when we stay at the camp we have to either filter water from a nearby creek, or use water from a very old hand dug well.  The old well is becoming less and less reliable, so its time to drive a new well.

There is a saying I like to use – without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.  A contaminated water source can wipe out a community in a matter of days, and that is just the way it is.

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location


Here are the current plans

Use post hole digger to dig a hole around 3 feet deep.

Insert around an 8 inch PVC sleeve into the hole, sleeve will be around 4 feet long.  This gives us around 1 foot above ground.

Take a 4 inch piece of PVC pipe, notch the end so that the pipe has “teeth”.

Build a cap with 2 water inlets.

Attach water hoses to water source and to cap.

Take a 2×4, drill some holes so that a U-bolt will fit though the board.

Back truck up to well site and drop tailgate.

Attach the cap to the top of  the 4 inch pipe.

Stand on tailgate of truck, insert pipe into sleeve.


Priorities in preparing plans

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Drinking water after SHTFThere are 3 basic priorities in prepping plans – food, water and shelter.  Some people like to throw in fire, or the ability to make fire.  But if you throw in fire,  you need to crawl out from under your rock from time to time.

Some things should be a given, such as packing medicines, fire, or considerations for special needs people.  Its impossible for someone to list all of the considerations people might face.  Whether its medicines, flood insurance, homeowners insurance, preps for people with special medical needs,,,,, only the reader is going to be familiar with special plans they need to make.

Items such as first aid kits, flashlights, copies of important papers are a given.  Do you really need to be reminded of things you should already know about?  Do adults have to be reminded to brush their teeth or take a shower before they go to work?  We know we should be doing certain things, so I see no reason to go over the same list everytime the discussion comes up.

Now that the special needs and the given items are behind us, lets talk about priorities in a prepping list.

Identify your personal priority.

Take steps to minimize the impact of the priority during a disaster.


Safe drinking water

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Drinking water after SHTFFor most of the developed world, safe drinking water is something we take for granted. We turn on the faucet and nice clean water comes out. We have fresh water to brush out teeth, to take a shower, to wash our hair,,, and our other everyday needs.

Then along comes SHTF / TEOTWAWKI, and guess what, no more nice clean water.

Over the years I have read a lot of articles taking about the most important survival gear items. the list usually ranges from antibiotics to water filters. To me, and my personal opinion, the most important thing during a survival situation is safe drinking water.

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.

Lets talk about 3, 4 or even 5 days after the city water gets turned off, people will be drinking out of rivers, creeks, ditches, streams, ponds, lakes,,,,, anywhere they can find water.

Most the most part, people will try to purify the water by boiling it, or using a water filter, or running the water through a shirt or cloth to remove the heavy particles,,,. I guess a major problem lies in urban dwellers who have limited access to fuel for fires to boil water.

Lets move forward 2 – 3 weeks, people start getting sick, people start dying from waterborne infections. Dysentery kicks in, and people start dying from dehydration.

Forget raiders, forget looters,,, once people start drinking untreated water, the whole game changes.

Boiling water – that topic should be common knowledge. So lets talk about stuff that is not discussed very much.

I am thinking of getting a SteriPEN and leaving it at the bug out location, along with some 32 ounce water bottles.

Run the creek water through the Royal Berkey, fill up a 32 ounce water bottle (or canteen), after the water is in the bottle or canteen purify the water with a SteriPEN. I might even buy 2 or 3 SteriPEN, one or two for home and one or two for the Bug Out Location.

On the SteriPEN website, the company has a long list of certifications from laboratories.  The rating is something like 48 seconds of exposure for 16 ounces of water, and 90 seconds for 32 ounces of water.

The reason why I suggested 32 ounce water bottles – each water bottle would take 90 seconds of exposure, and 32 ounce water bottles are common. You can go to just about any sporting goods store and buy 32 ounce bottles.

16 ounces of water is not very much in the summer time. While out on the boat fishing or hiking, I can down 16 ounces of water at one time.

I have been stocking up on 32 ounce water bottles and canteens from academy sports and outdoors, the bottles and canteens are cheap and they are BPA free.

To help filter something like river water, use a shirt, sock (make sure its clean), piece of denim, bandanna,,,, some kind of cloth to remove heavy partials.

If you wanted to take things a step further, build a slow sand filter out of a 5 gallon bucket.  Use the sand to filter out the heavy stuff and use the SteriPEN to further purify the water.

Post your comments in this forum thread about safe drinking water after SHTF.

Safe drinking water after teotwawki

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Lets talk about safe drinking water during a long term SHTF / teotwawki situation.  When it comes to water, there is a saying I like to use, “without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.”

During a long term SHTF / teotwawki situation, people will be taking water from creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes,, whatever they can find and trying to make it safe to drink. Its important to know the most common types of infections, and how to remove / kill the organisms.

In this article we will be looking at the most common waterborne infections, their cause, and how to prevent becoming infected.

Common waterborne infections

Campylobacter / Campylobacteriosis
Cryptosporidium / Cryptosporidiosis
Giardia / Giardiasis
Hepatitis A
Legionella / Legionellosis
Salmonella / Salmonellosis
Typhoid Fever

Some cause short term discomfort, some cause death, some cause life long illnesses.

Related forum threadUsing a Berkey Water filter at the Bug Out Location


Hygiene after shtf

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While on a recent camping trip with some friends, I started taking mental notes about the possible issues we could have after SHTF.  I like to go on camping trips, or trips away from home, and then take notes about the issues that we faced.

Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water.  Any water that goes in your eyes, on your face, in your mouth (even to brush your teeth) must be filtered or purified.  So one of the big issues is finding safe drinking water.

Related ArticleWater filter at the bug out location

I wear contacts, so one of the big issues that I will be facing is safe water to wash my contacts in.  Or just say screw the contacts and wear my glasses.  After some kind of SHTF situation, my contacts will probably be put up, and my glasses will be worn.

Awhile back I posted a video on youtube about personal hygiene kits, here is that video.

Brushing teeth – once again, this is dependent on safe drinking water.

Food Safety – one of the biggest issues is probably going to be food safety, keeping food cold so that it does not spoil, and keeping insects off of food.  The majority of  todays homes are not equipped with screen doors, only screened windows.  As the power goes off, people will be opening doors and windows to let the air circulate.  If the doors are opened, flys and other insects will enter the home.

Dried foods in resealable containers should not be an issue, unless the containers are left open for a period of time.

Shigella – is a food borne disease that is transmitted when incests land on infected objects (like waste water), and then land on food for human consumption.  Because of Shigella and other related diseases, dealing with waste water (feces), and food safety are related.  Making sure waste water is not exposed to where incests can land on it, making sure that doors and windows have screens, and making sure that cooked is covered will help ensure food safety.

After the food is cooked, the pots, pans and dishes should be washed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Hand washing – the number 1 way to prevent the spread of disease is through hand washing.

Hot water shower – pick up a solar shower, their usually sold that local sporting goods store, or on camping websites. Set up a privacy shelter, fill up the solar shower and set it out in the sun for a couple of hours. The hot in the solar shower can get as hot as 100 degrees.

A good shower also acts as a moral booster, getting to wash the filth out of your hair, wash your face, wash your butt,,,,, helps with a persons overall moral and helps to keep people clean.

Pick up 3, 4 or even 5 solar showers, and issue them to people in your group. Each person can be responsible for your own shower.

Vaccinations – there are vaccines available for diseases like rotavirus and Hepatitis A. If your in the “at risk” group, consider getting your vaccinations.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Personal Hygiene and Food Safety after SHTF.

Drinking water in an urban survival situation

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If the water went off tonight, what kind of plans do you have in place? As with everything else in my survival plans, water is broken down into 3 phases – short term, medium term, and long term solution.

Short Term – this is your bottled water. Most people have a couple of cases of bottled water laying around somewhere. On a trip to the grocery store most people might grab a case or two of bottled water to have around for guest or parties.

Some survivalist stockpile water in 35 or 55 gallon drums.

When the water goes out, the bottled and stockpiled water will go first. Its convenient, you just un-screw the top of the bottle and the water is ready to drink. Most people like to take the easy way out, and bottled water is about as easy as it gets.

Medium Term – this is your water filters. This may include your Berkey water filters or some kind of backpacking, lightweight water filter.

Sooner or later, the filter is going to reach its lifespan, and that is it.

Long term – private water well that is safe to drink. This could include water wells on farms, or rural water wells where people do not get city water.

Now that we are past the three layers of water preps, lets move forward.  “Where” exactly do you get water in an urban survival situation?  Lets see, there are – local ponds, streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, rain fall, ditches, bayous,,,,,.

For an example, in the middle of Jasper, Texas (where I live), there is a park with a small pond and creek.  Using my bicycle  I could cycle to the park, use some water bottles to retrieve the water, bring it back home and run it through my Berkey water filter.  Its about 8 miles round trip from my home to the park.

River water – Another example, the Angelina River is just a few miles from my house.  Once again, using my bicycle I could cycle to the river, bring several 32 ounce water bottles, collect the water from the river, cycle back home and then run the water through my Berkey water filter.

Rain water – once those 55 gallon drums run out of water, they could be positioned under the down spout of a rain gutter.  But this only works if you live in an area that gets rain fall.  If you do not have any 55 gallon drums, some 5 gallon buckets should work just as good.  If nothing else, refill those water bottles that were used when the event first started.

Waterborne diseases – As sewers fill up and start to back up, people will start doing their “business” outside.  The problem here, is when an area receives rain fall, the sewage can be washed off the soil and into the local rivers, steams, ponds,,,, any kind of surface water.  If water can stand around the pipe going into a well, there is a chance that contaminated water can get into the well.  That is why its recommended that a cement step be built around the pipe of a well.

Possible diseases include:
E. Coli
Legionellosis – Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever
Salmonellosis – Salmonella (mostly foodborne)
Typhoid fever
Hepatitis A – food and waterborne
only to name a few.

In my opinion, the ideal situation would be to have a water well with some kind of solar water pump on it, or at least a hand operated water pump.  In a worse case situation, having a well and a hand powered pump is better then nothing.

One of the big differences between urban and rural water plans, would probably be that a lot of people in rural areas already have some kind of water well in place. Whether its to water the cows, horses or other livestock, or as their main water source, a lot of people who live in rural areas have access to some kind of water well. From there, its just a matter of getting the water out of the well with no electricity.

I would like to hear some input on this topic. What are your safe drinking water plans in some kind of long term survival situation? Do you have a water well already in place? Do you have a rain water collection system already in place? Do you have any creeks, streams, ponds or lakes nearby that your planning on filtering the water from?

Post your comments in this thread about drinking water in an long term urban survival situation.

Royal Berkey water filter at the camp

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Its not enough to have survival plans, those plans have to be tested from time to time in a variety of conditions. And then, the results of those test have to analyzed. From the results of those test, what do you need to improve the outcome?

Between July 30 – August 1 my family and I spent 3 days at the camp; while we were there, I decided to hook up the Royal Berkey water filter and give it a test. The Royal Berkey had been assembled, but never actually used. And like all survival gear, it needs to be tested before its actually needed.

Water is one of the basic survival needs- food, water and shelter.  But having just “water” is not good enough, it needs to be “safe water.”

Awhile back I got a Royal Berkey water filter from – it was setup and a video was made about it. From there it was packed up and relocated to the camp, where it has stayed in storage for the past few months.

Water was taken from a nearby creek and poured into the reservoir. In about 15 minutes I could hear the first drips of the water hitting the bottom of the holding tank.

In about an hour, I was able to get a juice glass of water from the Royal Berkey.

One of the popular questions I see about the Berkey system – “do you have to prime the filters for them to work?” To get a real life answer, I did not prime the filters. The water was just poured into the reservoir with dry filters, and in about 15 minutes the water started dripping.

Stainless Steel – The Royal Berkey is made out of stainless, so rodents can not chew through it. This makes it a good choice if your looking for a long term storage filter – in other words, something you can store and not have to worry about it.

One of the big issues with storing goods at a remote location is rodents. Anything made out of plastic or cardboard can be chewed into by a mouse or rat. So lets say that you had some plastic water filters stored at your camp, how do you know for “sure” that when you need those water filters their not going to have chew holes in them?

Capacity – Each filter can filter around 3,000 gallons 2 filter unit – about 6,000 gallons 4 filter unit – about 12,000 gallons For most people, it would be impossible to store 6,000 – 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water. But with a Royal Berkey and 2 filters, its possible to make an estimated 6,000 gallons of water safe to drink.

Conclusion – A 2 filter system should be good for 2 – 4 people. But for 4 active adults, or more then 4 people, you might want to consider looking at a 4 filter unit.

Lets say you plan on having 6+ people in your group, I would consider going with something like a Imperial Berkey, just for the larger holding tank.

Royal Berkey – Holding capacity: Aprox. 3.25 Gallons.
Imperial Berkey – Holding capacity: Aprox. 4.5 Gallons.
Crown Berkey – Holding capacity: Aprox. 6 Gallons.

If I was going to buy a Berkey water filter for a camp / cabin or remote location, I would start looking at the Royal Berkey and go from there.  Depending on location, summer time heat, how many people, available water sources, I would probably start looking at the Royal Berkey, and move up the line to the most expensive filter that I could afford.

Safe drinking water is not something you want to go cheap on.

Post your comments in this forum thread about keeping a Berkey water filter at the camp.

Berkey Light Water Filter Overview

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Over the past few months I have been putting a lot of thought into the “safe drinking water after a disaster” topic. My personal solution is divided into 3 stages:

Short Term – this is your bottled water. Regardless if its 1 pint plastic bottles, or 55 gallon drums, this is your short term solution.

Mid Term – This is something like a berkey water filter system – where you can take water from a river, lake, pond, or steam, filter it and make it safe to drink.

Long Term – private well. You have your own private water supply of safe drinking water.

For this article we will be discussing the Berkey Light Water Filter, which was supplied by Red Barn Workshop.

Over the past few months I have been seeing people talk about the Berkey line of filters, now I understand what the hype is about. Overall, I am impressed with the unit, how simple it works and how simple the design is.  The filters use gravity to pull the water through them.  This means that no external pressure has to be applied – which is great for a survival situation.  With any pressure system – something is required to supply the pressure, such as a pump, every pressure system has to have some kind of seal to hold the pressure in,,,, this all means there is more stuff to fail and break.  One of the good things about the Berkey water filter system – the only moving part is the faucet.


Water Filter for a Bug Out Bag

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There is an interesting thread over on the forum asking about a water filter for a bug out bag.

Some of the suggestions include:
Katadyn Hiker (and Hiker Pro)
Sawyer filters and purifiers
MSR Miniworks
Sawyer Inline Water Filter
Katadyn vario

In this video we talk about the Katadyn vario from

Katadyn vario specs from the website:

*The Vario combines ceramic and pleated technology, and is adjustable for different field conditions
* Dual Piston technology means it offers the most efficient, fastest flow available
* The replaceable Carbon Core keeps water tasting fresh
* The Multi-Water Adaptor Base allows for the the easiest to fill water container/ bladder out there Specs
* Microfiltration Method: The cleanable ceramic disc lengthens the life of the primary pleated microfilter.
* The 0.3 micron high surface area pleated glassfiber microfilter removes waterborne bacteria and cysts. * The replaceable carbon core reduces chemicals, pesticides, and bad taste in water.
* Output: Up to 2 quarts (2 liters) per minute. * Cartridge Capacity: Up to 500 gallons (1875 liters), depending on water quality.
* Weight: 15 oz.
* Height: 6.5″
* Hose Length: 36″


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