Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: water filters

Survival Gear Preps Second Quarter 2012

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Stockpiling SHTF Survival GearWhile stockpiling survival gear for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, I think it is important to pause, review, and then move forward.  It does no good to stockpile the same thing over and over, while overlooking other essential preps.  The changing of the seasons, a new year, or every 3 – 4 months are good times to do reviews.

January, February and March of 2012 were dedicated to buying a Remington 1911 R1, stockpiling 45acp, collecting some some books on chickens, buying some chicks and building my chicken coop.  The 1911 is for personal / property defense, and the chickens are for a sustainable food source.

Related Forum ThreadMy Chicken Coop Project

April, May and June of 2012 were dedicated to expanding my ability to purify water, some new cooking gear, expanding my stockpile of brass cased 223, buying some 308 Winchester, diversifying my stockpile of 22 long rifle and expanding my first aid supplies.

Purifying Water

If water purification is not at the top of your long term survival plans, it should be.  Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.

My recent additions were two Berkey black filters and a SteriPen Sidewinder.

The Royal Berkey I keep at the Bug Out Location has 2 black filters.  Each filter has a life expectancy of around 3,000 gallons – depending on water quality.   With the addition of 2 more filters, I can now filter an estimated 12,000 gallons of water.


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


Cholera post disaster

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angelina river jasper texasHere in the good ‘ole USA, do to the massive amounts of chlorine that we put in our water, waterborne diseases are pretty rare. Sure there might be the occasional case of Cryptosporidium, but cases of Cholera, Polio, and Typhoid fever are pretty rare.

So what brought the topic of Cholera up? It was an article on CNN about how fast Cholera can be deadly.  This is news to me, I would have never thought that Cholera could turn deadly in just a few hours. I thought that just about all waterborne infections took 3 – 10 days for the first signs to show up, then a few days for dehydration to take place, with death finally occurring. With my understanding of how Cholera progressed, death would occur 7 – 14 days after infection. But after reading that article from CNN, Cholera has earned a new level of respect and fear.

From the CDC website:
An estimated 3-5 million cases of cholera are reported every year
100,000 people die from cholera every year
A person can get cholera by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food

I first learned of Cholera and Typhoid in a American Survival Guide article sometime around 1994, 1995 or 1996. I’am not sure if I still have the issue with the article in it, but it was an excellent read.

More recently, we have seen how diseases like Cholera can take its on a population, like in post-earthquake Haiti. The bacterial infection has been blamed for 138 deaths, and another 1,500 other cases have been reported.


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.

Waterborne infections

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While reading through a government report on waterborne infections, something interesting came out. Cryptosporidium accounted for about 65% of all waterborne infections.

Here is the breakdown:

Cryptosporidium accounted for 65%
E. Coli accounted for 6.3%
Campylobacter 6.1%
Giardia 2.1%
Shigella Sonnei – 8.5%
Norovirus – 8.3%

Now lets combine that with some more information.

Here is another US Government report on Microorganism size and susceptibility to filtration report.

Organism Average sizes
Viruses 0.03
Enteric bacteria (E. coli) 0.5 × 3.0–8.0
Cryptosporidium oocyst 4–6
Giardia cyst 6.0–10.0 × 8.0–15.0

When I’am concerned about the water that I’am filtering, I try to take the area that I’am in, into consideration.

Is the water down stream from a rural or heavily populated area?

Has there been any recent flooding in the area? The flooding goes hand in hand with populated areas. If the sewage lines or septic tanks were recently flooded, then the risk of contaminated water increases.

If the water from a running stream, or a pond / pool of water?

If you have any questions, post them in this forum thread about Water Filtration.

Survivalist Water Filter Options

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Why should Survivalist worry about water filters?  Because when the city water supply stops, the water in the local lakes and streams may not be safe to drink. Most survivalist have stockpiled water, and that is fine – there is nothing wrong with stockpiling water. But you need some kind of solution for after your stockpiles of water run out. A lot of people might say “I’ll just dig a well if I need water” – ok, lets get back to reality. Most of people are not going to dig a well overnight.

Here is short list of waterborne diseases and parasites:
E. Coli
Legionnaires’ disease

The first filter for us to look at is the Royal Berkey.  The Royal Berkey water filter is made out of 304 stainless steel, has a capacity of approximately 3.25 Gallons, and has 2 filters (with each filter being able to filter an estimated 3,000 gallons of water).

Assembly of the Royal Berkey is pretty easy, and only takes about 10 – 15 minutes. The thing with stainless steel, you can leave it stored at a retreat for years, and not worry about mice or rats chewing holes through it. One of the problems with storing items at a retreat is rats and mice will chew into it. I have no idea how much food has been ruined at the camp because of rodents.

The next filter to take a look at is the Berkey Light water filter. Instead of being made out of stainless like the Royal Berkey, this one is made out of plastic, Plastic has its advantages, such as being light and easy to transport.

One disadvantage to plastic, rodents can chew holes through it. So if you have a problem with rodents at the retreat, then you might want to go with stainless.


Berkey Water Filter Contest

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When disaster strikes, will you and your family have plenty of safe drinking water? If your one of the lucky 8 winners, that problem might be taken care of (at least for a little while).

Jeff  “The Berkey Guy” (from “LPC Survival Ltd.”) is holding a contest where there will be 8 winners

Here are the prizes:

We are giving away 4 Berkey Water Purification Systems to 4 different forum members, You can pick the system of your choice from this list:*

Go Berkey Kit
Berkey Light
Travel Berkey
Big Berkey
Royal Berkey
Imperial Berkey
Crown Berkey

All systems with come brand new, with 2 black berkey elements.* The Big Berkey w/ 2 Nine inch White ceramic filters is available also as a choice.

We are also giving away 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles to four different members. If you are one of the 4 chosen, you will receive 3 Sport Berkey’s Free!

How to enter the contest:

Visit this forum thread on the Berkey Water Filter Contest and find out how to get signed up.

Example of a Royal Berkey Water Filter

Katadyn Hiker Water Filter

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Water filters for SHTFThe Katadyn hiker water filter is a low cost option in the water filter market. Its available through most large sporting goods outlet stores, such as Gander Mountain and available through several internet store. Even though the Katadyn hiker water filter is a low cost option, there is nothing “cheap” about this product. It appears to be made out of quality material, is durable and is an overall well made water filter.

The first time this Katadyn filter was used, my son, my nephew and I were on a 6 – 8 mile hiking trip through the piney woods of East Texas. The trip started off a on the deer lease we belong to. From there, my nephew, my son and I hiked between a couple of the rolling hills, across 2 creek bottoms and stopped for our first rest break on an old logging road. This was when Korey (my son) realized he had lost his water bottle. Luckily for the three of us there was a deer stand near by where we found a discarded plastic water bottle.

An hour later the three of us arrived at a creek where I had planned on refilling the water bottles.  One thing I did not know, the lack of recent rain fall had made the creek almost dry up.

The filter became clogged because the prefilter was removed, plan and simple. If we would have simply dug a hole in the sand, or dug out the creek a little bit and left the prefilter in place – everything would have been fine.

If you own a Katadyn hiker water filter, or plan on buying one, let this be a lesson. Do not remove the prefilter from the intake hose, because you run the risk of clogging the filter up. Its better to take a few minutes and find a deeper hole to put the intake hose in, or dig out a spot.

One of the highlights of the trip was when the two cousins found a trap spider. We had finished filling up our water bottles and the boys started looking around the creek.

After we got back from the hiking trip (Saturday evening), an email was sent to Katadyn tech support. A prompt reply was received Monday. The person who replied to the email was very helpful and described a possible solution. After following the instructions in the email, the water filter started working again.

Overall, the Katadyn Hiker is one of the better options in the low end water filter market. Even though this filter is not expensive (as compared to other filters) it is not cheaply made.

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