15 March 2013

Survival: Water From Thin Air (article and videos)

Without water to drink, life is impossible. Any plan for survival must answer the question: Where is my water coming from? Failure to answer that question will be a failure to survive. 
Here are some very simple scientifically based solutions- not exactly common sense, but very easy to do and understand. 
You may want to practice these techniques before your life is actually on the line...

How to Extract Water From Thin Air – Part 2

March 14, 2013
Since our last article; How To Extract Water From Thin Air was so popular, Suntactics decided to create part two, enjoy!
We live in unpredictable times, we face nationwide blackoutsnuclear war, andwater shortages. It’s been projected that two-thirds of the earth’s population will live in ‘water stressed’ areas by 2025. Water is the most important element for survival, humans can last several weeks without food by using stored body fat, but when it comes to water, not long. Prepare yourself, soak up this knowledge of Atmospheric Water Collection so you’ll have the security knowing that you can take care of yourself if the unexpected happens. Here are some easy (and free) ways to turn air into safe, distilled drinking water:
Transpiration Bag:
Trees and plant matter, (even cactus) are the earth’s water storage tanks, use them! Find a tree or bush in a sunny area and take a large bag (preferably clear and thin) and place it over a few branches, tie the open end of the bag with string (make sure no air can get through). Then tie the other end of the bag with some string and attach a rock to the string so the branch is being pulled to the ground. This will allow the condensed water to trickle down at the closed end of the bag (make sure the string is not fully closed, allow an opening for the water to get through).
You should harvest up to a liter of water doing this, when finished un-tie the bag from the branch and collect it, save the bag for another time. The heat from the sun sweats the leaves in the bag, when water condenses it essentially distills the water so it’s safe to drink.
Transpiration Bowl:
Same concept but with a large, clear plastic or glass bowl. Find a sunny, grassy place, place the bowl face down on the grass and wait a 20-30 minutes, you should see steam and condensation forming inside of the bowl. When ready, pick up the bowl and swish it around, you will see a puddle of clean, distilled water at the bottom, drink up!
This is a simple super clear acrylic uv resistant dome. Any glass bowl will work. This dome averages 1 ounce every 45 minutes.
Another tip: Take some grass trimmings, plants, leaves, shrubs, cut-up cacti pads, basically anything that’s moist and green and place in a pile on a tarp or just on the ground in a sunny place. Then place the plastic dome over the pile and let it condense.. this is a fool-proof easy way to extract clean water from dead plant material.
Belowground Solar Still:
This is the most well known water collection technique; Find a sunny area and dig a shallow hole in the soil about 2 feet across and 2 feet deep (make sure the bottom is flat), fill the hole with vegetation and place a water container in the middle of the hole. Cover the hole with plastic, weigh the edges of the plastic down with heavy rocks, then place a single rock in the middle of the plastic and let it hang a few inches directly over the water container.
Filtration and Distillation
All of these condensation techniques produce clean, distilled water ready to drink water. Distillation removes 99% of all contaminants, however you may get a few stray plant or soil particles doing this. In that case you might want to filter it out, re-distill or boil the water just to make sure it’s safe to drink.
Filter out large particles:
You can use a t-shirt or a mesh screen bag to filter out big particles, you can find “almond milk bags” online that work quite well, but if you’re in a pinch you can always make one:
Take a bag, fill it with pebbles/rocks, next layer would be charcoal, next would be more pebbles/rocks, next would be sand, more pebbles/rock. Then hand the plastic bag on a tree branch or hook and pour in the dirty water, now cut a tiny hole at the bottom and let the water slowly drip down into a container, this will take care of removing any sediment and charcoal improves the taste. (note: This doe not fully purify water)
Purifying Water:
There are two ways of doing this, boiling the water for 10 minutes at a steady boil, or distillation. Distillation is basically what we did above, using heat to steam water, the water transpiring or condensing and turning into pure drinking water.
If you have dirty water, rain water, ocean water, or otherwise questionable drinking water, purify it by using distillation.
Solar Distillation:
If you have no access to fire, use this method. This is the same concept as the solar still technique, you are using heat of the sun to distill water. You would need a large metal bowl, plastic wrap, a rock, and a small container to catch the clean water. Fill the metal bowl with the dirty or questionable water, place the small container in the middle, cover the large metal bowl with plastic (make sure that its completely sealed), then place a rock in the middle on-top of the plastic wrap or sheeting. Now, place this contraption in the sun. In no time you will have pure drinking water!
Fire Distiller:
Same concept as the solar distiller but you’re using fire to heat up a large pot of dirty water so the steam catches on a sheet of plastic and drips down into a cup(s).
Prepare a campfire, get a metal pot. Then construct a makeshift arch above the campfire about 3-4 ft tall over the campfire using sticks (it should resemble a door frame). Then cover the top of the arch with long plastic sheeting so that it’s over the pot and the campfire (the plastic sheet should be 1-2 feet over the boiling pot). Tie the corners of the plastic with sticks and anchor to the ground, make the plastic somewhat loose and not too tight. Now on each side, place a rock on the plastic, and under the rock place a water container (like the solar still technique), do this on each side. Now get a campfire going, place the pot on the campfire and pour in the dirty water, get the water to a roaring boil. The steam from the boiling water should rise up towards the plastic sheeting, and gravity should eventually move the condensation where the rock weights have been placed, and the condensation should drip into the water containers that have been placed on the ends of the plastic sheeting. You can constantly fill up the pot with dirty water, in this video it shows survivalists pouring sea water into the boiling pot while doing other survival tasks.
There are plenty of other ways to do this, use the techniques shown above and you should have an idea by now on how to use weights, gravity, steam, and condensation to work for you in any survival situation. Apply this to what tools you have available, and you won’t have to worry about fresh drinking water ever again!
Fog Harvesting
This one applies to those in high-altitude arid climates, where fog is prevalent. If you don’t live in places where you experience constant fog, it could still work especially in the mornings if you live near coastal regions.
A fog catcher is essentially harvesting fog which are tiny droplets floating in the air. The basic design principle of a fog catcher is simply a frame that supports mesh on a vertical plane, the mesh catches the condensation dripping into a container that could be fitted with a faucet so you can easily collect the water.
The method is very simple, you need two support posts that are in the ground, tie the double-layered polypropylene mesh onto the posts and affix a trough at the bottom. You would also need pipes to move the water from the trough into a reservoir or cistern. This is a large scale water collecter, this would be suitable if you lived in the mountains or very humid or foggy climates. You can get the basic building specs and principles here to understand how they are constructed:
Mini fog collector, basically the same principle, use 4 tiny posts and affix them to a pan at the bottom then wrap a mesh screen around the posts, the water would drip into the pan at the bottom.

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