The second leg of the basic survival stores is Water. We normally look at consuming 6L per day and this is the amount we recommend that you put aside for survival. From previous articles we have calculated that for our 15 months head down we need 2736L each. That is a lot of water and it is heavy and awkward to store.
I’m going to look at the recommendations slightly and make some caveats. 6L of water can last most of us more than a day. In desperate times we can forgo bathing, washing our clothes and can drink less. Our reduced requirements because we will not be moving about much. The first step is to ration our water and we should adjust our water intake to a lower level and extend what water we have. We should only consume the water we need and no more.
The issue we have though is that this calculation can be quite tricky. Our bodies do not report our liquid requirements very well. We will stop feeling thirsty when we are still dehydrated. So we need to drink more than we feel we should. It is much better to monitor our usage by amounts and by our body.
The calculation for the minimum amount of water in our current climate is to take your weight in pounds. Divide by 3 and then double it. That gives you the amount you should drink as a minimum in ounces. So for a 150 pound person, you need to drink 100 ounces a day. That is 2.95L or under 3L. Normally, you would add on for work but we are not doing any so we won’t bother. If you are working then drink more. You split that water up throughout the day and drink small amounts of 12oz on a regular basis rather than all at once. These requirements change if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, ill or in hot weather. Being sick or having diarrhoea means the liquid is leaving your body as fast as it goes in.
Also if you are having headaches and your urine drops off to zero then you are dehydrated and need to drink more. You need to be careful here. Drink as much as you need to live.
Bear in mind that some of your liquid requirements will be met by your food. Some of the water you cook your rice or pasta in will be retained and that will help a little, plus any fruit or vegetables that you eat will also have a small around of water in. However, I would treat that as a bonus and not go reducing your intake at all because of this.
Obviously when you start getting out all your requirements will go up.
Also avoid alcohol. It does not quench your thirst but makes you dehydrated.
So now we have identified we need water just to live and we have calculated roughly what that is we should go about trying to maximise our storage and production. After all we have no idea how much we will need in total as we won’t have an end date for when we won’t need our stores.
The recommendation is that not only do we put aside enough water for our needs but we put aside the tools to prepare more. We don’t make it here. It falls from the sky but it needs treatment to make it safe for our fussy stomachs. So as well as putting aside as much water as you can we need to put aside some filtration equipment and some collection equipment. Personally, I’m putting aside as much water as I can safely store, several filtration items, some plastic sheets to collect the rain and the components for a sand based filtration system, the same system nature uses. Preferably I’m looking at building that now along the side of the garage and I can add the output to my water stores as I go along. You can feed the contents of the rain barrels into it when the rain is insufficient. Like all filters they will eventually need replacing but between the stored water, the bought filters and the garage filter I should be able to keep going till I manage to build another and then I can use both until I need to replace the filter material in one. All the ingredients for a filter can be made to keep it going long into the future but for now we need to put the components in our stores.
Finally, water is critical to life. The water I am talking about here is the water for our 15 months head down. Again, we hope it won’t be that long but we had better prepare for making it last as long as possible.