Water for Living and Survival. What You Need To Know
After 3 days
with no water, we die.
What We Need To
Know about water for
Preparation and Survival
Over 3/4ers of our body is
composed of fluid.
Just passively existing, we
lose almost a half gallon
per day. That goes up
drastically if we are active.
Thus we need one gallon
of water per day at a
A 5% drop in body fluid will cause a 25%
drop in energy level.
A 15% drop will cause death.
It is estimated that 80% of people are
Assume all water in nature to be
Giardia is no fun.
During catastrophes, your regular water
sources are often contaminated.
How safe is your everyday drinking water?
I highly recommend no matter where you
live, have at least a basic under sink filter on
one tap, from which you draw all the water you
are going to drink.
The quickest and most effective emergency
preparation we can do is stock water.
Stock a minimum of one case of 500ml
bottles per person (three days worth).
I recommended it be at least 2 cases per
Just grab it the next time you’re in the store.
Do it now!
In an emergency, we have water in our house
that we don’t readily think of:
The water heater.
The water pipes.
The toilet tank (not the bowl).
4 full 500ml water bottles. This is your immediate
emergency supply if you have no time to fill up your . . .
Containers. Either a built in water supply such as a
Camelbak or pockets/clips for water carriers. Most
packs have external loops on which you can secure
canteens and water carriers. Your first priority is to fill
up this container with potable water or from your
household water stash if bugging out. The four water
bottles are to sustain you to get to that point. They also
then become extra water containers.
A built in Camelback can be useful.
Canteens. I have a military issue 2 quart in my bag.
Click on image for it.
Remember, water freezes if carried externally .
On my Jeep I carry a 15 liter plastic container
inside. I use that for camping. On top, I carry a 2
gallon rotopax container. I also have several
water filters (covered watered).
Compressible water containers. For after establishing
Purification. Lifestraw or equivalent and two bottles
Click on images below for links.
You must have a way of quickly filtering
water for your family. Assume all water you
find in nature is contaminated.
Besides the life straw and pills, there are
ones that produce more volume. There is
also a slightly more expensive system that
doesn’t require pumping and works via
gravity. Either one can be a lifesaver for your
In an emergency you can purify water
by disinfecting it.
Water in Nature
Purify all water you aren’t certain is pure.
Collected rainwater is usually safe if the
surface it comes off of isn’t contaminated.
Eating snow or ice without melting first will
reduce your core temperature and lead to
If you have to melt either to get drinkable
water, use ice rather than snow as it takes
No matter what you’ve read
(unless you’re a vampire):
SoDis Water Disinfection
Solar Water Disinfection:
Find a clean, clear plastic bottle no more than
three liters (1 liter is slightly more than one
quart). It needs to be a PET bottle. You can tell
by looking on the bottom. Most will say if they
are PET or PETE. Otherwise it will have a
number. You want a #1.
The narrower the bottle, the better for solar
Dark and/or smelly urine usually
How SoDis works?
The sunlight treats the water through three ways; all involve
the sun’s radiation.
UVA reacts with the oxygen dissolved in the water to
produce a highly reactive form with free radicals and
hydrogen peroxide, which kills microorganisms.
UVA interferes with the reproductive cycle of bacteria by
crippling their DNA.
The sunlight heats the water and once it gets it above 122
degrees, the disinfection works three times faster.
Water and Plastic
While I recommend bottled water for your emergency
supply, the reality is that bottled water contains micro
The bottles are also bad for the environment. For our
drinking water we use metal bottles that we fill from our
filtered tap. This gets rid of drinking micro-plastic and is
good for the environment.
When storing water in plastic, check the type:
use PET or PETA#s 1, 2, 4 and 7.
Avoid thin plastic such as milk or gallon water jugs. They
will eventually leak, especially if not stored in a cool place.
Water First Aid
Signs of dehydration are:
Dark urine with a very strong odor
Low Urine Output
Dark, sunken eyes
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke and
Over-Hydration are covered in the book.
SoDis Water Disinfection
Fill it three quarters full with clear water, or
water you have filtered through sand, cloth or
whatever you have available.
Shake the bottle in order to get as much
oxygen as possible into the water.
Fill the rest of the bottle and replace the lid.
Place the bottle in direct sunlight for six to
eight hours. You can increase the efficiency by
placing the bottle on a reflective surface such
as metal or aluminum foil.
If you have to move, hang the bottle on the
outside of your pack.
Rules of thumb in nature in extreme
Running water is better than still water.
Water coming out of a spring is better
than running water.
Clear water is better than cloudy or
Avoid water with algae.
Avoid swamp or marshland water.
In essence, a sealed water bottle has no
Also, consider houses with high end
filtering systems— get the filters, connect,
let gravity push water through them.
More Free Information
I constantly update free, downloadable
slideshows like this on my web site for
preparation and survival and other
Also, I conduct Area Study workshops
for those interested in properly
preparing for their specific
The guide on the left is the complete preparation and
survival guide. The one on the right is a pocket-size
manual with just the survival portion. Useful in your Grab-
n-Go bag, car and kitchen drawer.
New York Times bestselling author, is a graduate of West
Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 80 books
published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets,
Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million
books. He was born in the Bronx and has traveled the world.
He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the
west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, the Smoky Mountains
and other places, including time in East Asia studying martial
He was an instructor and course developer/writer for years
at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School which trains
Green Berets and also runs the SERE school:
Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape.