This morning I received a letter from Steven Knight, one of the survivors following the devastating attack on our planet by the Moon Stealer creatures. His irregular guest posts provide us with an insight into life in this new world, as well as sharing hints and tips on the most effective ways of surviving. If you’ve missed any of Steven’s earlier posts, then check out the Survival Plan Achives.
The presence of creatures prevent us from living in the conventional way. Wherever we are, the first thing we always try to find is a water source. There are many different ways to find water, but this post is about using your environment to find water although some will depend on the environment you find yourself in.
There are many different water sources that occur naturally in the environment, some are obvious like rivers and streams, but others are not so easily recognisable. There are various plants that indicate the presence of water, including reeds, palms, willows, alders, ground ferns and figs. Certain insects such as bees and wasps also like to live near a water source, as do birds like finches, pigeons, doves, grouse, guinea fowl and herons. Some vegetation can be used as a source of water themselves. If you find yourself in an area that has bamboos, cut a hole in a wide stem to drain water from its centre. Birch trees can also be tapped during the spring. They provide a sap which can be used in an emergency replacement for water, but should not be used in the long term.
Because of gravity pulling water down, water can often be found at the base of cliffs and narrow canyons, in tight bends in dry river beds and places where geographical formations meet. Alternatively, collect dew early in the morning using an absorbent piece of clothing, such as a cotton T-shirt, brushing it across dew covered vegetation. Once saturated, wring the water into a container. Use drinking straws to obtain water that may have become trapped in naturally occurring bowls such as hollow logs or sumps in rocks. Suck up the water and place it into a container.
However you collect your water, it is always wise to sterilize it to prevent illness. Naturally occurring water may contain parasitic worms, bacteria, viruses or poisonous chemicals. Boiling water is the most effective method for making water safe to drink. Filtering water through layers of cloth, sand and charcoal is also an effective way of removing dirt from muddy water, but boiling should still be used.
If you cannot find a natural water source, you will have to collect your own. Next time I will show you some simple ways to collect water using nothing more than rocks and polythene. Until then, stay safe…. SK
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