Unfortunately there might be times that water can be hard to come by. Many people don’t think of Kansas as a desert, but this State is considered a semi-arid desert State. We do indeed go through severe droughts. At these times, your rain barrel will be of little use. You will be plain out of luck if you haven’t stored up your water for these times.
If you find yourself lost, out in the middle of nowhere with little chances of finding water, you can build a solar still. In your basic survival pack, you need to pack a plastic sheet (the ideal size is much too big to carry around 6’x6′).
To make a still, find a damp area if you can, sand, river basin or gully is perfect. Use a stick to dig your hole, ideally it should be four feet across and three feet deep. Place a container of some sort at the bottom. Take your plastic sheet and cover the hole, using rocks to keep it in place. You will need to try and make the plastic slope down, into a cone shape, with the center directly above the container.
The solar still works by creating a greenhouse effect, ground water evaporates then collects on the sheet and drips into your container. If you can, find a long straw or carry surgical tubing with you, as you can use this to suck up the water without tearing down your creations each time you need a drink.
Your solar still will continue to collect water for 4 days. After that you need to move it. If you are in drier conditions, where no basin or gully is available, dig to a depth of 4 feet and move it every 2 days.
This is also a way to purify drinking water. Pour the water out around your container, onto the soil surface. It will filter down through the soil, and distilled into safe drinking water once it evaporated, condenses and drops into your bucket.
We will continue to talk more about water storage, salvage and scavenge in upcoming posts.