This is a guest post by Kim B
[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo, a NukAlert a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and a copy of my CD It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]
Imagine no water for miles. Not a trickle in any surrounding creeks, streams or rivers. You have used up nearly every drop that you could fit into barrels, bottles and other containers and you know that you are not going to live long if you do not get something to drink pretty soon. You have scoured every square inch but have found no thirst-quenching sources. No water in any wells, backs of toilet tanks nor in water heaters. Zilch! All sources are dried up and your life is “up a creek” without a boat, paddle or life vest.
A few months ago, a drought suddenly hit the entire country and there has not been a soul in sight that would even think to help remedy the situation because the country that you and they live in also turned into third-world nation three months prior. Some still have money but most do not. Things are bad because those that do have no desire to give up any of it to help others for fear that it will result in their own downfall and suffering equal to yours.
The money that pays for their use of electricity runs their air conditioners and buys their water and they like being cool and hydrated. From their point of view, the tradeoff is not worth it because they do not see why they should suffer when you had every opportunity to prepare ahead of time. You would not approach them because you know all of the people around you and they are selfish as they have demonstrated that they are not concerned with the welfare of anyone but themselves.
No matter how many times they refused you when you were in serious need you have not lost heart. You feel bad for them because the dams are running out of water and they are going to lose power within a matter of days. Without electricity, people’s conditioners everywhere will be useless. The tables will soon turn and with limited supplies you will be forced to turn everyone away.
The government has promised to bring water, food and other supplies but no trucks or personnel have shown up nor has word been sent. The situation has been purely frustrating and you are sick of waiting. You have also grown tired of seeing the number of “have not’s” growing while the “have’s” continue to turn a blind eye. Unwilling to sit around any longer, you consider leaving the area because of the news that you received a few days ago of there being a water source located seventy-three miles away.
Without the government fulfilling their promises, the thought of a source of water has been the only hope that you have had for staying alive since the drought first took over. Staying, you would be able to pretty accurately calculate your demise. Leaving, you may have a shot. You are scared to go because you have no vehicle and you will not be protected from the burning sun. Without replacement water, the elements are going to dry you out like a piece of hard leather.
If you do not do something to protect yourself, you will have a good battle with hyperthermia on your hands. It would not matter anyway if you did have a car because there have been no jobs for a very long while so you, like the rest of the population that is penniless, do not even have a cent to your name with which to purchase even a mere drop of gasoline. You know that everyone in the country has already tried the trading and bartering scheme and has milked the situation for all that it was worth, from the big cities right down to the smallest of towns.
You really want to pull out your hair but because you would get burned so you leave your greasy strands alone. Packed up and ready to make the trip, you sit down to wait for the sun to get a little lower than it’s current one o’clock position. As you settle in for the next few hours, you start to think about things that would have kept you cool.
Your thoughts take you to the opportunity when you could have taken that bank loan you had applied for but did not because you were not sure that it was the right time to undertake that much debt. You V-8-slap yourself when you see that, with the huge loan you let pass by, you could have had a concrete bunker set into the ground with ten-inch thick walls, a hook up for a solar panel which was led into an air conditioning system setup, a fifteen-hundred gallon water tank cooled by a solar-powered refrigeration unit and so much more.
To get over the loss you caused yourself, you come to that simple small solar generator that you could have instead purchased with a smaller loan. Upset over your actions, you begin to kick yourself. Had you taken the small loan, you could have taken the awesome generator with you on your way to get water.
You dream that while waiting it out during the daylight hours, you have enclosed it and yourself inside a few thick cardboard boxes, completely covered by shade, until nightfall. You keep asking yourself why you did not get it. You repeatedly envision how easy it would have been to tape two washing machine-sized boxes together and cut out a sufficient hole for the back of the machine to stick out of.
You feel deep regret because you would have been able to sleep more comfortably and be ready for each night’s ride. Moreover you would have been able to use your electric scooter for part of the distance and arrive a day or two ahead of schedule. As the time to leave has arrived, you focus upon the task at hand, remembering to grab your water and a few empty bottles that you can use when you get to your destination. You have not urinated for a while so you…
If you were to finish that sentence, without telling anyone, how would it end?
If you have decided not to collect every drop of urine and fill every bottle in your possession with it, at least halfway up, then you just opened the door to Mr. G. Reaper.
On the other hand, if you have chosen to save everything that your bladder would produce then the story continues and leaving to go after water works in your favor. It was while packing that you included a small unit specifically for distilling your urine as it contains a lot of water. You have only to place your urine in the distiller and sit back because the heat during the day is the fuel source that will do the work of extracting a nice quantity of pure drinkable liquid for you.
The fact that urine contains more than 85% water and can be drank after it has been distilled is worth it’s weight in gold. Double distillation is not absolutely necessary but if unsure or leery after the first processing then there is no reason not to give it another go in the distiller. It is okay to drink distilled urine and I like the fact that it is much safer than downing it “fresh out of the bladder” which would make me expel the contents of my stomach. Having no relative odor or taste after processing I would not feel uneasy that I was going to lose my lunch and entertain potentially dire consequences.
Several things should be considered when working with urine. When it becomes warm it will begin to have an odor. The longer that it stays warm or the “hotter” that it gets, the stronger a smell that it will produce. When temperatures are very warm or excessively hot, it would be best to distill fresh urine as soon as possible to keep bacterial creatures from overcrowding and holding a “Stink Fest”. Never touch any part of your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth if urine has made contact with them as you do not want to transport bad bacteria and suffer an infection.
If an all-out drought happens, similar to Africa’s or reminiscent of the Dust Bowl, with all plants and water “gone”, there would not be a lot of choices about where your water will come from.
[M.D. Adds: While drinking urine can help postpone the onset of dehydration it is not a long-term solution – it should also be noted that one of the symptoms of dehydration is a lack of urination. Drinking urine straight from “the tap” without distillation can worsen dehydration because of the high amount of salt in it.]
How about you. Would you drink distilled urine to save your life or see you through a survival situation?