The Last Resort Water Source

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?

Comments

  1. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Kim B, interesting article. Just what type of distillation device did you have in mind when you wrote this? Does this device require an energy source, if so, what is it? How complex to use? How heavy? Is it man portable along with your other BOB supplies? Depending totally on urine for a water supply is a zero end sum effort, eventually you run out of “supply” due to evaporation, sweating, inefficiency of the device, etc. NASA and the russians use a recycle system on the space station to recycle urine into drinking water, but even with the best scientists in the world the station still requires regular “fill ups” of water to allow the crew to continue working. Any other ideas to supplement your water needs?

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      I went back and re-read your post. You mention a “small unit for distilling your urine” that runs on solar power. You mention a “simple small solar generator”. Ok, what devices are these? If you are talking about something like a steripen water filter, that is not a distillation device. A solar still requires you to wait, usually several hours in order to get a relatively small return on investment. It is still a zero sum effort after awhile. If you are in a drought, heat is that bad, you will perspire more than you will ever regain from distilling your small amount of urine. Sorry, dont see it happening logically. Towards the end, you talk about the dust bowl and African droughts. Even in those aweful situations, there were wells available with water. Would I do it if there was absolutely no alternative? I seriously doubt that many folks could walk 73 miles in that situation. Not trying to be too negative here, but think this through a little more. Maybe put yourself really into this situation and go without drinking any liquids for just a day and see if you feel up to that 73 mile walk?

    • SrvivlSally says:

      To answer your question, because I am a DIY, before going anywhere, I would hook up two opaque or clear 1/2 or 1-gallon jugs with fish tank tube, bicycle tire inner tube, copper tubing, garden hose, or any type of flexible tubing. A little silicone, bathroom caulking or other glue would suffice as a seal around the tubes at insertion point. As long as the glue is dry and the unit not be used for too many days or times, you probably not have too much to worry about as far as ingesting any chemicals. If a person were inclined, they could use rubber gaskets and other items to close off any gaps. The source of energy comes from the Sun and it’s solar rays. When placing the homemade unit out in the Sun, it therefore becomes a solar-utilizing unit without the need for a panel. You would have to make sure that you do not allow the jugs or whatever you use to make a unit to get to hot because if the Sun’s light is strong enough then it could melt them. If temperatures are warm enough a person could always allow warm air to heat their water. I don’t know how many glasses of ice water used to get heated up and ruined within not more than fifteen minutes of being taken out of their cool environment during a hot summer day, indoors. If in the desert during a hot day, I would never set a plastic jug out into the Sun or on hot sand unless I knew that doing so would not jeopardize them. Whether store purchased or homemade, the point is that a person has some way to collect and distill their urine to get them by or through until they can obtain drinking water.

      • SrvivlSally says:

        I would also like to say that I have been in some destitute and trying real-life situations where water was not available every day, how about just over 9 years long without the help of friends, family or anyone else, and although I did undergo times of serious dehydration, over and over again, I survived. I am not kidding or joking, nor have reason to be. I have experienced heat waves and a lack of water, the only choice being to travel miles just to get some, so the possibility of a wave that lasts for months could very well cause people to be unable to obtain water in many places. I would never want to break down on a miles long, barely traveled, stretch of road and have to walk to the next available town during a hot wave. What choice, when their own water source and everyone’s around them is about to be entirely gone, are they going to have. Unable to just walk or break into a rich person’s grounds because of well-fed and watered dogs and armed security, not to mention that police forces could be more than happy to be there for those whose money keeps the world going round, would not be feasible. It might take a person time to cover that many miles but along the way, foraging for bicycles, roller skates, skate boards or anything that might help them along the way…

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          SrvivlSally, as a tool to “supplement” your water intake, a solar still such as you describe is ok, but with Kim B’s original premise, urine is the only source of moisture to distill into water…it is still a losing proposition. Only recycling what you can urinate wont cut it. You MUST have additional sources of moisture to distill. Take for example pan full of cooking oil. You cook with it one time, some is absorbed into the food, after you filter out the food particles, some is absorbed into the filter, and some is evaporated. You cook again, filter again, same story. After awhile, it just stops being enough to cook with….and you must add more. In the desert walking 73 miles as Kim B suggests the reader do, you will perspire much more than you will ever regain from only recycling your urine. Ergo, you lose more than you gain back. After awhile, none left. Death. A non-starter without some additional source of water.

  2. chemman says:

    I was taught this in the military. While definitely not a long term solution in would work in the short term. And yes I would use this method if necessary.

    • axelsteve says:

      Actually urine is fairly sterile . hollistic health nuts have been doing it for years(not me)Do it midstream like our media(midstream not mainstream) Some people swear by it.I may live in California but no I don`t do that. Steve

  3. Well, it seems to me that if you are distilling it, it is no longer urine. The distillation process pulls the water out and leaves other things behind. This is the same method as using a solar stihl.

  4. The short answer is yes, and not a hypothetical yes, but a real world, been there, done that yes. When I was 14 years old I was in Boy Scouts and was lucky enough to be a scout back when we could still cut down trees and build fires. A group of us attended a 4 day wilderness survival training course on a 2600 acres scout reservation in the mountains of western PA, and one of the things we did as part of the training was build a solar still. This was the typical hole in the ground covered by a plastic sheet with a rock in the center, forming a cone. Water condensed on the plastic, ran down the cone to the center and dripped into a container. Into the hole we placed leafy greens, some non-potable water from a stream, and urine. At 14 there were a lot of jokes among the gang, but all in all the water pretty much tasted like water, and we all learned a big lesson about survival. I’ve never had to do this again, but would not hesitate, since it sounds a lot more disgusting than it really is. We also ate some equally disgusting things, which I will save for a much later post – LOL.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Hey OP, I’m waiting with bated breath to hear the rest of your story. LOL What disgusting things did you guys eat???

      • Lint,
        How do I put this? As an example, if you take a sheet of steel, clean it well with some beach sand, and prop it up by the fire, it will get hot. You need it hot enough for water to sizzle when poured onto it. If you then take a handful of (gross begins here) maggots, and rinse them in water, several times with several changes of water; drain them, and throw them at an angle with a glancing strike to the hot metal, they get crisp and puff up like puffed rice. They’re a bit crunchy and tastes a lot like puffed rice (as in little or no real flavor) and do contain both calories and protein. The hard part is taking the first bite, which lets you discover that they are not all that bad. No worse than say, chocolate covered ants or grasshoppers. There were other things we ate, also in the insect world, but these are probably psychologically the worse for the western mind to grasp.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          That ain’t so disgusting. Gotta tell ya, I was expecting something a whole lot worse.

  5. Don’t tell any of my friends but, I did. I got a new Berky Light (years ago) and wanted to really test it out. They advertise “undetectable” for most things so, I set it up and “poured” the contents of the glass used to collect my “specimen” to prevent splashing the Berky. I also added food coloring (a little of every color) to really muddy the water. Before the taste test I tested the PH of the “clean water”, it was 7.1, normal. Long story short – Berky works.
    I have a Kaitlin portable ceramic water filter – it might work for the above scenario but, here in Michigan if the rivers and lakes are dry – we would all be toaster crumbs.

  6. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Probably voted the #1 topic that makes non – preppers go Ewwww! :^)

    I’m hoping transporation bags over vegetation and a naturally high water table that allows sand point type of wells to be driven will work for us. Always need a back-up though – thanks for this article.

  7. I could see your scenario happening in my local. Yes I would use my urine after distilling it. I have an old First Need water purifier that might also work. It is slow in comparison to many of the newer purifiers but has served me well these many years.

  8. I think I would dig a deep hole to try & hit water before drinking urine. I saw a new reality show last week and they hit water in the DESERT after digging down only 5-6 feet.

    Yes, I watch reality show. Mainly to keep from going nuts! I need a bit of non-thinking, down time. Though this one actually gave me some useful information.

    • GA Mom ,
      Sounds interesting. What was the name of the show?

      • Rottenclam says:

        Not sure if GA Mom was referring to a recent episode of Dual Survival or not, but they dug about 2 feet down in desert / arid conditions and found water. That show is in its second season.

        As for this exact problem of recycling my own urine, it is a non-issue for me. My Fremen community taught me a how to wear a stillsuit when I was quite young, and since I wear it desert-style, I hardly ever need to actually *drink* water.

      • I thought this might have been Dual Survival on Discovery. Dave Canterbury is the former military guy from Ohio and Cody Lundin is the more eclectic expert from the AZ desert. I think these guys have it all over Bear who takes too many risks IMO. I personally don’t categorize this show as reality TV, because in the end they get out with their skills, not by being voted off of the island. I’ll be spending 5 days training with Dave this September along with 100 or so additional folks. I plan to learn a lot and have a lot of fun doing it.

      • Sorry, answered you but it showed up at the end of this posting thread. It’s called Expedition Impossible.

    • sheri (IN) says:

      I’m with you GA Mom…I dug 30 + post holes last year by hand and after a few days just about every hole had some sort of water in it. I would have to take my chances and dig a little deeper if need be. Couldn’t do the “last resort”.

      Interesting article though :) Definitely makes you think….and pray it doesn’t get to this.

    • Hey everyone!

      It’s called Expedition Impossible (it’s kind of like Amazing Race). Just a mindless reality show. One of lifes pleasures – lol!

      http://abc.go.com/shows/expedition-impossible

      It’s on tonight – Thursday night.

      • Got another new show for you folks too (I’ll post about it on Saturday too because many will miss this).

        It’s called Falling Skies. It’s on TNT. It is remarkably well done. Groups of humans band together to fight for survival when TEOTWAWKI happens – in this case it’s aliens. I promise, it’s not cheesey aliens. You see them scrounging for food, mourning for what the children have lost and fighting hard. My husband loves it – lots of weapon discussion & lead flying LOL!

        2 Episodes have played – a 2 hour premier and a 1 hour regular show. It’s on TV on Sunday nights. You can watch the first 2 episodes here.

        http://www.tnt.tv/series/fallingskies/

        • GA Mom,
          I searched for it on the DVR and the combination of this being a new show and the fact that they’re always looking for filler on a holiday weekend, I found the following:
          Episode 1 11:00 PM EDT Saturday July 2
          Episode 2 1:00 AM EDT Sunday July 3
          Episode 3 12:00 PM EDT Sunday July 3

          I have them all set to record.

          • Good! I think you’ll like it. Here’s a blurb from their web site.

            “FALLING SKIES focuses on the resilience of the survivors and their determination to maintain their humanity when all else has been destroyed. It is a tale of endurance, commitment and courage in which everyday people are called upon to become heroes. They may be outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned, but nothing can beat the human spirit. Most of all, the series is about the ties that bind people together in the most difficult of circumstances. “

            • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

              Sounds a lot like the theme of the Glenn Beck Show. I sure am going to miss Glenn on TV.

        • Sheri (IN) says:

          GA Mom – Falling Skies is great. I’ve watched all episodes so far and I’m DVRing the series.

          Lint- I miss Glenn Beck already :(

        • Rottenclam says:

          I dont mean to sound like a negative-nellie, GA Mom, but I’m seriously hating falling skies. You can read about some of the varied opinions on this show (including mine) over here:

          http://teotwawkiblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/falling-skies-second-week.html

          • rottenclam. If 100% of people liked a show it would be a miracle. You are entitled to your opinion. I like it and so does my husband. To each his own.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      GA Mom, digging 5-6 feet in the desert when you’re thirsty is a very difficult task. Fortunately, American deserts have springs about every 20 miles or so, and if you can find them you can survive. How do you find them? Listen for the singing of birds or follow the tracks of mule deer or watch where the Mourning Doves fly or look for a larger or taller growth of vegetation…or buy a map today so you’ll have it tomorrow.

      • Lint Picker, I’ve got an area in my yard that is so wet (even in our current drought) that you lose your shoe when you walk through it. We must have a spring somewhere. I think if I dig down about 18 inches I’d have wonderful water – but I might find a shoe or two – LOL!

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          You are very lucky to have that much water during a drought. You could develop that spring and not have to worry about water – ever.

  9. I seriously think if things got as bad as you described, society would break down as well. The only thing to keep total chaos from breaking out is for the “haves” to be well armed and using them.

    Look at history. Take a chance walking 73 miles totally dehydrated, or theivery? Humm, the neighbors have the water you need, and you’re about to drink urine?
    Yeah. Right.

  10. JimShyWolf says:

    If you’re on any kind of land, or on the ocean for that matter, dig a solar still, as OP mentioned. You’ll get enough water for a day. Make a few of these, some larger, and have all the water you’ll need- certainly more than you’ll get from pissing when you’re dehydrated.
    This kind of ‘still’ will also work on a boat, raft, or ship at sea, with even better results.
    Drinking urine is an absolute last resort for hydration- and then you gotta get past the ‘idea’ first. Some won’t be able to.
    You DO have a small plastic tarp in your bag, don’t you? Clear plastic works well, black is better (cuz it collects heat faster, obviously).
    Shy III

    • GardenMom says:

      JimShyWolf, I was told years ago that clear plastic heats up garden soil faster than black plastic. The person compared leaving your car in the sun with the windows rolled up exposed to sun or having one of those shields in the car window. I had thought black would heat up and hold the heat better than clear plastic. Anyway, have you seen/done research in this area? Thanks.

      • I think there’s some confusion here although you both are sort of correct. When building a solar still or a greenhouse you should use clear material (plastic or glass) which allows the short wave infra-red from the sun to pass through and heat the internal area. That heated area then radiates long wave infrared which is blocked and trapped by the material. If you are trying to heat a vessel made of an opaque material (like a barrel or bucket), then black will absorb more heat which will pass into the vessel by conduction. It depends on what type of vessel you’re trying to heat with the sun.

        • GardenMom says:

          OP – Thanks for clarifying – I have both clear and black plastic. Now I know when/how to use them.

        • I’ve tried the solar still for desalination purposes on a small scale in the past but with little success. While I could get the water to evaporate and condensate on plastic, I had a bear of a time getting the water to “roll” down the plastic and into a smaller vessel. Any ideas on how to make this a bit more effective?

  11. If you’re that dehydrated, you’re likely not producing much urine anyway… but distillation methods aside, here is the scoop about drinking urine (a la Bear Grylls) from the guru, Cody Lundin, himself:
    ****
    An ALSS learning moment: Drinking Pee, (yet another way to cleanse the gene pool.)

    I get this question a lot – should someone drink their own urine in a survival situation – so I will answer it again.
    If you’re having a busy day, the answer is no.
    The “why” is far more interesting. Ocean water contains on average 3.7 percent salt. Run-of-the-mill urine contains 2 percent salt. Normal body sodium levels run at .9 percent. Salt (sodium) pulls water from liquid. In the case of drinking salty water that is double the level of normal body saline, (urine) the extra salt actually pulls water out of human cells through the lipid membrane, or cell wall. A person actually dehydrates from the inside out, so to speak. And in the most famous examples, the stranded sailor at sea who drinks ocean water quickly goes nuts, at times turns violent, has to be held down and/or killed by crew mates, and dies a very painful death before being eaten by other sailors or thrown to the sharks.
    As if this isn’t reason enough to not drink your pee, urine also contains toxic urea and nitrogen. When re-added to the body by drinking pee, the body is forced to use more clean metabolic water to again expel these toxins from the body. (Frank Herbert “Dune” Fremen factoid: I pee on all my outdoor plants at my homestead as urea and nitrogen are both main ingredients of commercial fertilizers. My xeriscaped desert landscaping receives free water and fertilizer, and although i don’t use water based toilets at home, it would save thousands of gallons of water per year that is used to simply flush piss)
    In addition, by the time someone would choose to drink their pee, the urine would be very dark yellow in color, (colored urine is the number one sign of dehydration) thus it would be strongly concentrated with the toxins i just mentioned, thus requiring even more of the bodies water reserves to flush them out.
    Also, the psychological aspects of drinking warm piss in a life threatening predicament could cause the drinker to vomit, thereby losing more sacred body water.
    Lastly, people in extreme hot weather survival situations require large amounts of water depending upon several variables. It is not uncommon to lose one gallon of sweat an hour, (four quarts) by exerting in hot temperatures. As the body dehydrates, urine output decreases immensely, leaving less pee for you to drink anyway. People who have drank urine in a survival scenario have lived “despite” their actions, NOT because of them.

    These are the facts, not opinions, and those who choose to debate common sense, physics, and human physiology and/or exhibit reckless behavior at the expense of the TV viewer should not be in my profession. Your lives are priceless, and the truth in my profession needs to be uncompromising.

    May you always have enough fresh water to drink….cody

    • Additionally, and the Arizona folks may be able to address this in more detail, I work for a company in AZ and make trips there occasionally. The hardest thing to get used to the first few days is staying hydrated. It seems everyone is always drinking, and that takes a day or two to become a habit. In the hot low humidity environment, I’ve read that you can excrete 4-5 quarts of water per day, just sitting around in an air conditioned building and breathing. You inhale 16% RH air and exhale something like 40% RH air, with the difference being made up by the body, as it dehydrates.

      • Yeah, pretty much everybody in Phoenix walks around with a water bottle. You learn fast to keep hydrated. We had a few days of near 1% humidity a few weeks ago. I work outside in the yard when it’s over 100 degrees and rarely sweat. The sweat just evaporates too fast to bead up. I sure drink copious amounts of gatorade on those days though!

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      remembered something along these lines from survival course in army a long time ago. thx for the update. although if you are using a solar still adding uring to that would not be a bad thing because only the water would evaperate and collect.

  12. This is not the last resort water source , its not good but definitely not the last resort for water . Hawke’s Green Beret survival book tells of much much worse ways of getting water . Human excrement for one would be the last resort . This book is very sobering and at times , information overload but well worth the read and highly recommended for your survival library .

  13. I’m not going to touch the drinking of urine issue, but one thing’s for sure. Since we can’t predict when a worst case scenario will occur, or if it occurs at all, but only speculate-I would never go into deep debt acquiring these items like bunkers and the other described paraphernalia. That debt has to be paid until the event occurs. IF it occurs.This would take away from my other preparations, materials and goods that would more likely be used in terms of a more likely scenario. I hope I’m not being too critical here and no offense is meant but I have a deep aversion to owing money, short or long-term.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Me, too, Linda. No way am I going into debt for survival gear or retreats, etc. I would make do with what I can acquire through my own skills or with my own cash. Debt = slavery.

  14. BullDogBeau says:

    I think this would be a way to add to your water gathering, however as everyone has said, if your that desperate you won’t be giving off much urine at all.
    If you were to set to have a “Urination Station” with a distillery as part. It is a wonder how much water you would be able to collect. Situation will dictate if this would be beneficial or even necessary.
    Like Michael C., I am in Michigan and surrounded by fresh water lakes, streams and rivers. Location is in my favor on this topic.

  15. Not sure of the last time it rained in Tucson, maybe last september. I went and tapped the stem root of s xmall prickly pear out back, took about 40 min. to get 1/2 cup of sap. NOT drinkable to someone dehydrated allready,but added to a condenser any moisture will help. “Solar stills” is a misnomer most of these are condensers, the product is a condensate, not a distilate. At normal barometric pressure water boils around 212 F. Only after boiling then condensed would you have pure DISTILLED water. Condensers work on the difference in the temp on the membrane. The condensate while lower in Total Disolved Solids [TDS] it WILL still contain higher VOCs [volitile organic compounds] than distilled water. My point is that damp or even limp foilage will add to the output of a condenser, care should be taken not to introduce, distalates, pesticides, etc. into the system. If there is a sheen or oily layer on top of the catch cup go ahead and skim this off even if it seems like wasting hard won water.

  16. taste better than fish blood,another good source of liquid that most people find offensive. you do what you can yo survive

  17. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Simple answer
    YES
    Question, can someone please still make Mt Dew even with distilled urine, cause I’m a junkie! LOL

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Mountain Dew is about the color of urine, isn’t it?

      • Mountain Dew is the color of urine, which is why it flows through you so fast. You see, it doesn’t have to pause to change color.

  18. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    There have been a few times when I’ve been vacationing in the desert and noticed I was not needing to urinate. By the time I realized I was dehydrated to the point of not urinating, it was too late to use my urine as a backup water supply. And there would have been no possible way to walk more than a couple dozen miles in that condition. Fortunately, I had planned ahead and had plenty of water available. But I like to conduct experiments and found out just what happens when you don’t drink when you’re thirsty – it ain’t pretty. It’s also not good for your internal organs.

    Dehydration is like frostbite, by the time you realize you’re suffering from it, it’s too late to prevent it. Better to plan ahead and avoid the problem. If you find yourself completely without a source of fluids, then you are a dead man.

    • That is true , As a lifelong desert dweller , you need to triple the water that you take with you than you would anywhere else , and very important to take a long salt tablets . Also , nobody but an idiot wears shorts and no hat walking around in the desert . Its like walking around the Maine woods with sandals in winter .

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        T.R., think its worse than walking around in sandals in the winter in Maine, in the desert, it seems every plant/rock/bush/tree/critter wants to bite/sting/poke/stab you. As for the amount of water, at a minimum, triple the water you carry. Maybe more….

        • Aye that , I make a point to stab and drain all the gallon jugs the illegals have stashed when I find them out there as well . Was thinking about adding a bit of anti freeze but they could see it and taste it , or Magnesium citrate but again , they would taste it ………. strychnine ? ill keep thinkin , nothing too good for an invader .

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          T.R., Its not that I like invaders coming here, not at all, but I would not do anything to poison them, could lead to trouble I’m not looking for. I do have a huge problem with the american citizens who put water stations out for the illegals. That to me is treason and deliberatly breaking the law too. I’ve got nothing against immigrants….just immigrate legally. The amount of trash the illegals leave behind is staggering, tons and tons of it, mostly in the form of discarded water jugs, clothing, and human waste. What a mess.

          • Well the way I see it, is they are poisoning our culture and way of life ………so what ever happens , happens . No remorse . Best thing is , if it is some liberals water station … THEY GET THE BLAME and charged . Win – win situation , kill 2 birds with 1 stone lol .

  19. Other ways of getting water, but… if need be I would. Funny how the “haves” seem to have not prepped but have cash to keep electric while a prepper is willing to walk 73 miles to a “maybe” for water. Interesting to think on but …. well never mind, nice story.

  20. ThatAway says:

    Listed this early today and not sure which way it is going

    Good Luck with you move & all M.D.
    I cannot believe answers on this Question.. I listed it under M.D.’s
    Finely notice. MAbey I might get a few comments here..

    Many people freeze rice and wheat flower before sealing in mylar bags, Or putting it up for storage. To prevent any bug or eegs from coming alive?
    Well if the eggs or whatever critters sealed are sealed in the bag.
    Would not the lack of oxygen be enough stop the critters till you opened the bag??

    And if rice is in mylar bag in a bucket does any one disagree on freezing after
    the bag has been sealed in a bucket with lid off?????
    Thawing slowly would not create much condensation??
    Any Options on this subjects. Me and the lady have a different option.
    So this should at least give us an other way to look at it.
    What Y All think? We should get one or 2 options mabey with this group
    good of preppers! Hope that make sense I gota go!!

    ThatAway

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      ThatAway, I don’t store wheat flour in bulk, but I’ll try to answer your questions as I understand them.

      Wheat berries and wheat flour, beans, rice, and other grains are frozen in order to kill the bugs and their eggs and larvae – yes. If the bugs are sealed inside a mylar bag that is not frozen, I presume they will eventually die from lack of oxygen and die even quicker if there is an oxygen absorber in the bag. However, sealing the bag without the oxi-absorber won’t kill them right away since there would still be air around each and every grain, berry, and granule. They could conceivably live for another day or two I suppose. In that time, they could lay eggs or eat some additional grain or poop in your soup, er…I mean poop in your barley.

      My own concern would not be the bugs themselves, since they might actually provide some harmless protein. But if they lived long enough in the mylar bag to do damage to the grain, then I’m going to be one unhappy prepper when I open the bag 30 years from now and find half a bag of rice and half a bag of bug crud.

      I have bought a couple #10 cans of rice, beans, and wheat berries from the LDS online and they come all canned up with oxygen absorbers (I hope!). They should remain viable
      for the 30 years the church claims.

      This may not answer your questions adequately, but it’s all I got.

      • ThatAway says:

        Thanks Lint
        I think the rice, wheat berries, red wheat will be frozen. first..
        I do not freeze flower except the stuff I buy from the store to use now..
        Still am working on a better grinder. The on I use now is a real grind on the arthritic shoulder and elbow!!
        A little poop is ok I won’t notice or taste I hope?
        And I buy a lot of supplies from LDS Store.
        You can buy everything there and can it at there warehouse in my area..
        It is a very fast process and is supposed to last 30 years like you say..
        Thanks for the comment there Lint old friend.
        And O.B. Can’t help ya sorry. But I have heard it can be done!

        ThatAway

        • ThatAway,
          Canned or properly bagged grains using an O2 absorber should take care of most pests and I don’ think the grain from the LDS storehouse has been frozen in either the bags or the prepackaged cans. However, when I buy smaller quantities of beans and grains from local stores like GFS or Aldi’s I generally put them in the freezer for a few days to kill off any potential bugs and eggs. If I buy enough at a time and bag it immediately, I probably wouldn’t have to do this, but it doesn’t really cost anything to add one more layer of precaution.
          As for a powered grinder, the next time you’re at the LDS storehouse, ask to look at the one they recommend. It’s generally kept in the corner to the left as you enter the door to the cannery. Made by Blendtec, it works well, and there is generally a coupon code that will save you some money on it.

          • Also, once we open flour or oatmeal, we keep it in the freezer to make sure it doesn’t acquire an infestation. It also seems to last longer without getting stale or drawing damp.

            • ThatAway says:

              Yup once opened it stays in the freezer flower and oatmeal and my favorite steel cut oats..
              I will look at the mill tomorrow if they are opened?
              It is a 2 month waiting list to can your goods bought there,at least on Saturday it is. You can can one weekday. I am not sure there is a list on that day to. It is a nice warehouse. I may get a canning date to try it out.And thanks to OP and Lint it just cleared some old questions up and we have been doing things right..

              Also OP I will work on the ribbon one of these days.
              I am not sure where to start and I think the vest is just what I wanted. a belt can be added if needed..

              Thanks Lint & OP.. I know if you Older guy are giving me this info it MUST be right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
              Later
              ThatAway

              I was watching and it goes very fast!!

  21. Omo Bob says:

    Just a bit off topic, I have access to a swimming pool with a salt water chlorination system…any one have a good way of desalinizing (?) the water? Solar still? I’ve been told the salt would plug up a Berkey fairly rapidly…

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Maybe a real still would work best? A copper pot in which to boil the pool water. Some copper tubing twisted like a pig’s tail to cool the steam. A catch-pot to collect the drops of salt-free water which are the end result. When you’re done with the pool water, you can make booze.

    • Omo Bob,
      If you’re only using the pool for potable water and not for swimming, I suspect you could make one gigantic solar still by building a frame over the pool and covering it with plastic sheeting, or glass if finances allow. The basic premise would be the same as a smaller still made from a sheet of plastic and a hole in the ground, scaled up to larger proportions that could potentially provide an equally large volume of potable water.

  22. Personal note make sure to store gasoline for traveling across TX 24 gallons for my car will get me to the gulf in 8 – 10 hours. The Lakes here still have not recovered with the last drought.

    Would I drink urine, purified yes, straight up no. C’est la vie

  23. Shreela says:

    Other than off-grid folks, and folks with wells, don’t most in the US already drink water that previously had urine in it (as well as other excrement), if they drink from “the tap”?

    • Shreela,
      What a great point – LOL!!! With an estimate of something like 60 billion people who have lived or are now living, plus all of the land animals, fish etc, all of whom ate, drank, and excreted; I would say that there isn’t any water on the planet that hasn’t had urine in it at some point in time.
      In my personal case the soiled water goes into a septic system, biodegrades, and then heads for a leach field. Eventually that water percolates through the ground into the aquifer; were we pump it up and re-use it. So technically, I drink water every day that was once contaminated with who knows what.