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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With grad school winding down for the semester, I'm starting to get some creative ideas for prepping. It dawned on me that maybe this could be a good prep forum.


My biggest idea is to create a portable water catchment system. I am considering taking like a 4-5foot section of 4" PVC, cutting a small slot (quarter inch or so) in it the entire length, and then finding a way to fix the edge of a tarp inside the slot. The pipe could be set on the ground, and the top edges secured to trees or other uprights.

This design clearly wouldn't be needed if you prepare your BOL adequately for rain collecting, but in the event of traveling to your BOL, it might be a viable source of water if you aren't near a ground source of it or run out of stores that you carry. Even if it doesn't rain, it would make a pretty good impromptu tent to sleep under at night.

Does anyone else have any ideas?
 

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The use of a tarp is good for temporary gathering of rain water. I hear a lot of people storing massive gallons of water (hell I have 360 now) when in fact they discount how much rain they get. My BOL is in the middle of the high desert and we even get 5-9 inches a year. Over a reasonable square footage there is plenty there for a year - of course I may go 7 months without rain so storage does again become important.

When I read your idea I had to wonder about cost / savings. Is is cost effective to buy a 4 inch PVC and cutting it or would you be better off with a rain gutter? I don't know - I'm asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The use of a tarp is good for temporary gathering of rain water. I hear a lot of people storing massive gallons of water (hell I have 360 now) when in fact they discount how much rain they get. My BOL is in the middle of the high desert and we even get 5-9 inches a year. Over a reasonable square footage there is plenty there for a year - of course I may go 7 months without rain so storage does again become important.

When I read your idea I had to wonder about cost / savings. Is is cost effective to buy a 4 inch PVC and cutting it or would you be better off with a rain gutter? I don't know - I'm asking.
I've actually got some laying around... a roommate of mine used it to make a wine rack... He's got about a 6 foot section left. So I'd basically be building it for free.
 

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With grad school winding down for the semester, I'm starting to get some creative ideas for prepping. It dawned on me that maybe this could be a good prep forum.

My biggest idea is to create a portable water catchment system. I am considering taking like a 4-5foot section of 4" PVC, cutting a small slot (quarter inch or so) in it the entire length, and then finding a way to fix the edge of a tarp inside the slot. The pipe could be set on the ground, and the top edges secured to trees or other uprights.

This design clearly wouldn't be needed if you prepare your BOL adequately for rain collecting, but in the event of traveling to your BOL, it might be a viable source of water if you aren't near a ground source of it or run out of stores that you carry. Even if it doesn't rain, it would make a pretty good impromptu tent to sleep under at night.

Does anyone else have any ideas?
It sounds like you are making this harder than it is and especially in a bug out scenario who wants to haul around a 5 foot piece of pipe.

I may not be understanding your premise but how does it differ from this?

Getting Started In Emergency Preparedness: Expedient Water Collection, One Method
 

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In a bug out situation where you cant carry much around there is a neat trick called evapotranspiration, here in the desert we dont get much water but anywhere you find a tree or plant life you can get small amounts of water by wrapping a plastic bag around the leaves, the tree or shrub will sweat and water will collect in the bag, not gallons worth but enough to survive, it's an idea worth remembering. Plastic bags are cheap, light and easy to carry, here is a link I found on it,
The Water Cycle: Evapotranspiration, from USGS Water-Science School
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It sounds like you are making this harder than it is and especially in a bug out scenario who wants to haul around a 5 foot piece of pipe.

I may not be understanding your premise but how does it differ from this?

Getting Started In Emergency Preparedness: Expedient Water Collection, One Method
True story I guess... My initial thoughts were that spreading the tarp out closer to a plane instead of the "dip" method shown would help to increase surface area... after seeing a picture of it, now I'm not so sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In a bug out situation where you cant carry much around there is a neat trick called evapotranspiration, here in the desert we dont get much water but anywhere you find a tree or plant life you can get small amounts of water by wrapping a plastic bag around the leaves, the tree or shrub will sweat and water will collect in the bag, not gallons worth but it's an idea worth remembering. Plastic bags are cheap, light and easy to carry, here is a link I found on it,
The Water Cycle: Evapotranspiration, from USGS Water-Science School
Yeah I love the concept of solar distillation. My BOL is in a location proximal to 2 water sources, so I wouldn't need it long term... Rain water collection is inherently flawed in one respect. It has to be raining to work.

When it comes to water though, I think it's prudent to have 3 or 4 alternatives if not more.
 

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In a bug out situation where you cant carry much around there is a neat trick called evapotranspiration, here in the desert we dont get much water but anywhere you find a tree or plant life you can get small amounts of water by wrapping a plastic bag around the leaves, the tree or shrub will sweat and water will collect in the bag, not gallons worth but enough to survive, it's an idea worth remembering. Plastic bags are cheap, light and easy to carry, here is a link I found on it,
The Water Cycle: Evapotranspiration, from USGS Water-Science School
Enough to survive?

Maybe with 100 plastic bags but I am not sure you can get the required amount of water (say 2 gallons a day for high desert conditions) from evaporation.

I'm not saying it isn't possible but I would really want to check that out before hand, Montana is a "high desert" with annual rainfall of about 15 inches, which lends to my conclusions. I see you live in Texas which is... I'll just say it.. about as close to hell as you can get temperature wise. Have you done this?
 

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Enough to survive?

Maybe with 100 plastic bags but I am not sure you can get the required amount of water (say 2 gallons a day for high desert conditions) from evaporation.

I'm not saying it isn't possible but I would really want to check that out before hand, Montana is a "high desert" with annual rainfall of about 15 inches, which lends to my conclusions. I see you live in Texas which is... I'll just say it.. about as close to hell as you can get temperature wise. Have you done this?
like pharmer said, you should have multiple alternatives, this is 1, if you are down to zero this can get you by a bit longer, if you are asking if i have done this and this alone for an extended period of time, no.. but trust that it works and the more options you have the better. 1/2 a gallon will get you by a day, if you are standing in the heat expending large amounts of energy then yeah you would need around 2 gallons, if you do the opposite a half gallon a day will keep you alive for days maybe weeks, it's not the way to go long term but in a survival situation this can be life saving. By all means, don't rely on this and this alone but remember it, it might save ur a$$ some day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Enough to survive?

Maybe with 100 plastic bags but I am not sure you can get the required amount of water (say 2 gallons a day for high desert conditions) from evaporation.

I'm not saying it isn't possible but I would really want to check that out before hand, Montana is a "high desert" with annual rainfall of about 15 inches, which lends to my conclusions. I see you live in Texas which is... I'll just say it.. about as close to hell as you can get temperature wise. Have you done this?
I view distillation stills the way I view trapping when it comes to hunting. You should have at minimum double digit stills going if you want to rely on it long term. Youtube has about a million videos on the topic, and the best one I've seen gets about 2 to 3 cups in an 8-10 hour time period.

The only way to make that a sustaining water plan is to have many of them working for you at the same time in an optimal climate.
 
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