Building a Bug Out Bag – Part III, Water

In Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select.  In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider for your Bug Out Bag.  Today we’ll discuss Water preparedness and Water items to consider including when building a Bug Out Bag.  Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or semi-submersible speedboat makes it.


Water in Full Spectrum Preparedness

Today we introduce the first of a 10 article series that we’ll publish over the next 3 weeks introducing each of the 10 Foundations of Full Spectrum Preparedness in more detail.  In these articles we’ll start fleshing out the Fundamentals of Full Spectrum Preparedness.  Essentially, this series will discuss each Fundamental’s place in our Full Spectrum Preparedness cognitive model and briefly discuss how each Fundamental interacts with the other nine.  These articles are about the concepts, in later articles we’ll provide practical tactics, techniques and procedures for each Fundamental.  We begin with this discussion of Water in Full Spectrum Preparedness:

Why is Water Preparedness Important

It’s often been said that you can only live three days without water…that’s not true.  I’ve read accounts of lost hikers dying from dehydration in as little as an afternoon and accounts of others living for up to a week (in optimum conditions) without water.  That said, water is critical to maintaining life and therefore water preparedness is a critical element to your survival.  Water is elemental (pun intended) to sanitation and food preparation as well as life itself.

The most basic use of water of course is for drinking/food preparation.  There are two basic ways to make water potable (with many variations).  Water can be treated (chemically, heated or UV), or filtered.  We’ll discuss individual techniques in later articles, but those are the basic options.

Because water isn’t something you can do without… you should plan for a minimum of three water sources if the tap suddenly stops working.

  1. Stored for immediate needs.  1/2 to 3 Gallons per person
  2. A primary water source that’s as convenient as possible to your living area for situations your stored water can’t handle
  3. A secondary source if the primary dries up or otherwise becomes unavailable

Aspects of Water Preparedness


Water in Cold Weather Survival Situations

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another lesson from our Military Pedagogy series.  This discussion, from FM 21-76, the U.S. Army Survival Manual [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on Water in Cold Weather Survival Situations.  While written by the Army for Arctic survival, much of the information presented is applicable to any cold weather survival situation.


There are many sources of water in the arctic and subarctic.  Your location and the season of the year will determine where and how you obtain water.  Water sources in arctic and subarctic regions are more sanitary than in other regions due to the climatic and environmental conditions.  However, always purify the water before drinking it. During the summer months, the best natural sources of water are freshwater lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, and springs.  Water from ponds or lakes may be slightly stagnant, but still usable.  Running water in streams, rivers, and bubbling springs is usually fresh and suitable for drinking. (more…)

Prepper Wisdom from James Wesley Rawles

Here are some additional nuggets of prepper wisdom from James Wesley Rawles that I picked up at the Get Prepared Expo this past weekend during Rawles’ tele-interview.  I missed part of the interview due to some technical difficulties with the equipment and a scheduling conflict I had… but took away enough good ideas that I thought they were worth passing along.

If you’re not familiar with Rawles you can check him out on Survivalblog, his non-fiction book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times or his survival manual disguised as a novel Patriots as well as the sequels Survivors and Founders.

The following nuggets were introduced by Rawles but I’ve taken the liberty to expand on them a bit here and there:

Battery Stock Up Alternative:  While you should stock up now on the batteries you’ll need, Toy stores are a great last minute place to stock up on batteries when the grocery and hardware stores are sold out or overrun.

Water Transportation:  Don’t overlook the logistics of water transportation in your preparedness.  You likely won’t have the fuel to waste in your vehicle so you’ll need to plan a manual alternative.  You should stock sturdy water containers and some type of wagon or cart.  Water weighs over 8 lbs per gallon so hauling 8 gallons (almost 67 lbs) per day for a family of four will be a real chore.  Think about how far away your backup water supply is from your home and what type of ground you need to traverse (rough, paved, slope, etc.).  5-Gallon water jugs and a high quality garden cart are a good option.

Where you live matters:  Bigger population density means bigger problems.

Society is Becoming More Vulnerable:  The vulnerability of our society increases each year due to: (more…)

Dakota Fire Pit Infographic

Here’s something that doesn’t weigh a thing to add to your Get Home Bag or Bug Out Bag… a little knowledge about how to build a Dakota Fire Pit.  While a fireless camp is the least likely to be observed there may be times when a fire is absolutely necessary…water purification by boiling (when you have no other methods available)  or to avoid hypothermia are two possibilities that come to mind.  Such situations call for a Dakota Fire Pit also known as the Dakota Fire Hole… the next most clandestine camp to a fireless camp.

Dakota Fire Hole Infographic

Dakota fire hole (Figure VI-15). Use the Dakota fire hole for high winds or evasion situations

Essentially the Dakota Fire Pit is a fire pit with a separate tunnel built to supply airflow directly to the fuel.  By keeping the fire below ground you reduce the light signature of the fire significantly and are able to get by with a much smaller fire than you would need above ground to accomplish the same cooking tasks.

Here are some additional hints to make your Dakota Fire Hole easier to build and less likely to be seen: (more…)

Today’s Top 10 It’s Not This It’s That for Preppers

Sometimes preparedness is about seeing the potential alternate uses of everyday items, sometimes preparedness is about keeping the ‘end’ in mind while dealing with the ‘ways’ and the ‘means.’  These were the inspirations for this periodic column on Prepography called… It’s Not This It’s That (INTIT):

  1. It’s not a salt lick for livestock, it’s brining material for salting that livestock’s meat
  2. It’s not 550 cord it’s a solar clothes dryer
  3. It’s not a pile of old tires…it’s an Earthship (or maybe just an Earthboat) waiting to be built (thanks to PennyPincher for the tip)
  4. It’s not a flower garden…it’s a survival garden just waiting to have the flowers replaced with beautiful vegetables
  5. It’s not a dog…it’s an early warning system…or if it’s like mine it’s a ‘come and get my master we live over here’ system (more…)

Today’s Top 10 It’s Not This It’s That for Preppers

Sometimes preparedness is about seeing the potential alternate uses of everyday items, sometimes preparedness is about keeping the ‘end’ in mind while dealing with the ‘ways’ and the ‘means.’  These were the inspirations for a new periodic column here on Prepography called… It’s Not This It’s That (INTIT):

  1. It’s not your old army pistol belt with attached molle pouches…it’s your very own batman utility belt
  2. It’s not a gallon of unscented bleach it’s up to 3,000 gallons of potable water
  3. It’s not a .22 long rifle shell that cost you 3.9 cents it’s 1.318 lbs (583 calories, 111.46 grams of protein) of cottontail rabbit 
  4. That multi-pound box or bag of salt isn’t food seasoning it’s a food preservative
  5. It’s not an out of date phone book for downtown Possom Trot, it’s 500 pages of outhouse cleanliness (more…)

How to Safely Store Water in Your Home

Today we’ll discuss how to safely store water in your home…or at least some of the most common methods.  However, before we discuss water storage in the home we must first clarify what home water storage is and what it isn’t:

  • Water storage is:  A temporary measure designed to get you through local disasters or give you enough time to safely implement your water procurement plan.
  • Water storage isn’t:  The end of your water preparedness unless you choose not to prepare for longer term utility interruptions.  We’ll discuss long term water planning in future articles.

In a previous article we discussed why it is important to store water and how much water the ‘authorities’ recommend you store.  We also discussed some additional considerations to help you determine the proper amount of water storage for your needs.  If you missed that article you can read it HERE.

Now that you have an idea of how much stored water you want to keep on hand you need to decide which method or methods you prefer.  Listed below are the most common options along with the relative costs, benefits and drawbacks of each: (more…)

How Much Water Should I Store?

Why Should I Store Water:

We all know that there is no element more important to human life than water.  Fortunately, most of us enjoy an abundance of extremely cheap, potable water that ‘magically’ flows into our house from ‘elsewhere.’  Unfortunately, the very ease with which we access potable water day-to-day blinds us to our need to store water just in case.  Here are just of few of the reasons to store water in your home:

  1. Weather can interrupt your access to your water supply.  Municipal sources rely on water mains that frequently break during weather extremes (both hot, dry weather and extended cold spells).  A drought that lasts long enough or even overuse can dry out the longest river, largest reservoir, or biggest aquifer.
  2. Pollutants can enter the water distribution system.  “Boil order” are two words that you want to hear before breakfast if your neighborhood is affected.  Boil orders are usually related to a water main break.  Surface water sources like rivers and reservoirs are vulnerable to accidental pollutants…think of the affects of a tanker trailer of benzene going over a bridge just upstream from your municipal water intake or a train derailment…those train tracks are conveniently located along many of our major waterways.  Water treatment plants can work magic but some pollutants are surely beyond their capabilities.  Floods are especially damaging to surface and subsurface (subsurface open to the surface… like wells) as floods pick up and disperse pollutants.
  3. Intentional tampering or terrorism.  Unlike what you see on television and in the movies our surface water sources are fairly safe due to modern treatment methods and the ‘solution to pollution being dilution.’  It would likely take truckloads or a trainload of poison to become an effective terror attack at the source waters but lesser amounts it could potentially shut down a municipal water system…and shutting down the system is the most likely affect.  However, terrorism targeting a water system from within the treatment facility or ‘downstream’ is certainly a possibility.
  1. A handy supply of water is helpful and saves time if you are forced to bug-out.  Just make sure to store at least some of your water in containers that match your bug-out carrying capability (truck, car, bike, public transportation, on foot, etc.)

How Much Water Should I Store: (more…)

Campbell on Water – Today’s Quote

Water is one of life’s most essential elements. We use it every day, all day long, countless times, in countless ways. Without it, we would

soon die. Yet, most Americans take water for granted. We flip on our faucets, and automatically expect water (and clean, safe water, at

that) to come out every time. Most of us give little or no thought as to where this water comes from, or what we would do if, one day, we

turned on our facets and nothing came out.

Survive Water Crisis, An Inside Look at the U.S. Water Crisis by Damian Campbell (came free when I purchased this EMP E-book)

« Older Entries Next Entries »

%d bloggers like this: