This weeks tip is on something we all need. Water. Water is one of the must haves in ANY scenario. Good times Bad times SHTF times, Clean water is a non negotiable item. In some parts of the country water runs free in the form of creeks steams and river. Don’t discount rainfall. Oh look there is a burbling brook. Lets dip our Sierra Cup in and take a long cold drink. And a few hours later you’re double over with excessive fluids pouring out both ends. Can you say Cryptosporidian? Nice try.
There are many ways to make water potable. Chemical, Filters, boiling and Distillation. All work great.
But what do you do when the Chemicals run out. Your last filter is clogged and you need to make a medicine of some sort and boiling just doesn’t clean the water good enough?
Long time listeners of The Medic Shack have heard me say over and over, One item that is in every cache and even in the bug out box is a pressure cooker. And you all know my reason. It will cook food with 1/3 less fuel. It will sterilizes surgical instruments. It will make alcohol for medicine and barter.
SO the method of cleaning and disinfecting water with my pressure cooker.
First I filter the water though cloth. As much as I can get together to try to remove as much turbidity that I can.
Next I run the water through a homemade charcoal filter. That can be made out of a sock and crushed charcoal out of your campfire, This helps to further clean the water and start with purification process.
Next I fill the pressure cooker with water about 80 to 90% full. LEAVE HEADSPACE This is important. I then put the weight on the cooker set to 15 lbs. Once it comes to temp and starts rocking the weight I let it go for 15 minutes. This will kill everything in the water. It is now sterile. I remove from the heat an once it is safe to remove the weight I attach about an inch of silicone or hi temp vinyl tubing 1/4” ID to the stub where the weight was To that I attach a coil of copper tubing 1/4inch OD. Coiled right 4 feet will take up about as much space as a double stacked Copenhagen tins. I stretch the tubing and if you can run it through water that is great but it will work under air. I heat the cooker again and with the tubing in It it raise the boiling point a bit and once steam comes out of the tube I’ll put a catch basin under it. The first cup of water I toss. This will be any left over containments. After that you’ll have clean sterile water.
So why all the work to make clean water this way? Won’t boiling do? Well at sea level water boils at 212 deg. At 5000 feet it is about 200. At 10000 feet it is about 190. Most bacteria can survive water at that temp. The pressure cooking of the water at 15 lbs heats the water to about 260 deg at sea level and about 240 at 10000 feet. Bacteria and protozoans cant survive that.
When making medicine it is imperative to have as clean of water as possible. That is why all the extra steps. To make quick drinking water. You can remove all but the distillation part., And have water safe to drink.
A 4 quart pressure cooker and replace on pot the same size in you cook box. I have one in all my caches. I consider a pressure cooker as important as my sidearm, rifle and knife. It is light easy to use and cheap. Get a couple and put them away. You wont regret it