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Being able to get water is not only a valuable skill, it’s a necessity!One way to do this is by making a solar still. There are numerous ways to do this, but this method is pretty straightforward, and anyone can do it with just a little material.

The items that you need are as follows:

  • Plastic tarp (preferably clear)
  • The sunnier the location the better
  • Enough fist size rocks to anchor around the tarp
  • A cup or bucket to capture the water
  • A shovel (otherwise you have to dig with your hands or a stick)
  • Wet green leaves, if they are available
  • A small pebble or something for the center of the tarp
  • And if you have a long tube for a straw, that is good.
  • (this is also not a bad thing to have in your arsenal (click))

The process for getting your drinking water goes like this:

1. Dig a hole in the ground. Go down deep enough so that your cup or bucket is not touching the tarp and allow room for your tarp to sag in the middle so the water can accumulate and drip in the container. Make sure that you dig the hole wide with a gradual slope down. Also, make the hole slightly smaller in diameter than the tarp.

2. Put your bucket in the middle of the hole. You can dig it in about half way to give you some extra room.

3. If you have green leaves at your disposal, place a thick layer of them in the hole, but not in the bucket. If the ground is already visibly wet, you don’t have to use leaves.

4. If you have a long enough tube that you can put in the bucket and run out of the hole, this will give you a straw so you don’t have to disassemble everything to get a drink.

5. Lay the tarp over the hole. Remember not to stretch it too tight because it needs to sag in the middle.

6. Use rocks or some other way to anchor the tarp. Make sure you don’t leave gaps for water vapor to escape.

7. Place a pebble or bit of sand in the middle of the tarp so it sags over the container (without letting it touch the container).

8. You will see the tarp start to fog up. This is the beginning of your water.

9. When you see water in the container, have a drink. It is that easy.
Keep in mind that by doing this you are distilling the water, so the water in the cup is clean and perfectly safe to drink. Even if it starts out as salt water, your water will be perfectly safe for you and your family.

If anyone has any experience with this, feel free to add your insight to the comments. After all, learning from each other is what this is all about. And as always, in the event of a disaster, be prepared not dependent.

Until next time,


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