There’s no doubt water is one of the most important things when it comes to survival, and I’m not just saying that because of the rule of threes. There’s more to survival water than not being able to live for more than 3 days without it. You need to have a stockpile, you need to know ways to find it, to filter it, to purify it and even to look for it out in the wild.
I think having a place with all the mistakes is a good idea, so let’s get right to it. Feel free to add more in a comment below.
Mistake #1: not using the right containers to store water
The last thing you want to do is store water in milk or juice cartons. Not only will they leak but they just aren’t clean enough for long term-water storage. Same thing with plastic jugs: it’s impossible to fully remove the sugars no matter how much you try and clean them.
Mistake #2: you need to boil water for a long time to kill pathogens
Once you bring water to a rolling boil, there’s no need to keep it that way longer than one minute; all pathogens will be killed during that time. Boil it any longer and you waste three things:
- water (through evaporation)
- …and time.
Mistake #3: too much food, too little water
If you have 3-moths’ worth of food but only a 3-week water stockpile, guess what? You won’t last more than those three weeks, no matter how much food you have (unless you have back-up water sources, of course).
As you grow your stockpile, make sure you keep in mind such imbalances.
Mistake #4: thinking food is more important than water
The rule of threes states that you can live 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. Enough said.
Mistake #5: too much water in their bug out bags
Water is heavy and what most people don’t realize is they won’t be able to carry it on their shoulders in a survival situation. Since many preppers are overweight and unfit, they need to make their BOBs or INCH bags lighter. So how about you ditch one of your water bottles in favor or a portable water filtration system?
Mistake #6: using a garden hose instead of a water hose when filling their barrels
This is for obvious purposes: you don’t want bacteria to grow inside. Of course, if the water you’re storing has other purposes (watering your garden, showering), you need not worry about this.
Mistake #7: water from cactuses is safe to drink
Nope. It’s actually highly alkaline. The barrel cactus is the notable exception but will you really be able to distinguish it in a critical situation?
Mistake #8: eating snow
Snow is really cold, which means your stomach needs to warm it up first before it can use it. This costs you energy in a survival situation, the last thing you want. Much better to first melt the snow and then drink the resulting water, possibly from a LifeStraw. In general, melted snow is just about as safe to drink as rainwater so it’s not that big of a concern.
Mistake #9: drinking your own urine is good
Pee is just water mixed with your body’s waste. Put it back in your body and you cause your internal organs to malfunction. Use it as a last resort but note that drinking your pee again after you already drank it once… is that much worse.
Mistake #10: drinking saltwater
Saltwater will dehydrate you even if you drink it in small amounts. For every glass you drink, you’re going to need two glasses of freshwater to compensate.
Mistake #11: not knowing the federal and state laws on rainwater harvesting
Believe it or not, in some states it is illegal to collect water (source). With the coming mega-drought, authorities are going to be even stingier about what you can or cannot do with your water.
Mistake #12: camping near a body of water is a good idea
I can see a lot of issues with this. For example, if you’re really close to a river and there’s a flash flood, you’ll not only wake up with all your stuff waken away but you’re risking your life. Even if this doesn’t happen, camping near a body of water might attract unwanted visitors that are also looking to hydrate, humans or animals.
Can you think of more survival water mistakes? Maybe, some that you’ve made yourself at some point. Leave a comment below and let us know.
About the author
Dan is the rising star among survival bloggers through his unique, fluff-free content. Although he’s aware things are going from bad to worse, he doesn’t shy from encouraging preppers to also live their lives in addition to prepping for the worst.